Cancel going back to work after the holidays—you're spending January eating your way through the Golden State.
What will you be doing, come New Year's Day? Sleeping one off, or just plain sleeping in? Making those last-minute New Year's resolutions? Sitting around panicking, thinking about another year of work ahead, or how you're never going to stick to those New Year's resolutions?
In California, which apparently just can't ever take a day off, they'll already be up, probably jogging along or near a beach somewhere, and preparing to celebrate their first big do of 2018. For the eighth January in a row, it'll be California Restaurant Month, and there are a whole bunch of reasons why you should consider getting in on the action this year.
From San Diego all the way up north, or at least as far north as they have good restaurants (when you get to the far, far north, it's mostly wilderness, which is fine, but you might want to pack a sandwich), cities across the Golden State will be celebrating their own restaurant weeks all throughout January. On the first of the month, three destinations—including the very high-profile (and quickly bouncing back from those deadly fires) Sonoma County—will launch their celebrations, followed in short order by, well, just about everyone else, including cities like Ventura and Santa Barbara, which will certainly appreciate the support after doing battle with the ongoing (and, fingers crossed, hopefully soon fully contained) Thomas Fire.
The events work much like restaurant weeks elsewhere—prix fixe menus for lunch, dinner and sometimes brunch, complemented by a range of other promotions and happenings. Some cities are running small events; others like Los Angeles have so many options, it's almost overwhelming.
“We’re excited to kick off 2018 with California Restaurant Month, a celebration that highlights the depth and breadth of California’s culinary diversity,” said Visit California's Caroline Beteta. “Destinations throughout the state are celebrating local flavors from seafood and wine to garlic, pomegranates and even cheeseburgers."
Even as American food evolves, as pretty much every state in the country has at least one city or region with a vibrant food scene (not to mention a great farmers market), and with sourcing and seasonality becoming everyday words, everywhere, there's still no beating California at the ingredient game, particularly in the dead of an American winter.
You in? To find out which destinations are taking part in the celebration (more than three dozen cities and regions, at last count), just go here.