Whether you are a serious enough foodie to book a custom tour, a special interest group with cravings, or you’re just looking for good grub on the road, this guide to America’s West Coast foodie destinations will guide your culinary choices. We’ve gathered the most delicious and iconic destinations all along the Pacific Coast, with stops in California, Washington, and Oregon. So map out your itinerary, request a bus rental quote, gather a group of foodie friends, and head out on the open road to taste your way through America’s West Coast.
Why should you rent a bus for a foodie tour?
Beyond being cost-effective and easy to book, there are a number of reasons to rent a charter bus for a foodie tour. For starters, you can keep everyone together between locations. The larger the group, the more opportunities for stragglers to get lost. When you have a private bus rental, there’s no need for a caravan of cars. You also have a personal driver, which means you can enjoy wine and beer tastings without the temptation to get behind the wheel. Finally…naps! After rollin’ out of a burger joint, take the opportunity for a digestion nap.
Top Foodie Destinations on the West Coast
Known for Michelin-star restaurants, diner-style burgers, and artisanal speciality food, California offers a wide range of restaurants and shops. You’ll also want to take in some of the best California destinations on breaks between meals. We recommend the Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland, and SF MOMA.
Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles
An LA local favorite, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles was established in 1975 by Harlem’s own Herb Hudson. It’s most famous dish is in its name, a dish which has received big ups from the likes of THE Redd Foxx. This classic soul food is now available in several locations including Anaheim, Inglewood, and Long Beach.
Eater LA called Destroyer the “most Instagrammable restaurant in the known universe.” Those are some attractive words for foodie tourists. Destroyer also has a delectable menu to fill your belly and justify the cost. Lauded as one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, Destroyer is chic, trendy, but still casual. AND you can order online, perfect for group tours who need to move on to their next destination.
If you have a small group looking to splurge, check out Californios, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco. With its 16-course tasting menu and bonkers wine-pairings, Californios is a little on the pricey side. But it’s an immersive experience of creative fine dining with strong Mexican influences. Truly a meal to remember!
Ice Cream Bar
Step back in time with a visit to Ice Cream Bar, a 1930s-style soda fountain. Its art deco design and white uniformed soda jerks really sell the time travel angle, and the daily handmade treats sell us on this Haight-Ashbury location. Ice Cream Bar’s floats are out of this world and the freshly baked waffle cones are divine.
Pretty much any Californian you ask will say that the ultimate burger comes from In-n-Out. The first of these burger joints opened its doors in 1948 and ushered in decades of happy customers. Known for its not-so-secret menu, its tradition of planting crossed palm trees, and its history of treating employees with respect, In-n-Out Burger is a California staple. There are locations in San Jose, Pasadena, Oakland, and all over Cali.
Cultured Pickle Shop
The Cultured Pickle Shop in Berkeley is an unassuming warehouse location with a tiny fridge full of lacto-fermented products like relish, sauerkraut, and kombucha. It may be tiny, but Cultured Pickle Shop welcomes some pretty big names. Everyone from pro-athletes to celebrity chefs get their pickles here. Stop by on a weekend for their Rice and Pickle events, but be warned. Places fill up quickly.
Long Meadow Ranch
A foodie tour of California would be incomplete without a Napa Valley wine tasting. Pop into the area for a quick sip at the Long Meadow Ranch, where you can also sample local olive oils. The Ranch hosts special events, so if you’re planning a company retreat or wedding, add Long Meadow to your venue list.
Oregon is blessed with a rich and diverse landscape full of craters, forests, sand dunes, and rivers. It’s also known for its maritime culture and the accompanying delicacies. While you’re in the area, add a trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the Japanese Garden, and the Grotto.
Bowpicker Fish & Chips
No trip to Oregon would be complete without a basket of fish and chips. Located in Astoria, this boat-shaped restaurant serves up a classic beer battered albacore tuna with malt vinegar and tartar. Bowpicker Fish & Chips is the authentic fish and chips experience you’ve been looking for. To complete your seaside journey, pop into the Columbia River Maritime Museum across the street.
Get the best Hot Griddle Pancakes made with fresh, organic, and local ingredients. Chow is great for groups and available for private events. That means you can book it for a coach bus load of foodies.
Named after a Hanok, a traditional home in Korea, Han Oak serves tantalizing Korean-American offerings. That means killer dumplings! Han Oak is a great spot for groups and can be rented for private dining. It’s a Portland local favorite so make your reservations in advance.
Known as the Evergreen State because of its vast coniferous forests, Washington is a lovely and calming ride with lots to see, do, and taste. It’s also got some terrific destinations to help space out the snacking. We love the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and, of course, the Space Needle.
Pike Place Market
Start your tour of Seattle by visiting this Washington landmark. Stand under Pike Place Market’s iconic sign for a selfie, then head into its historic building to sample delights from local farmers, craftspeople, and specialty food vendors. Chowder is a favorite dish in the area, so make sure you get to Pike Place Chowder. We also recommend Piroshky, Piroshky, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Matt’s in the Market, Jarrbar, and Country Dough.
We’ve been talking a lot about salty, hearty food, but don’t forget to tickle your sweet tooth. Dahlia’s pastry chefs Brittany Bardeleben and Stacy Fortner serve up a decadent triple coconut cream pie that’s been ordered by presidents and locals alike. And they also serve breakfast!
Washington craft beer is legendary, so take some time to sample some Saisons and IPAs. Fremont Brewing is making some of the best brews on the west coast. Check out their Urban Beer Garden in Seattle, or take some roadies (to be kept closed on the bus) in growler or bottle. Fremont is family owned so your patronage supports a Seattle small business.