From Los Angeles to the Inland Empire – and beyond – foodies are flocking to Claremont, a place with a growing reputation as a “food neighborhood” that’s “worth the drive.”
Half of Claremont’s more than 80 restaurants are located within the walkable downtown area referred to as the Claremont Village, an idyllic collection of boutiques nestled among peaceful tree-lined streets.
Here epicureans can enjoy the city’s free parking, or hop off the Metrolink, and stroll to wherever their appetites lead them, whether it be white linens inside wood-paneled restaurants, bustling outdoor cafés, or gourmet bakeries.
“The array of international restaurants [in Claremont] is way too trendy and more haute than any regular municipality of 35,824 residents has a right to host, which makes it a must-stop for people whose college years are decades behind them.” – Sacramento Bee
From Italian and Mediterranean to traditional American and Pan-Asian, the Village features a wide variety of palate-pleasing restaurants. Diners can nosh on tapas at Viva Madrid, shawarma at Saca’s, French fusion at Bardot, Afghan dishes at Walter’s, authentic Mexican dishes at Casa Moreno Mexican Grill, new American cuisine at Union on Yale, tacos and small plates at Petiscos, and locally sourced dishes at The Press Restaurant. Both 50-Fifty Asian and The Junction offer fusion takes on traditional dishes.
Popular Italian choices include Aruffo’s Italian Cuisine, Uno Tre Otto (formerly La Piccoletta), the award-winning Tutti Mangia, and Il Mattone Trattoria (formerly La Parolaccia Osteria Italiana), located in the Village Square.
The Hotel Casa 425 lounge and outdoor living room is known for its signature margarita, and offers a menu of gourmet small plates, which are best enjoyed by the outdoor fire pits.
But a foodie tour of the Village wouldn’t truly be complete without a visit to Cheese Cave or Vom Fass Claremont, offering fine oils, vinegars, wines, and spirits. And for those who relish artisan crafted coffee drinks, there’s Augie’s Coffeehouse in the Claremont Packing House.
Popular places to eat outside of the Village include Euro Cafe, acclaimed as a top choice for Portuguese fare in Los Angeles, and Claremont Craft Ales, which in addition to offering local brews regularly hosts rotating gourmet food trucks.
At DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont, its Orchard Restaurant serves California fusion cuisine using locally sourced ingredients, while its lively PianoPiano dueling piano show – featuring some of the West’s top performers – serves up classic American pub fare.
Fine dining meets Broadway at Ben D. Bollinger’s Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, just a few blocks north of the Village.
A variety of superb meals can also be found along I-10 and Indian Hill, including Sanamluang Thai Cuisine, Al Amir Bakery, Rounds Burgers, and Kickback Jack’s (signed as BC Café) – a popular breakfast choice.
A weekend stay in Claremont means that in addition to indulging in a wide variety of good eats, visitors can enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning stroll through the region’s largest farmers and artisans market in downtown Claremont, and enjoy coffee and freshly baked pastries at places like Some Crust Bakery, Last Drop Café, and 42nd Street Bagel Cafe.
Hotel choices range from economy to upscale, including the luxury boutique hotel, Hotel Casa 425, in the Village Square and the resort-like DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont. Budget-minded tourists will find Motel 6 Claremont, Claremont Lodge and Knights Inn Claremont as other local options from which to rest after filling their bellies with sundry culinary delights.