“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
If you have a discerning palate or plan every trip around food, you’ll certainly savor every morsel of the emerging foodie scene in Claremont, a place declared a “food neighborhood” that’s “worth the drive” by LA Weekly and NBC Los Angeles.
With half of Claremont’s more than 80 restaurants located within the walkable downtown Claremont Village, you can enjoy the city’s free parking, or hop off the Metrolink and literally stroll to wherever your appetite leads you.
However, having so many delicious delights at your fingertips could get overwhelming, so we’ve put together some itineraries according to your dining style that can be mixed and matched. Happy nibbling!
Gourmet All the Way
If chef specials and carefully crafted flavors speak to you, you’ll LOVE Claremont—a place chock full of palate-expanding fare.
You can begin your gourmet adventure at Le Pain Quotidien, where you can enjoy a Speculoos Comfort Bowl, made with Greek yogurt, granola, speculoos, organic apple, chestnut cream, and cranberry-harissa chutney.
Want a simpler yet equally delightful breakfast? Stop at Crème Bakery, a unique artisan bakery in Claremont where every pastry is as tasty as it is beautiful. A Maple Pecan Scone or Fontina Croissant will leave your taste buds dancing.
For lunch, visit Cheese Cave, a family owned and operated full-service cheese shop, and grab a gourmet sandwich and a creamy tomato soup—after sampling a few artisan cheeses, of course. With delicious victuals in hand, you can mosey on over to the Colleges for a picnic lunch.
Or if you’d rather have full service, you can go to Union on Yale for a wood-fired Forest Floor pizza or a fried chicken sandwich (that’s unlike any other you’ve had) with rosemary lemon fried chicken, spicy aioli, pickled slaw, and a Hawaiian bun.
Once you’ve stuffed yourself with heavenly eats, you can take a leisurely stroll to Vom Fass Claremont for gourmet German artisan spices, oils, vinegars, and spirits.
For more local flavors, you can visit We Olive for California oils, vinegars, wines, and other gourmet goodies.
Need a nibble before the next meal? A glass of wine and American Kobe Sliders at the Lounge at Hotel Casa 425 should do the trick.
If you want to stay in the Village for dinner, you can relish the Duck Mole at Packing House Wines (featured in Westways magazine) or savor the Pan Seared Scallops, with a carrot purée, seared Belgian endives, Fuji apples, ginger, and lemon, at Bardot.
Prefer your flavor kicks on the historic Route 66? At The Orchard restaurant at Doubletree by Hilton, you can revel in the Ancho Chili Rubbed Grilled Half Free Range Chicken with rainbow swiss chard, chipotle mashed potatoes, and a passion fruit jus.
If you want a little excitement with your meal, you can enjoy fine dining with a Broadway caliber show at Ben D. Bollinger’s Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre.
For dessert, the ice cream at A La Minute in the Packing House won’t disappoint. Your ice cream will be made when ordered so you can watch in awe as liquid nitrogen is added to the ingredients, turning it into the ice cream. Orange Honey and Salted Caramel are a couple standout flavors you’ll want to try.
In Claremont, there’s no shortage of international fare. To begin your global foodie experience, you can revel in an Afghan Patty and Eggs at Walter’s, which offers eclectic fare and Afghan dishes, or Linguiça and 2 Eggs at Euro Cafe, a casual counter-serve joint that serves up Italian and Portuguese entrees.
For lunch, you just need to pick a region of the world. If you want meditteranean food, you can go to Al Amir Bakery for Levantine flat bread made from the freshest, not to mention finest, ingredients. Or you can go to Cafe X20 for authentic Lebanese cuisine.
Ready for dinner? At Viva Madrid, you can nosh on gourmet tapas while listening to Spanish music. Be sure to try the Bacon Wrapped Dates.
If it’s Italian food you’re after, you’ll want to try the Salmone, a pan-roasted Scottish salmon, with a blood-orange rosemary sauce, pine nut tricolor quinoa, and rainbow Swiss chard, at the award winning Tutti Mangia Italian Grill or the Campanelli, with swiss chard & almond pesto, burrata, and lemon zest, at Uno Tre Otto.
Prefer your food meaty, cheesy, or gloriously sweet? Claremont has oh-so-indulgent fare that’ll make you want to lick your plate clean.
For lunch, you can experience the best real pit BBQ around at Gus’s BBQ. Start with Cast Iron Cornbread followed by Texas Beef Brisket, dry rubbed and smoked for up to 14 hours.
Craving a burger? The Back Abbey Burger, with aged gouda, mustard aioli, caramelized onions, Niman Ranch bacon, and micro greens served on a brioche bun, is a swell choice—since it’s certainly not your average burger.
Want to kick the sheer, fatty goodness up a notch? The Lollipop Corn Dogs, Mac N’ Cheese balls and the Bone Marrow burger at Eureka! are as sinful as they are scrumptious.
If crafting delish delights at home strikes your fancy, be sure to stop at The Hen’s Kitchen Shoppe in the Village. You’ll find a variety of kitchen items, including cast iron Staub cookware, bone china dishes from England, cookbooks, kitchen decoration, basic utensils, tea, spice mixes, and other items.
Barbara Cheatley’s Antiques also offers great cookbooks, dishware, and fun kitchen items.
Need a snack after all that shopping? Stop at Dr. Grubb’s for the Grilled cheese appetizer served with tomato bisque for dipping. SO yum!
Ah, dinner: the pinnacle of dining. And you’ll surely know you’ve reached it if you stop at The Quarter Creole (featured in Westways magazine) for Red Beans and Rice with Hot Sausage or The Meat Cellar for a Jamon (ham) tasting or a Australian Wagyu Tomahawk steak.
Want to cap off a day of gourmet gluttony right? Try a mini Chocolate Chess Pie at I Like Pie or the Elvis special with banana ice cream folded with peanut butter at Bert & Rocky’s Cream Co.
Now that we’ve made you hungry, it’s time to book your stay and eat up!