The West Coast is coming East—at least where food is concerned. California-inspired restaurants are taking over Gotham, from SoCal-themed pizzerias to avocado-heavy cafés. Here are five new spots to get a little taste of the Golden State, all without stepping foot outside of New York.
If there’s an epicenter of California cool in New York, it may very well be Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner’s airy, health-conscious café, recently relocated to a twice-the-size East Chinatown space, where chef de cuisine Gerri Noack rolls out breakfast-time pitaya bowls, seared-tuna nori wraps and a flap sirloin with kale gratin. 49 Canal St (212-925-1300, dimesnyc.com)
Christened after a Marin County surf town north of San Francisco, this NorCal-themed spot from married Golden State natives Sophie Kamin and Nate Smith (Allswell) is outfitted with a redwood-paneled bar, bright white rafters and a seafood-centric menu offering plates like monkfish zapped with ancho chilies. 455 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn (718-935-9333, barbolinas.com)
Photograph: Lizzie Starr
Like its Gotham West Market sibling Genuine Roadside, this fast-casual café pulls inspiration from throwback diners along the California coast, serving double-stack burgers and shrimp tacos in a room adorned with retro menu boards and mountain-range murals. 191 Grand St (646-726-4633, eatgenuine.com)
Decked out in SoCal surf-shop digs (wall-mounted surfboards, dangling palm ferns), this Malibu-themed pizza parlor serves Neapolitan-style pies mosaicked with produce—think purple kale with butternut squash or beets with fresh chèvre and micro arugula. 1426 Third Ave (646-666-0819, pizzabeachclub.com)
Justin Smillie fuses that pasta-savant clout (Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria) with his California breeding at this glossy Flatiron brasserie, named after Smillie’s birthplace in SoCal’s San Bernardino County. On the Cal-meets-Ital menu, the branzino is slow-roasted with grapefruit and the Caesar salad is tumbling with fistfuls of kale. 345 Park Ave South (212-686-1006, uplandnyc.com)