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You Know You’re From California If You’ve Tried These Foods

We can thank the Golden State for some of the tastiest culinary creations in recent history. How many of these quintessential California recipes have you tried?

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Fantastic Fish Tacos

Fantastic Fish Tacos

Crunchy fried fish tacos are served up and down the California coast. Heading to San Diego? You’ll find some of the best.

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Classic Avocado ToastTaste of Home

Classic Avocado Toast

San Francisco is the birthplace of the notorious “$4 toast,” often topped with esoteric veggies and bespoke condiments and eaten for breakfast. Since then, avocado toast has gone mainstream from coast-to-coast, and the pricey brunch treat has even been blamed for millennials’ poor saving habits.

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California Sushi Rolls

This now-common roll is credited with making sushi popular across the United States.

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Quinoa GranolaTaste of Home

Quinoa Granola

Once considered weird food for health-conscious hippies (like those flooding San Francisco in the ’60s), granola is now mass-produced and sold in every grocery store. This better-tasting homemade recipe uses a newer California trend: healthy quinoa.

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Burger AmericanaTaste of Home

Burger Americana

California is home to a cult-favorite burger chain, In-N-Out, famous for having the best burger in the world. This recipe is super similar, though. Pair with thick-cut fries and a milkshake.

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Jalapeno Ranch DipTaste of Home

Jalapeno Ranch Dip

Hidden Valley Ranch is a real-life dude ranch outside Santa Barbara (who knew!). It’s also the true birthplace of everyone’s favorite salad dressing (and sandwich topping, and pizza crust dip…). Ranch dressing was originally served to guests.

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Easy Crab CakesTaste of Home

Easy Crab Cakes

These crab cakes are a good way for beginners to try Dungeness crab, fresh outta the Pacific.

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Smothered BurritosTaste of Home

Smothered Burritos

The California burrito originated in San Diego in the ’80s. It’s stuffed to near-bursting with juicy meat, cheese, sour cream and sometimes even potatoes. Authentic? Not remotely. Delicious? Very. Try this homemade version.

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Warm Rocky Road CakeTaste of Home

Warm Rocky Road Cake

Rocky road ice cream was invented in Oakland, California during the Great Depression. This dessert is a slow cooked take on the classic flavor.

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MimosaTaste of Home


Although the Mimosa was invented in Europe, Alfred Hitchcock is credited with making it a brunch staple. He ordered one at a San Francisco hotel bar the morning after a long night out. Classy move, sir.

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Spicy Fresh Seafood CioppinoTaste of Home

Spicy Fresh Seafood Cioppino

Invented by Italian-American fishermen around the turn of the century, this seafood stew is still a favorite at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. It takes advantage of a melange of fish and shellfish (anything a fisherman caught in a day!) to create a hearty comfort food perfect for those foggy summer days.

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Classic Cobb SaladTaste of Home

Classic Cobb Salad

Made on the fly by Hollywood restaurateur Bob Cobb in 1937, the Cobb salad is now a world-famous American dish.

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Grilled Street CornTaste of Home

Grilled Street Corn

Mexican street corn, or “elote,” is a standard street food served in California. This version switches out mayonnaise for sour cream for tangier cob.

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Homemade Fortune CookiesTaste of Home

Homemade Fortune Cookies

The crunchy cookie was invented in San Francisco sometime before World War II, when it became popular with Chinese-American and Japanese-American eateries.

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Korean Beef and RiceTaste of Home

Korean Beef and Rice

California has the highest Korean population in the United States. This beef bowl is a great way to sample California-Korean cuisine.

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California Club PizzaTaste of Home

California Club Pizza

This Pizza Kitchen-style pie is topped with California produce for a fresh taste.

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Mai TaiTaste of Home

Mai Tai

Though it’s inspired by tropical Polynesian flavors, the Mai Tai was first made at Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, California.

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Kale SaladTaste of Home

Kale Salad

Health-conscious Californians were early adopters of leafy, chewy, bitter kale, even eating it raw in salads. Try it, and you might be surprised by how good it is.

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Make-Ahead Breakfast BurritosTaste of Home

Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos

Yep, more burritos! This time, for breakfast. That’s a particularly popular menu item in San Diego.

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Tilapia with Citrus SauceTaste of Home

Tilapia with Citrus Sauce

This recipe combines two classic California ingredients, citrus and seafood, to make a fresh and healthy meal.

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Chicken & WafflesTaste of Home

Chicken & Waffles

Roscoe’s is a L.A. institution that is famous for its fun combination of chicken and waffles. Not quite breakfast, not quite dinner, it’s fantastic any time of day.

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Guacamole Tossed SaladTaste of Home

Guacamole Tossed Salad

This leafy take on guacamole is the perfect way to eat California avocados.

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California Lemon Pound CakeTaste of Home

California Lemon Pound Cake

This refreshing cake comes from a California resident who wanted to use up the lemons and oranges from trees in his own backyard. (Um, when can we come over?)

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MartiniTaste of Home


While the true history of the Martini is up for debate, most agree it was invented in Martinez, California during the 1800’s Gold Rush. By the 1880’s, the recipe was in print and on its way to immortality, whether shaken or stirred.

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Orange LemonadeTaste of Home

Orange Lemonade

Citrus is so abundant in California, there’s even a town named Citrus in the southern part of the state. Get a taste of SoCal with this dual-fruit lemonade.

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French Dip Sandwich with OnionsTaste of Home

French Dip Sandwich with Onions

Though it’s named “French” dip, this classic got its start in Los Angeles. The real debate is whether the dip was first served up at Cole’s or Philippe’s restaurant. While they argue about it, we’ll make a batch ourselves.

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Candied Citrus

Candied Citrus

This recipe turns California citrus into a sweet and crunchy dessert.

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Mexican CarnitasTaste of Home

Mexican Carnitas

California food is increasingly international, but Mexican food has been a staple for centuries. These pork and pineapple tacos are the perfect way to get a taste of Mexi-Cali cuisine.

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Slow-Cooker Pork PozoleTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

This hearty Mexican stew is a popular dish throughout the state.

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California QuinoaTaste of Home

California Quinoa

This side dish is a grocery store copycat that is chock-full of California taste.

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