5 Local Foodie Favorites in Fresno County
By BARRY EITEL
True Californians, the locals of Fresno County are serious about both freshness and flavor, craving food impeccably seasoned and cooked to perfection. With a whole foodie culture unique to the region, many of Fresno County’s restaurants cater to the discerning taste buds of its clientele. Here are just five local favorites for an unforgettable lunch or dinner in the Central Valley.
Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant
As California’s largest beef producer, family-operated Harris Ranch has been farming for over a century. With three unique dining options to choose from, you are sure to enjoy the perfect meal for you and your family. Experience true western hospitality as you dine on a delicious farm-fresh feast. Indulge in one of the classic Harris Ranch Beef dishes such as the pot roast or tri tip sandwich accompanied with seasonal vegetables, many of which are homegrown at Harris Ranch. The best way to finish your dining experience? With one of their homemade desserts; ice cream, cakes pies, cookies and more, all fresh from their own bakery.
The Annex Kitchen
Locals from all around Fresno County stream to The Annex Kitchen on Shaw Avenue just east of West for its rustic Italian classics that transport them from the Central Valley to Tuscany. Appetizers like the oven-roasted bone marrow, truffle fries and mozzarella caprese made with heirloom tomatoes are refined yet fabulously tasty. The pasta is all made in-house – grab a plate of bucatini or spaghetti with clams. The gorgeous craft cocktails are a necessary addition to your meal, and range from classic, like the black Manhattan, to tropical, like the mai tai. Try a few at happy hour, which strikes every Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The kitchens of Lima may be a few thousand miles south of Fresno County, but seem closer to home based on the rich, authentic flavors cooked up at Limón. Any trip to Limón needs to include ceviche, the famous Peruvian dish of brined seafood. The restaurant offers several versions, including one featuring red snapper and another with shrimp. The chefs behind Limón don’t let their imagination stop in South America; other dishes showcase an Indian, Chinese and Japanese influence, too.
Oggi Cosi Si Mangia
Excite your tongue with fine traditional Italian cuisine at Oggi Cosi Mi Mangia. The family owned restaurant is referred to by patrons as the best kept secret in Fresno County. The shrimp fra diavolo, made with sautéed tiger shrimp, is well worth a try, as is the homemade gnocchi. Oggi offers an eye-popping wine list brimming with bottles from around the world and state. If you get overwhelmed, the friendly and knowledgeable servers can help with pairing suggestions.
George’s Bar and Grill
George’s Bar and Grill is a gust of fresh Mediterranean air in the midst of California’s Central Valley. This local favorite is refreshingly low-key yet serious about serving some of the best shish kebabs, steaks and seafood in the area. Stop in for a lunch of hummus and a few kebabs, or opt for a polished dinner of calamari, chicken Jerusalem or a ribeye. Feel free to socialize with the Fresnans gathered around the spacious bar and lounge area, which pushes out delicious cocktails.
Visit Fresno County, California’s year-round playground!