Best Places to Live

Walnut Creek, CA

Population: 66,799
courtesy of Walnut Creek Magazine

While its innovative and eclectic mix of restaurants played a factor in Walnut Creek, Calif., making our list of the Top 10 Best Foodie Cities, the city’s residents were the icing on the cake. The percentage of people living in Walnut Creek who prefer independent and locally owned restaurants over fast-food and chains exceeds the national average. Walnut Creek residents strongly support regional farmers and have managed to keep their obesity rate lower than similar sized cities.

See where Walnut Creek ranked as one of the Top 10 Foodie Cities in 2012

The Art and Wine Festival in Walnut Creek draws thousands of visitors in for a two-day celebration that includes unique wines and microbrewed beers. One of the nation’s best known home-cooking advocates, writer and chef Marion Cunningham, who passed away in 2012, spent her last years in Walnut Creek. The city contains a batch of up-and-coming chefs who continue to elevate Walnut Creek’s status as a restaurant destination. Stroll down Locust Street for a quick sampling of the restaurants you’ll find in Walnut Creek. Within just a few blocks, you’ll see the Walnut Creek Farmers Market, 310 Eatery, which specializes in “L.A. street food,” an Italian restaurant named 54 Mint, and Lettuce Restaurant and Catering, a family-friendly establishment serving sandwiches, salads, soups and pasta.

Residents from around the Bay Area give high marks to Walnut Creek Yacht Club, a seafood restaurant and bar that also sells ingredients to at-home cooks. You’ll also find a variety of ethnic restaurants ranging from Latin American cafes like Sabores del Sur to Indian gastropubs like Kanishka’s Gastropub.

Don’t Miss: ice cream at Lottie’s Creamery, Sichuan Fortune House, sandwiches at Morucci’s Si Mangia Bene

See where Walnut Creek ranked on our Top 10 Foodie Cities 2012 list.