WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 23: Pedestrains walks past Main Street Kitchen and Bar in downtown Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Walnut Creek’s fine dining scene is what first springs to mind when you consider the culinary landscape east of the Caldecott Tunnel, where diners flock to Lita, Sasa and Teleferic Barcelona.  But there is a lot more yum to be found under Mount Diablo’s golden shadow. A thriving beer culture, for starters, with beloved breweries in Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Concord. And you can bet there’s a taco to go with your pint: Concord is home to so many taquerias, they have their own Taco Trail.

Here are five local foodie favorites worth the trip.

1 Bite into birria tacos at Tacos El Patron: This counter-service taqueria offers everything you’d want in Mexican food — burritos, shrimp ceviche, even choriqueso — but the slow-cooked beef stew tucked inside blistered tortillas and topped with cilantro and onion is the star here. Add cheese or just dip those tacos into the accompanying consommé. Heck, gulp it down. Pescatarian? The signature El Patron taco, made with shrimp, guacamole, melty cheese and pico de gallo, has your name on it.

Details: 2290 Monument Blvd., Pleasant Hill; Also in S.F.; www.tacos-el-patron.com

The family-owned and operated Main Street Kitchen & Bar in Walnut Creek offers al fresco dining and seasonal California cuisine with Middle Eastern touches. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

2 Book dinner on Main: Walnut Creek’s Main Street Kitchen & Bar is the answer to Cali farm-to-table breakfast, lunch and dinner cravings. Over the years, this family-owned bistro has refined its ingredients, refreshed its techniques and expanded its dining areas, with lush surroundings and live jazz that make it a complete package. That lively atmosphere is the perfect fit for a robust brunch — the MSK omelet, made with organic Medjool dates and Laura Chenel goat cheese, is perfection — or alfresco lunch or dinner. Look for wood-fired pizzas and seasonal dishes, such as duck ragu with pomegranate seeds.

Details: 1358 N. Main St., Walnut Creek; https://mainstkitchen.com

3 Take a swig at Epidemic Ales: This 10-barrel brewhouse opened in Concord’s warehouse district in 2016. The brewery is known for its clean lagers, juicy, hazy IPAs and bright amber ales — and the fierce artwork emblazoned on every 16-ounce can (Zombrew is hella creepy). You can count on experimental draft beers and whimsical offerings, like a frozen beer slushie made with Epidemic’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake Hazy Pale. Food trucks roll by daily, and events range from …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


A gastronomic bucket list for Walnut Creek, Concord and beyond

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