Livermore is California’s oldest wine-growing district, and the majority of its wineries have been in the family for centuries. Livermore became a famous rest station for travellers travelling to Sacramento and the Sierra during the Gold Rush.
Nevertheless, Livermore is more than simply a wine destination; it also has a thriving cultural scene. Public art, theater, excellent eating, a Coffee Trail, a Beer Trail, an Ice Cream Trail, boutique and outlet shopping, and many outdoor excursions are all part of this culture. And, of course, there is lots to be enthusiastic about in Livermore eateries!
Livermore, located one hour east of San Francisco in the Tri-Valley, is home to pleasant, dynamic inhabitants that like the eclectic and have a strong sense of history. Take Interstate 580 out of Oakland and exit at Livermore Avenue.
The Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham is a handy spot to stay in the Tri-Valley, near to the interstate, downtown, and wine country. It’s peaceful and offers wonderful facilities. The staff is kind, efficient, and helpful.
While I was sponsored by some of the firms mentioned in this post, all of my thoughts are my own. These restaurants are listed in no particular order and are not rated in any particular manner.
Visiting other places in California? Check out our other tasty guides:
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- 8 Best Fort Bragg, CA Restaurants
- The 7 Best Oceanside, CA Restaurants
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- 15 Must-Try Sanibel Island Restaurants
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- 7 Must-Try Ventura Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Paso Robles Restaurants
- 10 Best Berkeley Restaurants
- 10 Best Examples of California Cuisine
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- The 10 Best Mexican Restaurants In San Diego
- 1 The Top 8 Livermore Restaurants
- 1.1 Strizzis
- 1.2 Restaurant Posada
- 1.3 Indian Bistro & Bar PB08
- 1.4 Monica Livermore’s
- 1.5 The Charro
- 1.6 Simply put, fondue
- 1.7 On the Caffeine Trail with Espresso Rosetta
- 1.8 On the Beer Trail: Homegrown Hops Brewing Company
- 1.9 Which of these Livermore CA restaurants do you want to try the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
The Top 8 Livermore Restaurants
925-456-22002 205 First St.
Strizzis Restaurant is well-known across the San Francisco Bay Area for its fresh seafood meals as well as superb Italian sauces and pasta. Strizzis is an excellent, traditional Italian restaurant that has received Diners Choice awards in all three of its locations: Livermore, Pleasanton, and Fremont.
The Strizzi family’s restaurants have a rich culinary and foodservice heritage. Luciano Strizzi and his wife, Assunta, brought old Italy to America in 1929, when they started a tiny Italian deli and shoe business in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Let the freshness speak for itself, said Italian immigrants from the Italian area of Abruzzo.
Strizzis’ proprietor is Ray Bartolomucci, Jr. During my stay, I had the opportunity of chatting with him. Ray is very proud of his culinary education from his grandparents, as well as his degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He obtained hands-on expertise and had successful jobs in a number of big hospitality organizations. Ray’s recruiting judgments reward him devoted colleagues in addition to his professional achievement. Several employees have worked with Strizzi Restaurants for decades.
I couldn’t pass up the Bleu Cheese Wedge and bread to start the dinner, which was accompanied by a bottle of local wine, of course. Raymond, Ray’s son, suggested a local Pinot Noir to go with the dinner.
Despite Strizzis’ reputation for fresh seafood, I ordered the Braised Beef Tips with mushrooms cooked in port wine peppercorn sauce. I topped my meal with delicate, puffy pillows of gnocchi deliciousness.
Dinner quantities are more than plenty. I wanted to sample a few of dishes. They provided me full-sized servings, so I had full to-go boxes at the conclusion of the dinner, true to their reputation for friendliness.
If you fall in love with Strizzis pasta sauce, you may buy jars of Marinara Family Recipe sauce. They also provide take-out and catering for their house specialities.
925-606-1004988 Murrieta Blvd.
Posada Restaurant specializes on contemporary Southwest cuisine. The classy and polished restaurant in the heart of Livermore Valley Wine Country is owned by Chef Eduardo and Blanca Posada.
Starting with a food trailer, the Posadas fanned the fires of a desire to share their great cuisine. They opened their little brick-and-mortar shop in an inconspicuous strip mall eight years ago with nine tables. There are now 28 tables, a chefs table, a complete bar, an extensive wine selection, and a sommelier. Posada has been recognized by Wine Spectator’s 2021 Restaurant Awards.
My lunch can only be characterized as an eye-catching feast. The robust tastes speak of New Mexico, as does the sophisticated ambience and unrivaled friendliness. Chef Eduardo individually greets and welcomes his customers.
Jorge Tinoco, the Sommelier, mixed my dinner with three white and ros wines to taste with the initial dishes. Each course’s tastes and components were enhanced by them. He matched a red wine with the red meat that came after the Appetizer and Salad dishes.
My dinner started with Charred Little Gems with warm Caesar dressing, shaved parm cheese, blistered pearl tomatoes, and crostini. Each item had its own unique taste that blended well in my tongue.
With flare, the Chef presented guacamole and blackened shrimp. He said that this is how people in the Southwest consume guacamole.
Fish with a chipotle rub, served on a corn tortilla with chipotle aioli, pickled slaw, red pepper sauce, and salsa fresca, is an original menu item introduced in 2013. The next item on the menu was a Mahi-Mahi Taco. This was the most complex taco I’d ever had.
One of the Seafood Starters, Shrimp Cakes + Basil-Tomato Broth, is Chef Eduardo’s adaptation of his mother’s dish. It was delicious and crunchy.
The Chef’s Specialty was Adobo Rack of Lamb. Since it was marinated in coffee-chile rojo with vinegar saffron rice and served with roasted corn, the lamb was soft and flavorful.
The dinner concluded with a delicious, creamy flan and Mexican liqueur. The ornate heaters provided a romantic atmosphere that enticed me to come on a special occasion.
Indian Bistro & Bar PB08
925-443-4100, 2417 1st St.
PB08 Bistro & Bar, a relative newcomer to the Livermore dining scene, opened in 2020 in a brick structure in Downtown Livermore. The menu contains numerous favorites and is famous for its Indian street cuisine in the Jalandhar District style of Punjabi. I found several of these meals in Livermore.
PB08 Bistro & Bar’s broad menu includes several vegetarian choices, soups and salads, and seafood specialties. Rice specialties, as well as chicken and fish, are available. Lamb and goat are two more types of meat.
Draft and bottled beer, cocktails, canned alcohol, bottled red and white wine, and other beverages such as lassi and Punjabi Cha are available.
On an Indian cuisine, my new favorites are butter chicken, Lassi (a handmade yogurt drink), and garlic naan. Gulab Jamun, fried cheese balls coated in spiced syrup, are the ideal way to cap a hot and tasty lunch.
2nd Street 925-292-55682074
On a Sunday, the huge line of cheerful individuals waiting for a seat at Monicasin Livermore is proof of her fame and devoted following. Monica is a farm-to-table enthusiast who appreciates her neighbors, purveyors, and friends.
Monicas delivers American comfort cuisine for breakfast and lunch in an old winery structure. Natural, organic, local, and sustainably produced foods are available seasonally for their meals and baked goods.
It comes through in the taste and appearance. All menu items, sauces, and buns are produced in-house everyday using high-quality ingredients. Every day, freshly baked cinnamon buns and biscuits are offered.
Breakfast items at Monicas include Eggs Benedict, New York Steak, and Chicken Fried Steak. Granola, oatmeal, avocado toast, and seasonal fruit coexist alongside Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy (yep, it’s a thing!)
Burgers and Blue Plate (traditional) Specialties are available for lunch.
Mimosas prepared with cranberry, mango, pineapple, guava, grapefruit, blood orange, and my personal favorite, pomegranate are among the many house beverages and specialty cocktails available. Wines, mostly from California and Livermore, are included on the menu.
Small dishes and shareables provide an exciting precursor to the main meal and later-in-the-evening live performance. With their different flavors and textures, Bruschetta, Avocado Bites, and Coconut Prawns satiate my appetite. What could be better than Angel Hair Pasta or Nonnis Polenta? The comfort food must-haves include shrimp or fish and chips, a couple of salads, and sandwiches.
Since I was in the downtown area during the day, I missed one of their live music events. Local musicians perform at these popular events. There is no cover fee, no purchase minimum, and no time restriction. During performance nights, Monicas does demand a 20% tip on top of the service fee.
Dinner reservations are only accepted on Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.
371-8297186 Maple St.
With its enchiladas, full bar, and spacious terrace, this colorful café with a rodeo motif attracts both locals and out-of-towners. El Charrochose its name in 2001 because it represents the legacy of Mexico and the cowboy tradition of Livermore.
El Charro is a typical Mexican horseman that competes in Mexican rodeos. Charros are masters of horseback riding, bull riding, and rope stunts. The charro’s finely fitted suit and vest are embellished with silver buttons and embroidery. This suit, worn with a soft tie and a wide-brimmed hat, is one of Mexico’s most recognizable icons, representing the country’s love of tradition, ritual, and custom.
El Charro’s genuine Mexican food earned them the title of Best Taste of Downtown for five years in a row.
Chicken, shrimp, and fish are among the house-made soups created from scratch. Menudo, the signature soup, is exclusively available on Saturdays and Sundays.
El Charro has a complete bar with a large range of tequilas, cervezas, and, of course, Livermore wines.
The El Charros Taco Salad was my and almost everyone else’s favorite. How can you go wrong with grilled chicken, carnitas, or steak, romaine lettuce, whole beans, house-made guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and crispy flour tortilla strips? This recipe is simple to modify for decreased calorie intake or gluten intolerance.
Together with beans, rice, and tortillas, El Charro provides shellfish, mariscos, or fish in their secret spicy sauce or garlic butter.
Simply put, fondue
300 First Street, Suite 110 925-443-66382
There’s something to be said about frying your meat with the end of a fork in hot oil. Instead, dunk toast in gooey, delicious, creamy cheese. Yeah, and there’s chocolate blazing on the table.
Fondue is a one-of-a-kind eating experience. It’s unhurried and easygoing, and it’s delicious when combined with wine or one of Simply Fondue’s 120 hand-crafted martinis and specialty beverages.
It is best to begin with a salad. Simply Fondues’ new Gorgonzola Field Greens has spring mix, crumbled gorgonzola, cucumbers, tomatoes, and walnuts blended in a raspberry vinaigrette and topped with croutons. Its fresh food is acquired locally, and their dressings are homemade.
Although I like chocolate fondue to begin the dinner, the cheese fondues are enticing. The cheese is melted at the table and served with seasonal dipping fruits and freshly baked artisan breads. The fondues are combinations of cheese, spices, beer, wine, or whisky.
One of my favorites, the Loaded Whiskey Cheddar, has sharp cheddar, beer, fresh horseradish, bacon, chives, and a touch of whiskey. It has a wonderful kick on the palate, as does the new Smoked Gouda cheese combo.
Sun-Dried Tomato Rosemary is a new cheese fondue for vegan diners. Vegan mozzarella cheese, unsweetened almond milk, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper are among the ingredients. I’ll give it a go the next time I’m in Livermore.
Customize your entree by choosing from a variety of meats, poultry, shellfish, fish, or pasta, tofu, and vegan meatballs. You may prepare the entree in one of four ways: roasted garlic, Cajun bouillon, fondue grill (cast-iron), or classic in trans-fat-free oil. There are several options for getting what you desire.
The Chocolates Menu is now available. White chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate each have three to five options. You may also make your own mix. Pound cake, giant marshmallows, triple chunk brownies, banana chunks, fresh pineapple, fresh seasonal berries, chocolate chip cookie dough, and Rice Krispy pieces are supplied with each.
If you can’t decide, purchase the Chocolate Confusion, which combines white and milk chocolates specifically for you.
Everything But the Kitchen Sink combines all of the chocolate options with marshmallow cream, caramel, peanut butter, nuts, and whipped cream.
Pound cake, cookie dough, and Rice Krispies are all gluten-free options.
On the Caffeine Trail with Espresso Rosetta
Phone: 925-315-5212206 S. J Street
If you need a break from your walking tour of the city, a stop at Espresso Rosetta is ideal. A wonderful cup of speciality coffee or tea and a light snack will provide you with the energy to explore and seek out the murals located around town.
This café is a must-see on the Tri-Valley Caffeine Trail. Visit five of the Trail’s participating coffee shops and photograph your beverage, food, or yourself. After five trips, share your photographs and earn a Tri-Valley Mug to use at home! Visit visittrivalley.com to get a passport.
Espresso Rosetta, housed in a historically significant structure, serves locally roasted handmade espresso drinks. They also have a liquor license, so you can get your coffee spiked or brew a fantastic Irish coffee. It’s 5 a.m. someplace, they say!
I ordered the Housemade Tomato Quiche and a small espresso with amazing latte art on my cup. That was just what I needed.
On the Beer Trail: Homegrown Hops Brewing Company
Mines Rd. 925-321-87783000 Mines Rd.
In Livermore, excellent cuisine goes well with good beer. Brewpub eating at Home Grown Hops Brewing Company is a laid-back affair with superb cuisine. Customers may order unique dishes from food trucks.
While I was there, Q2 was on deck, and I had delicious, meaty pork ribs, coleslaw, and potato salad. Christina, a native, concurred. She said, “The dinner was Fantastic!” By far the best Barbecue I’ve ever tasted.
Have you ever seen a hops farm? It’s a fascinating roadside vista and a one-of-a-kind sight in wine country. Homemade Hops Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery in Livermore that serves beer made from hops produced in their hop field.
Bring your own food and drink and enjoy the firepits, heaters, cool beer, seltzers, bocci ball courts, cornhole, excellent music, and wonderful people.