Best Restaurants: Gold Country, CA

Expertise Provided By: “Fodor’s”

Friar Tucks

This attractive restaurant anchors a corner of historic downtown Nevada City. Rebuilt in 2002 after a massive fire, Friar Tucks serves as a lively gathering place for locals and tourists in search of a gourmet meal and/or a glass of wine from the expansive wine cellar. Live music most nights.

New Moon Café

A cozy cedar cabin with Mediterranean touches and modern art. Almost everything is made from scratch using local ingredients at this Nevada City food mecca. For example, you might opt for duck breast and vegetable lasagna with homemade pasta. Stick around for excellent desserts.


Informal bar and grill in the heart of historic downtown Grass Valley dishes up veal, seafood, pasta, and other Italian specialties. Known for its Bloody Marys — you can purchase a bottle of Cirino’s own Bloody Mary Mix — and pizza nights on Wednesday and Sunday.

Awful Annie’s

Relax on the outdoor patio and chow down on traditional American breakfast and lunch fare at this Auburn institution. Scrambles, omelets, gourmet sandwiches, veggie selections, and last but not least, Grandma’s Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce. Another branch in nearby Lincoln.

Cousin Jack’s Pasties

During the 19th century, tin miners from Britain, known as Cornish Jacks, flooded Gold Country to dig for gold, descending the mines with pasties in lunchboxes. Today, you can order pasties, pot pies, British bangers, fish & chips, and traditional English teas at this downtown Grass Valley fixture.

South Pine Café

Bright and colorful breakfast, brunch, and lunch joint packs in locals and tourists for scrumptious omelets, muffins, sandwiches at its two locations in neighboring Nevada City and Grass Valley.

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