It may not be the same as a few Michelin stars, a feature in Gourmet magazine (oops! That magazine went away!) or even a few crumbs of a mention from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer. But Walnut Creek’s food scene has just scored in the top 10 of another national measure. This is a ranking of 10 Undiscovered Restaurant Towns put out by the lifestyle website, Livability.com.
Livability.com, based in Nashville, says that Walnut Creek, while located next door to other San Francisco Bay Area foodie meccas, has “enough culinary heft to stand on its own.”
Take that Mr. Bauer! (Sorry, I was just mildly amused by the lack of imagination he and the Chronicle used with their latest Top 100 Bay Area restaurants list, relying on their usual East–of-the-Caldecott standbys, Va De Vi and the Chows in Lafayette and Danville. Don’t get me wrong. I like those three restaurants but it’s ever more clear that the Chronicle–me-ow–is not interested in putting many resources into getting to know anything about life in our neck of the woods.)
Rant against Bauer done. Back to Livability.com’s list of surprising restaurant towns.
Walnut Creek is No. 5 behind Traverse City, MI, (Now, that’s surprising!), Asheville, NC, Boulder, CO, and Kansas City, Mo. The Creek is ahead of Pueblo, CO, Witchita, Alburquerque, and Eugene.
“Foodies worth their sea salt know metropolitan cities like Paris, New York City and San Francisco are considered food meccas. But diverse dining offerings and a deep-rooted food culture can be uncovered in smaller towns and cities, too,” Livablity.com says in its announcement of its new ranking. The website is geared to the 35 million Americans who relocate each year, and its content is produced by a staff journalists.
Here’s what Livability.com says about the Creek.
“Its annual Art and Wine Festival, recognized by the Contra Costa Times as East Bay’s Best Outdoor Festival, draws 100,000 visitors to sample award-winning local and regional wines and microbrews and delicacies from dozens of local restaurants. Some eateries worth more than just a taste include the back-to-basics bakery Walnut Creek Baking Co., tapas favorite Va De Vi and the Zagat-rated Italian mainstay Prima, which features one of the most extensive and distinguished wine collections in the world. Walnut Creek dining also boasts a bit of star power – guitarist Carlos Santana is a partner at Maria Maria, the regional Mexican restaurant chain that began here and is named for the musician’s 1999 hit song.”