Culinary travel in the West

The very best destinations, trips, and dining experiences for foodies

Top 100 culinary voyages in the West

We've combed the West for the very best flavor experiences, all worthy of a culinary pilgrimage

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Treat yourself to oysters on Tomales Bay
Photo by Eric Kunkel

Treat yourself to oysters on Tomales Bay

Good oysters grow elsewhere in the West, but on pristine Tomales Bay, an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas)—a plump, briny-sweet beauty with a cucumber-melon finish—seems especially delicious. That’s in large part because there is a constellation of great local places, on the water or nearly, where you can eat oysters that are just hours out of the water. The best spots for oyster picnics include:

  • Hog Island Oyster Co., a rustic but gorgeous waterside picnic spot with reservable wooden tables and grills to barbecue your just-bought Pacifics—as well as delicate, minerally Atlantics and quarter-size Kumamotos.
  • Tomales Bay Oyster Company, the oldest continuously run oyster farm in California (since 1909), specializes in Pacifics, and also provides tables and grills for picnickers.
  • Drake’s Bay Family Farms, where a fascinating tour takes you from tanks of oyster seed to the growing racks. Buy the farm’s excellent Pacifics whole; shucked and packed in a jar; or on the half-shell, to slurp down at the outside table.

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