Located in Walnut Creek, Renaissance Clubsport Walnut Creek Hotel is in the suburbs and convenient to Gardens at Heather Farm and Ruth Bancroft Garden. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Broadway Plaza.
Make yourself at home in one of the 175 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and CD players. Wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, while video-game consoles and cable programming provide entertainment. Bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include desks and complimentary newspapers, as well as multi-line phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages and facials. You're sure to appreciate the recreational amenities, which include 3 outdoor swimming pools, a sauna, and a 24-hour fitness facility. Additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands. Getting to nearby attractions is a breeze with the complimentary area shuttle that operates within 5 mi.
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Buffet breakfasts are available for a fee.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a 24-hour business center, and limo/town car service. Planning an event in Walnut Creek? This hotel has 4000 square feet (360 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms and banquet facilities. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is a local favorite that not only serves excellent, fully-customizable burgers, but also reminds you what exceptional Guest service looks and feels like. (In case you forgot, it feels pretty darn good.) The menu caters to even the pickiest of eaters, and is inclusive to most dietary restrictions. Fresh toppings, high quality ingredients, and unbelievably flavorful – need we go on? This is a great place to enjoy a relaxing dinner with friends, or an enjoyable lunch option if you’re looking for a change of scenery from your office cubicle. Just a reminder: unlike MOOYAH, your cubicle doesn’t have a giant MOODLE DOODLE board that you can release your inner Picasso on.
Sip on an ice-cold beverage, while your burger sizzles on the grill. Sink your teeth into their fresh-baked buns, and savor each and every delectable fry. Seal the deal with a hand-spun, 100% real ice cream shake – the closest you’ll ever come to heaven on Earth. Tickle your taste buds, and stir your senses at MOOYAH – where every Guest is not only important, but a part of the family.
If you need a quick and affordable lunch or dinner option, browse the selection of tasty TV dinners here.
Frozen food is a great option for those who don't love to cook, so go ahead and stock up on these items today.
Say goodbye to bland when you select one of their many spices or seasonings.
Get your noodle on! Cal-West Dairymen has some of the best and affordable noodle and pasta options in the area.
A healthy and light snack from Cal-West Dairymen is a great way to keep your energy up throughout the day.
If you need that extra push to get you through your workday, a coffee or tea from Cal-West Dairymen will do the trick.
Grab a loaf of bread from Cal-West Dairymen and make your sandwich just the way you like it.
Just a touch of these key baking ingredients will make your baked goods pop, so make sure your kitchen is always well-stocked.
Meat lovers rejoice! From chicken to beef to pork, the meat selection here is sure to please.
Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, the produce from this store will give you the energy your body needs.
It's always wise to keep a little extra food around the house, just because. Cal-West Dairymen encourages you to check out its amazing canned foods for just that very purpose.
If milk is your go-to beverage, you'll love the dairy products available here (great for strengthening your bones and teeth).
A classic breakfast option, cereal is always good to have on hand. A box is sure to ease everyone's morning appetite without taking too much time off the clock.
Oil and vinegar are great staples to have stocked in the kitchen whether your recipe calls for an acidic element or something greasy to line the pan.
Ready, set, fish! For heart-healthy fare, super fresh seafood is readily available.
Cal-West Dairymen makes it easy to quench your thirst by stocking water for whenever you need it.
The drinks available here are a great way to restore your body's natural balance, so start sipping.
Here you can find nearby and easy in-and-out parking for your vehicle in a jiffy.
Lark Creek Walnut Creek: A User’s Guide
Farm-to-Table | American Cuisine | 100+ Wines | Outdoor Seating
Appetizer: California-lamb meatballs
Soup: white bean and kale
Entree: free-range half chicken with potatoes and asparagus
Dessert: caramel pot de creme
Where to Sit: on the sidewalk patio or near the exhibition kitchen
When to Go: Sunday brunch, which includes everything from indulgent cinnamon-brioche french toast to low-cal grilled-chicken sandwiches
Keep in Mind: Chef Wall prepares a different classic dish, from chicken fried steak to shellfish gumbo, each night.
Diners looking to lose weight don't have to eschew multiple courses. Head Chef Scott Wall whips up a three-course meal (salad, grilled steelhead, and fruit sorbet) that he says helped him lose more than 100 pounds.
Ordering a glass of wine not only complements dinner, but helps charity. 10 Span Vineyards gives a portion of proceeds to the Ventana Wildlife Society, and Save Me San Francisco Wine Co. gives to Family House.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Browse clothing, decor, and religious items imported from Tibet at Little Tibet Gift Shop (1341 E. North Main Street).
Attend a poetry reading at Swan's Fine Books (1381 Locust Street).
Located in Buttercup Grill and Bar, Buttercup Grill and Bar's crepes have a gooey inside and crisp outside.
It serves everything including gluten-free and low-fat options.
Just because you're out on the town doesn't mean you have to miss the game. TVs are on in the bar area to give you all the latest scores.
Got kids? No problem at Buttercup Grill and Bar! This restaurant is a fantastic spot for families to dine together.
At Buttercup Grill and Bar, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Buttercup Grill and Bar provides seasonal outdoor seating — be sure to grab a chair before it's too late.
Weekend diners, beware! The restaurant is busiest on Friday and Saturday, so getting seated will take some time.
Keep it casual at Buttercup Grill and Bar — the restaurant is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the patrons at your next shindig.
Short on time? Don't wait for a driver — pick it up yourself.
At Buttercup Grill and Bar, free parking is offered on the whole block.
Make use of the luxurious bike racks at Buttercup Grill and Bar.
Meals at Buttercup Grill and Bar are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
Find your sweet escape at Buttercup Grill and Bar, home of the best crepes in town.
So when you need to cure your hunger craving, visit Buttercup Grill and Bar and treat yourself to a tasty American dish.
So enjoy a casual dining experience at Buttercup Grill and Bar and load up on some classic American dishes.
It's time you stopped into Buttercup Grill and Bar to get the perfect breakfast or brunch to enhance your day.
For a better and brighter morning, try breakfast at Buttercup Grill and Bar.
Va de Vi Bistro and Wine Bar: A User’s Guide
Upscale Tapas | Romantic Atmosphere | Gluten-Free Menu | Wine Flights
Seafood: peruvian ceviche with mahi-mahi, avocado, and cilantro, served with crispy nori chips
Meat: Braised beef short rib with a creamy, mascarpone-spiked polenta and natural jus
Gluten-Free: mole pork taco with queso fresco, cabbage, and salsa verde
Dessert: the dessert tasting plate for two with four mini versions of different desserts
Where to Sit: If the weather allows it, enjoy the al-fresco dining, situated along a little brick-laid walkway that feels as cozy and quaint as a European side-street.
“This Walnut Creek restaurant packs bold flavor into a large selection of small plates.” — Gayot
Best Wine Bar, 2014 as ranked by Walnut Creek Magazine
Inside Tip: If you can’t choose from one of their 48 wines by the glass, try a flight as 16 different themed flights are available, and each include three types of vino.
In the Neighborhood
Before: Play a few games of tennis, check out the butterfly habitat, or just relax under the sun in Civic Park (1375 Civic Drive).
After: Catch the latest flick on the impressive IMAX or XD screens at the Century Walnut Creek 14 and XD (1201 Locust Street).
Most Top Chef finalists launch their restaurant careers right after their time on television ends. Not Casey Thompson—she spent seven years after season three traveling, all the while thinking hard about what she wanted in a venue. She met farmers, built relationships, and finally opened Aveline (plus its cocktail bar sibling, The European) in June. As the result of so much careful planning, the restaurant truly embodies Casey’s vision, both in the space and on the plate.
One key part of that vision? Pigs. Casey loves to use almost every part of them, including the head. In honor of Aveline’s recent launch, we asked her about her fondness for pork, her cooking philosophy, and some of her go-to spots in San Francisco.
GROUPON: One ingredient that crops up on the menus at Aveline and The European is pork. Specifically, pork from the pig’s head—pork jowl, pig cheek, pig ear. What do you like about this ingredient?
CASEY THOMPSON: In general, I love any animal that tastes good from head to toe! As a chef, it’s really beneficial for me to use different parts of an animal that might otherwise be underutilized. It keeps costs down and provides guests with the opportunity to try things they may not otherwise try.
There is a lot more marbling in these parts than you might think, and there are a variety of different textures in specific parts like the ear.
G: Do you think that pig face is trending right now?
CT: I don't know. I try not to pay too much attention to what’s “trendy.” I just want to make food that tastes good, and if it means using parts of an animal that are unfamiliar to most people and [then] educating people about them, I’m happy to do so.
G: If someone hasn't tried any part of the pig’s head, where should they start?
CT: I think a good place to start is with pig cheek—it’s rich and it braises perfectly! Confiting a pig cheek [at home] is easy. The most difficult part is probably finding the product, but your local butcher can help with that.
G: Are there other pig dishes in San Francisco that you like?
CT: The pork at Kokkari is unreal, and Namu Gaji does a pretty impressive job too!
G: Aside from cooking with pig parts, you’re also an advocate for sustainability and the environment. Where does that passion come from?
CT: I have a job that impacts the environment, and as such, I have a duty to make sure that my staff and I do all we can not to add to the overwhelming issues we’re already facing.
I am also a firm believer in good husbandry. All animals deserve to live a good life, especially if they are giving us theirs for nourishment. It’s our responsibility as humans to recognize that.
G: Some of your dishes have original ingredients with a cool, earthy vibe. I’m talking about the "ham snow" and "chicory soil" on Aveline’s menu. Can you tell us more about these?
CT: Environmental elements in a dish add interesting flavors. The chicory soil contains nori, breadcrumbs, candied cashews, and chicory—all pretty earthy, you’re right. Now, the ham snow is highly technical stuff: we freeze ham, grate it over cold amberjack, and call it snow!
G: You’re also creating the menu over at The European, your bar-and-lounge project with Adam Wilson. It seems like the snacks have more of an updated comfort-food feel. Is The European the other side of Aveline's coin?
It absolutely is! There is a secret kid side to me with that menu and, really, it’s us having fun. I do think we have the best burger—it is so good. I want people to use both spaces! Come and eat at The European!
G: To close out, can you share some of your favorite San Francisco spots to grab a bite?
For coffee: Réveille Coffee Co.
For breakfast (and guilty, greasy pleasures): San Jalisco
For lunch and dinner: Kokkari, Kin Khao
For after-hours drinks and eats: Rye, Tradition, Le Colonial
For outdoor dining: The Ferry Building, Slanted Door, Cavallo Point, Coqueta
This interview has been condensed and edited. Photos courtesy of Casey Thompson. The European photo by Andi Fisher.
When you live in a city with so much scenery, eating inside can feel a bit stifling. Here are five beautiful restaurant patios in San Francisco that allow you to order in the great outdoors.
Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd.)
The restaurant group that owns South Park staples MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern overhauled Mission Rock Resort in late 2012. Now, it’s a bayside escape with plenty of deck seating, calming ocean views, and easy parking. Try bites from the raw bar or fried seafood for lunch, brunch, or happy hour.
Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St.)
The most popular tables at this Mission stalwart are in the romantic covered patio. In the evening, artsy or retro flicks are projected on the patio wall while sound can be played through drive-in–style speakers at each table. The movies, however, are a secondary draw compared to the Californian-Mediterranean food.
Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero S)
Waterbar is a perennial Top 100 restaurant, so you can bet on some memorable seafood with views of the bay, the Bay Bridge, and the Bay Lights—not to mention $1.25 oysters every day before 5:30 pm.
Bar Agricole (355 11th St.)
Opened by a collective of the city’s best bartenders and sommeliers, Bar Agricole is led by master drink maker Thad Vogler. Unsurprisingly, its cocktails are just as good as its seasonal food. The space’s award-winning design features plenty of redwood, concrete, and glass, plus a spacious patio that’s covered and heated during the winter months.
Biergarten (424 Octavia St.)
Biergarten takes its name literally—its only seating is outdoors, where all of its Bavarian-style street food is served from shipping containers converted into a kitchen and bar. Brews can be ordered by the half- or full-liter, but considering the long lines, it’s best to get the larger of the two before you squeeze into one of the communal picnic tables.
Photos courtesy of Mission Rock Resort, Foreign Cinema, Waterbar, and Bar Agricole; Biergarten photo courtesy of BarFlySF.
Sushi is not hard to come by in San Francisco, but so much variety means that finding the perfect sushi spot can be a challenge. Here are our picks for the five freshest, most innovative sushi restaurants in the Bay Area.
1. Cha-Ya (762 Valencia St.)
Vegetarian sushi anyone? While that may sound like an oxymoron, Cha-Ya is redefining what sushi means, veggie- and vegan-style. It’s cash-only here, and the wait can be long, but the food is inventive and the service is great. Even meat eaters should enjoy the Cha-Ya Roll: tempura-battered asparagus, avocado, yam, and carrot with Cha-Ya’s special sauce.
2. Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant (2154 Mission St.)
Never tried fried “veggie eel” before? This place has you covered, and it accommodates most dietary restrictions. There’s a vegan menu, a gluten-free menu, animal-product-free tempura, and sushi made with brown rice.
3. Roka Akor (801 Montgomery St.)
The presentation at Roka Akor is out of this world: sushi served on a landscape of salt rocks, ice, bamboo boxes, and light (that’s right, your sushi plate will glow). The tasting menu is a must-try and incorporates a wide range of different fish.
4. Tsunami Sushi Panhandle (1306 Fulton St.)
Tusnami’s classic california rolls are half off during happy hour, but the restaurant is most famous for its combination rolls. Try the Mama San with tempura shrimp and spicy tuna or the Magic Mushroom roll with salmon, snow crab, and enoki mushrooms. Also, consider adding some zing to your meal with sake or wine.
5. Akiko’s Restaurant (431 Bush St.)
Located in Union Square, Akiko’s serves up superfresh sushi—the menu changes daily based on the availability of ingredients. The kitchen focuses on serving sustainable, organic, seasonal, and local fish at high-end prices. The omakase menu will run up to $100 per person, but for sushi die-hards, it’s worth it. If you’re not feeling fish, there are non-sushi items on the menu, too, including teriyaki meats and udon soups.