18 Best Restaurants in Modesto, CA (Reviews, Photos, Maps)

If you are looking for the best restaurants in Modesto., CA., you have arrived at the best possible list. This article started with this writer interviewing current Modesto locals for the restaurants they can’t get enough of for the most authentic listings.

It being in California, you’ll find in this list plenty of delicious wine, beer, seafood, Mexican fusion, Vietnamese fusion, and everything in between. Modesto’s name may have been changed to the Spanish for “modest” after its original namesake requested it, but you’ll find that the cuisine here is anything but.

1. Papachino’s

$$ | 209-578-5225 | WEBSITE

Modesto, CA Best Restaurant

Right in downtown Modesto, Papachino’s serves Mediterranean food specializing in gyros! Offering both delivery and catering, Papachino’s has been in business for over 25 years. They offer both vegetarian and vegan options that are just as delicious.



2. Fumi Sushi

$$ | 209-571-2253 | WEBSITE


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Fumi is dedicated to providing traditional Japanese cuisine with a complete Japanese kitchen, but makes sure to keep a modern flair to every dish! For instance, all your sushi favorites are available, but you can also get a famed hot Cheeto sushi roll – not your average traditional fare! For an extra vibe of relaxation, a full bar is available.



3. Wildfire Public House

$$$ | 209-521-8667 | WEBSITE


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New and trendy, the Wildfire Public House offers traditional pub fare like burgers, steak and pizza, but adds more exotic dishes such as mussels, banh mi, filet mignon and truffle gnocchi! With a 2 for $18 lunch special and 20 beers on tap, the atmosphere is perfect to grab some friends and eat outside by the fire pit!



4. Commonwealth

$ | 209-248-7451 | WEBSITE

Modesto, CA Restaurant

In 2016, Commonwealth was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Opened in 2014 right in downtown Modesto, the restaurant was so popular as to warrant a second location in nearby Turlock a couple of years later. Dishes are made from scratch and include flavor-packed tacos, sandwiches, and healthy salads.



5. Bauer’s 66 Downtown

$$ | 209-312-9558 | WEBSITE

Top Restaurant in Modesto, CA

While Bauer’s Downtown specializes in housemade sausages, charcuterie, and burgers, it also has many vegan and vegetarian options for conscious-minded diners – as well as gluten-free choices.

It may sound like regular pub fare, but Bauer’s uses noteworthy ingredients such as blackberry coulis, peach jalapeno coleslaw, and Russian rye bread.



6. Churchkey

$$ | 209-422-3128 | WEBSITE


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Churchkey offers catering. With specials everyday and online ordering available, Churchkey is perfect for dining with family and friends.

Starters are full of flavor, like the garlic buffalo wings, and both vegetarian and vegan options are available. Pizza, burgers, sandwiches, bowls, and desserts? Are you ready to try out Churchkey yet?!



7. Mike’s Grillhouse

$$$ | 209-545-4500 | WEBSITE

Modesto, CA Top Restaurant

The soups and sauces at Mike’s Grillhouse are old, passed-down family recipes, from the tequila lime sauce to the au jus, and everything gets prepared daily with fresh, local ingredients. Its coffee and tea come from Modesto’s own Clayton Coffee & Tea. It also boasts six delicious desserts, a record compared to most of the locations on this list!



8. Redwood Cafe

$$$ | 209-322-2464 | WEBSITE

Trendy Restaurants in Modesto, CA

Redwood Cafe opened in 2012, and was so successful that a second location opened in Oakdale. Not satisfied to be simply a restaurant, Redwood Cafe (formerly Vintage Gardens) also hosts outdoor events.

Redwood Cafe & Events hosts wedding ceremonies and receptions, reunions, retirement parties, bridal and baby showers, and more. It even boasts its own bridal and grooms rooms.



9. Camp 4

$$ | 209-529-5898 | WEBSITE


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Camp 4 is named after (and inspired by) the climber’s camp directly across from Yosemite Lodge. Rustic, vintage-y and affordable, Camp 4 offers healthy poke bowls and hearty paninis as well as starter dishes with lots of feta and charcuterie. Occasionally Camp 4 hosts events like wine tastings and movie nights which they post about on their social media.



10. Akitaca Crab

$$$ | 209-238-9518 | WEBSITE

Trendy Restaurant in Modesto, CA

Akitaca Crab is praised for its use of fresh delicious seafoods. While they no longer offer delivery post-pandemic, they are worth a visit for its smorgasbord of crab Rangoon, catfish, gumbo and chowder, haddock, scallops and calamari! Oh, we forgot – there’s also crawfish, snow crab, king crab, lobster, dungeness crab, mussels and scallops!



11. The Farmacy

$$ | 209-422-6762 | WEBSITE


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Located right in downtown Modesto, The Farmacy boasts whole-food, plant-based dishes because the owner herself has many food allergies. You can reserve The Farmacy for your own private event of up to 30 guests for up to 2 hours. The Farmacy also has its own rewards program and offers catering.



12. Food Fix Butcher & Baker

$$$ | 209-525-3663 | WEBSITE


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Food Fix’s dishes are made from scratch, with local ingredients from local farmers and artisan food makers and beer brewers. Besides the downtown location, Food Fix is so successful as to also own a food truck. They have such menu items as the Root Beer Pulled Pork sandwich, the Angry Bleubird sandwich, and the Porkstrami and Pretzel.



13. Phomex

$ | 209-214-9450 | WEBSITE


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The name hints at this restaurant’s “Vietnamese cuisine with a Mexican twist.” Opened in summer 2022, the new restaurant features robotic servers! The chefs are experienced in Vietnamese cuisine down to the various traditional dishes from each region. From its Phomex tacos to its line of teas with real fruit, Phomex has a cozy family dining atmosphere.



14. Magnolia Southern Kitchen

$$ | 209-566-2303 | WEBSITE

Modesto, CA Trendy Restaurant

Opened in summer 2021, Magnolia Southern kitchen strives for the authentic Southern kitchen experience, from the seasoning to the blues playing over the speakers.

The magnolia, of course, is the state flower of both Louisiana and Mississippi. Menu specials happen every day, but look for the chicken and sausage gumbo, the red beans and rice, the brisket cheeseburger, and the Old Fashioned Banana Pudding.



15. Dewz Restaurant

$$$$ | 209-549-1101 | WEBSITE


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Dewz’ dishes use local and seasonal ingredients, and flavors inspired from all over the planet. A family restaurant from the start, Dewz is named after the original owners’ family member Dewayne, who passed away from leukemia when the place first opened in 1997.

To ensure you of the ingredients’ freshness, “whole animals and fish are butchered and prepared on site every day.”



16. Palermo Restaurant Italian Cucina

$$ | 209-521-5000 | WEBSITE

Good Restaurants in Modesto, CA

Formerly known as Pastas Pronto (reflected in the website,) Palermo Restaurant has a highly reviewed ravioli and is noted as good for both kids and groups.

One reviewer said it was the best Italian they have had on the West Coast – a gigantic compliment – and you can see in photos of the inside that it is usually packed with diners.



17. Divine Swine a Grill & Bar

$$ | 209-596-4649 | WEBSITE


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Locally owned Divine Swine has incredible kids’ menu prices, as well as a huge selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails. Billed as “upscale barbecue,” Divine Swine offers catering, and also hosts private events. They have great outdoor seating and provide take-out and delivery. Check it out at Roseburg Square today!



18. Galletto Ristorante

$$$ | 209-523-4500 | WEBSITE


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Galletto Ristorante is far more than a beautifully ambient restaurant with well-reviewed dishes. You can book the large space for parties and events – including the large outdoor patio, called the Vine Arbor Patio. The patio has hanging fans and heaters for any weather, plus a fireplace. When you book the patio, you also have access to the venue’s bocce courts!




Locally owned, fresh ingredients, family atmosphere: No matter what you are looking for to eat or your price range, you can find somewhere delicious in Modesto!

The best restaurants in Modesto are not limited by genre or atmosphere, and they sure have a lot of local character and flavor. For a California punch of flavor, hold on to this list when you’re passing through Modesto, and keep it sacred for next time!

Best Restaurants in Modesto

1 thought on “18 Best Restaurants in Modesto, CA (Reviews, Photos, Maps)”

  1. You’ve got to include Delicioso by Mr & Mrs on this list!! Seriously better than at least half of these other restaurants listed


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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.