Claremont's unique and wide selection of restaurants has long been "on the map" for many in Southern California and for the frequent international guests to the Claremont Colleges. With several hip, new restaurants and dozens of locally famous eateries keeping the food scene fresh, foodies and vacationers are discovering this Los Angeles-area hamlet as a delicious dining destination.
"A famous college town with international visitors demands a high level of fine dining experiences," said Andrew Behnke of Discover Claremont, the Claremont tourism board. "We know tourists come to Claremont for the shows, museums, trips into the mountains, festivals, regional events or when visiting the colleges. Now is a great time to come Discover Claremont for its dining as the city is emerging as a culinary center for eastern Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire."
With half of the city's 80 restaurants located within the walkable downtown area comprised of the Claremont Village, Village Square and Claremont Packing House, visitors can choose to enjoy the city's free parking and literally stroll to wherever their appetites lead them.
Many of the city's notable eateries are within the famous Claremont Village, an idyllic collection of boutiques among peaceful tree-lined streets. In the village, epicureans encounter white linens inside wood-paneled restaurants, bustling outdoor cafes and gourmet bakeries. Popular Italian choices include Aruffo's Italian Cuisine, La Piccoletta, and the award-winning Tutti Mangia, with "best of the Inland Empire" Chef Jose Ruiz. Diners will find French cuisine at Harvard Square Cafe, tapas at Viva Madrid, Afghan dishes at Walter's, and new American at Union on Yale.
In both the nearby Village Square and Packing House, diners will find rare wines, microbrews and fine American whiskeys at restaurants that include The Back Abbey, Eureka Burger, and the Packing House Wine Merchants. The Hotel Casa 425 lounge and outdoor living room is known for its signature margarita and offers a small plates menu by its outdoor fire pits. Other favorites here include La Parolaccia and Casa Moreno.
Local choices that combine entertainment with fine food include Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue in the Packing House; belly dancing at Casablanca Bar and Grill, also in the Packing House; and The Press restaurant in the Village. Fine dining meets Broadway at Ben D. Bollinger's Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre just a few blocks north of the village; and the lively PianoPiano dueling piano show right next door at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont serves American bar fare to accompany their Las Vegas seasoned performers.
A weekend stay in Claremont means visitors can enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning stroll through the region's largest farmers and artisans market in downtown Claremont, and enjoy coffee and freshly baked pastries at places like Some Crust Bakery and Last Drop Cafe.
A complete listing of restaurants, hotels, boutiques, events and more can be found at http://www.discoverclaremont.com.