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Our Readers' Favorite
Restaurants in Southern California
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of popular California restaurants. On this page, you'll discover Southern California restaurants that have been "favorites" of our readers year after year.
Overview of favorite Southern California restaurants
Our readers are typically Southern California visitors (and residents) who like to head to the theme parks...and then do a little outlet shopping afterwards. They occasionally like to visit the beach boardwalks and family fun centers...or take in a movie. Dining out in restaurants isn't one of their favorite choices. Most are dining out with children. And those coming from far away want to enjoy different experiences than what they can do "back home."
So, while some sites cater to epicures descending on LA's vibrant restaurant scene, this site isn't one of them. When our readers dine out, they have traditionally chosen chain restaurants...which tend to be casual and tolerant of children's behavior at the dinner table.
Still, our readers really DO enjoy dining out when it focuses on their children...especially in theme park settings. We are now focusing more on our reader's favorite restaurants...and the rest of this page will list exactly what these are.
#1 favorite restaurant: Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant
Buena Park's iconic restaurant that launched a theme park!Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is a perennial favorite with our readers. Located just outside of the popular Knott's Berry Farm theme park, many readers don't even realize that Mrs. Knott's Restaurant opened before the theme park was ever built. Even more to the point, the restaurant was highly instrumental to Knott's Berry Farm's development!
Readers DO know, however, that they enjoy the food and atmosphere at Mrs. Knott's, including the famous Boysenberry Pie and Knott's Jams in addition to the restaurant's famous fried chicken. You can discover more info about Mrs. Knott's menu offerings, prices and take-home holiday feasts on our -Disney-Restaurants.html">Downtown Disney Dining ::   Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant page.
Our readers also enjoy Knott's Berry Farm's other restaurants and snacking choices. You may discover more about the selections available on our Other Knott's Berry Farm restaurants page.
Our readers also enjoy taking home a tasty theme park souvenir: Knott's jams and jellies. While you may find Mrs. Knott's jams in nearly every large supermarket in the USA, you'll find an even BIGGER selection at Knott's Berry Farm, including sizes and flavors not sold in many grocery stores. If you're a jam fan, be sure to drop by the Berry Market just outside of Knott's Berry Farm's main gates when you visit the theme park.
#2 Favorite Restaurants: Disneyland Character DiningMany of our readers love to add a Disneyland Character Dining experience to their theme park trip. Parents and grandparents can't resist seeing the smiles on their children's faces as princesses and Disney characters come to their table to hug the kiddies, sign autographs and pose for personal pictures. There are several different character dining opportunities at Disneyland. To see pictures, read descriptions and discover menu options for these experiences, please visit our Disneyland Character Dining page.
Our readers also enjoy trying the restaurants at Downtown Disney, a free-to-enter shopping, dining and entertainment district just outside of Disneyland's entrance gates. You can see pictures and find out about your restaurant choices on our Downtown Disney Dining page
One restaurant in particular at Downtown Disney seems to be a special favorite: the Rainforest Cafe. But, Downtown Disney isn't the only Southern California location of the Rainforest Cafe; there are several more. To discover Rainforest Cafe menu selections and locations, please visit our Rainforest Cafe FAQ's and Photos page.
Other favorite restaurants in Southern California:
Our readers love PF Chang's China BistroRestaurant chains come and go. The economic recession has helped to empty our readers' wallets, and some of the restaurant chains that used to be quite popular simply aren't any more. We have discontinued our coverage of several chains because of a decline in interest.
However, reader interest in PF Chang's China Bistro has remained strong. If you'd like to find a location in Southern California near your home or hotel, be sure to visit our PF Chang's page.
Many readers like to Dine with ShamuDining with Shamu is SeaWorld San Diego's most unique meal experience. And, a number of our readers have enjoyed doing some close-up whale-watching while enjoying SeaWorld's delicious and well-presented buffet meal at the Shamu Dining pavilion. If you'd like to discover prices and details about booking your special poolside dining experience, please visit our Dining with Shamu page. Or to learn more about the menu and see mouth-watering pictures of the feast which awaits you, please see our Dine-with-Shamu Buffet Photos page.
Universal Studios Hollywood's CityWalk RestaurantsUniversal Studios Hollywood is also a popular place for a theme park meal. The park's "City Walk" is a free-to-enter collection of stores, restaurants and entertainment offerings. Whatever type of food you're craving at the moment, Universal CityWalk probably has a restaurant where you can get it...and a lively atmosphere that will boost you after a tiring day of theme park touring, as well! To see your restaurant, shopping and entertainment options here, please visit our Universal CitiWalk page.