A foodie’s guide to Stockton, California’s slate of ethnic cuisine
Exploring Stockton's ethnic food scene, one delicious bite at a time...
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If we are what we eat, then Stockton locals are most certainly an eclectic bunch. In addition to the natural bounty afforded by California’s San Joaquin Valley, Stockton includes a diversity of ethnic cuisine you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the region. Just after the city was incorporated in 1850, a large population of immigrant gold seekers moved to Stockton. These early settlers came from various parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Pacific Islands, Mexico and Canada. And today, foods from around the world can be enjoyed thanks to Stockton’s diverse food scene. Whenever you’re hungry and whatever you’re hungry for, this ethnic-food roadmap will take you (and your taste buds) around the world for some of the best cuisine right here in Stockton. Sampling the world’s finest cuisine is easy in Stockton, where a diverse cultural history is made up of the finest ingredients. Whether you’re downtown near the water or shopping the Miracle Mile, a little bite of Stockton is just around the corner.
Here's a sampling of Stockton diverse ethnic eats...
If you feel like traveling to the Far East, Chinese food in Stockton is a great place to start. With so many restaurants to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your palate and your budget.
Located in Lincoln Center South, the outside of Yen Du Restaurant is unassuming; step inside and the smells wafting from the kitchen woks tell an entirely different story. For more than 20 years, this popular establishment has served classic Sichuan, Peking and Hunan cuisine with ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. Grab your chopsticks and dig into classics like beef with broccoli and sweet-and-sour pork; or venture from the ordinary and explore something new, like Sichuan tea-smoked duck! Great prices make this a tasty spot to enjoy with family or a large party.
Looking for Chinese food with some sizzle? Dave Wong’s Restaurant on March Lane is your date-night destination and a long time Stockton favorite. The interior is a posh, contemporary lounge complemented by a heavy wood bar and mood lighting. Menu offerings include great vegetarian options as well as traditional proteins kung pao chicken and shiitake beef.
A tour of India truly begins with its cuisine, which is a potent rainbow of aromatic spices. Indian food in Stockton is no exception, and for a great bargain, you can fill up at Shan-E-Punjab and bring back your own spices to boot. This Indian grocery is a working kitchen serving up hot plates of every Indian variety, including an assortment of fried dumplings called pakora, as well as traditional curries, noodles, basmati rice and more. It’s all here and most menu offerings are less than $8.
For a more formal dining experience, don’t miss Royal Indian Cuisine & Banquet on Pacific Avenue. This restaurant pairs a casual, family-friendly dining room with elegant Indian cuisine. Tandoori specialties exceed expectation here, cooked inside a traditional clay oven with yogurt and spices.
No trip to Stockton would be complete without a culinary adventure south of the border. Here you’ll find much more to explore than quesadillas and nachos; Casa Flores - Marina, for example, is a family-owned establishment with more than 60 different tequilas! Stop by for an amazing Sunday brunch, which includes all your favorites like chorizo and eggs, menudo, chilaquiles and homemade corn tortillas. With locations peppered around Stockton, including the Marina Center, downtown and the Miracle Mile, be sure to stop by for happy hour as well and enjoy great prices on tacos, queso dip and margaritas. If there’s one thing Mexican purveyors do best, it’s throw a great happy hour! Stockton is home to over 50 other mexican restaurants and food trucks.
French fusion (New Orleans style)
Located in the bustling Miracle Mile shopping district, Midtown Creperie & Café is your destination for all things French and sweet. And what’s more French than a crepe? This cozy nook is a casual spot for a quick bite of something decadent and delicious. Here you can build your own crepes (sweet or savory) or enjoy beignets, chicory and an espresso. They were recently visited by Guy Fieri and will be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!
Believe it or not, Italian cuisine only gets better in Stockton. With such fresh produce from the valley, Stockton has great natural resources to inspire some of Italy’s most popular dishes.
Mezzo works hard to use only the very best quality ingredients in all its Italian and Mediterranean creations, while focusing on farm-to-fork ideology and sustainable food practices. From seasonal butternut squash gnocchi to traditional rigatoni bolognese, you’ll love the elegant dining area and themed cocktail menu.
Since 1976, Angelina’s Spaghetti House has been an establishment for fine occasions and exceptional Italian fare. The gorgeous dining area is sophisticated and elegant, which is a perfect complement to the kitchen’s traditional approach to Italian cooking. Handmade pasta is the star of the show and combines with fresh sauces to make a bounty of main courses like spaghetti with pesto or ravioli with roast beef.
BellaVista Cucina Italiana offers savory authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of downtown Stockton. The restaurant is full of flavor and culture with options to dine inside or on their terrace in the spring and summer overlooking waterfront. Owner/head chef Rima Barkett, who authored a cookbook, accepts only the finest quality ingredients. If a food shipment is not as fresh or packed with enough flavor, she will send it back. BellaVista is located next to the Regal Cinemas Theatre and the Visit Stockton building.
Is it edible art or just your favorite sushi roll? With good sushi, it’s sometimes hard to tell.
Misaki Sushi & Bar is a great Japanese restaurant to explore if you’re headed downtown. Check out its most popular rolls like the hammer roll: shrimp tempura, snow crab, avocado, yellowtail, unagi, tuna and two secret sauces topped with scallions and masago (fish roe). Enjoy other offerings like udon noodles in soup or gourmet boats for larger parties.
For another uniquely Japanese experience, Domo Japanese Sushi Bar and Grill has a little bit of something for everyone. Located in Lincoln Center, Domo is the newest Japanese restaurant to open in Stockton. The interior is an impressive 8,000 square feet of teppanyaki grills, cozy booths and a bar/lounge area.Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking that includes mixed meats or fish with vegetables cooked on a hot steel plate in the center of the dining table. This unique culinary experience is great for parties or fun family events.
Papa Urb’s Grill in downtown Stockton is Filipino food with a twist. Expect to see all your favorite dishes like lumpia, Filipino-style spring rolls, and sinigang (sweet and sour soup), as well as less traditional tastes like adobo quesadillas and Papa Urb’s fried chicken wings in signature sauce. After the success of its first restaurant in Tracy, the second shop opened in Stockton’s lively downtown. Today, if you’re craving flavors of the Philippines and don’t want to break the bank, Papa Urb’s Grill is the best place to eat.
While you’re downtown—and if you’re still hungry—look for a red-painted brick building and a sign that says Red Orchid. Inside this unassuming building you’ll find a friendly staff and a fleshed-out Filipino menu that’s about as authentic as it gets. Traditional flavors from the Philippines have evolved from many countries like India, Spain, China and even the United States. At Red Orchid you’ll notice those nuances in abundance and enjoy tasting the fused flavors of this culture.
Take a deep breath. If it smells like something is fermenting, that’s because it is. Korea’s most notorious side dish, kimchi (fermented cabbage with seasoning), is the centerpiece of so many wonderful tastes and aromas inside Seoul Soon Dubu. Located along Stockton’s Miracle Mile, Seoul Soon Dubu is a fully interactive food performance, and you’ve got a front-row ticket. Here, food is made to order and most of it you cook yourself.Traditional Korean BBQ is cooked at the table. Beef, pork or chicken is grilled and served along with several tiny sides like pickled radish, hot peppers and kimchi. Come here to enjoy an exaggerated meal spread out over a few hours. Pop open some soju and you’ve got yourself a party!
Explore more options on our Stockton Dining Page. Looking for local recommendations? You can text us 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm at (877) 778-6258 and you'll receive a live response from a member of our team. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - and be sure to use #VisitStockton during your visit!
Have you heard about Stockton Restaurant Week? Foodie's enjoy special menus and events at the best local eateries each January. Keep up to date on Stockton Restaurant week, new resturants in town, and foodie giveaways on our Stockton Restaurant Week Facebook Page!