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Walnut Creek Magazine

Let's Eat Outside-An Updated Dining Guide


BUCKHORN GRILL: When it comes to big salads, this casual eatery serves heaping plates of fresh veggies and grilled meats. Food to go or eat on the outdoor patio.

BUTTERCUP: An inviting new outdoor deck makes it easy to indulge in Benedicts and Bloody Mary's at brunch or carryout a family-style fried chicken dinner. 

BRODERICK Scratch-made, over-the-top burgers, fries, and wings. A fabulous fried chicken sandwich is doused in sriracha Bleu cheese sauce. Eat on the patio.

GEORGE'S GIANT HAMBURGER: A WC tradition, burgers are ground fresh, grilled to perfection, and best devoured a pile of fries. Place an order to go.

LETTUCE: A salad emporium that loads farm-fresh produce into generously sized classics and creative new inventions. Order up, take one to go, or eat under an umbrella outside. 

MOOYAH: It’s a franchise with personality. Take your kids to this colorful burger joint and let them build a burger and eat it with fries & a milkshake on the patio outside.

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE:  If you're in the mood to live it up, do a sizzling filet covered in bearnaise and potatoes Lyonnaise, and take it home with a big bottle of cab.

STADIUM PUB:  A classic sports bar with good food: BLTs, hot dogs, burgers, and fish tacos, plus dozens of craft beers served outside.

SUNRISE BISTRO: Fresh, tasty food. We love the corned beef hash, latkes, and chicken salad on homemade bread.  Carry-out only, outdoor patio opening soon.

THE COUNTER: Burger joint where they make it the way you want it, from beef to bison, and pile it high with cheese, veggies, eggs, you name it. Temporarily closed in WC.

THE ORIGINAL HICK’RY PIT: A diner known for its big breakfasts, ribs, and homemade pies served all day on the patio with a heaping side of hospitality.


DRAGON POND: Hunan and Mandarin delicacies. House specialties include Mango Chicken, Honey Walnut Prawns, Salt & Pepper Calamari. Carry-out only.

KACHA THAI BISTRO: Coconut-milk-roasted duck served in a half-pineapple. Satay, pad Thai, and larb available to go.

MIXED GRAIN: Authentic Korean comfort food. Try the bibimbap, a bowl of fluffy rice, colorful vegetables, and creamy egg. Nine condiments come with the meal, take it to go.

NAMA SUSHI: This casual sushi spot in a north WC strip mall keeps raw fish fanatics coming back for ocean-fresh rolls and Japanese cuisine. Delivery and pick up. 932-9540.

PF CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO: This Broadway Plaza Chinese bistro is doing carryout and delivery right now. Try the lettuce wraps and Dan Dan noodles.

RAMEN HIROSHI: Flavorful bowls filled with Japanese noodles, pork belly, and soft-cooked egg. Plan to wait in line at this popular spot with only a few tables outside.

SASA: Upscale Japanese izakaya with decadently fresh fish. Melt-in-your-mouth sashimi is served with an array of sake on the newly expanded outdoor patio.

BURMA 2: Tasty tea leaf salad is a go-to for lunch—romaine tossed with yellow beans, peanuts, jalapenos, and tea leaves. Add chicken curry & coconut rice at dinner.

VANESSA'S BISTRO: This popular Vietnamese spot dishes up small plates and craft cocktails for dinner, like crispy rice & shrimp clay pots, on its new patio in the street.

YAN’S CHINA BISTRO: Bestsellers include potstickers, Singapore noodles, salt & pepper pork chops, and Mongolian beef. Order up to go. 

KEVIN’S NOODLE HOUSE Bold flavored Pho (classic Vietnamese noodle soup) comes in three sizes and 18 variations to go. Spike it with sriracha sauce.


1515 RESTAURANT LOUNGE: Always bustling for cocktails, flavorful pasta, and fresh fish. An outdoor patio is a good place to people watch.

MAIN STREET KITCHEN: Farm-fresh food. Standouts include fish & chips, chilaquiles, grass-fed burgers, and burrata toast served on a delightful downtown patio.

THE PEASANT'S COURTYARD: An Alamo favorite for breakfast, lunch, and dinner served in a charming outdoor courtyard. Pancakes, ribs, burgers, and calamari. 

VA DE VI BISTRO: Sophisticated al fresco dining with a European vibe. Wine flights come accompanied by small plates-burgers, pasta, risotto, and seafood.


CREPES OOH LA LA: Parisian pancakes made fresh to order, spread to delicate thinness, then filled with sweet and savory delights. If you can grab a spot, eat on the patio or take it to go.

THE CHEESESTEAK SHOP: Thinly sliced beef, gooey melted cheese, peppers & onions on a crispy-doughy roll come together in Philly's famous sandwich.

GENOVA:  Italian meats, fresh ravioli, pasta sauces, and deli sandwiches to go. Outdoor tables at north and south Walnut Creek locations.

KINDER'S: A carryout classic, this family-run bbq biz does marinated ball tip, tequila-lime ribs, hefty sandwiches, and barbecue chicken doused in signature sauce.

MORUCCI'S: Fans travel for miles to eat these tasty Italian sandwiches on toasted ciabatta rolls. We love the 6 3/4 and the California club. Off the beaten path with a big patio out front. 

MR. PICKLES: This little sandwich shop serves up flavor-packed sandwiches on fresh-baked rolls at great prices. Big enough to split, grab a few to go.


CREAM: The winning combination of ice cream sandwiched between two warm cookies can't be beaten. Neither can its kid-friendly price,

LOVE & CHOCOLATE: Pick up a handful or a pound at this Belgian chocolate emporium. Sample your decadent sweets with an espresso on the sidewalk patio.

LOTTIE'S CREAMERY: Artisinal scoops are packed with fresh ingredients at this upscale ice cream parlor, where everything, including the cones, is made in-house.  lottiescreamery

NOAH'S BAGELS: Fresh-baked bagels, schmears, sandwiches, and great tuna salad. Two Walnut Creek locations make it easy to take home.

SAN FRANCISCO CREAMERY: Serving up ice cream and toppings the old fashioned way. The takeout window is open for all of your cravings. 

SWEET AFFAIR BAKERY: Sandwiches are legendary here, so are the morning buns, cream cheese croissants, and cookies. Order food to go or devour on the patio.



IL FORNAIO: Italian food so innovative and fresh, you’ll forget it’s a chain. Lovely dining with outdoor seating in the heart of downtown shopping.

54 MINT: Italian deliciousness in pizza, pasta, focaccia, and pastries lovingly crafted from authentic Roman recipes served on a chic, umbrella-covered parklet. 

MASSIMO: Northern Italian cuisine-steaks, salmon, pasta-served on white table cloth covered tables outside.

MONTECATINI RISTORANTE: This award-winning Italian restaurant boasts an impressive wine list with excellent pasta and seafood. Carryout only Thurs-Sat.

SLICE HOUSE: Grab-n-go pizza devotees flock to pizza legend Tony Gemignani's East Bay outpost for creative combos and classics like The Grandma.

ROCCO’S: A community hub for pizzas, pasta, and salads. The meaty Dominator and vegetarian Dante’s Inferno are local favorites and family-style lasagne meals to go.

SKIPOLINI’S:  Fans flock here for the family vibe and can't-miss pies. The Martinelli, white sauce topped with red peppers, cayenne chicken and fresh spinach, is a favorite.

PINKY’S: A Walnut Creek tradition. Simple, affordable, and comfortable, the pizzeria has dished legendary pies and brews since it first opened in the 1960s.


EL CHARRO: A Lafayette favorite, the margaritas are magic. From fish tacos to burritos, this restaurant has served generations of locals on a spacious patio.

MARIA MARIA: This Mexican restaurant boasts a beautiful creekside patio and creative dishes like tableside guacamole, creamy duck tacos, and mole short ribs.

TACOS WALNUT CREEK: Creative twists on classic taco flavors like the El Pastor smothered in grilled onions & pineapple then rounded out with rice and beans.



BABALOU'S: Middle Eastern menu is seductive for vegetarians and carnivores alike—with aromatic meats and a tempting display of salads to carry out. 

JACK’S: Souvlaki & spanakopita honor the owners' Greek heritage; an eclectic menu features pasta, steak, and calamari served on a big outdoor Pleasant Hill patio.

SILK ROAD: Good food served in a sunny patio setting. House favorites are kabobs, gyros, & falafel served with piping hot pita bread and decadent dipping sauce.



CALIFORNIA FISH GRILL: Contemporary menu features a dozen species of fish and shellfish, including scallops, all sustainably sourced. Good food, great prices.

WALNUT CREEK YACHT CLUB: WCYC has been cultivating customers with its killer cocktails, oyster bar, & phenomenal fish for decades. Patio dining in 


PARADA: Ceviche is a must-fresh fish marinated in lemon juice & chilies. Rotisserie chickens are also a big seller, along with mac n cheese & Korean-style ribs.

SABORES DEL SUR: Chilean cuisine reigns at this Oak Grove eatery. You can't go wrong with an assortment of flaky meat & veggie empanadas to go.

TELEFERIC BARCELONA: This Spanish hot spot serves tasty pintxos, sangria, & fresh paella in a stunning downtown atmosphere.

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