Visalia, California


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

2 Votes - "Friendliest"
2 Votes - "Best For Food"
1 Votes - "Most Beautiful"


Known as both the Gateway to the Sequoias and the Jewel of the Valley, Visalia lies in the center of the San Joaquin Valley nearby both Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks. The location is perfect for every variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, golfing, camping, fishing, boating, or skiing.

Visalia boasts something for everyone from the Tulare County Symphony in the Fox Theatre to a Rawhide baseball game at Recreation Park. With 50 murals around town, Visalia embraces local art. The town hosts an annual spoof called Sofa Art, an Arts Market, a “Trash to Fashion” Earth Day fashion show, and exhibits throughout local businesses.

Visitors can take the free trolley down Main Street to some of the highly acclaimed restaurants including Alejandra’s, Figaro’s, Vintage Press, and Jack and Charlie’s. Locals also boast of great produce from farmer’s markets to fruit stands and cheese farms. Visalia’s known for world famous sweet oranges and offers varied agriculturally themed tours.

In 2004, I moved to Visalia, CA from the metro Washington, DC area which is known for its many great restaurants of every kind imaginable. I really thought I would miss eating out at unique restaurants and would be stuck eating at the chain places after I moved to Visalia. However, one of the first things I found out about Visalia and the Tulare County, and was the most excited about, was the number and variety of truly local restaurants in the area. It became a personal challenge to try as many of them as I could. Duing the seven years I lived in Visalia, I rarely ate at a chain restaurant. Why would I when I had great local places that offered amazing fresh local food? All of my favorite restaurants in Visalia are local and most have been around for years.
You can find local coffee bars, burger joints, drive ins, diners, and fine dining and there's every nationality imaginable. Are you looking for Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Italian, Mexican, vegetarian, etc. (I could keep going but would use up all of my characters)? Combine all of that with people who share their love of food by getting to know their customers, you almost feel like you're Norm from the Cheers bar in Boston. You walk in, you're welcomed by name, and they remember your preferences (your favorite beverage, food, etc.). What more could you want?
In April 2011, my job moved me out of the Visalia area. Besides the friendly people in Visalia, I miss the local restaurants.
Reviewed by CruiseTraveller
on September 17, 2012
Visalia is great! One of the best things about Visalia are the great local restaurants. There are several great Mexican restaurants in town, many delicious Italian places and a wonderful variety of many different kinds of food. We like to go on a progressive dinner with appetizers at Tommy's, dinner at Little Italy and dessert at Vintage Press in the lounge. Visalia's restaurants are the best!
Reviewed by 1201rocks
on September 17, 2012
I'm a California gal, born and raised, and have lived in Visalia for 29 years. We grow food and we know food. Sharing the joys of a great meal with friends or providing food to those less fortunate is engrained in our culture. A visitor who walks around our downtown will find excellen local restaurants featuring Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Brazilian and wonderful California cuisine. Visit Visalia and see what we're talking about!
Reviewed by VisaliaFoodie
on September 17, 2012
I moved here about 5 years ago from Southern California. I was amazed that Visalia had so many restaurants...and they were good too! Whether you are looking for casual, quick or upscale, the folks here care about what they serve you and they know that you may live close enough to come back, or if your just passing by, you are likely to pass back by after experiencing the fresh culinary creations from the bread basket of California! It can't get any better than that!
Reviewed by groove
on September 17, 2012
I grew up in Visalia. I graduated from Golden West High School in 1986. Even now that I live in Fresno, I travel to Visalia to enjoy the amazing food. My favorite is the Vintage Press. I make a habit of meeting my clients there every chance I get. It is a "Can't Miss" for anyone visiting Visalia. Visit Visalia and prepare to fall in Love! Holly in Fresno, CA.
Reviewed by hollyccarter
on September 17, 2012
Showing 111 through 115 of 200 reviews



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