Even the fishermen of Monterey visit Cafe Fina for the freshest catch in town. Known for sand dab - a locally caught fish that's breaded in cracker meal and lightly fried - Fina's specialties of the sea, pastas and grilled meats are rivaled only by the serene tableside view of the harbor.
When in New Orleans, Alton wakes up and strolls over to Café Beignet for its — you guessed it — beignets. Café Beignet prepares the classic New Orleans dessert to perfection. Be sure to grab a cup of the bitter chicory coffee. Then, dunk beignet in coffee, savor and repeat.
This Belgian brewery offers tours, tastings and a family-friendly cultural center. Rachael loves the ginger-and-coriander-spiced Hennepin pale ale, which, in addition to five other popular year-round brews, can be paired with dishes such as chocolate fondue and savory crepes at the brewery's cafe.
On Food Network's $40 a Day, Rachael Ray explores the flavors in the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame at Blue Mingo Grill, serving a delicious selection of sandwiches, in Cooperstown, NY.
The site of Rapid City's first fire department and the first brewery in South Dakota, the Firehouse Brewing Company specializes in craft beers. Watch the brewing in action, then try the Gorgonzola Ale Soup or Firehouse Favorite Gumbo, which Rachael calls "extra spicy and so good."
Rachael Ray, of Food Network's $40 a Day, visits Quinz, in Ashland, OR, for their delectable Sauteed Spinach with Gold Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts.
The oldest continuously operating restaurant in Atlanta serves traditional Southern cuisine like fried chicken, local fish and spiced oatmeal cake for lunch and dinner. The restaurant's herbs and produce are grown in an outdoor garden, which is open for diners to stroll through after a hearty meal.
Close to downtown Portland, Ore., McMenamins is home to a B & B, golf course, winery, several restaurants and the Power Station Pub. The pub serves lunch, dinner and a variety of microbrews made on the premises, including Hammerhead ale, which Rachael calls "sugar, spice and everything nice."
Adorned with thrift shop finds from the Salvation Army next door, Salvation Cafe is the place to be for an eclectic meal and drinks, all for the right price. The quirky menu ranges from Indian and Asian to Mexican and Spanish cuisines, and favorites include the Chocolate Banana Purses and Pad Thai.
While looking for breakfast in Orlando, Fla., on $40 a Day, Rachael skipped the tourist traps and checked out Lacomka, a bakery and deli that specializes in authentic Russian specialties like borscht and stuffed cabbage. Rachael quickly fell in love with the blinchiki, which are Russian blintzes.
Follow your nose to this little bakery, which is known for large, chewy cookies in varieties like chocolate chipotle, frosted cranberry oatmeal, butter pecan and one of Rachael's favorites, pistachio lime, which she compared to Key lime pie.
When Rachael visited Durham, N.C., on $40 a Day, her first stop was Elmo's Diner, where she savored the spicy Southern-Style Grits filled with jalapeño peppers, cheddar and ham. The menu is packed with plenty of other comfort-food classics like meatloaf and home-style roast turkey.
Rachael Ray pops into Joseph's Restaurant, in Charleston, SC, for some sweet potato pancakes with toasted pecan butter on Food Network's $40 a Day.
Named for Hawaii's most famous citizen and the "father of surfing," Duke's offers a variety of island favorites using lush local ingredients and seafood. Enjoy a meal in the dining room or head to the Barefoot Bar, where Rachael enjoyed a tropical drink, the Lava Flow, on Waikiki beach at sunset.
The breakfast buffet at Shore Bird Restaurant & Bar is fresh and flavorful with what Rachael described as "a decidedly Hawaiian touch." She was especially excited by the macadamia nut bread pudding. Diners who go for dinner can grill their own entrees with their choice of seasonings.