We love our sunshine and kombucha here in Southern California, but sometimes it’s nice to break away from the traffic and hustle of our everyday lives and pack up the car for a winter road trip. By just driving half of a day, you can find yourself in Northern California – home to colder winter weather and incredible restaurants. If you’re in the mood for fuzzy sweaters, scarves galore, and delicious food to warm your soul, here are a few norcal dining destinations perfect for a road trip this winter.

Pacific Grove, CA

Photo Credit: montereycountyweekly.com

Friendly neighbor to Monterey, CA, Pacific Grove is the quintessential romantic winter get-away, along with a plethora of delicious restaurants to try. Cozy up at one of the lodges or hotels and explore everything that PG has to offer. if you’re in the mood for something fancy, Passionfish is the perfect spot to truly wow your taste buds and put your wine knowledge to the test. The cuisine is exquisite – imagine modernized, playful renditions of bistro classics. The wine list is truly something special as well as the restaurants strives to offer wines closest to their true price, and supports lots of wineries that take efforts towards sustainability. ***If you have food allergies, the restaurant has a special menu to accommodate almost any dietary restriction!***

Aptos, CA

Photo Credit: tripadvisor.com

If you can’t completely part with the beach for the winter, head to a NorCal beach town, Aptos, CA, to be exact. When the overcast is just right and you’re up for a picnic on the beach with a ton of blankets, look no further than Pixie Deli to provide the food. Whether you want a bean and cheese burrito, an infamous club sandwich, French toast, or a plethora of other deli classics and innovations, this beloved location has it all. If you’re lucky, they might even take your photo and post it on their walls, which are covered with photos of new visitors and regulars alike.

Little Italy (San Francisco), CA

Photo Credit: smugmug.com

From one big city to the next, San Francisco is another perfect place to escape to for the holidays if you still want to be surrounded by the lights and talk of the town. Obviously, when it comes to food, SF does not mess around, but how perfect does eating Italian food to your heart’s content and cozying up next to a fire sound? Mona Lisa’s in San Francisco’s Little Italy serves up the most comforting and delicious pizzas and pasta dishes, not the mention the decor and atmosphere of the restaurant are totally cool.

The best part of NorCal is if you can’t decide on just one of the dining destinations above, just give yourself a week’s time for a road trip this winter and make it to all three!