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What to eat in and around Merced California? Some of my favorite restaurants!

Are you hungry in Merced? If you're looking for great food in Merced, California, you're in luck! This Central Valley city offers a range of dining options, from classic American diners to contemporary restaurants serving innovative dishes. Whether you're in the mood for Mexican cuisine, Chinese food, barbecue, or something else entirely, Merced has something to offer. We'll take a closer look at some of the best places to eat in Merced, including Destinos, Burger Time, Country Waffles, RainBird, Jantz Cafe and the Barbecue Pit.

Read on to learn more about these delicious dining options in Merced. With each restaurant I have made a video so you can get a feel for it yourself.


460 W Main St, Merced, CA 95340

Destinos is a popular Mexican restaurant that offers a variety of traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, as well as house specialties like carne asada and fajitas. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. You have got to try the fried ravioli! So Delicious!

Burger Time

661 W 16th St, Merced, CA 95340

Burger Time is a classic American diner that serves delicious burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Their burgers are particularly well-regarded, and they have a variety of options to choose from, including vegetarian and vegan options. The atmosphere is retro, with booths and counter seating, and the staff are friendly and attentive.

Country Waffles

1794 W Olive Ave, Merced, CA 95348

Country Waffles is a great spot for a hearty breakfast or brunch. They serve classic American breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles, and omelets, as well as lunch items like sandwiches and salads. The restaurant has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, and the portions are generous. This is a place that just hits the spot for a morning breakfast! Perfect for an after church meal or a place to enjoy with a friend.


 609 W Main St, Merced, CA 95340

Rainbird is a contemporary American restaurant that serves fresh and innovative dishes. The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and local ingredients, but you can expect dishes like roasted vegetables, seared scallops, and grilled steak. The restaurant has a stylish and modern upscale ambiance. Fine dining has arrived in Merced. The menu does change seasonally so be sure to check back often for a different experience.

Bar B-Q Pit

 1720 G St, Merced, CA 95340

Bar B-Q Pit is a great spot for delicious barbecue in Merced. They serve all the classic barbecue dishes, like brisket, ribs, and pulled pork, as well as sides like mac and cheese and cornbread. The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, with outdoor seating available. The Bar B-Q Pit has been a Merced landmark for many years.  The business has supported the local law enforcement and many other local groups.

The Branding Iron Steakhouse

640 W 16th St, Merced, CA 95340

For a more upscale dining experience, The Branding Iron Steakhouse is a great choice. The restaurant serves high-quality steaks, seafood, and other American cuisine, all expertly prepared and beautifully presented. The ambiance is elegant and refined, making it a great option for a special occasion. For a special occasion be sure to make a reservation.

Scotts Diner

 2015 E Childs Ave, Merced, CA 95341

Scotts Diner is a classic American diner located in Merced, California. The diner has a retro vibe, simple yet classic ambiance. The menu features all the classic diner favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, and breakfast dishes like pancakes and omelets. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable. The staff are friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is casual and laid-back. Scott and his staff are super attentive and we always love our food there!

Jeff's Cuisine

1135 Bellevue Rd, Atwater, CA 95301

Jeff's Cuisine is a Pilipino restaurant located in Atwater, California. The restaurant specializes in Pilipino cuisine, with dishes inspired by the flavors of the Philippines. The menu it simple yet, covers everyones favorites.  The food is fresh and flavorful, and the portions are generous. They also cater!

Pretty Good Burger

439 W Main St, Merced, CA 95340

A popular burger joint located in Merced, California. The restaurant prides itself on using high-quality ingredients, including fresh, never-frozen beef for their burgers. They offer a variety of burger options, from classic cheeseburgers to a pretty fake burger. The menu also includes, fries, and milkshakes.

The atmosphere at Pretty Good Burger is casual and laid-back, with indoor and outdoor seating available. The restaurant has a fun, retro vibe, with bright colors and neon signs. The staff are friendly and welcoming, and the service is fast and efficient.

Pretty Good Burger has earned a loyal following in Merced for its delicious burgers and affordable prices. If you're in the mood for a classic American burger, be sure to give Pretty Good Burger a try.

Jantz Cafe & Bakery

3361 G St, Merced, CA 95340

Janet Cafe is a local favorite for breakfast and brunch located in Merced, California. The cafe has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly staff and attentive service. The menu features classic American breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles, omelets, and breakfast burritos, as well as a selection of sandwiches and salads.

Jantz Cafe is known for using high-quality ingredients and serving generous portions. The cafe also has a bakery on site, which offers a variety of fresh baked goods like muffins, scones, and cinnamon rolls.

The cafe's interior is decorated in a warm and rustic style, with wooden accents and comfortable seating. Outdoor seating is also available. Jantz Cafe is popular with locals and visitors alike, and is a great spot for a casual breakfast or brunch with friends or family.

Overall, Jantz Cafe offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, delicious breakfast dishes and baked goods, and friendly service. If you're in Merced and looking for a great breakfast spot, be sure to check out Jantz Cafe.

Orchard Bar and Grill

1435 E Robertson Blvd, Chowchilla, CA 93610

Orchard Bar and Grill is a popular restaurant and bar located in the heart of Chowchilla, California. The restaurant serves a variety of American cuisine, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and seafood. They also offer a range of appetizers and side dishes, like onion rings, fried pickles, and mac and cheese.

Orchard Bar and Grill is known for their friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, and features a full bar with a selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. The bar is a popular spot for locals to gather and watch sporting events on the big screen TVs. I especially love that they are open on Sundays!

The restaurant also hosts live music and other events throughout the year, making it a popular destination for a night out with friends or family. The decor is rustic and welcoming, with a mix of wooden accents and vintage signs.

Overall, Orchard Bar and Grill offers delicious food, friendly service, and a welcoming atmosphere in the heart of Chowchilla. If you're in the area and looking for a great spot for lunch, dinner, or drinks, be sure to check out Orchard Bar and Grill.

Overall, Merced has a great variety of dining options to choose from, so you're sure to find something that suits your taste and budget. Whether you're in the mood for classic American diner food, hearty breakfast dishes, traditional Mexican fare, Chinese cuisine, contemporary American cuisine, or barbecue, you'll find it all in Merced. Atwater is just a stones throw from Merced, it's worth the drive to check out a few gems there too!

Click below to try out WILDGRAIN delicious artisan breads!! YUM!

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