Where to EAT? A few of the Best Places for Memorable Meals
Here are some restaurants that our clients have appreciated and locals regularly enjoyed: they offer exciting food in beautiful (or at least interesting) settings, with professional service. Feel free to also consult Open Table (a website that makes it easy to book reservations and offers free bonuses with frequent use), Eater or Zagat for other opinions. In 2020 there were over 4000 restaurants in San Francisco alone, more per capita than in any other city in the Western Hemisphere or Europe; however, the pandemic has taken its toll and fewer than half survive. We recommend that you check with any restaurant listed below for its current hours or restrictions as part of planning a meal there.
Food trucks have popped up all over the Bay Area. Don't overlook them...an order from a food truck could turn out to be the best thing you've tasted this week.
IN San Francisco
Seafood Woodhouse Fish Company: take an historic trolley...Castro Scoma's: an old standard...Fisherman's Wharf, & Sausalito Hog Island Oyster Co.: in the Ferry Building & other locations
Eclectic Rich Table: new and exciting flavors...Pacific Heights
Chinese Yank Sing: best dim sum...elegant ambience...Lunch only...downtown, 2 locations Ton Kiang: excellent dim sum...Outer Richmond Eight Tables: special occasion $$$$...advanced reservations recommended...Chinatown
Italian Delfina: often rated best...Mission...take a taxi as parking on side streets not recommended Sodini's Green Valley: North Beach Trattoria Contadina: a piece of Old San Francisco, on Taylor St cable-car line...North Beach Vega: neighborhood gem...Bernal Heights Urban Putt: mini-golf plus pizza...Mission ...There are many! excellent Italian restaurants, so ask your concierge...research Open Table, Zagat et. al.
French Boulevard: exquisite Art Nouveau decor...across from the Ferry Building Chapeau!: Richmond District Cocotte: neighborhood gem...Russian Hill...take the cable car Absinthe: so authentic you expect the staff to parler francais...near the Opera & Symphony
Steakhouse Harris': Van Ness Avenue House of Prime Rib: Van Ness Av
Breakfast (All have long lines so go before 8:30 or be prepared to hang out with a crowd.) Brenda's French Soul Cafe: unbelievably good Cajun/Creole...hefty portions, so share...Civic Center Mama's on Washington Square: tiny...popular! Sears Fine Foods: famous for its Swedish pancakes and apple dumplings...Union Square Pork Store Cafe: features Southern favorites...Haight St & The Mission
Peruvian/Mexican/South American Piqueo: Peruvian, neighborhood gem...Bernal Heights La Mar Cebicheria: Peruvian w/seafood specialty...near Alcatraz Landing La Cumbre: home of the original "Mission burrito"
Southeast Asian Burma Superstar & Burma Love: spicy! popular! ...Mission & Inner Richmond Districts ...also on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland Dosa by dosa: casual...Oakland Amber India: elegant pan-Indian...mid-Market Borobudur: good Indonesian...lower Nob Hill
"Soul" (southern American) Food
Miscellaneous Greens: generally considered best all-vegetarian ...Fort Mason NOPA: "urban rustic food"...Lower Haight Zuni Cafe: locals in their natural habitat...Civic Center...near Opera House/Symphony Hall The Big Four: game favored on menu...elegant railroad baron ambience...Nob Hill Kokkari Estiatorio: generally considered best Greek...downtown Garden Court: grandly beautiful! room w/crystal chandeliers...in the historic Palace Hotel...downtown
OUTSIDE San Francisco
Grace's Table: magnificently affordable, delicious...downtown Napa FinFine: Ethiopian...Berkeley Dry Creek Grill: everything's scrumptious! especially the barbeque...dinner only...worth the drive ...San Jose (oddly in a strip mall in Willow Glen neighborhood) Casanova: quaint French-Italian w/excellent wine list...dinner only weekdays...Carmel Mission Ranch: killer view...popular with locals...owned by Clint Eastwood who lives nearby ...Carmel Bottega: Chiarello's masterwork...Yountville in Napa Vly Mustard's Grill: Cindy Pawlcyn's flagship (and a Valley favorite)...near Yountville Farmstead: quintessential "farm to table" menu, beautiful setting...indoor/outdoor seating ...St. Helena, Napa Vly Nepenthe: people stop here for its panoramic views...Big Sur; however, also consider-- California Market at Pacific's Edge in the Hyatt Highland Inn...views of ocean & Point Lobos Preserve Ristorante Avanti: excellent Italian in a strip mall...Santa Cruz Chez Panisse: motherlode of "California cuisine"...Berkeley Breads of India: excellent regional Indian...Oakland, Berkeley
In Sausalito The Spinnaker: good seafood w/panoramic view...short walk from the ferry dock Sushi Ran: best sushi this side of Tokyo? Angelino's: fresh Italian including excellent pizza Copita Tequileria y Comida: outstanding authentic Mexican Taste of Rome: good options and atmosphere for children