My 2011 Favorite SF Restaurants

My 2011 Favorite SF Restaurants

Great cooking definitely doesn’t come only from the home kitchen. I know a lot of my inspiration comes from eating the creations of some of the best chefs in the world. I have to say, I’m lucky to live in one of the best food meccas around — San Francisco.

I think I get asked for restaurant recommendations by friends and colleagues at least once a week – and I love sending people to my favorite dining spots in the city. One of my blog readers suggested I post a list of my top spots, which I thought was a great idea!

So here are my current list of faves:

  1. Ame – in the beautiful St Regis hotel, this restaurant is a fusion of new American and Japanese food, and has a spectacular sake list.
  2. Anchor & Hope – a huge, all seafooder in a revamped warehouse south of Market; great vibe and good for groups
  3. Baker & Banker – this neighborhood spot is run by a husband & wife team who make fantastic food in a cozy, beautiful space
  4. Burma Superstar – out of this world Burmese food that people line up out the door for; do not miss the signature chili lamb dish
  5. Canteen – Home-style California food served in a tiny spot; menu changes weekly and is always delicious
  6. Chez Papa Resto – French food served in a popular spot right off Market St; great vibe and very good wine list
  7. Chez Spencer – a hidden gem in the Mission that serves fantastic French food
  8. Delfina Pizzeria – Neapolitan-style pizza done perfectly, with two locations in Pacific Heights and the Mission
  9. Dosa – best Indian food in the city, this restaurant serves South Indian food; the Pacific Heights location has an amazing bar with very inventive cocktails
  10. Foreign Cinema – my favorite brunch in the city, but great dinner too; old films are shown on the wall outside for added fun
  11. Frances – a tiny spot that is all the rage, this place serves all locally sourced, fresh and delicious fare
  12. Garabaldi’s – great neighborhood Italian in Presidio Heights, good bar seating
  13. La Taqueria – arguably the best burrito in the city by far, this Mission hot spot is always packed (no web site, but it’s on Mission Blvd betw 24th and 25th)
  14. Michael Mina – SF’s own celebrity chef just reopened his eponymous restaurant in a new location; fantastic food with flair and great wine list
  15. Nettie’s Crab Shack – a New England style seafooder with lobster rolls that taste like you are sitting in a seaside restaurant in Maine; great outdoor seating; fantastic wine list at good prices
  16. Nopa – One of the emerging late-night restaurants (yay!) that serves fantastic food until 1am; don’t miss the burger
  17. Perbacco – the best Italian food in the city, with a great bar, and an Italian wine list to die for
  18. Sebo – the freshest fish in the city, this great, small spot flies their fish in from Japan daily; sit at the bar and have the chef make whatever he wants (it’s worth it)
  19. Slanted Door – this iconic Vietnamese is in the Ferry Building along the waterfront; fantastic food, gorgeous view, great wine
  20. Sociale – a hidden neighborhood spot in Pacific Heights that serves terrific Italian; great patio seating
  21. SPQR – great Roman food in a small neighborhood spot; excellent wine list that changes frequently; good small plates to share
  22. Spruce – a real hot spot in Pacific Heights that serves outstanding food; great bar scene with delicious cocktails and great wine list
  23. Tacolicious – simply awesome tacos in a multitude of ways with weekly specials and fantastic hot sauces; very casual and the perfect lunch spot
  24. Terzo – Mediterranean shared plates that are spectacularly well prepared; great variety and often changing menu; terrific wine list (and I should mention, I’m a part owner!)

So that’s my list of current go-to restaurants in the city. Obviously there are a ton of other great places, and I’m sure I’ve overlooked several gems. So share your favorite spots in San Francisco!

Bon appetit!

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