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:
- Ame – in the beautiful St Regis hotel, this restaurant is a fusion of new American and Japanese food, and has a spectacular sake list.
- Anchor & Hope – a huge, all seafooder in a revamped warehouse south of Market; great vibe and good for groups
- Baker & Banker – this neighborhood spot is run by a husband & wife team who make fantastic food in a cozy, beautiful space
- Burma Superstar – out of this world Burmese food that people line up out the door for; do not miss the signature chili lamb dish
- Canteen – Home-style California food served in a tiny spot; menu changes weekly and is always delicious
- Chez Papa Resto – French food served in a popular spot right off Market St; great vibe and very good wine list
- Chez Spencer – a hidden gem in the Mission that serves fantastic French food
- Delfina Pizzeria – Neapolitan-style pizza done perfectly, with two locations in Pacific Heights and the Mission
- 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
- Foreign Cinema – my favorite brunch in the city, but great dinner too; old films are shown on the wall outside for added fun
- Frances – a tiny spot that is all the rage, this place serves all locally sourced, fresh and delicious fare
- Garabaldi’s – great neighborhood Italian in Presidio Heights, good bar seating
- 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)
- Michael Mina – SF’s own celebrity chef just reopened his eponymous restaurant in a new location; fantastic food with flair and great wine list
- 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
- Nopa – One of the emerging late-night restaurants (yay!) that serves fantastic food until 1am; don’t miss the burger
- Perbacco – the best Italian food in the city, with a great bar, and an Italian wine list to die for
- 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)
- Slanted Door – this iconic Vietnamese is in the Ferry Building along the waterfront; fantastic food, gorgeous view, great wine
- Sociale – a hidden neighborhood spot in Pacific Heights that serves terrific Italian; great patio seating
- SPQR – great Roman food in a small neighborhood spot; excellent wine list that changes frequently; good small plates to share
- Spruce – a real hot spot in Pacific Heights that serves outstanding food; great bar scene with delicious cocktails and great wine list
- Tacolicious – simply awesome tacos in a multitude of ways with weekly specials and fantastic hot sauces; very casual and the perfect lunch spot
- 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!