Some of you who have been reading my blog for a good long time will remember my post of January 2011 with my top restaurant picks for San Francisco. I figured it’s about time for an update of that list…much has changed in the restaurant scene in the last two years. There has been a huge focus on great pizza, burgers, and a host of new California Cuisine restaurants as well. So here you have it…my 2013 list of faves (In no particular order). Those with a * by their name are new additions since my last list.
1. Spruce – probably our all around favorite. Great food quality, excellent cocktails, beautiful decor and good vibe. The fact it’s about 6 blocks from our house doesn’t hurt either.
2. Umami Burger* – hands down the best burger in the city in my opinion. The Hatch Burger with New Mexican green chile is my go-to choice, but they’re all amazing.
3. Michael Mina – local celebrity chef’s eponymous restaurant with some of the best fine dining in the city. Every visit is a home run.
4. Perbacco – best Italian food in the city, we think. It’s great quality food with some excellent creative flair, and the strongest Italian wine list you can find in a 60 mile radius.
5. Terzo – still one of my favorites with unbelievably high quality Mediterranean-inspired food. Chef Mark Gordon is a master, and it’s a great place to go for fun, business or a romantic night out.
6. DOSA – South Indian food that is like being there. Great dishes with a wide variety for both vegetarian and meat lovers. Inventive cocktail list and always a fun vibe. Two locations in the Mission and Pacific Heights.
7. Sebo – best sushi in the city. Incredibly high quality fish and often the omakase (translation ‘I’ll leave it to you”) menu is mind-blowingly good. Expensive, but worth it.
8. Burma Superstar – a regular for us, with some of the greatest Burmese food you’ll get anywhere except maybe Burma. Do not miss the chili lamb, but only if you can take spicy food.
9. Baker & Banker – a neighborhood bistro that just serves great food by a husband and wife team (she’s Baker, he’s Banker). Solid wine list too, and don’t miss the desserts.
10. Cotogna* – the little brother of SF’s Quince, this place has amazing pizza and pasta. Freshly made with seasonal ingredients, and definitely made with love.
11. Delfina Pizzeria – a long-time favorite of ours that just makes great pizza. Good indoor and outdoor seating in the heart of Pacific Heights (original location is in the Mission district).
12. SPQR – who knew Roman food could be so spectacular? Handmade pastas (don’t miss the pasta tasting menu!) will blow your mind.
13. Little Star Pizza* – I’m not a deep dish fan, but this is the one I’ll eat every time. We haven’t even gotten around to trying their thin crust after 5+ years.
14. Atelier Crenn* – I wrote a post about this incredible restaurant by chef Dominique Crenn (first US female chef to earn 2 Michelin stars), who is at the top of her game with crazy inventive food that tastes amazing.
15. La Taqueria – still the best burrito in the city (although I know there’s a religious war over whether it’s this place or El Faralito).
16. Slanted Door – you just can’t beat flawless Vietnamese food, great wine and a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge.
17. Flour + Water* – some of the best hand-crafted pastas anywhere, and a great selection of vegetarian dishes.
18. State Bird Provisions* – awesome concept of dim sum-like service but for inventive American food. Great flavors, small plates, perfect for sharing.
19. House of Prime Rib* – I didn’t have this place on my prior list only because I hadn’t been there more than a couple of times. A mainstay of SF, this iconic place really does have the best prime rib. And salad. And seasoning salt.
20. Yank Sing* – again missing from my prior list for no good reason, this is THE best place for dim sum in the city. Two locations in SOMA, but the one in Ricon center has my vote as the better of the two. Bring friends…you’ll want to try everything. Don’t miss the Shanghai soup dumplings.
21. Cheese Plus* – okay, not really a restaurant, but some of the best sandwiches in the city. My personal fave is the Potrero Hill. Great gourmet products throughout the store as well (chocolate, pickles, various sauces/spreads, fresh pasta, and more).
22. Bourbon Steak* – Michael Mina’s other restaurant in SF, which serves the highest quality steak in the city. If you like ribeye, do NOT miss the Kobe rib cap. Unbelievable.
I hope you enjoy the great food scene San Francisco has to offer as much as I do. Please feel free to comment here and share your own personal favorites!