San Francisco is a hotbed of originality with a powerful restaurant scene. There is a seemingly endless list of innovative delicious places to dine. It is difficult to make a list that includes all of the amazing restaurants that San Francisco has to offer but we will do it anyway! Selected from Eater’s 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, here are my 10 favorite:
The restaurant opened in 2009 but recently went through renovations and a chef shuffling. Chef Yoni Levy is now at the restaurant, alongside pastry chef Brooke Mosley. The duo is continuing the traditions of amazing bread, gorgeous fog-friendly food in a laid back beach atmosphere.
2) Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
Old Mandarin puts an interesting twist on Chinese fare. The cumin lamb, beef pancakes and the BYOB policy make this place an incredibly popular destination. This certainly is not the restaurant for healthy food but it offers amazing spicy food at a reasonable price.
You will likely face some pretty long lines to get in front of a plate of the gingerbread pancakes, eggs Benedict and home fries, but trust me, the wait is worth it. Zazie is also a great spot for dinner with relatively affordable French classics. The back patio has a great vibe too!
4) La Taqueria
La Taqueria recently won the title for America’s Best Burrito after an extensive bracket challenge. There are plenty of great options for Mexican on Mission Street, but this place is hands down the best choice.
5) Four + Water
If you are in the mood for some sophisticated pizzas or pasta then F + W is the place to be. The line builds up as early as 5 p.m so if you are looking to get a table here, keep that in mind! This casual restaurant is always packed, giving it a very lively atmosphere.
6) Zuni Cafe
The Zuni’s burger, Caesar salad, bloody Mary and “the” chicken have all been called the best in the city. Zuni Cafe is the perfect for spot no matter what the occasion: brunch, late-night dining, cocktail or a date.
7) Namu Gaji
This spot serves up the most nuanced, contemporary take on Korean food around. The menu staples include: the KFC (chicken wings), stonepot rice, okonomiyaki and the dumplings. If time permits, it is worth checking out happy for for some gamja fries and Korean tacos.
8) Liholiho Yacht Club
A tribute to the Hawaiian islands, Liholiho is a blend of chef Kapur’s heritage and his Prospect pedigree. Perfectly described as a Hawaiian-Indian-NorCal cuisine, you will find dishes such as poppy seed steam buns with beef tongue and kimchi.
Nopa does everything right, from the delicious, seasonal foods to the excellent cocktails and wines. Although this spot has been around for years, it is still one of the hardest places to grab a seat.
Cotogna is the casual Italian restaurant of your dreams. Great service and an innovative fixed-price wine program make Cotogna an easy choice for best resturants in the city. The vaiolo al uovo is a fan favorite!