Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 13, 2009 08:05 AM

What would you add or subtract from the Chron Top 100 List?


Over on MB's blog he posted about his work on the upcoming Chron Top 100 list to be published April 5th. He's soliciting input on that post, but I figure it might be fun to open up the discussion here.

His blog post is here:

Last year's Top 100 is here:

So what restaurants do you think deserve to be added to the list?
And for each one you add, which would you eliminate?

  1. Perhaps subtracting MB would help? (j/k...sorta) Seriously, the list or editing needs some refreshing. It's getting a little stale and is as predictable as MB's taste (cute waiter, full bar, mid-range, continential palette, new twist, slab of meat option). It will be interesting to see how the list approaches things in a very down year.

    1 Reply
    1. Rubicon closed and Silks' chef left, so that's two down. He wants to cut a total of 20.

      Bo's, Jai Yun, Swan Oyster Depot, and Vik's can go, since they don't serve cocktails or have good wine lists.

      BarbersQ's an easy cull, the barbecue's really disappointing. The lard-fried chicken is worth the drive to Napa, but that's only one day a week.

      Bauer's pretty much obliged to give the first opening to the Dining Room at the Ritz, since he dropped it from the top 100 by mistake based on the presumption that Ron Siegel and most of his team would leave to take over the Myth space.

      He pretty much has to add Dry Creek Kitchen, Erna's Elderberry House, Madrona Manor, and the Restaurant at Meadowood, too, since they're the only 3.5-star places not already on the list.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I don't think he has to add Erna's, since it's not in the San Francisco region.

        How about dropping One Market? Yeah, it's not bad, but I think of it as basically an expense-account FiDi restaurant without much soul or personality. Very 15 years ago.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I'd have to agree on One Market--funny cause I don't think I've been there in 15 years--I actually didn't even realize it was still around...

      2. I'd add Fish in Sausalito and Corso in Berkeley.

        I don't recall either having particularly hot waiters
        though so the chances of displacing Chow are maybe
        not so good.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

          I find the food at Fish good, but not destination worthy, and on a price adjusted basis it isn't worth it. On top of that, the wine list is both bad and ridiculously overpriced, for example a bottle of Vinho Verde that retails for $6 is on the list for $26.

          Other general comments on the list:
          Ton Kiang: I just don't see the point. The food is not that good. The obligatory nod to SF Dim Sum is already filled in by Yank Sing, and Koi Palace is also on the list, so Ton Kiang could really be dropped.

          The Matterhorn: this hasn't been on my radar for years. Is it any good? Is this a pity nod to fondue?

          Chow: it gets two slots for Lafayette and San Francisco. Are they different enough to each deserve a spot? Does this model of food (freshly prepared, generally organic, adequately tasty, easy, fairly cheap, NOT earth shaking) really need a place in a top 100 restaurants list? I love Chow for mornings when I want to have breakfast/lunch and read a newspaper somewhere where it doesn't involve me cooking, and I can't make up my mind what I want, since it has a vast menu of generally well-prepared food. But it's not a destination restaurant by any stretch.

          1. re: SteveG

            MB gave himself some wiggle room by counting Chow and Chez Panisse only once each in 2008. Here's the list of all 100:

            1. re: SteveG

              Hmmm, good point, re Fish. I only eat there towards the end of 40-50 mile bike
              rides so
              1. technically, at least for me, it is a destination
              2. I'm hungry enough to eat shoeleather and pay anything for it
              3. even thinking about looking at the wine list is not on the menu
              But crazy wine markup really grates me the wrong way. OK, I
              withdraw that suggestion.

          2. I see Camino and The Moss Room added with Coco500 leaving.

            1. It's time to make space for new blood in that Top 100 list, so I'd drop the following places because their food is not up to par: Betelnut, Cafe Majestic, Chow (Lafayette & SF), Cucina, Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Fonda, Jai Yun, Nick's Cove, O Chame, Pesce, Poleng Lounge, Pizzaiolo, Swan Oyster Depot, Shanghai 1930, Silks, Terzo, The Matterhorn Swiss Restaurant, and Vik's Chaat Corner.

              1 Reply
              1. re: L C

                Pizzaiolo must remain in there if the love for the A16 family continues. It's way better.