Best food in San Fran!
Coming down to SF at the end of May for 4 days and I'm looking for some pretty particular recommendations for the 12-15 meals we plan to eat. I've researched past threads and didn't find exactly what I was looking for. We're coming from Vancouver and want to see how much better SF's food scene is, if it is better at all... ;) Here is our criteria:
- Quality of food (quality of ingredients, technique + execution, well thought out dishes, etc.) is our most important factor; ambiance, service, etc.
- More unknown, less commercial (underground restaurants are a plus for us); that being said, we're open to suggestions for commercial spots if they're really good and have high value (high quality-to-price ratio)
- Good value; I hate paying for hype, name, their marketing budget etc. if the food doesn't stand up to the price tag. I want to pay for good food!
- Looking for a wide range of prices, but staying under $100/person (without alcohol, tax, gratuity); we want to go to one or two expensive restaurants ($60-90/person), a few cheap places (under $30/person), but mostly in the medium priced ($30-60/person)
- Looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner spots
- Any types of cuisine, but our preferences are usually American, French, Italian, or Japanese
We have reservations for AQ (dinner), Incanto (dinner), Bourbon & Branch (drinks), Brenda's French Soul Food (breakfast), and Bar Agricole (drinks) so far (feel free to critique them). Some candidates are Dottie's (breakfast), Marlowe (lunch), Chambers, Caffe Ambrosia, and Plow.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
Forgot to mention that we like dishes that are balanced . We really don't like restaurants that just put a lot of butter, cream, or salt to make it "tasty" to the masses. Richness is fine, as long as that's not the only taste on the plate.
Given your choices of AQ, Incanto, and Bar Agricole, I'd say also consider Cotogna and Bar Tartine.
Hype doesn't get restaurants far in SF. If the food's not good, locals won't go.