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Sep 1, 2013 12:39 PM

Top 10 restaurants in SF

We are 2 thirtysomething London (UK) girls heading out to San Francisco in a couple of weeks. Looking for the top 10 places to eat to cover everything from coffee shops, restaurants, bars - all showcasing the best cuisine, atmosphere, service that Sf has to offer.

Any tips would be most appreciated.

Jess and Eleanor

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  1. Your request is asked almost daily... You are advised to read through the threads, tell us what neighborhoods you are interested in, and your budget.

    "Best cuisine" is relative... Best ethnic? Best view? Best cocktails? Best molecular? Best seafood? Best dim sum? Best sushi? Best burrito? Best pastry?

    Seriously - you need to give us a lot more guidance on what you are looking for...

    1. Yes, there's a lot "best" in the town and enough good places to eat and drink that people will disagree on what is "best" (not unlike London).

      Do so research on your own first (say start with's top 38) and then let us know what strikes your fancy, how long you will be here, what you can afford, etc. Since you're coming from the UK, I would focus on what is not available there, but that's just me.

      1. Try looking at a few places like the SF Chronicles top 100 ( or yelp for an idea of what you're after as far as neighborhoods and cuisine goes.
        Also, keep in mind that BART can take you to places like Oakland cheaply and easily to extend your dining options.
        Don't be too put off by people telling you to do some homework, think about your reaction if some one asked you what the best places in London would be.

        1. not outright 10 best food places, but if i had to pick 10 that would really give you a good sense of the city:

          taqueria cancun (huge burritos are a mission staple, and this is my favorite), chapeau! (amazing french restaurnt), commis (some of the most creative food around), aziza (cal-moroccan fusion), zeitgeist (great outdoor beer garden), trick dog (excellent food and cocktails), saigon sandwich (one of the top bahn mi places), blue bottle mint plaza (my favorite coffee in SF, really god pastries too), craftsman and wolves (very creative bakery), mandalay (burmese)

          6 Replies
          1. re: vulber

            Nice list, vulber. Can you say more about the food at Trick Dog, please? I'm already sold on the cocktails for next trip ;-)

            1. re: grayelf

              just simple, creative, well-prepared bar food with a twist - wish they would post a menu online. same owners as 15 romolo and it's definitely reflected

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  thanks, must have been a somewhat new addition; i remember for a while, they didn't post it online

                  1. re: vulber

                    Thanks, Melanie. I also saw your post about it on another thread. Did not realize it was by the 15 romolo folks. We had a not great experience there a couple trips ago but will try not to hold that against Trick Dog...

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Trick Dog and 15 Romolo do not have the same owners.

                      Trick Dog is owned by a couple bartenders who worked at 15 Romolo and gained a quick reputation competing in cocktail making competitions around the time the bar started to gain a rep. They started calling themselves the Bon Vivants and working as bar consultants (most notably for Wayfare Tavern), and then brand ambassadors, before opening their own place with a couple partners (one of them worked for Blowfish, I think). They also had a bar on Market St. which has since closed.

                      They apparently had a major role is overhauling 15 Romolos drink menu after it's initial open, but I don't think that was their best work - and they often looked visibly bored during their shifts there. 15 Romolo was best before it began to get press or mentions on CH, because it operated as a slower paced bar. There was a short period where they had a lot of influence, the drinks got interesting, and they were actually made well.

          2. I like soup dumplings at Yank Sing. Bone marrow at RN74 is pretty good. A Margherita pizza at Tony's always works for me. The raviolo at Cotogna is killer. Crab cakes, at lunch at the bar at Scoma's, can be pretty good. The chicken at Zuni is very good, sand dabs at Tadich can be very good (ask your waiter first). Oysters at Waterbar, at the pewter bar, have the potential to be very good. Splurge at La Folie, take the J-Church out to Noe Valley to Incanto: sit at the bar and ask what's good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: steve h.

              i almost put la folie in my earlier list, but swapped it out for chapeau! becaue i was starting to have too many $$$$ restaurants. la folie is quite excellent and splurge worthy

              1. re: vulber

                La Folie is comfortable shoes. I like it a lot.

                Bring an appetite;-)