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Eater's list of 20 underrated restos [San Francisco]

Saw this list today, and I'm a little embarrassed to say that I'd never heard of a lot of the places on the list.


Some of the places I'd been to on the list are places I like just fine (Mandalay, Blue Plate), or places that I at least think are decent (Zazie, Contigo), but then there are a lot of places I've never been to. Radius? Darwin Cafe? They go as far as saying that an item at Poc-Chuc is "to die for."

I am much curious. Anyone have any comments on them?

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  1. I'm glad they mentioned Darwin Cafe. I haven't been there in a couple years but I used to go there every week. I think of it as more of a neighborhood place -- it's very small, great for lunch but with very good simply-prepared food.

    1. Interesting... at least 1/4 of those places are small plates places.
      It's a little disappointing that there isn't more listed for the Sunset or Richmond districts, or in the southern part of SF.

      La Ciccia, which is also a fixture on Eater's Top 38 Restaurants is an odd choice as "underrated." It's doesn't get a huge amount of press compared to places in better locations, but I rarely see dinner reservations available from 6:30-8:30 on Opentable. You might have better luck calling them for these hours.

      I like Poc Chuc, but the overpowering smell of cleaning product made for an unpleasant experience recently. Sample platter and Poc Chuc still were awesome.

      Thoughts on Fiore Caffè?

      2 Replies
      1. re: hyperbowler

        Fiore is a pretty place for a glass of wine or a pastry. It's an upscale non-wifi cafe, not a restaurant.

        It's not a terribly interesting list. Neighborhood places plus a couple of used to be hip spots and random tokenism.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          La Ciccia's not as underrated as it was for a long time, though it's still not as hard to get into as a lot of places that don't seem as deserving to me.

        2. meant to post last week after goign there - i think Saha should definitely be on this list - really delicious food (albeit slightly pricey) - wide variety of dishes, very creative, something for everyone....

          1. In addition to brunch, I've had lunch (never dinner) @ Mission Beach several times--quite good, definitely (per Eater) "farmers-market-driven"--but don't know that I'd go out of my way to eat there. And I've never cottoned to their baked goods, which many folks I know adore.

            1. I've never seen Lolo not packed, so how underrated can it be?

              1. I was suprised to see Poquito on that list, I've been curious about that place since it has opened, but haven't heard anything about it since.

                Has anyone been?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Kristine

                  I posted about my first visit. I don't know why it doesn't get more attention.


                2. I love Lolo. Not too pricy, a good variety of tasty Mexican tapas, and very good cocktails. It has been getting busy lately but on a weeknight you should still be able to find a table without a reservation.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ajyi2012

                    It's pretty dead earlier in the evening, so it's great for pre-dinner snacks.

                    1. re: ajyi2012

                      I was disappointed by Loló, but I'm going back to Contigo for sure (admittedly more pricey).

                    2. I would go as far too say that all the stew type dishes at Poc Chuc are to die for. Very homy dishes with lots of soul.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Civil Bear

                        I really liked the "empanadas" (note they are made with tortillas) and the panuchos on our three visits to Poc Chuc 2008, twice in 2010) but I'm very sad they've taken my favourite item, salpicon de res, off the menu. It used to be available as a special, then was on full time, and now appears to be gone, unless it's gone back to being a special. Their orange-coloured salsa is pretty awesome too, mild and a bit fruity, almost as good as the salsa at the now-shuttered Mi Lindo Yucatan.

                      2. I live in Tokyo and stay in SF for a month or two every year. Two years ago I found Yuzuki and was surprised at how good it was. I don't know why it is considered "underrated" but I am glad it is there.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tripeler

                          Yeah everyone I know who's been to Yuzuki thinks it is the best izakaya in SF, so it's certainly not underrated by anyone I know, but I suppose it doesn't get talked about much.