Why did we dine here? – Chabaa Thai is a Thai Restaurant in San Francisco’s Sunset District. We happened to be in the area, shopping at the great produce store next door. Looking on Yelp, nearby Marnee Thai and Chabaa are both rated four star for Thai. This restaurant does a lot of to-go business. Be sure to try Kin Khao.
Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe is a diner in Emeryville, near the Home Depot shopping center, serving American food till 1am. Big breakfasts, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. Breakfast is served all day. It is owned by Billie Joe from rock band Green Day.
Why did we dine here? – Turtle Tower is a popular Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco with several locations. Hà Nội Style Vietnamese Cuisine is their focus. We dined at the original, located in the heart of the gritty Tenderloin District of San Francisco. It moved down the block and reopened in June 2013 and added banh mi sandwiches. Our last visit was in February 2014.
Why did we dine here? – Dumpling Empire is a new Chinese dumpling shop in South San Francisco, right off Grand Ave. It reminds us of Town of Dumpling in San Mateo. Simple, small (10 tables), family run, reasonable prices, plain decor.
Big Bubbas Bad BBQ is a food concession that appears at some of the country’s largest State Fairs, Nascar Races, and Livestock Shows since 1996. You will find them in California, Colorado, and New Mexico. We have eaten their food several times over the years and found it to be pretty good. Our last visit in 2013 was during the Maker’s Faire in San Mateo.
Prather Ranch Meat Company is a boutique firm that raises grass fed and pastured cattle in North California’s Mt. Shasta area. Their focus is on high quality, sustainable, humanely raised meats in support of a whole-animal sales model. Founded in 2003, they made a name for themselves as one of the first merchants in the Ferry Building.
Peggy Sue’s is a burger place that has been there since 1958 that also serves classic American breakfast. They have two locations in downtown San Jose, right near the major destination including the Children’s museum, The Tech Museum, and San Jose State. Free all-day weekend parking with validation. They push their USDA lean 100% Angus Beef. Our last visit was in April 2013.
Why did we dine here? – South Legend is a long standing Sichuan Chinese restaurant in Milpitas that has been listed in the Michelin Guide. We were in the area and decided to give this restaurant another try.
Why did we dine here? – Hawker Fare is run by the owner of top rated Commis Restaurant, making this casual eatery a must visit foodies spot. They focus on Asian street food or more every day cuisine with everything from Chinese to Thai dishes. No reservations, loud music, loud vibe.
Gioia is a top rated Pizza place in North Berkeley. It has been there since 2004. As they put it: “Gioia Pizzeria takes the best of pizza traditions from the old world and the new. Classic flavors and ingredients such as artisanally made sausage, fresh mozzarella cheese and arugula come together in inspired traditional ways, seasoned with the influence of Bay Area kitchens such as Zuni Café, Chez Panisse and Oliveto” Gioia is a small hole in the wall with minimal counter seating. The place specializes in thin crust pizza and is known for local, organic ingredients. It was rated as a top pizza place by Michael Bauer. Our last visit was in late 2011 and we noticed prices had gone up. Their San Francisco location opened in 2012, we dined here in May 2012. It is located right next door to burger heaven, Polkers.
Why did we dine here? – A Slice of New York is a well-known New York style pizza place in San Jose, not far from Santana Row. The place features some nice New York decor, with subway signs, maps, and the like.
Ike’s Place has been serving sandwiches since 2007 with lines out the door almost all the time. Ike Shehadeh’s believes that sandwiches should only be made with the finest ingredients and the utmost quality control. They added a Redwood City location (Ikes Lair of Redwood City) in July, 2009 and a Stanford location. Ike’s has 9 locations now! Our last visit was in April 2013 to Redwood City.
Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House is a new San Francisco North Beach takeout place from Tony Gemignani, 9 time Champion Pizza Tosser, certified pizziaolo. He also runs Tony’s Pizza Napoletana next door. This location serves a wide range of food; New York-style pizza, Roman-style pizza, Chicago-style Italian Beef Sandwiches, and New York deli sandwiches. Our last visit was in September 2012.
Sunny Shanghai is a small family owned restaurant located in southern San Bruno along busy El Camino Real, not far from Asian Pearl Peninsula. People have said that this owner started this restaurant because he was unhappy with family members at Little Shanghai in San Mateo. Our last visit was in April 2011 when we upgraded their food rating, finding this place a high quality cheap eats restaurants.
Guilin is famous for its unique scenery featuring beautiful limestone rock formations and the Li river delta. This area is a mecca for Chinese tourists and needs to be on more Western travel destinations.
We recently finished up our latest culinary tour of China in the Spring of 2011. Guilin a beautiful city in China’s South, is one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists. A quick glimpse of the scenery with the karst formations tells you why. Yangshou is a couple hours from Guilin, just as beautiful, and far less touristy.
Here are some quick mini reviews of places we ate at in Guilin and Yangshou. We feel this will be useful as more people visit this up-and-coming area. We found few reviews on Trip Advisor and Dianping.
Burger Joint is another trendy high end burger place that uses high quality Niman ranch organic beef and Double Rainbow ice cream. They have 5 locations in the San Francisco area and have been around since 1994. We house dined at the Burlingame location several times, which is located in the Burlingame Avenue shopping district with our latest meal at the San Francisco Airport International terminal location. Burger Joint’ s quality has improved over the years.
Taste In is a family owned Mediterranean deli and restaurant in Burlingame’s Broadway Street shopping district. They focus on Mediterranean cuisine including falafel’s, schawerma, kabobs and the like. This place opened in late 2009. Our last visit was in fall 2011.
The Ferry Building Marketplace is one of our most favorite destinations in San Francisco. Filled with restaurants, food stands, and gift shops, this place is on any foodies must visit list. Here are some of our favorite shops to visit and dine at.
Bouchon Bakery in Yountville is a fabulous place we love to visit whenever we are passing through the wine country. This location is situated right next door to Bouchon in Yountville. They even bake for the legendary French Laundry. Here are some photos of their delectable products.
Rosamunde Sausage Grill is a small Sausage restaurant in the colorful lower Haight district of San Francisco with an additional larger location in the Mission district. This Place has a cult like following. Sort of like Vancouver’s Japadog. They serve grilled sausages on french rolls. You can select 2 free condiments from sauerkraut, grilled onions, peppers, or spicy beef chili. They also sell uncooked sausages, which we took advantage of one time.
Another trendy fancy burger place… The Counter opened in 2006 and is another fancy casual restaurant located in the Palo Alto, California Avenue shopping district. They have locations in CA, CO, GA, NC, and TX with many more coming soon. We revisited in March 2011 at the brand-new San Mateo location, click next door to Trader Joes. Loud music greeted us as we entered the place along with some flat screen TVs at the counter.
Cheeseboard Pizza Collective is a worker owned collective of 12 people who served a different pizza each day. It is located in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. They also serve a single type of salad. Cash or check only. There can be a line around the block at peak times. It is located next door to the Cheese Board Collective, which sells excellent cheese, bread, cookies, muffins, etc. Our last visit was at the end of 2010.
Mack’s Smoked Barbecue – BBQ opened in 2008 and is located in suburban San Carlos. This barbecue restaurant moved to the other end of Laurel Street in 2010. Mack’s specializes in North Carolina style BBQ sandwiches and Ribs. Meat is cooked in a smoker for 12-14 hours. Our last visit was in September 2011.
We recently finished up our latest culinary tour of China in the Summer of 2010. Hong Kong is a world class city full of great food. Most of the Chinese food was superior to that in the San Francisco Bay Area and even Vancouver, BC Canada.
Here are some quick mini reviews of places we ate at, so you can understand how Hong Kong food compares, and so you select the best places on your visit. We have full reviews for places we deemed important enough;
Alice’s Restaurant is located in the San Francisco coastal mountain range at the intersection on Highway 35 Skyline Blvd, and Highway 84. They are “Home to the best specialty burgers in the world”, as they put it. Lots of motorcyclists stop here on the weekend as well as hikers, bikers, and those touring the area. We have eaten here several times, the last time in June 2010.
Roam Artisan Burgers is a new Burger joint on Union Street in the Marina district. They focus on humanely raised, grass feed meats, sustainable produce, organic ice cream salted caramel milkshakes, wine on-tap, and agave-sweetened sodas. Even their menu is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper or using green energy. All their packaging is hundred percent compostable.
Ramen Dojo opened in San Mateo at legendary Santa Ramen’s original location back in 2010, no doubt hoping to capture some of its good karma. In fact it’s owned by chef-owner Kazunori Kobayashi. They focus on spicy ramen, specifically Sutamina Ramen (aka Spicy Stamina Ramen) that is served in a couple restaurants in the SF Bay Area. They de-emphasised Spicy ramen and now even serve regular ramen. Our last visit was in October of 2017.
Santa Ramen is the original, now in larger dig, better for parties 4+
Ramen Dojo is focuses on spicy ramen, perhaps a little better broth, toppings. Tiny location
Gourmet Village is a Chinese restaurant that opened in April 2010 on Millbrae’s Broadway Street. The chef used to work at the well-respected The Kitchen restaurant. We came once for lunch and once for dinner.
Decor, Vibe – Gourmet Village has bare-bones Chinese restaurant decor with just a couple artifacts on the walls and some seafood tanks in the back. Mostly locals were having lunch when we were dining. Dinner was another story, with the place jam packed. Asians seem to like trying new places.
Ramen Santouka is a legendary noodle shop located inside the Mitswa supermarket in San Jose just off Highway 280’s Saratoga exit. They have locations in many different cities around the world including Los Angeles.
Il Cane Rosso is a casual rotisserie and sandwich shop inside the Ferry building. It is run by Daniel Patterson who also runs the well-respected Coi restaurant. Our last visit was in the summer of 2011.
Super Duper is a new hamburger restaurant in the Castro. It was opened by the folks behind Delarosa, Beretta and Starbelly. They use Niman Ranch meats. This restaurant opened in mid-April 2010. They have grown to several location in San Francisco as well as North and South Bay. We returned to this location in 2016.
Decor, Vibe – Brand-new Burger restaurant with some retro decor and stainless steel seats. The place had a couple younger folks stop by for a quick bite.
The Original Falafel’s Drive-In opened in 1966 and has been serving up falafel’s duty ever present lines since. The restaurant is located in San Jose not far from the Santana Row shopping center.
Decor, Vibe – Small dining room inside with picnic tables outside. Old school drive-in decor, with ordering from window. Mostly younger folks were ordering when we visited.
Jack’s Prime Burgers is a burger place in San Mateo that opened in 2008 on El Camino Real just south of Hillsdale mall. They serve burgers, salads, and have a fair amount of beer and wine selections. They serve Meyer Ranch Beef patties and Diesel Ranch free range turkey patties. All beef is humane certified raised and handled. They have to go, patio dining, and sit down dining. Our last visit was in the middle of 2012.
In-N-Out Burger opened way back in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California focusing as a drive through hamburger stand. Their motto is “Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.” They have locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.
Cheung Hing Restaurant is a low cost Chinese restaurant in downtown Millbrae serving Seafood and Hong Kong Style BBQ. They also have a location in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district. They specialize in items like BBQ pork, Roast Duck, Roast Pig, etc.
Emilia’s Pizzeria is a new small pizza place in Berkeley, located about a block from Berkeley Bowl supermarket. Keith Freilich, the owner, has worked at Pizza Hut, Grimaldi’s Hoboken, Pizzaiolo, and Flour + Water in San Francisco and serves up ‘New York style’ pizza. Emilia’s sells pizza by the slice and pie. Regular and sausage and onion were the pizzas available today. They often sell out, so go early and check their Twitter feed. The place was recently on serious eats.
Decor, Vibe – Tiny pizzeria with two small tables run by one person. Most people got pizza to go. Pizza foodies and locals were the main ones eating.
Pain de Sucre (Sugarloaf in English) is a Foodie must visit patisserie in Paris’s dynamic 3rd Arrondissement known as The Marais. This shop is located a couple blocks from the Museum Pompidou. We visited many food shops in Paris and this one still stands out. The owners used to work for 3 Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire, but left to open this store in 2004.