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California

Greens Restaurant, San Francisco

Greens Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Greens Restaurant has been serving vegetarian fare since 1979. Their Marin based Green Gulch Farm provides much of the produce. Greens was a pioneer in the early days, nowadays we have many more plant centric restaurants like Wildseed, Baia, Shizen, etc. Today almost every fancy restaurant accommodates vegetarians to some degree. The menu changes all the time.

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Sorella, San Francisco

Sorella, San Francisco

Sorella is an anxiously awaited casual sister restaurant to Michelin starred Acquerello. In fact it means sister in Italian! It is located where 1760 once was. Having this pedigree, we quickly added it to our must visit list. We’ve dined here twice, the last time at the end of 2022.

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4505 Burgers and BBQ, San Francisco

4505 Meats Food Stand Review, San Francisco

4505 Burgers and BBQ is run by chef and artisan butcher Ryan Farr. Ryan formerly was executive chef at Fifth Floor. They used to have a stand at the Ferry building but have since setup on Divisadero in SF’s Nopa neighborhood.  4505 has a thriving business in meat snacks and fried pork rinds.

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A Mano, San Francisco

A Mano, San Francisco

Why Here? A Mano or by hand in Italian, is a California Italian restaurant from Adriano Paganini’s group that runs many local restaurants including Super Duper, Delarosa, and Belga. A nice neighborhood joint in the trendy Hayes Valley area. We are big fans of pasta and pizza, so we had to give it a try.

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San Ho Won, San Francisco

San Ho Won, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – San Ho Won is a super popular Korean Restaurant which opened in the fall of 2021 and is a collaboration between Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang. They use tock for their reservation system, in which you have a pre-pay
a $25/person deposit. It was very hard getting a reservation here.

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Sultana, Menlo Park

Sultana, Menlo Park

Why did we dine here? – Sultana is a long established Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Menlo Park. This is a nicer place with a outdoor patio in the back, perfect during the Pandemic. This spot is definitely a step above all the casual Mediterranean restaurants you find around. (We like Hummus Mediterranean in San Mateo) A friend recommended it, so we decided to give it a go.

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I-Shanghai Delight, San Ramon

I-Shanghai Delight, San Ramon

Why did we dine here? – We love dumplings and this one WOW’d us! I-Shanghai Delight is a Shanghainese Chinese restaurant in San Ramon. They also have locations in Fremont and Sacramento. We were dining here with friends who highly recommended this Chinese restaurant. Note: Only 3.5 stars on Yelp probably due to bad service.

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Che Fico, San Francisco

Chez Fico, San Francisco

Hot Spot in the City. Why did we dine here? – Che Fico (Kay-Feeco) means what a fig – is a new Jewish Italian restaurant in San Francisco that has garnered a lot of hype. There is a long line queuing up for unreserved tables everyday. It has fallen to 3.5 Yelp stars, but we still wanted to try it out. Prices have appreciated significantly during the pandemic.

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Flour + water Restaurant Review, San Francisco

flour + water Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Flour + Water is a wildly popular Italian restaurant in the Mission district of San Francisco. They focus on hand rolled pastas, house cured meats, and an Italian pizza oven. The chef, Thomas McNaughton is a veteran of La Folie, Gary Danko, Quince. They take reservations on rezy and reserve space for walk ins (Communal table), causing a line to form 20 min. before the place even opens.  Yelp rating has faded to 3.5 stars.

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Best Pho in San Francisco

Last Update: November 2019

We are big fans of Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup. Slowly but surely, we have eaten at many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s best Pho restaurants. Here’s our constantly evolving list of the top 10 in search of the Best Pho San Francisco and beyond. Please leave comments with suggestions for other places we should try.

  • Hit List: More San Jose Pho Places – Do you have favorites we should try?

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Village Pub Review, Woodside

Village Pub Review, Woodside

Village Pub is a fine dining establishment in the small town of Woodside. We have passed by many times, on our way back from hiking or biking, and felt it was time to try it. They have received One Michelin star starting from 2009. They use lots of seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. They have a sister restaurant Spruce, in San Francisco.

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Estiatorio Ornos, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Estiatorio Ornos is Michael Minas Flagship restaurant’s latest reboot, this time to Greek cuisine. The decor is more warm and modern, with contrasting whites and oranges, and a lot less fine dining edge. There was definitely a buzz in the year, after two months of opening, the audience was well dressed and ready for some revenge dining.

How does this new eatery stack up to long time long time stall worth Kokkari?

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Limon Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Limon is a Peruvian restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission district serving Nuveo Latin Fusion. It has grown to 6 locations now. Our last visit was in summer 2023.

Martin Castillo opened Limon with Emmanuel Piqueras from three Michelin star Arzak restaurant in Spain.

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Ernest, San Francisco

Ernest, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Ernest is a hot restaurant in the Potrero Hill area not far from KQED. We had to set multiple alerts on Resy to get a reservation. They have outdoor seating in their courtyard, complete with heat lamps. We dine here twice, once inside and once outside.

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BAIA, San Francisco

BAIA, San Francisco

BAIA is a vegan restaurant in the old Jardinière space of San Francisco’s Hayes Valley Neighborhood. Any SF Foodie remembers this classic location. This restaurant opened in the middle of the Pandemic, talk about great timing!
We ate during the Pandemic, when outdoor dining was allowed. We returned in early 2023 and found the place was a hard to book reservation and slightly less fantastic.

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Square Pie Guys, San Francisco

Greasy, Cheesy and satisfying! Square Pie Guys serves great Detroit Style Pizza. “A crispy, crackly caramelized cheese crust that comes from baking in rectangular blue steel pans originally used to ferry auto parts around Detroit automotive factories.” We’ve seen a lot written about them, so we finally gave it a try. Definitely have been back too. Great stuff. No dine in or outdoor dining, all take out.

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Nari, San Francisco

Nari, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Nari (Women in Thai) is a contemporary Thai restaurant from the folks at Kin Khao. (Means “to eat” or “let’s eat” in Thai.) It is run by the famous food blogger of Chez Pim – Pim Techamuanvivit, girlfriend of Manresa’s chef David Kinch.

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Terzo, San Francisco

Terzo, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Terzo Is a Mediterranean restaurant in San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood. They been around for over 15 years, we haven’t been there in a while, so we visited it and dined outside during the pandemic. Easy availability spot on Opentable was the main reason we came! Nothing hot about this spot. The restaurant appears to cater to the neighborhood crowd, which mirrors the diners.

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State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Did you know the California state bird is a quail?

State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – State Bird Provisions has generated lots of positive buzz from reviewers to fellow food bloggers, with its excellent food and unique dim sum cart like serving system. 4.5 stars on Yelp, One Michelin star starting in 2014, James Beard award winning, you get it.  Their sister restaurant next door is also fabulous, The Progress.

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Dough Zone, San Mateo

The Pandemic has brought Soup Dumpling or Xiao Long Bao quality to new heights!

Dough Zone, San Mateo

Why did we dine here? – Dough Zone dumpling house is a regional small chain of restaurants that started in the Seattle area (2014) and has now expanded into Northern California, at Cupertino and San Mateo. They specialize in dumplings and have a menu that is very similar to that of popular Din Tai Fung.

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Hong Kong Flower Lounge, Millbrae Dim Sum Review

They closed 12/31/2022. RIP.

Hong Kong Flower Lounge – Mayflower Dim Sum Restaurant Review

Hong Kong Flower Lounge is synonymous with Chinese food on the SF Peninsula. They are part of the Mayflower restaurant group that has 2 Chinese Cantonese restaurants locations in the San Francisco Bay area; Millbrae  and Milpitas. Several others have closed. We have eaten at their location in Millbrae many times.

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Godfather’s Burger Lounge Review, Belmont

Godfather’s Burger Lounge Review, Belmont

Godfather’s Burger Lounge opened in Belmont, December 2009 right on busy El Camino Real just south of the Ralston Ave. They focus on ½lb. fresh, all-natural “Certified Angus Beef” humanely raised burgers. No added hormones or antibiotics in their meat. Our last visit was in during the pandemic in July 2021, after indoor dining reopened. They still do take out and have some seats outside.

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Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is a popular San Francisco North Beach restaurant from Tony Gemignani, 9 time Champion Pizza Tosser, certified pizziaolo. It first opened in 2009. He also runs a the International School of Pizza next door. He is well qualified to make a great authentic pizza! Also part of his empire, the “to go” oriented Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House next door, Slice house at Oracle Park, and Italian Restaurant Capo.

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Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant is a Chinese Mandarin cuisine restaurant located in the foggy Outer Sunset District of San Francisco. They have been serving up pretty authentic Mandarin dishes for many years. Old Mandarin is an Islamic restaurant that does not serve pork and sticks to Halal certified meats.
Our last visit was about seven years ago, so we were eager to rekindle our fond memories during the summer of 2021 during the Pandemic for Take out.

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Buckeye Roadhouse Review, Mill Valley

Buckeye Roadhouse Mill Valley exterior decor

Buckeye Roadhouse has been serving up American comfort food In Mill Valley since 1937. Robert Price (Rumpus, The Capital Hotel in London) is currently the chef. This restaurant is located right on the side of 101 and is quite popular. Our last meal was in the Spring of 2020 after they reopened the patio.

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Asian Pearl Peninsula Restaurant, Millbrae – Dinner

Solid Chinese Food in Millbrae.

Asian Pearl Millbrae Exterior Decor

Asian Pearl Peninsula in Millbrae was at one time, part of the same Culinary Wonderland group that owned the highly rated The Kitchen in Millbrae, hence the same menu. We’ve been to this location a couple times and have found it to offer very good Cantonese Chinese cuisine, in fact some of the better ones the San Francisco Bay Area.  In recent years, upstarts HL Peninsula, Grand Harbour, and Dragon Beaux have stole its thunder.

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Grand Harbor, Burlingame

Redefining top notch dim sum and Chinese food near San Francisco.

Grand Harbor Burlingame Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Grand Harbor is a Chinese restaurant in Burlingame, California, located right by the San Francisco Bay. (Next door to Benihana) It has a grand view of the Bay and the San Francisco Airport to the north. Leisurely watch planes landing all meal long. Our Last visit was in the Summer of 2019.

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Barzotto, San Francisco

Barzotto San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Cheap Awesome Pasta! Barzotto is a casual pasta focused restaurant in the San Francisco Mission District. Our son dined there and recommended it, so we had to check it out. Best part of this spot is there is no need to reserve in advance.  Arizmendi Bakery is next door!

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Izakaya Mai Restaurant Review, San Mateo

Izakaya Mai Restaurant Review, San Mateo

Izakaya Mai is a Japanese Izakaya or Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food. They are more small plate oriented restaurants. This restaurant has an extensive drink menu. They’ve been here for years. Several similar restaurants have opened over the years, but this still packs them in.. (Izakaya Ginji, Kokko)

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Protege, Palo Alto

Protege Palo Alto Exterior decor

Best Restaurant on the SF Peninsula!
Why did we dine here? – Protege Palo Alto is a New American restaurant from French Laundry Alum Chef Anthony Secviar and Alum Dennis Kelly, Wine Master. This anxiously awaited restaurant was sure to amp up the fairly mundane local dining scene on the Peninsula. They received one Michelin Star in 2019. Our last visit was in the summer of 2020 after they reopened the patio.

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Bistro Na’s, Tample City

Bistro Na Temple City exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Bistro Na’s is the first Michelin Starred Chinese restaurant in the Los Angeles area. It is located in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV), about 20 minutes from Downtown LA. This spot is the first outpost of a chain with several locations in China. This is a beautiful restaurant, definitely worth dining at.

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Otium, Los Angeles

Otium Los Angeles Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Otium is a modern American restaurant in downtown LA, right next to The Broad museum (Free admission! reserve online) We finish up at the museum and came to Otium for weekend brunch.

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Sorrel, San Francisco

Sorrel San Francisco outside exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Sorrel occupies the space that once housed Nico. Alexader Hong (Quince, Jean Georges) started doing popups in 2015 and moved to this spot in 2018. James Beard Rising Star Finalist. They received One Michelin Star in 2019.

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