Best Vegan Bakeries – Erin McKennas, Insomnia CookiePosted on January 1, 2021
Vegan – Gluten Free Heaven
Vegan – Gluten Free Heaven
Be sure to check out the Zuni Cafe Book
Kokkari (Small fishing village on the islands of Samos in the Aegean Sea) is a long standing Greek restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District – Jackson Square area. Our last visit was over 6 years ago, so it was time for some refreshing of our memories.
The Kitchen is part of a restaurant group that owns Chinese Cantonese restaurants in California including Asian Pearl Peninsula. We have dined at many of them and find the food pretty very good. In recent years, they have slipped. New upstarts like HL Peninsula and Dragon Beaux has carried the torch forward.
Why did we dine here? – Pho Ha Noi is a Vietnamese restaurant located in an outdoor mall Vietnam Town Plaza in San Jose. The area is full of high quality Asian restaurants and shops. Their pho is some of the best in the SF Bay Area. This restaurant also has a location in Cupertino.
Love this unique spot!
4505 Burgers and BBQ is run by chef and artisan butcher Ryan Farr. Ryan formerly was executive chef at Fifth Floor. He teaches butcher classes and serves up food at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. We saw them at the Eat Real festival in Oakland and on other occasions the Ferry building. They create homemade relishes, multi-national ’Zilla sauce, and even bacon-dressed chocolate desserts. They have since setup on Divisadero in SF’s Nopa neighborhood.
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.
Solid Chinese Food in Millbrae.
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.
Redefining top notch dim sum and Chinese food near San Francisco.
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.
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!
NOPA is a “neighborhood based restaurant designed to attract and comfort those from all over the Bay Area.” They serve “simple, rustic food created with seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors.” The restaurant has redefined the north of panhandle (NOPA) area since 2006 and has been packing them in. We did not have reservations, so we can in early and put our name on the list, otherwise you can eat at the bar or communal table.
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)
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.
Trendy Plant Based Food in the City! Why did we dine here? – Wildseed’s motto is Work out, Veg Out. A trendy new 100% plant based vegan restaurant in the Union street shopping district from the Back of the House Group (a Mano, Lolinda, Delarosa, Beretta, Super Duper, etc).
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.
Why did we dine here? – Rasa is a One Michelin Star Indian restaurant in Burlingame, California, just south of the San Francisco airport. We have dined here many years ago, so it was time to try it again.
The owner also runs Saffron Indian Bistro in San Carlos, serving traditional North Indian food.
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.
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.
Santa Ramen has a new owner in 2020.
Santa Ramen is a very popular Japanese noodle Ramen restaurant in San Mateo. Mr. Kazunori Kobayashi sold this location in 2020 but continues to be the proprietor of nearby Ramen Dojo and Parlor. Located in a small shopping mall with a Diddams Ninja Japanese supermarket, Party Supply and JoAnn’s Fabric, the restaurant has achieved a legendary cult following and has long lines at both dinner and lunch times. We have eaten here many times with our last visit in 2020.
Why did we dine here? – Charter Oak was on our list of places to hit in the Napa Valley. We had a good experience at Meadowood, so why not try this spot. It made it onto the SF Chronicles Top 100 list in 2019, so we made sure we ate here soon.
Why did we dine here? – Noosh is highly anticipated Eastern Mediterranenan restaurant in San Francisco.
‘Noosh-e jaan’ is the phrase that means cheers / salud in Farsi. It can also mean the joy you derive from good company and good food. Eastern Mediterranean inspired and California made is their motto.
One of the Best Restaurants around! Why did we dine here? – SingleThread Farm is a 3 Michelin star restaurant, 90 minute North of San Francisco. We were celebrating an anniversary and have always wanted to dine here.
Solid Dim Sum in Fisherman’s Wharf of all places!- Why did we dine here? – Palette Tea House is from the team behind top rated Chinese restaurants: Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux. They took over Waxman’s location in Ghirardelli Square. We gave them a month and headed to tourist central to try this new dim sum palace.
Why did we dine here? – La Bodeguita Del Medio is a popular Cuban restaurant in Palo Alto. We have been meaning to dine here for dinner for quite a while. One of us recently visited Cuba, so we had a valid excuse to kindle some memories. The place is pretty busy, so you need to reserve in advance.
Why did we dine here? – Its hot hot hot! Al’s Place is a small 54 seat, one Michelin Star Restaurant from Aaron London (Ubuntu). We had previous dined at Ubuntu in Napa, so we were familiar with his cooking. He focuses on veggies but has several meat dishes on the menu for carnivores. Seating is definitely on the cramped side. The music is Very loud and features their special playlist. You can easily see what your neighbors are getting though!
SPQR is an Italian osteria, located in Pacific Heights, that serves wine and more casual food than their popular sister restaurant A16 in the Marina district. According to Wikipedia, “SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Senatus Populusque Romanus (“The Senate and the People of Rome” or “The Senate and Roman People”), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic”. Executive Chef, Matthew Accarrino, prepares “sophisticated, yet soulful, Italian cuisine using the best local ingredients, traditional and modern cooking techniques delivered in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.” Our last visit for take-out
Why did we dine here? – Gooyi Gooyi is an authentic Korean restaurant in Santa Clara’s Koreatown. We’ve found some of the best Korean joints down here plus our neighbor recommends this restaurant, so we had to give it a try. We got take out from them in 2020 during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Great Spanish Seafood. Why did we dine here? – Bellota (Acorn in Spanish), a new Spanish restaurant, is part of The Absinthe Group. This is a beautiful restaurant in the building that houses Air BnB. Be sure to visit the bathroom, you will see the impressive atrium. We have eaten both lunch and dinner here.
Why did we dine here? – B. Patisserie is a new bakery from Belinda Leong. She is a veteran of Gary Danko and Manresa. We couldn’t wait to give her place a try.
Elegant Vietnamese in Palo Alto.
Tamarine is a popular Vietnamese contemporary restaurant in downtown Palo Alto on busy University Avenue. They focus on small plates and serve food family style. Tamarine features light, but flavor-intensive culinary delicacies of Vietnam. This place is similar to Slanted Door or Xanh in Mountain View. We find the food pretty accessible with many items for mainstream palates. The owners family runs the more traditional Vietnamese restaurant Vung Tau in San Jose and a more casual spot Tam Tam in Palo Alto. Our last visit was in 2020.
Iyasare is a Japanese Restaurant in the posh Berkeley 4th Street corridor. We were passing by and decided to finally give it a try. Without reservations, we dined at the bar. Pacing was way off, but the food was fabulous. Definitely want to try more next time! We came back for lunch in Spring 2019 and found the food just as good.
Fab Chinese in SF.
Why did we dine here? – Dragon Beaux is a new restaurant from the folks who run our favorite Chinese restaurant, Koi Palace. This location is in the Outer Richmond district and focuses on Dim Sum during lunch and Hot Pot/Cantonese food at dinner. We came here when it first opened in 2015, and recently returned in the Spring of 2019.
Why did we dine here? – Birdsong is a nature and heritage inspired restaurant, that is currently focused on the Pacific Northwest region. Its located in AQ’s old spot. Dishes highlight key ingredients from this region; such as cold-water shellfish, wild game, berries and mushrooms. They serve prix fix menus that are not cheap.
Why did we dine here? – Niku Steakhouse is a high end Steakhouse focuses on high quality meats including expensive A5 Wagyu from Japan. They have a high end butcher shop next door.
Foster City is a suburb of San Francisco and not known for its food. Here are a couple worthy spots.
Angler is a more casual seafood – meat restaurant from Three Michelin Star Saison’s Joshua Skenes.
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.
Foodnut returns to Gary Danko!
Restaurant Gary Danko is one of the top restaurants in San Francisco, they serve contemporary American cuisine. Open in 1999 and located near Ghiradelli Square, it has been at the top of the Zagat Guide and Yelp for years.
Napoletana Pizzeria is a new Naples style pizzeria in Mountain View. This unlikely strip mall location (Next to Cost Plus World Market), houses a low key, authentic thin crust Neapolitan pizza place. We first learned about this place from a thread on Chowhound. As the waitress put it, these authentic pizzas cook for about 90 seconds in their 900° wood burning oven. Our last visit was Summer 2019.
Why did we dine here? – République is similar to Tartine in San Francisco, but they kick it up a notch. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went for breakfast. There was a short line on a Saturday at 9am, but by 10am, the line was way out the door. Beautiful restaurant full of beautiful people.
Why did we dine here? – Far better Pho than San Francisco! The SGV (San Gabriel Valley) is home to some fine Asian cuisine. We passed by Pho Filet on our last trip and ate there in 2018. Only 3.5 stars on Yelp, but way up there in our books.
Joy, aka 5 Joy Restaurant is a small restaurant in the Beach Park plaza strip mall bordering the San Francisco Bay in Foster City, just south of the Highway 92 San Mateo Bridge. A hidden gem in the middle of no where.
Why did we dine here? – Pine & Crane is a fast casual Taiwanese Chinese restaurant in the hip Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. It has 4.5 stars on Yelp with almost 2000 reviews. We had to see what all the hype was all about.
Why did we dine here? – Redbird is a trendy restaurant in downtown Los Angeles that was on our short list to try. This is Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant is a follow up to popular Grace and BLD. Historic
former rectory building of Vibiana – the cathedral-turned-event-venue.
Why did we dine here? – Ahgassi Gopchang is a sister restaurant to Korean BBQ favorite: Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong. (Which we also love) The restaurant’s name means Young Lady Small Intestines, hence the additions of several ‘parts’ on the menu. We stuck to the regular stuff.
Little Star Pizza is a popular pizza place with 2 locations in San Francisco and 1 in Albany. We visited the Divisadero location and ordered deep dish pizza. It took about 30 minutes to get our pizza. They have gone on to open several locations in the Bay Area.
Blue Line Pizza is their name for sister locations from Burlingame southwards. We have tried their Burlingame location in the Summer of 2020. The menu is very similar.
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