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San Francisco Restaurants

San Francisco Restaurants

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. Take out is always an option.

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Alexander’s Steakhouse, Cupertino

Alexander’s Steakhouse, Cupertino

Alexander’s Steakhouse is a high end steak restaurant located in an outdoor mall, situated in Cupertino, just off highway 280. They moved in 2016 to this new outdoor mall.  Parking is surprisingly difficult! It was recently featured on Check Please and feature 28-day aged prime steaks. They opened a San Francisco outpost in Bacar’s former digs, in mid September 2010. We hadn’t been there in many years, so it was time for a revisit.

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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. 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.

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Shizen, San Francisco

Plant based cuisine satisfying even Carnivores.

Shizen, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya has remarkable 4.5 stars on Yelp. With the plant based revolution booming, we just had to try this spot.

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Barzotto, San Francisco

Barzotto, San Francisco

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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NOPA Restaurant Review, San Francisco

NOPA Restaurant Review, San Francisco

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.

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Wildseed, San Francisco

Wildseed, San Francisco

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).

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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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Noosh, San Francisco

Noosh San Francisco exterior decor

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.

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Harborview Restaurant, San Francisco

Harborview, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Harborview Restaurant is located in 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco. It takes the place of Crystal Jade, which spend $14 remodeling the space. This restaurant is run the founder of by the well established R & G Lounge Kinson Wong. Weekend and evening parking validation available. Last visit Spring 2020.

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Al’s Place, San Francisco

Als Place San Francisco exterior decor

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!

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SPQR Restaurant Review, San Francisco

SPQR Restaurant Review, San Francisco

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

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Bellota, San Francisco

Bellota San Francisco exterior decor

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.

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Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

Tonys Pizza Napoletana San Francisco exterior decor

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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Dragon Beaux, San Francisco

Fab Chinese in SF.

Dragon Beaux San Francisco Exterior decor

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.

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Che Fico, San Francisco

Chez Fico San Francisco Exterior decor

Great Eats 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. On our last visit in Winter 2019, there were still lines before it opened!

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birdsong, San Francisco Review

Birdsong San Francisco Exterior decor

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.

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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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Little Star Pizza – Blue Line Pizza, San Francisco

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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Delfina Review, San Francisco

Delfina San Francisco Exterior Decor

Since 1998, Delfina, a bustling neighborhood Italian trattoria has been packing them in. The menu changes daily and they use organic produce and sustain-ably raised meats and fish whenever possible. It is a popular place that requires advanced booking for a reservation or showing up at 530pm for a table at the counter or bar. Our last visit was in the summer of 2019 where we found it as busy as ever.

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Begoni Bistro, San Francisco

Begoni Bistro San Francisco Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Begoni Bistro is a modern, good looking Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It is not old and dingy like some of its neighbors. We were tipped off about this spot a while ago and finally got a chance in 2018.

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Lazy Bear, San Francisco

Lazy Bear San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Lazy Bear bills itself as “A modern American dinner Party”. Since 2014 they have been hosting 2 seating of a single prix fixe Tasting Menu served to guests on a long communal table. They started as an underground pop-up, gained traction, scored one Michelin star and have established themselves as more than a gimmick.

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Chapeau!, San Francisco

Chapeau San Francisco Exterior Decor

One of our favorite San Francisco restaurants.. Chapeau! is a French Bistro located in the San Francisco Richmond district in the middle of the Clement Street shopping district. At one time, they had two locations, but later wisely consolidated into this one location. Chapeau! SF opened in 1996 and means hat or wow in French.

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Californios, San Francisco

Californios San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Californios is a Two Michelin Star (in 2017) Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, the highest rating of its type in the US. We were intrigued and hesitated to come here, but finally succumbed to all the positive accolades and were glad we did. ($177 for Mexican food?!) Chef Val M. Cantu crafts cuisine of the highest regard, having moved up from a popup years ago. Open the really heavy door and you will enter this fairly small restuarant. It almost seems like it should be twice the size, and a little less dark – hard edged.

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Montesacro Pinseria-Enoteca, San Francisco

Montesacro Pinseria San Francisco Exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Montesacro is a hidden Italian gem, located in an alley right off a hardcore scary block of 6th Street in downtown San Francisco. The name comes from a neighborhood in Roma. We were tipped off about this place from a friend. Gianluca Legrottaglie, who runs nearby 54 Mint, opened this stylish restaurant, that transports you back to Rome, in 2015.

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Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco – Burlingame

Delicious Italian around the Bay. Pizzeria Delfina is the lower cost more casual eatery next to top rated Delfina. They do not take reservations and focus on ‘Neapolitan inspired’, thin crust pizzas and Antipasti. Delfina does not serve pizza. They use local, seasonal ingredients and have a lots of wines by the glass.  There are 2 location in San Francisco – Mission and Pacific Heights. In 2018 we dined several times at the Burlingame location.

Pizzeria Delfina San Francisco Interior

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Perbacco, San Francisco

Perbacco San Francisco exterior decor

One of our favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco. Perbacco is a popular Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s financial district that opened in 2006. We had been to their sister restaurant next door Barbacco recently, and felt it was high time that we came back to Perbacco. Chef Staffan Terje focuses on Piemontese, Ligurian, and Venetian regional Italian dishes. “Perbacco” translated is an Italian word to accentuate positive comments. Our last visit was at the end of 2018.

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Mission Chinese, San Francisco

Mission Hipster heaven. Modern Fusion Chinese.

Mission Chinese Food San Francisco exterior decor

Mission Chinese Food is a restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District that used to be a popup in the Lung Shan restaurant. Mission Chinese Food has basically taken over the place with its success!

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Chez Maman, San Francisco

Chez Maman San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Quaint French Bistro with very good food. Chez Mama is a French Bistro with 2 locations in San Francisco, Potrero Hill and Hayes Valley. We have dined at both restaurants. The downside of this restaurant is the wait. They do not take reservations, so put your name down and chill.

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mourad, San Francisco

mourad San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – mourad is a One Michelin star restaurant from Mourad Lahlou and Aziza. Their description is:
“Mourad is a modern interpretation of a cuisine deeply rooted in the past. Our food pays homage to those roots, showcasing the rich and vibrant flavors of Morocco in new ways that harmonize with the fresh, local, artisanal ingredients, and the spirit of innovation of Northern California.”

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China Live, San Francisco

China Live San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – China Live is a $20 million Chinese food extravaganza from Chef George Chen and crew. (Shanghai 1930, Betelnut, etc) Very ambitious, this complex seeks to help put Chinatown back on the map along with Mister Jiu. Billed as an Eataly of Chinese Food, we were chomping at the bit to try it, but waited 3 weeks for things to settle down. The food was still marginal at that point. We returned about 2 months after it opened and found things a lot better. They focus on high quality ingredients: organic, local, etc…

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Best Shanghai Steamed Soup Dumplings or Xiao Long Bao in San Francisco

Last Update: July 2017

We love Xiao Long Bao (XLB) aka Shanghai Steamed Soup Dumplings and have eaten all over the world seeking the best. Are you a Xiao Long Bao addict too? Read on.

One tip: If you are looking for good XLB, do not order them from a Cantonese Chinese restaurant. You are almost always guaranteed disappointing results even at the Best Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco: Koi Palace.  Order these little balls of wonder from a Shanghainese Chinese restaurant.

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