Why did we dine here? – Dumpling Home was featured in the SF Chronicle for Xiao Long Bao or Soup Dumplings making us really want to try it. We are big fans of these delicate little steamed dumplings and have eaten them all over the world including Shanghai. The two best spots have been Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara and Yank Sing, SF.
Why did we dine here? – Yauatcha is a fancy Chinese restaurant chain with several locations in London. They are the more inexpensive sister of Hakkasan. We came for dinner and found it packed, with a loud clubby atmosphere. There are locations in India and Saudi Arabia.
Why did we dine here? – Indian food is a MUST when visiting London. Dishoom is a popular local chain of Indian restaurants that combines reasonable prices and decent food. (8 locations and counting) Rated 4.5 on Yelp. We had to wait 45 minutes for a Table at 5pm Monday!
We visited London right before the Covid 19 Pandemic Hit. This restaurant may have changed their seating, menu, and more.
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.
Where does a San Francisco Foodie eat in the Singapore? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences.
Here is a compilation of more casual restaurants, snack places we visited during our 2019 Asia trip. Our goal was to find good eats at reasonable prices, primarily restaurants where locals go. We have no interest sampling cuisine that is done better at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is challenging on an expensive ‘island’, full of pricey tourist traps.
Old school dim sum charm. Zen Peninsula is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Millbrae. Millbrae is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the SF Bay area with spots like:
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!
Better soup dumplings than Din Tai Fung?
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.
Last Update: 5/14/2019
Where does a San Francisco Foodie eat in the Durham – Chapel Hill – Research Triangle, North Carolina? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences. We have family there and will return again.
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).
Newly Crowned Best Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco?
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? – Pho Ha Noi is a Vietnamese restuarant 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.
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.
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? – Balthazar is a classic French bistro in New York’s SOHO district. It has been packing them in for over 20 years. We have eaten here for breakfast in the past and decided to try their weekend brunch on our latest trip to the big Apple.
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.
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!
Why did we dine here? – Neptune Oyster is a popular seafood restaurant in Boston’s North End. There is a wait there everyday, and a super long one during holidays and weekends. We finally got up the courage to give it a try. We had a 2 hour wait on the weekend.
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.
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.
Angler is a more casual seafood – meat restaurant from Three Michelin Star Saison’s Joshua Skenes.
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.
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.
Top Chinese in SF. 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.
Best Buffet in Reno.
Why did we dine here? – Atlantis Buffet Toucan Charlie’s is one of the leading casino buffets in Reno. The place was remodeled about 2 years ago and upgraded. We were in town for a conference, so we decided to see how good this buffet was.
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.
Why did we dine here? – Honu Seafood & Pizza one of those waterfront restaurants that has a killer view of the sunset. Prices are no doubt inflated, but it was our last day in paradise, so we decided to splurge. Be sure to ask what is local.
Last Update: 10/28/2018
Why did we dine here? – Smoque BBQ is a highly rated BBQ restaurant in the Northern part of Chicago. We heard good things about it and decided to give it a try while on our trip to the Windy City. Many in Chicago are proud of their BBQ, so we wanted to see if it is a lot better than San Francisco’s. This restaurant is about 20 minutes from the Loop. They have a location in the Revival Food Hall in the Loop that serves a subset of this spot.
Why did we dine here? – GT Fish and Oyster is a seafood restaurant in Chicago’s River North area. We were looking for an informal spot on our Chicago trip and their menu looked good. Bib Gourmand rating on the Michelin Guide.