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Foodie Must

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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Santa Ramen Review, San Mateo

Santa Ramen has a new owner in 2020.

Santa Ramen Review, San Mateo

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.

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Koi Palace Dim Sum Daly City Review

Koi Palace Daly City interior decor

Koi Palace has been the #1 Chinese Dim Sum restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Peninsula is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Around 2018, new upcomers with opulent interiors and modern menu have challenged them.

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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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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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Zachary’s Chicago Pizza, Oakland – Berkeley

Zacharys Pizza Oakland 2

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza is a popular pizza restaurant in the San Francisco East Bay that serves Chicago style pizza. They have been packing them in for over thirty years. They serve select individual slices (Sausage, Pepperoni, Vegetarian) and whole pizzas, both thin and stuffed (thick) crust. The thick crust has filling between the layers. They also have half-baked pies and gluten free pies for sale. Our last visit was in Fall 2018.

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San Tung Restaurant, San Francisco

San Tung San Francisco Exterior Decor

San Tung and San Tung #2 are a popular Chinese restaurant in the inner Sunset of San Francisco. They serve northern Chinese food that has some Korean influence, as the San Tung region of China is near Korea, hence the free Kim Chee. We have eaten here many, many times, back to when it was located west of here. Our latest visit occurred at the end of Summer 2017 to San Tung #2, when we noticed prices up a bit.

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Beijing Restaurant, San Francisco

Beijing Restaurant San Francisco Exterior

Beijing Restaurant San Francisco is a Beijing style Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s Excelsior district that opened in early 2009. Located a couple blocks off Highway 280 near City College, this place has gotten lots of hype on Chowhound. It is a family owned place that focuses on authentic Beijing dishes. Basketball player Yao Ming had been here 2 days earlier to one of our visits. We dined here last in 2016 when we learned they have added a location in the South Bay.

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Espetus Churrascaria Restaurant Review

Espetus Churrascaria Exterior

Espetus Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse serving Rodizio style food. They focus on meats straight from the fire brought to your table, continuously through the meal! You can stop the meat parade by flipping the table card to red. They have a salad and hot plate bar with lots of different options including asparagus, bean salad, eggplant, rice, beans, cod, and much more. Do not eat too much of this stuff otherwise you wonder have room for all the meat. Vegetarians should stay away.
Espetus Churrascaria has locations in San Francisco and San Mateo. We tried the brand new San Mateo location for dinner. It is all you can eat, with lunch going for $25.95 with 7 meat options, $37.95 on weekends. Dinner is $54.95 with 14 meat options. Kids are 50% off. Our last visit was in the Summer of 2014.

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Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Navio Sunday Brunch Restaurant Review, Half Moon Bay

Best Buffet in the SF Bay Area!

Navio Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Sunday Brunch Buffet Exterior decor

Best buffet in San Francisco Bay Area? The Navio restaurant is located inside the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. It serves one of the best Sunday Brunches in the San Francisco vicinity. They have everything from traditional breakfast items, Sushi, caviar!, fresh seafood, prime rib, Dim Sum, cheese, Pastries, and Desserts. The location on the coast is perfect, you get beautiful views of the coast and golf course.

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Chez Panisse Cafe Review, Berkeley

Chez Panisse Cafe Berkeley Exterior Decor

Chez Panisse Cafe is the lower cost, more casual, a la carte menu restaurant upstairs from famous Chez Panisse. We dined at the main restaurant Chez Panisse previously. Alice Waters started a food revolution here, way back in 1971. She strives to serve only the highest quality products, and only when they are in season. All produce, meat, poultry, and fish come from farms, ranches, and fisheries guided by principles of sustainability. This restaurant has produced many famous chefs that have gone on to start their own restaurants. Our last visit was in February 2014.

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A16 Restaurant Review, San Francisco

A16 San Francisco Exterior Decor

Opened in 2004, A16 has since been present on many top Italian restaurant lists. It is a very popular restaurant in the Marina district, with prime time reservations needing to be booked a week or two in advance. This restaurant is serious about wine and pairing. Our last visit was in the summer of 2012.

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Gialina Pizzeria San Francisco Restaurant Review

Gialina San Francisco Exterior Decor

Gialina Pizzeria is a small pizzeria named after the chef-owner’s grandmother. It is opened in January 2007 and is located in San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood right near BART. Chef Sharon Ardiana has help positions at well respected places including Lime, Dine, Garibaldis, Slow Club, and Boulevard. Her next restaurant, Ragazza in the Metro Kathmandu space on Divisadero, is their sister restaurant.

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Rosamunde Sausage Grill Review, San Francisco

Rosamunde Sausage Grill San Francisco Exterior decor

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.

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Cheeseboard Pizza Collective Review, Berkeley

Cheeseboard Berkeley exterior decor

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.

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The Original Falafel’s Drive-In Restaurant Review, San Jose

The Original Falafels Drive In San Jose exterior decor

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.

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Josephine Chez Dumonet Restaurant Review, Paris, France

Josephine Chez Dumonet Paris France Exterior Decor

Josephine Chez Dumonet is a popular old school Bistro in the 6th Arrondissement, St. Germain, not far from the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was open in 1898 and is run by 3rd generation Jean-Christian Dumonet. We came to this restaurant to feel what Paris felt like in the old days. They serve half portions so you can sample lots of cuisine. They are known for excellent boeuf bourguignon, steak tartare, and roasted saddle of lamb.

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Restaurant Guy Savoy Restaurant Review, Paris, France

Guy Savoy Paris France Exterior Decor

Restaurant Guy Savoy (Pronounced G Savoy) is a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris named after the chef owner, who often greets visitors. The Arc de Triomphe is just a couple blocks from here. It was opened back in 1980 and earned 3 stars for the first time in 2002. Guy Savoy has a location in Caesar’s Las Vegas as well as less formal restaurants in Paris. His motto, “Cuisine is the art of instantaneously turning produce suffused with history into happiness.”  We had eaten at Guy Savoy Las Vegas and were hesitant to eat here, but one step in the door, eased our fears.

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Pain de Sucre Review, Paris, France

Pain de sucre Paris France Patisserie Exterior Decor

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.

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La Réserve de Nice Restaurant Review, Nice, France

La Reserve Nice France Exterior Decor

La Réserve de Nice is situated on huge rock overlooking the harbor entrance to Nice, France. It has beautiful panoramic views of the water. It earned one Michelin star in 2009. Their menu changes daily with best values in their prix fix menus. We order one of each prix fix menu plus a Bouillabaisse. They have an upstairs dining room that was closed.

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Hakkasan Restaurant Review, London, UK

Hakkasan London UK Exterior Decor

Hakkasan is a Trendy, Modern Chinese restaurant by famed London restauranteur Alan Yau. (Cha Cha Moon, Yauatcha) He also co-founded Wagamama. It was opened in 2001 and was sold in 2008 to the Abu Dhabi investment arm. Hakkasan also has locations in Istanbul and Miami Beach. This location is about two blocks from the British Museum, making it a great choice for Lunch. Mr Yau’s goal was to create a Chinese Nobu with almost paradoxical Modern Authenticity. Sounds almost like Asian Fusion. 13% service charge. Hakkasan received one Michelin star in 2009.

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Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant Review, Beijing, China

Chinese Name: 官府菜

Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant Beijing China Exterior

Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant is situated in the Wangfujing area, a busy downtown district, a block away from a popular shopping street and the Dong Huamen Specialty Food Market. It is situated in the basement of the Taiwan Hotel. This restaurant specializes in the cuisine eaten by royalty, Imperial Chinese Cuisine.

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Jardin de Jade – Jade Garden – Su Zhe Hui Restaurant Review, Beijing, Shanghai, China

Jade Garden Beijing China Exterior

Jardin de Jade or Jade Garden Restaurant (Chinese Name: 苏浙汇 – Su Zhe Hui) serves Shanghai cuisine and has locations in Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, and Beijing. They are part of King Mang Jade Garden Group’s high-end restaurant brand and launched in 1999. In the Summer of 2009, we visited the Beijing location for lunch, which was located in the Raycom Info Tech Park that is home to many technology companies. In the Summer of 2010, we had dinner at a Shanghai location near People’s Square, which was located above a Porsche dealership.

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Dopo Restaurant Review, Oakland

Dopo Oakland Exterior

Dopo is a small Italian neighborhood restaurant in Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue shopping district. The chefs used to work at Oliveto. It is located almost across the street from Fenton’s and opened in 2004. They recently opened a sister restaurant Adesso a block away. They do not take reservation unless you have a party of 5+, so wait times can be long. We went at 5:45pm and just barely got a table. We saw them offer wine to some people waiting.

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