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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?



Recommended by: Grace Nguyen (Chef, Asian Box)

You’re never likely to have the same dining experience twice at Aq, where the restaurant’s menu and decor both change with the season.  The sophisticated dishes mirror the stylish interior, both evoking an air of innovative elegance. Make a Reservation.


Baker Street Bistro

Recommended by: Justine Ezarik (iJustine)

This neighborhood French bistro serves all the classics and offers a bargain prix fixe. Tightly packed and ever so charming, Baker Street Bistro is a cozy and convivial little place with patio seating for sunny days.


Bar Tartine

Recommended by: Kimberley Hasselbrink (The Year in Food), Richard Blais (Chef, Top Chef), Daphne Oz (Host, The Chew), Molly Sims (Model), Nate Appleman (Finalist, The Next Iron Chef), Jody Williams (Chef/Owner, Buvette)

The beloved Mission staple serves an eclectic Northern and Eastern European-based menu which includes inventive desserts and open-faced sandwiches on their legendary breads. The food can’t be categorized but is undeniably a hit – to the extent that food blogger Kimberley Hasselbrink says she’d go for “every dish at Bar Tartine” to make up her [...]

Blue Bottle James Roasting

Blue Bottle

Recommended by: Todd Selby (Owner, The Selby), Christene Barberich (Editor-in-Chief, Refinery29), Todd Snyder (Fashion Designer), Matt Bean (Editor, Entertainment Weekly), Jaime King (Actress), Amy Landecker (Actress), Yousef Ghalaini (Chef, FIG)

Blue Bottle is a coffee shop with a reverence for the bean, and a concept that’s expanded to a number of cafés, kiosks and wholesale partners. You’ll have to wait a bit for your cup, as each is carefully crafted, but that’s definitely part of the fun!


Boulettes Larder

Recommended by: Nate Appleman (Finalist, The Next Iron Chef)

At this Ferry Building gem, meals take place at a communal table of conversation. From French-pressed Blue Bottle coffee to perfect pastries and poached eggs, the spot is sure to start off your morning right. During evenings, the space becomes a posh private dining room for more intimate gatherings. With a focus on farmstead ingredients, [...]



Recommended by: Daniel Holzman (Co-Owner, The Meatball Shop)

Located in the historic Audiffred Building on the beautiful Embarcadero waterfront, this culinary classic has captured the hearts of San Franciscans. The French-influenced American menu comes to life with the space’s stunning Belle Epoque-style décor. Spot-on service, atmosphere, food, and views—Boulevard will provide any tourist or local with the perfect night out in the city.  [...]


Bourbon and Branch

Recommended by: Daniel Holzman (Co-Owner, The Meatball Shop)

Bourbon and Branch is a speak-easy that holds itself, and its history, to high standards. From the entrance password to the secret room to the “house rules,” the 1920s ambiance is authentic and bustling.  Turn off your cell phone and let the mixologists work their magic—they know what they’re doing.



Recommended by: Jody Williams (Chef/Owner, Buvette)

Chef Russell Moore is a veteran of Chez Panisse, and it shows. His restaurant centers around farm-to-table, seasonal, California cuisine. However, he makes the cuisine his own by cooking everything over open fire. The menu isn’t large, with only three entree choices every night, but everything is seasonal, inventive, and delicious. Make a Reservation.


Chez Panisse

Recommended by: Jody Williams (Chef/Owner, Buvette)

Located in Berkeley, this organic, locavore heaven literally started it all when it comes to the inspiration behind California cuisine. Alice Waters founded Chez Panisse over forty years ago, creating relationships with local farmers and dairies, in an attempt to bring a more seasonal, local approach to cooking. Waters clearly succeeded, with Chez Panisse continually [...]


Chloe’s Cafe

Recommended by: J.J. Totah (Actor)

Right before they opened Chloe’s, the owners of this cafe were catering for the movie “Dirty Dancing.” The shift in venues has proven to be success, as the line for breakfast is always out the door and they have developed a reputation for the outstanding banana walnut pancakes. A brunch-lover’s dream for savory or sweet, [...]



Recommended by: Nate Appleman (Finalist, The Next Iron Chef)

Commis is a culinary work of art with an ever-changing nightly course menu. Known for preparing and presenting each dish to perfection, this modern Oakland masterpiece is made for a nice night out with friends looking for a new experience. Make a Reservation.


Recommended by: Jeannie Mai (TV Personality), Karen Fairchild (Musician)

Some claim Vietnamese fusion restaurant Crustacean to be home to the best crab and garlic noodles in the city. A giant, vividly colored mural transports diners to an undersea wonderland, where they can enjoy dungeness crab prepared three ways: roasted, sweet-and-sour, or drunken (poached in wine and scallions).  Make a Reservation.



Recommended by: Christophe Hille (Director of Operations, Northern Spy Food Co.), Michael Chiarello (Chef/Owner, Bottega), Daniel Holzman (Co-Owner, The Meatball Shop), Nate Appleman (Finalist, The Next Iron Chef), Yousef Ghalaini (Chef, FIG)

The Cal-Ital favorite that never goes out of style, Delfina channels the culinary traditions of Northern Italy in an unimposing atmosphere. The family-owned restaurant has mastered simple pastas as well as boasting other superb entrées which set the bar for SF dining.