The New Potato

City Guides

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?

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AQ

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. www.aq-sf.com

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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. www.bakerstreetbistro.com

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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)

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 [...]

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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, [...]

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Boulevard

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.  [...]

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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. www.bourbonandbranch.com

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Commis

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. www.commisrestaurant.com

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Cotogna

Recommended by: Grace Nguyen (Chef, Asian Box)

This lively restaurant serves classic dishes in a warm, rustic space. At Cotogna, the chef of the neighboring Quince introduces a more wallet-friendly menu of house-made pastas and wood-fired pizzas that raise the bar for Italian eateries. Make a Reservation. www.cotognasf.com

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Delfina

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)

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. www.delfinasf.com

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Foreign Cinema

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

You haven’t fully experienced the historically hip vibe of the Mission until you’ve been to Foreign Cinema. The California/Mediterranean-inspired menu and mod, open space are only made better by a covered courtyard, where guests can enjoy foreign and independent film screenings during their meal. The restaurant has perfected the city’s laid-back, innovative approach to food. [...]

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Gitane

Recommended by: Molly Sims (Model)

Low lighting and a richly decorated dining area give this Iberian-inspired restaurant a romantic, seductive ambiance.  The lively, ground floor bar is perfect for sampling some of the unique cocktails and inventive small plates. The quieter, upstairs dining room offers more plates with heft, featuring an expansive a la carte and testing menu. www.gitanerestaurant.com

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Grubstake

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

Grubstake is a must for anyone looking to keep a good night going. The San Fran staple is cozy and old-school, featuring a converted train car turned bar that comes alive after-hours. While most late-night guests won’t remember their meal the next morning, they are sure to return for some of the not-so-typical Portuguese diner [...]

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Hopscotch

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

Located in uptown Oakland, this small space is both a cozy, neighborhood gem and a sophisticated culinary escapade. The so-called “upscale diner” serves food with a Japanese flare—from the beef-tongue topped First Base Burger to the “salt and pepper Monterey squid”—and even boasts an elegant cocktail menu, featuring both a “classic gin fizz” and an [...]

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