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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A16

Recommended by: Christophe Hille (Northern Spy Food Co.)

Named for the highway that runs through Southern Italy, A16 brings the Campania region’s hearty cuisine to the Marina. Paired with their rustic collection of Italian wines, A16′s pizzas, pastas, and other lively creations showcase the very best of the Boot. Make a Reservation. www.a16sf.com

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AQ

Recommended by: Grace Nguyen (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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Coi

 Recommended by: Gayle Pirie (Foreign Cinema)

Chef Daniel Patterson shows off his affinity for Californian-French fare with his nightly tasting menus at Coi. Emphasizing the local and modern, the minimalist philosophy of the restaurant highlights the purity of dining experience. www.coirestaurant.com

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Cotogna

Recommended by: Grace Nguyen (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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Frances

Recommended by: Christophe Hille (Northern Spy Food Co.)

This neighborhood restaurant keeps it urban and casual with farm-to-table Californian in a warm setting. At Frances, Chef Melissa Perello turns out a nightly-changing menu of carefully crafted, seasonally-driven dishes that hits all the right notes. Make a Reservation. www.frances-sf.com

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Gary Danko

 Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto)

You’re in good hands amidst the elegance of the understated dining room at Gary Danko’s namesake restaurant.  His guests choose from three, four or five New American prix-fixe menu courses and spend hours indulging in the royal treatment at this classic venue. www.garydanko.com

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Incanto

Recommended by: Richard Blais (Top Chef), Aaron Sanchez (Chopped)

Old World meets modern Italian at Incanto, where they are committed to a Californian take on rustic Italian cooking.  As such, the ingredients are local and sustainable and, of course, the wine is plentiful.  Aaron Sanchez of Chopped dubs it “one of the best restaurants in the country”. www.incanto.biz

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Kokkari

Recommended by: Jennifer Fisher (Jewelry Designer)

For elevated Greek cooking, Kokkari’s beautiful interior provides a convivial atmosphere with an open fireplace and elegantly rustic furnishings. The taverna has old-world European feel and serves Greek classics fit for the gods. www.kokkari.com

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Le Central

Recommended by: Tony Abou-Ghanim (Mixologist)

No occasion necessary to indulge in the French bistro fare that this authentic brasserie has perfected after nearly four decades in business. Le Central’s guests of rave about the cassoulet, but mixologist Tony Abou-Ghanim says he’d go for their escargot and Chicken Pommes Frites on his ideal food day. Make a Reservation. www.lecentralbistro.com

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Little Star Pizza

Recommended by: Justine Ezarik (iJustine)

From deep dish to thin crust, Little Star elevates pizza to new heights. Their winning corn-meal crust goes great with their garlic bread, caprese salad or chicken wings – to be enjoyed while jamming to tunes on the jukebox at this lovable little pizza joint. www.littlestarpizza.com

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Marlowe

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto)

Marlowe is an upbeat favorite that classes up to Cal-American casual cooking.  It’s made a name for itself with the burger, but the menu continues to impress with their various chicken offerings and other surprises like brussel sprout chips. Make a Reservation. www.marlowesf.com

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Perbacco

 Recommended by: Chris Cosentino (Top Chef Masters)

Perbacco provides a fresh San Franciscan spin on Northern Italian dishes from the Piemonte region.  In a sleek, urban space, the ristorante makes some of the city’s best pastas, celebrating the essence of the food and wine culture of Italy. Make a Reservation. www.perbaccosf.com

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Pizzaiolo

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto)

Swarmed nightly with pizza-lovers from all over the Bay Area, Pizzaiolo in Oakland is home to a fabled brick oven dishing out simple, fresh thin-crust pizzas that are worth the wait.  The backyard seating is prime on warm summer nights, and we hear you can’t let the pizza pies upstage the buttermilk fried chicken. www.pizzaiolooakland.com