Monday, July 25, 2011

Eating out in SF

Today I was asked by my good friend and neighbor for restaurant recommendations in San Francisco.  I had to share our exchange.  San Francisco is one of my top 3 cities.  I lived there for almost 11 years and they were the best!  If you're looking for some fun places to eat, here is what I'd suggest (mind you, things change quickly in the restaurant world in SF.  I recommend using the SF Chronicle top 100 as a great resource to check before you go.)  I would also recommend this excellent Twitter feed @bayareabites.  It's kept a foodie like me interested and excited about the constantly changing food scene in the Bay Area.  Here's the email exchange I had with my friend (she's an excellent food blogger called "LivLifeToo" - definitely check out her blog! Yummy stuff!)  Please feel free to share your recommendations with me.  I'm always looking for new places to try out while in one of the greatest cities on Earth!

LivLifeToo asks, "Just wondering if you have any recommendations for SF restaurants??  I'm at a loss.... we are staying in union square...."

Here's my response:
Here is the resource I use before we go to get an idea of what's hot and new (this list is compiled by some very astute restaurant critics):
I also follow @bayareabites on Twitter b/c they have their finger on the pulse of hot chefs who pop up as well as your food truck variety meals.
Here is the list of places we've been to recently and loved:
Absinthe - Hayes Valley $$$1/2.  Great french fusion food and OUTSTANDING cocktails to choose from.  We had about 6 different ones and all were amazing.  My halibut was to die for.
Slanted Door in the Ferry Bldg $$ - slow food vietnamese and OUTSTANDING cocktails & wine list. The chef is committed to local and delicious.  If you're short on time they also have a take out restaurant in the hip & cool food court in the bottom of the SF Shopping Center on Market and Powell.  It's called "Out the Door".  The food in that court is not your garden variety.  Check it out on yelp.com here:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/westfield-san-francisco-centre-food-emporium-san-francisco 
Bix - Financial district $$$$.  Usually live jazz to go with your meal.  The food and drinks are amazing.  I know that sounds cliche but the atmosphere of that place feels like you've stepped back in time and are hanging out in an old jazz supper club.  The bartenders are long-time employees and know their stuff.
Betelnut - Fillmore/Marina neighborhood $$$ - incredible asian, tough table (and parking) to get but totally worth the challenge/effort. 
Zuni Cafe Upper Market $$$ - the chef we had (they change so who knows if you'll have the same one?) was very creative and I love the atmosphere and shape of the place.  It's tricky parking too.  Great service, delicious soups & salads, and sometimes there's music.  If I remember right?
Tartine - Mission $$ - if you are a true bread and dessert lover but also want a delicious breakfast, this is the place for you.  Not in a great area and the line can be long but I covet their baked goods.  The bread is legendary.  I wish my bread pudding turned out half as good.
And my last recommendation, based on a review I read (I'll retweet the article so you can also learn about possible farm tours, farmers markets that are cheaper than the Ferry Bldg (they see you coming), etc.)
Plow - Potrero Hill $$ - http://www.eatatplow.com/ and here is the yelp listing:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/plow-san-francisco  (this place could be your kitchen!!)
Hope that helps get you started,
Claudine





1 comment:

Kim - Liv Life said...

You're the best!!! I'm narrowing things down... Looking at Billy Elliot at the Theater too. Liv would like that. And the beer place you tweeted is on the short list too!!