Friday, March 29, 2013

A Tally of Your San Francisco Recommendations

Thank you all so much for your suggestions on San Francisco eating and drinking! 

Here is a list of the places you've recommended so far, in the order of popularity - the number of people recommending them in comments or via email (some of you still like to comment in private):

Slanted Door - 9 (10 positive and 1 negative review)
Bar Tartine - 6
Delfina - 6
Terroir - 6
La Ciccia - 6 (8 positive and 2 negative reviews)
A16 - 5
Aziza - 5
NOPA - 5
Arlequin Wine - 4
Bi-Rite - 4
Swan Oyster Depot - 4
Benu - 3
Commonwealth - 3
La Taqueria - 3
Zuni Cafe - 3
Boulette's Larder - 2
Camino - 2
Foreign Cinema - 2
Ippuku - 2
St. Vincent - 2
State Bird Provisions - 2
Tartine Bakery - 2
Number of people telling me never again to say "San Fran" - 2
There is a whole load of places that one person recommended.

I'm not having an easy time picking here, as some of the places that only one or two people recommend sound quite interesting. As much so as the most popular place on this list, Slanted Door. I will continue to enjoy looking through menus, and thanks again for your advice.

For me, this is SO much better than Yelp...


Giacomo said...

Isn't it interesting that only La Ciccia got negative reviews ;)

Can't wait for your dining report!

Anonymous said...

What about Incanto and Canteen?

Ben said...

If you want to splash out, I've heard from a highly reliable source that Saison is extremely good. Could be tough to get a reservation.

David said...

I have been a frequent visitor to San Francisco, and I've eaten high and low. While I love Boulevard and jardiniere, the best meal I've had there in the last few years (far better than The Slanted Door) is a restaurant called Bouche. It is the classic undiscovered hideaway. It is run by a coterie of French colleagues. It is classic French, with wonderful wine service. You will enjoy wines that are missed by the more tourist-friendly restaurants - wines with terroir. Bouche is a restaurant that understands terroir in both, food and wine. I HIGHLY recommend it!!

Jack Everitt said...

We've been dining in SF a lot lately. Best meals have been at (in this order):

Heirloom Cafe (has great winegeek wine list, too.)
St. Vincent

Anonymous said...

I feel like Delfina is a must-do. It is just an SF institution and has delicious, non-fussy food and a great wine list. Their panna cotta is also amazing - barely sweet, milky, amazing.

Another negative review for La Ciccia. I've heard amazing things but was just underwhelmed when I went. It could be that I did not order the right things.

I'll put in a plug for a glass of wine and a salad outside at Piccino on a sunny day.

viNomadic said...

I'm a big fan of La Ciccia & consider Lorella & Massimo friends, so I can possibly provide some perspective: the place probably works best if you care to develop a relationship & become a regular. Even then, they have been a bit overwhelmed by the hype & looking for a somewhat quiet night & hour (very early, or as late as they will let you reserve) is best. The cooking is dressed-up Sardo with occasional creative touches. Massimo is not a highly trained chef, I personally like his most rustic dishes best. If you have the time & inclination, both come from long years in the wine business, & are great conversationalists with the experience & anecdotes to back up their extensive wine list. So I'd recommend it if you can make it the place to hang & geek out. In any case, have a great time!

Anonymous said...

I lived in SF for 15 years, moved to Brooklyn this Jan.

Delfina is a must!
Prospect is one of the best newer restaurants.
Nicks Crispy Tacos-I dream about these fish tacos, order them "Nicky's way."

Bi-Rite creamery- best ice cream I've ever eaten (salted caramel and honey lavender)

Benjamin said...

You've got a lot of good options sad I'm late on the ball as I just moved to Brooklyn from SF.

How didn't anyone mention Taqueria Cancun in the mission? Please get the al pastor burrito.
Camino in Oakland is oh-so-good and comfortable
I had an amazing meal at State Bird Provisions (great place to taste a lot of what they do, as everything is served dim sum style). I had one of the best bites of food of my life here.
I love La Ciccia and I see it as a place you'll really like.
Flour + Water (better than Delfina in my opinion)
Mission Chinese is great, though there's one in New York now.
Tartine Bakery for breakfast/brunch/whatever
As far as wine places, I think Arlequin (for retail), Terroir for wine bar, though the Punchdown in Oakland is much less stuffy, and I hear that St Vincent is great, though it opened just after I left SF).
Take a walk up Bernal Hill and take in the beautiful view

Benjamin said...

How could I forget!! PLEASE go to grand coffee on mission st between 22nd and 23rd for the best coffee in the world! Nabeel pulls the absolute best espresso

Anonymous said...

Look forward to your recc's, as i go there in a few months myself. If san fran is a no go, how about frisco?

RY said...

I lived in SF for years and now live in Brooklyn.

Some recommendations already given may have held up at some point in time but no longer. Bouche, for example, was worth a trip when it opened but is quite a different restaurant now (with a completely new kitchen staff) than it was previously. Slanted Door is OK, I think you are much better off getting lunch or brunch at Out the Door Bush St.

In SF, La Ciccia really is the standout restaurant. No, it's not food that will change your perspective on taste itself, but it's not meant to be. It is honest and provides an atmosphere that the interesting restaurants of the Mission wish they could replicate.

That said, Bar Tartine in the Mission is great, Camino is great, and Commis is doing the most intellectually stimulating food in the Bay right now that also tastes good. Swan Oyster Depot is classic, you have to stop by.

Best espresso right now? Wrecking Ball at the Firehouse in Russian Hill.

Recommend drinking wine at Terroir and The Punchdown, cocktails at The Alembic or Bar Agricole.

Hope you enjoy your trip.