Best German - 2004
Flying in the face of fashion, Suppenküche has been dishing out superlative German cooking in its cheerful, light-wooded corner spot in Hayes Valley for more than a decade. Our favorite starter is the Vesperplatte (an assortment of cured meats, including ham, blood sausage, and salami, with cheese and pickles), which goes perfectly with the sturdy, seed-sprinkled wheat and rye breads. But we also love the crisp pickled herring (served with sour cream, onions, pickles, and boiled potatoes), superb fresh pea soup topped with chives, crisp Wiener schnitzels, hearty cured pork chops, and bratwurst. (There's even a list of vegetarian dishes -- including a light cheese ravioli.) You can wash all this down with your choice of several dozen beers. Quite convenient to Davies Symphony Hall and the Opera House, to pair with Mahler or Wagner.