Food & Drink

  • Readers' Poll Winners

    Best Restaurant Pasta Pomodoro Best New Restaurant Kasa Best Chef Jamie Lauren at Absinthe Best Vegetarian restaurant Cafe Gratitude Best Seafood Restaurant Aqua Best Burrito Papalote Best Pizza Little Star Best Late-Night Eats Sparky’s 24-Hour Restaurant Best Romantic Restaurant Chez Spencer Best Italian Restaurant Pasta Pomodoro Best Greasy Spoon Pork Store Cafe Best Bakery Tartine Best Sandwiches Ike’s Best Burger Burgermeister Best Mediterranean Restaurant Kokkari Best Dim Sum Yank Sing Best Sushi Blowfish Best Japanese Restaurant Ozumo Best Thai Restaurant Osha Thai Best Chinese Restaurant House of Chen Best Indian Restaurant Dosa Best French Restaurant La Folie Best Steak Ruth’s… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Sandwich

    Emporio Rulli Caffè

    Emporio Rulli's breakfast panini is about as far from an Egg McMuffin as the Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta is from your old Dodge Dart. Start with the bakery's incredibly flaky and buttery brioche. Add several slender strands of salt-cured prosciutto cotto and a slice of frittata with the light, fluffy texture of a souffle. Layer in some sweet and nutty fontina;… More >>
  • Best Scrambled Egg

    Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Cafe - CLOSED

    As you might guess, there's more to Tsar Nicoulai's scrambled egg than milk, butter, and a freshly laid ovum. First of all, it's absolutely moist and luscious (a rare feat in and of itself), ribboned with chopped chive, and infused with the earthy flavor of white truffle. Second, it's served in a hollowed-out eggshell, which adds nothing to the flavor but is elegant and whimsical… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Nob Hill Grille

    There's a festive, special-occasion something or other surrounding brunch that separates it from other, lesser repasts, and the Nob Hill Grille prepares a weekend brunch worthy of its celebratory status. The place itself is cozy and friendly, with big sunny windows looking out on Pine Street, and a neighborhood vibe that embraces one and all. And the food is superb:… More >>
  • Best Patio Dining

    Arlequin

    From the outside, Arlequin looks like a pleasant small eatery, with counter ordering from a big wall-mounted blackboard menu, a refrigerated case full of drinks, and casual seating at a few simple wooden tables and chairs. But head back through the glass doors and you're Alice in Wonderland. There's a delightful, spacious free-form flagstone patio, tucked under tall trees and bordered with lush plants, with twice… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    Dynamo Donut and Coffee

    Dynamo is not a store per se, but a walk-up doughnut-and-coffee counter, offering just what the name implies: coffee (roasted a mere two miles away at Four Barrel Coffee), and artisanal doughnuts from husband-and-wife team Sara Spearin and Jonny Raglin. The classic Dynamo Donut is a raised yeast cake doughnut, excitingly flavored and glazed, made from local and organic ingredients whenever possible, and priced between $2… More >>
  • Best Big Space for a Small Cup o' Coffee

    Four Barrel Coffee

    If you're going to spring a few bucks for coffee these days, not only should the brew be made from the best possible ingredients, but the space it's served in should also invite you to linger. The massive, high-ceilinged, loftlike room that houses Four Barrel Coffee features long, sleek, sculptural wood tables cleverly affixed to the walls so that they… More >>
  • Best Coffee Shop for Browsing Porn

    Coffee to the People

    There are plenty of places in the city for a decent cup of coffee, but if what you're really looking for is caffeine and free wireless Internet and a cozy spot to browse mature Web sites, Coffee to the People is your spot. Comfy couches along the walls allow customers (who can purchase standard caffeinated fare for $2 to $3 as an excuse to camp… More >>
  • Best New Tearoom

    Crown & Crumpet - CLOSED

    Crown and Crumpet is an exceptionally pleasant, bright, and cheerful place to enjoy a pot of tea (choose from among 38 types) and food ranging from light breakfasts (toast, pastries, boiled eggs) to Friday and Saturday night suppers (sausage rolls and sandwiches). The menu's strong suit is, of course, afternoon tea: scones, tea sandwiches, crumpets, sweets, and treats, served with clotted cream, jam, and lemon curd,… More >>
  • Best Sandwiches

    Roxie Food Center

    You enter what looks like an ordinary, even unpromising, corner store that specializes in liquor, cigarettes, and a fridge full of soft drinks. But hidden behind a tall counter is a man — sometimes two — who keeps busy all day turning out big tasty sandwiches, made to order. Choices abound: seven kinds of bread (Dutch crunch, wheat roll, Spanish, Italian, sourdough roll, sweet French… More >>
  • Best Gourmet Burgers

    Epic Roasthouse

    One of the best burgers we've ever eaten is the version served by chef Jan Birnbaum at Epic. And it ought to be, since the three-quarter-pound burger, called the Ultimate, is $25 at dinner, and the lunchtime half-pound version is $20. The big, chunky patties are made with meat that's ground daily, and served on a big bakery bun with greens, tomato, housemade pickles, big… More >>
  • Best New Burger Joint

    Pickles

    The old grungy location of Clown Alley has been completely transformed into the new upscale Pickles. The upgraded venue still offers burgers and dogs, but they're made from all-organic and sustainably farmed meats and poultry. The open patio is now enclosed, and rooms featuring booths and comfortable tables and chairs — and a fireplace — face the open grill room. Try the excellent five-ounce Clown burgers… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Happy Belly

    Munching on a plump, juicy hot dog fresh from the steamer is one of the undying pleasures of urban living. From the Mission to the ballpark to Union Square, the fragrance of frankfurters, mustard, and sauerkraut is an irresistible contrapunto to the asphalt jungle's exhaust fumes and cheap cologne. So it's a bit surprising to find some of the town's finest hot dogs in the… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Baby Blues BBQ

    Wonderful, well-priced barbecue, served in a spacious, comfortable setting designed for lingering — that's something San Francisco has been missing, since most barbecue places here are set up for takeout. Baby Blues offers plenty of table seating in a big room that features art on the walls, handmade lighting fixtures, and wine and beer to wash down your choice of… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Taqueria Can-Cún

    It's one in the morning, you've been slamming a questionable mixture of drinks for hours, and you need to lay down a solid pavement of beans, cheese, and rice in your gut. Can-Cún not only stays open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, it also serves an irrefutably delicious burrito. A burrito of the "regular" variety ($4.99) nets you… More >>
  • Best Street Food

    El Huarache Loco

    The only problem at El Huarache Loco is deciding what to have. Everything on its extensive menu — whether the familiar tacos and quesadillas, or the less-known gorditas and pambazos — is extraordinary. But you must have at least one of the dishes the stand is named for: a big shoe-shaped (hence the moniker) antojito, made with organic corn masa, topped with your choice of… More >>
  • Best Pupusa

    Balompie Cafe

    For the uninitiated, a pupusa is a ball of corn-flour dough stuffed with a variety of savory ingredients, flattened into a disc, and grilled until warm, smoky, and luscious. Over the past decade or so, this age-old Salvadoran delicacy has become a locally popular snack item and can be found at some four dozen outlets in the Mission alone. Balompie's pupusas are uniquely plump and… More >>
  • Best Tamale

    Frontera Fresco

    Yeah, we know Frontera Fresco is in Macy's basement and not the sainted Mission, that it's part of a chain run by a guy from Chicago, that the portions are small and the prices are hefty, and that the service can be on the downright surly side. But the fact remains that the sweet corn tamales served on the premises are as delectable as anything… More >>
  • Best Dumplings

    Kingdom of Dumplings

    You don't come to this tiny Parkside spot for the nonexistent decor, but for the fresh handmade dumplings, which range from the familiar (Shanghai soup dumplings) to the not-so-familiar (pork and corn dumplings, pork and shrimp with chives, pork and Napa cabbage, lamb and chive). They come six to an order, served with a tangy soy dipping sauce, and cost $4.95 to $6.95. Freebies include… More >>
  • Best Deviled Eggs

    Rossi's Delicatessen

    Rossi's, a tiny place across the street from the Castro Theatre, offers an amazing amount of good cheap food, especially considering its square footage. But among its best and cheapest comestibles are its superb deviled eggs. For $1.25, you get a fat whole egg, its still-tender white split and stuffed with a simple, classic mixture of hard-boiled yolks mashed with mayonnaise and pickle relish, decorated with… More >>
  • Best Crab Louis

    Tadich Grill

    Little encountered beyond the Pacific Coast, the "king of salads" is the best and simplest showcase for our favorite native crustacean, Dungeness crab. In its most classic state, crab Louis is composed of shredded romaine lettuce, big chunks of crabmeat, and a tureen of Louis dressing on the side, nothing more. Some might ring the platter with asparagus spears or stuffed olives or hard-boiled eggs… More >>
  • Best Cobb Salad

    Chow

    A great California tradition (it was invented by Bob Cobb, proprietor of the Brown Derby in Hollywood, during a midnight feeding frenzy through his kitchen's refrigerators and larders), the Cobb salad is a big, bountiful cornucopia of Golden State plenitude with an upscale élan that distinguishes it from other, lesser mixed greens. Chow, a friendly diner-hangout renowned for its farm-fresh victuals, serves an outstanding example of… More >>
  • Best Teensy Takeout Restaurant

    The Sentinel

    Dennis Leary, not content with personally cooking every dish that feeds his clientele at Canteen, has opened an adorable little takeout-only place downtown in what was once a cigar stand. The daily-changing, seasonal menu (check the Web site) features a soup, perhaps half a dozen sandwiches and salads, and a special or two. There are partisans for Leary's corned beef sandwich with Gruyère and Russian dressing,… More >>
  • Best Blackboard-Menu Restaurant

    Bar Jules

    Chef Jessica Boncutter, veteran of London's famed River Cafe, chalks new menus on Bar Jules' blackboard twice a day, for lunch and dinner.(You can also see them on the Web site.) They won't take you long to read: At dinner there are usually four or five starters, three mains, and two desserts, and at lunch you might be offered a… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Nopalito

    Brought to you by the swell folks at the popular Mediterranean-themed Nopa, Nopalito has colonized a large room and an adjacent enclosed patio in Falletti's Plaza, the foodie enclave tucked between Oak and Fell on Broderick. It serves traditional Mexican food, including such succulent long-cooked dishes as birria de chivo (goat stew), mole poblano (a dark, rich, multi-ingredient sauce, here served over poached chicken), and pozole… More >>
  • Best Reinvention

    Sutro's at the Cliff House

    Once upon a time, the Cliff House was regarded as the quintessential San Francisco tourist trap: a badly run, badly maintained place with nothing to recommend it save its matchless ocean view. But since the arrival of famed multistarred chef George Morrone, former opening chef at Aqua and Fifth Floor, there's a new excitement about dining at its upscale room, Sutro's. Morrone and co-chef Brian… More >>
  • Best Second-Story Restaurant

    Poesia

    Second-story restaurants are rare in this town, and Poesia's location, on a noisy, grungy block just below the busy Castro, is not renowned as a gastronomic destination. But ascend the stairs and you'll be greeted by calm: rooms painted warm gold, an upholstered banquette, and tables covered in orange linen. Poetry volumes fill a shelf in the lounge, and Italian movies are projected silently on… More >>
  • Best Organic Restaurant

    Roots

    The term "organic restaurant" may conjure up images of spindly hippies poking at bowls of wheatgerm and mung beans, but at Roots the atmosphere is elegant, the foodstuffs are tempting, and there's nothing wrong with a pre-dinner cocktail, especially if it's made with organic vodka. Located off the lobby of the Orchard Garden Hotel (the only S.F. hotel to meet U.S. Green Building Council standards),… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Burma Superstar

    As Burma Superstar's extensive and alluring menu states: "Please note, most dishes can be prepared vegetarian — please ask your server." Even nonvegetarians often find themselves ordering an entire vegetarian meal here, right off the menu. We suggest starting with the famous — and filling — samusa soup, made with chopped samusas (deep-fried Burmese curried potato ravioli), falafels, lentils, cabbage, and onions. After you're done with… More >>
  • Best New Chinese

    Bund Shanghai

    Bund Shanghai is not just a wonderful Shanghai-style restaurant, but also a wonderful Chinese restaurant in, of all places, Chinatown. Subdued modern decor (flying-saucer-like light fixtures, pale contemporary framed flower prints on the yellow walls) puts the emphasis on the food. You should try the superb xiao long bao (soup dumplings), as well as an even lighter version with crab-and-pork stuffing. Shanghai bread (mantou) comes steamed… More >>
  • Best New Thai

    Lers Ros

    Some of the best Thai food San Francisco has ever known is being served at Lers Ros, whose clean, modern room is an inviting setting for its sophisticated, freshly prepared dishes. Everything is good, but favorites include succulent pork dishes, including kao kha moo, pork leg stew perfumed with five-spice; pad kra pow moo krob, chewy pork belly; delicately prepared fish such as whole fried… More >>
  • Best Pho

    My Canh

    As veritable pho-natics, we've sampled most of the fancy pho this city has to offer, which led us to the conclusion that pho shouldn't really be fancy at all. South Vietnam–style pho is already packed with delicious ingredients and doesn't require much spicing up, so to all you pho enhancers: Stop complicating an already flawless meal. At My Canh, a family-owned hole-in-the-wall that's open until… More >>
  • Best Traveling Sushi

    Ichi Catering

    High-quality sushi isn't normally the kind of food you expect to arrive on your doorstep, and definitely not in bulk. Ichi Catering does the Bay Area a great service by offering delicious Japanese creations at reasonable prices for all occasions — well, all occasions that call for avocado rolls or tofu peanut skewers. For as little as $15 a person, Ichi can handle a cocktail… More >>
  • Best Tandoori Chicken

    Punjab Kabab House

    Chicken is at its moist and smoky best when it's marinated in yogurt, garlic, ginger, and spices and baked in a clay oven over a layer of glowing charcoal. Nobody works the whole tandoori process better than the folks at Punjab. Their tender, succulent chicken is fragrant with smoke and spice, the skin grill-blackened and draped in cilantro, the dark meat especially rich and lush.… More >>
  • Best Bread

    Acme Bread Co.'s Sweet Batard

    The first indication comes from your teeth, not your taste buds. Your incisors eagerly break the shatteringly crisp crust. The toasted flavor then hits your tongue, and soon you feel the soft pillow of bread inside. The climax comes when the sweetness of the batard fills your mouth. To us, good French bread is like sex — and this sweet… More >>
  • Best Feijoada

    Bossa Nova

    Brazil's national dish is a delectable yet overwhelming extravaganza of Latin soul food (stewed beans, variety meats, collard greens) that's guaranteed to put you into a siesta-friendly food coma. So it's nothing short of a miracle that Bossa Nova's version is not only hearty and luscious, but you'll also still have room for a big ramekin of coconut flan for dessert. Forsaking the pig's feet,… More >>
  • Best New Mexican Hole-in-the-Wall

    La Oaxaqueña

    This tiny storefront has a few Formica-topped tables in blue and green with wooden chairs, four counter seats, and lots of Oaxacan crafts (shawls, dresses, paintings, pottery) adorning its walls and shelves. You can get better soft tacos at any taqueria or truck in the neighborhood, so concentrate on the specialties of its region: tlayudas, sometimes known as "Mexican pizza," which are big tortillas, griddled until… More >>
  • Best New Dish

    Warm Sea Urchin at Anchor and Hope

    This looks dangerous, but tastes rich and sweet: a whole, hairy, spiky sea urchin shell is filled with creamy mashed potatoes mixed with sea urchin roe, Dungeness crab, and subtle aromatics.… More >>
  • Best Seafood

    Ame

    At Ame, owners Hiro Sone and Lisa Doumani say their personal cuisine blends local ingredients with the flavors of southern France and northern Italy and Sone's Japanese sensibilities, resulting in meals that give fusion cooking a good name. Other ingredients are beautifully handled, too, but the seafood astonishes. The sashimi bar offers a daily crudo and such refined dishes as tempura tuna poke, house-smoked trout adorned… More >>
  • Best Steamed Mussels

    Mocca

    You wouldn't think that anything as pure and simple as a bucket of vapored bivalves could be any better or worse than any other, but we've had enough dry, stringy, coppery, mean-spirited moules in drippings devoid of any fragrant succulence to deeply appreciate the ne plus ultra served at Mocca. Not only are its mussels sweet and plump, they're also served in a rich, garlicky… More >>
  • Best Joe's Special

    Polkers Gourmet Burgers

    The Joe's Special is one of those last-minute what's-in-the-cupboard culinary concoctions that has transcended its erratic origins and entered the standard restaurant repertoire. Conceived out of desperation at (the now-defunct) New Joe's in North Beach to sate the early-morning appetites of a marauding band of Prohibition-era jazz musicians, this protein-rich amalgam of red meat, scrambled eggs, and spinach can be found on the menus of Joe's-style… More >>
  • Best Savory Bread Pudding

    Serpentine

    A signature starter at Serpentine, a chic eatery housed in an industrial space in the Dogpatch neighborhood, is its savory bread pudding, a crusty hillock that tastes better than it looks (trust us). Under its browned exterior hides a frequently changing amalgam of seasonal ingredients (perhaps nettles, roasted onions, and Swiss cheese; or fennel, baby spinach, roasted garlic, and Swiss cheese), incorporated in an eggy custard… More >>
  • Best Dessert Pizza

    Giovanni's Pizza

    This place has been freshened up by a new family of young owners, who've continued the tradition of affordable Italian specialties (pastas, pizzas, salads served family-style) and added a few new variations of their own. Even if you think you've eaten your fill of entrées like the Organic Green pizza (pesto, spinach, broccoli, olives, feta, artichokes, garlic), the Favorite (salami, sausage, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers),… More >>
  • Sweetest Food Fair

    S.F. International Chocolate Salon

    First things first: Why is it called a salon? Because it is not enough to simply like chocolate — you can go to a supermarket candy aisle for that. The vendors here are artists, and you are a connoisseur. Tip: If you can't talk properly about chocolate, say, "Mmmm." Everyone does. You get the chance to, because many of the vendors — this year, there… More >>
  • Best New Ice Cream Store

    Humphry Slocombe

    Imaginative and inventive ice cream flavors made from the finest ingredients are the irresistible draw at Humphry Slocombe, owned by Jake Godby, 15-year veteran of San Francisco's best restaurants (including Fifth Floor, Boulevard, and Coi) and proud bearer of ice-cream-cone tattoos. Ten or 12 flavors are on offer every day, chosen from a rotating list of more than 50, from the expected (chocolate, mint chip) to… More >>
  • Best Rice Pudding

    Loving Cup

    Comfort food has seldom been as indispensable as on planet Earth circa 2009, and few comfort foods are as pacifying as soft, sweet, lumpy rice pudding. Loving Cup, a sort of 21st-century Polk Gulch soda fountain, dispenses delectable smoothies, coffee drinks, and frozen yogurt, but its specialty is rice pudding in several variations. The Chai contrasts the pudding's creamy texture with jazzy spice-bazaar accents; the Black… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Greasy Spoon

    Sam's

    Sam's looks like the sort of a place a private eye would repair to for a cup of joe while a seen-it-all counterman flips burgers on the grill and Edward Hopper lingers on the fringes. Located near the strip joints, blues bars, and mean streets of the old Barbary Coast, Sam's is a fine place to scarf a little protein after a rough night… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Store

    Golden Natural Foods

    If you're still braving the produce section at the Safeway on Market, then you might not be aware of a not-so-well-kept neighborhood secret: There's a family-owned produce stand just across the street at 172 Church with a better selection, more organic options, and competitive prices. It's called Golden Natural, and so long as you don't try to go there when everyone's climbing off the J-Church… More >>
  • Anthony Myint

    Best Charitable Chef

    Anthony Myint - CLOSED

    Thursdays and Saturdays, ex-Bar Tartine line cook Anthony Myint transforms into the Batman of guerrilla catering, turning a humble Chinese restaurant on Mission Street into a showcase for some of the most interesting food in the city. Those in the know form long lines for a menu that might feature lager-braised sausage with cannellini beans, KFC (Korean fried chicken) with radish pickles,… More >>
  • Best Resource for Chefs

    Le Sanctuaire

    San Francisco chefs and foodies have a semisecret resource: a tony, chic, and expensive spot on the fifth floor of a downtown office building, which Le Sanctuaire's Web site refers to as its showroom. The showroom is open Mondays through Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and reportedly by appointment only, although we suspect if David Kinch or Alice Waters show up, they won't… More >>
  • Best Cookbook Store

    Omnivore Books on Food

    For cookbook fanciers who yearn for not just the hottest new restaurant or James Beard–nominated works, but also beautiful old bindings, amusing recipe collections from decades past, and witty dustwrappers that beg to be displayed like the works of art they are, Omnivore Books on Food is the place. Veteran antiquarian bookseller Celia Sack has painted the walls of a onetime butcher shop (check out the… More >>
  • Best Rebirth

    Washington Square Bar & Grill - CLOSED

    San Franciscans were shocked when the Washington Square Bar & Grill, a fixture in North Beach since 1973, disappeared on January 1, 2008 (after a brief "blue period" during which it was known as the Cobalt Tavern). Its regulars entered a period of mourning, now happily ended, as restaurateurs Liam and Susan Tiernan rescued the room from oblivion and reopened it in March. They rebuilt… More >>
  • Best Barbecue (Outdoor)

    Ironwood BBQ

    On a sunny day, dining on good, inexpensive barbecue in an unexpected and hidden location can truly feel like the Best of S.F. Above a spacious (and free!) parking lot is a modest pro shop that hides a food counter, where you can order from a reasonably priced menu featuring pulled pork, brisket, and baby back ribs. You can have these served as sandwiches atop… More >>
  • Best Southern-Style Cookin'

    John Akins

    Heart of the City Farmers' Market, U.N. Plaza (near the corner of Fulton and Hyde) There's a surprising abundance of soul food in San Francisco, a testament to a culinary resistance to the rising clout of the organic food movement, which hasn't entirely captured the breakfast crowd that drizzles melted butter over a plate of grits. Fortunately, Southern foodies don't have to choose between their taste… More >>
  • Best Venerable Tea Room

    Lovejoy's Tea Room

    Open since 2000 (which counts as venerable in these parts and in this economy), Lovejoy's looks as if it's been in existence forever — or at least since Victorian times — thanks to its eclectic, cozy decor, featuring overstuffed upholstered furniture, mismatched china and silver, and shelves laden with Anglophilic tchotchkes. To accompany your choice from around two dozen teas, dine on pastries, crumpets, excellent tea… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Buzzed at Brunch

    Axis Cafe and Gallery - CLOSED

    We sort of hate to tell you about this place, because it's oh-so-easy to get a Sunday brunch table at the moment. But this industrial-chic Potrero Hill cafe, complete with fireplace and sun-drenched (and otherwise heated) patio dining, is bound to be discovered. With a spacious dining area, walls adorned with rotating works from California Academy of Art students, and laid-back service, Axis is ideal for… More >>
  • Best Popovers

    The Bistro at Cliff House

    Popovers are eggy, light, almost hollow soufflélike rolls, with a fragile and glossy crust, and best when served fresh. Practice makes perfect, but most restaurants don't even attempt to bake the steam-leavened treats. In San Francisco, reliable beauties are available at the Bistro. The Bistro serves breakfast and lunch daily, accompanied by what it calls "our famous popovers" and the same fabulous ocean views available for… More >>
  • Best Jelly Doughnut

    I Preferiti di Boriana

    Italy loves gobs of sugary dough fried in deep fat (and who doesn't?), offering a boot-wide abondanza of Neapolitan zeppole, Sicilian sfinci, Bolognese sfrappole, and Tuscan bombolini, perhaps the fairest of them all. Bigger and fluffier than your standard doughnut hole, these toothsome clouds of yeast, flour, and eggs are cooked in oil, dusted with sugar, and filled with chocolate, custard, or (best of all) raspberry… More >>
  • Best Butcher

    Prather Ranch Meat Company

    That rich, tender beefsteak you've been enjoying at Jardinière, the Slanted Door, Tartine, and other culinary hotspots comes from Prather Ranch, a 34,000-acre spread near Mount Shasta where humanely raised livestock graze on an organic diet of hay, barley, and rice. The resulting beef is dry-aged for two weeks, ensuring plenty of silky, succulent flavor. It's sold by the roast and the steak (we like the… More >>
  • Best Fried Food

    Fried Chicken at Magnolia Pub and Brewery|Salt-and-Pepper Frog at Taishan Cafe|Shrimp Kushi Katsu at Halu

    Fried Chickenat Magnolia Puband Brewery 1398 Haight (at Masonic), 864-7468 www.magnoliapub.com Would Magnolia's peppery fried chicken taste as good if it were available every night of the week, instead of only on Thursdays? It's something to ponder as you address your crisp, golden half-bird, served with two different sides every week (they could be grits, gravy, and spinach, or perhaps mashed potatoes and braised carrots). The special is… More >>
  • Best Salumi

    Incanto|Uva Enoteca|Bar Bambino

    A plate of cured meats, served with bread and perhaps some olives or a relish made from fruit or marinated vegetables, is a fine way to start a meal — or serve as a meal in itself. Incanto 1550 Church (at Duncan), 641-4500 www.incanto.biz You might say Incanto chef Chris Cosentino and co-owner Mark Pastore are trendsetters. Their side project, Boccalone, supplies nearly every place in San… More >>
  • Best Cookies

    California Golden Cookies|The House|Kika's Treats|Mara's Italian Pastry

    Ginger snaps, snickerdoodles, tea cakes, rum balls, shortbread, pfeffernüsse, madeleines, biscotti: So many cookies, so little time. Whether it's dropped, rolled, pressed, molded, refrigerated, fried, or sandwiched, there's a cookie out there for you. Following are some particularly yummy local examples of the cookie baker's art. California Golden Cookies 255 Kearny (at Bush), 956-3070 The bar cookie attains heavenly heights with California Golden Cookies' German Chocolate Bar. This… More >>
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