Food & Drink

  • Readers' Poll Winners

    Best Restaurant Nopa Best New Restaurant 25 Lusk Best Vegetarian Restaurant Greens Restaurant Best Seafood Restaurant Waterbar Best Burrito Papalote's Best Late-Night Eats The Grubstake Best Romantic Restaurant Foreign Cinema Best Italian Restaurant Delfina Best Greasy Spoon The Pork Store Cafe Best Bakery Tartine Best Sandwich Ike’s Place Best Burger Greenburger's Best Dessert Tartine Best Sushi Sushi Zone Best Thai Restaurant Osha Thai Restaurant Best Chinese Restaurant> Mission Chinese Food Best Pizza Little Star Best Ice Cream Humphry Slocombe Best Cupcakes Kara’s Cupcakes Best Indian Restaurant Dosa Best French Restaurant La Folie Best Central American Restaurant TIE: Balompié, Limón Best Korean Restaurant Brothers Restaurant Best… More >>
  • Best Burger

    Lark Creek Steak

    While it's relatively easy to put out a good-tasting burger if you've buried the thing under aioli, bacon, and onion jam, it's hard to do minimal well. To be perfect, each object in a very limited field of elements has to be exactly right. Lark Creek Steak's steakburger comes close, thanks to scraps from the in-house butchery program. The kitchen… More >>
  • Best Seasonal Pizza

    Ragazza

    You can find half a dozen superlative margheritas in town, regardless of the date. But since Alice Waters first installed a pizza oven in Chez Panisse Cafe in 1980, the Bay Area's contribution to the realm of pizza has been our eagerness to consider each blistery-lipped round an homage to the moment. One of the best of the seasonal pizza… More >>
  • Pi Bar

    Best Alternative Ever to Taking the Kids to Chuck E. Cheese

    Pi Bar

    So it's not a big space, and it gets crowded. There's nothing to distract your bored children, unless they're into paintings of motorcycles. And though the place features beautifully blistered, thin-crust pizzas, there's a reason for the "Bar" in its name. People come to enjoy, along with their pies (or not), craft beers such as Delirium Tremens and Russian River… More >>
  • New Taste Marketplace

    Best One-Stop Shopping for DIY Eats

    New Taste Marketplace

    Interested in an underground market where you don't have to throw any elbows to taste and purchase local DIY treats? Look no further than New Taste Marketplace. This monthly gathering of rotating vendors offers access to some of S.F.'s best purveyors of small-batch artisan products — with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to boot. Set beneath a mural depicting dozens of… More >>
  • Best Seasonal Jams and Preserves

    Blue Chair Fruit

    Artisanal jams and marmalades are nearly a dime a dozen these days — except for the dime part. Prices can be steep, but when you're paying for the expertise and creativity of a true master, it's worth it. Blue Chair Fruit's Rachel Saunders spent a decade perfecting every step of jam- and marmalade-making, including using French copper jam kettles and… More >>
  • Best Way to Eat Your Way Through the Mission

    Edible Excursions' Taste the Mission tour

    It's hardly a secret that the Mission teems with great edibles, but delving through the layers of classic Latino fare and burgeoning trends can be daunting — and gut-busting. If you like to explore and taste, and maybe burn a few calories along the way, then Lisa Rogovin's walking tour of the Mission hits the spot. The tour starts at… More >>
  • Le P\'tit Laurent

    Best French Dinner Prix-Fixe Deal

    Le P'tit Laurent

    Rain or shine, dinner reservations are a must at Le P'tit Laurent, a quaint little restaurant just a block from Glen Park BART station. Neighborhood residents flock to enjoy traditional French fare like moules frites or cassoulet in an intimate setting. But regulars know that the best deal is the unbeatable $22 prix-fixe dinner, available Sundays through Thursdays. This weekly-changing… More >>
  • Arguello Super Market

    Best Freshly Roasted Turkey Sandwich

    Arguello Super Market

    This modest Inner Richmond grocery store is famous among locals for its freshly roasted turkey sandwich. It takes some chutzpah to proclaim a product as the best or being world famous. But after 28 years in business, owner Sal Qaqundah can safely say that the quality speaks for itself. We concur: The sandwich is outstanding. The brined meat is moist,… More >>
  • Jay\'s Cheesesteak

    Best Seitan Cheesesteak

    Jay's Cheesesteak

    We understand that meat substitutes, crusty French rolls, and absence of Cheez Whiz won't jibe with cheesesteak purists, and that Swiss cheese (instead of American cheese or provolone) is considered improper among Philly connoisseurs. For our pick, we followed our taste buds, rather than notions about what makes a proper cheesesteak. Hey, we like seitan and aren't afraid to admit… More >>
  • Best Brazilian Snacks Shop

    Sun Stream Coffee

    Olivio Ferrante's tiny and unassuming coffee shop boasts the widest assortment of homemade Brazilian snacks in the city. Try the salgados, savory fried or baked pastries filled with beef, ham, chicken, cheese, corn, or vegetables. Our favorites are the coxinhas ($3), fried dumplings filled with shredded chicken and Catupiry cheese. They're roughly shaped to resemble drumsticks, a clue to their… More >>
  • Greens to Go

    Best Veggie Empanada

    Greens to Go

    After almost three decades at the helm of Greens restaurant, chef Annie Somerville doesn't need any more accolades to prove that she's a master of vegetarian cuisine — though we would like to nominate her as queen of veggie empanadas. Venture to the Greens to Go takeout counter on a Sunday morning, and you might be lucky enough to score… More >>
  • Pal\'s Takeaway, inside Tony\'s Market

    Best Sandwiches

    Pal's Takeaway, inside Tony's Market

    Last year, SF Weekly named the pulled pork sandwich at Pal's one of the city's best. This year we're ready to crown all the daily-changing sandwiches that emerge from this little deli counter as the finest in town. Owner Jeff Mason lost kitchen collaborator Dave Knopp, who moved to the East Coast, but that didn't make the sandwiches any less… More >>
  • Best Homemade Veggie Burger

    KK Burger at KK Cafe

    Layered two patties high and fried to a gratifying crisp, the KK Cafe veggie burger is neither meat- nor health-conscious. But whoever ordered a burger for health reasons? Veggie burgers may contain a careful balance of vegetable and grain, but at heart they're still meant to mirror classic American fare. While many food joints serve Gardenburger or Boca brand meatless… More >>
  • Extinguisher Roll at Tataki

    Best Flaming Sushi

    Extinguisher Roll at Tataki

    Spicy rolls aren't a revelation in the landscape of city sushi bars, but Tataki found a way to exclaim that its version is one of the fieriest in town. The Extinguisher Roll arrives at the table literally on fire, the corner of the plate torched for dramatic flair. The roll itself layers spicy amberjack tuna with avocado, habanero-infused masago (fish… More >>
  • Best Topical Dish

    The Lincecum - CLOSED

    Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum's citation for marijuana possession in Washington state has been immortalized in an unexpected place in San Francisco. Chef Ron Siegel of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton accompanies a 64-degree quail egg with caviar and serves it on a plastic-wrap-covered bong filled with cedar smoke, which is released as the dish is eaten. While there's… More >>
  • Simple Pleasures Cafe

    Best Neighborhood Coffee Shop

    Simple Pleasures Cafe

    For many residents of the eastern half of San Francisco, the Outer Richmond might as well be another city. The public transit commute downtown from this far-flung coastal neighborhood takes longer than that from Oakland, and the district's laid-back atmosphere — if it weren't for the extraordinary number of good Chinese restaurants — might fool you into thinking you were… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Trend

    Gardens + Science

    Over the past two years, San Francisco has put its distinctive stamp on avant-garde, modernist cuisine. Yes, it involves foams and "soils," not to mention tools Auguste Escoffier couldn't have dreamed of. But compared to modernists like Spain's Ferran Adria and Chicago's Grant Achatz, this city's most experimental chefs still think land first, idea later. Building on the territory settled… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bistro

    Range

    A great neighborhood restaurant doesn't reveal itself at the start, even if its opening day is drenched with positive press. It takes years for a restaurant to settle into itself and patiently, meal after meal, build a regular clientele. Four or five years down the road, once the ficklest of foodistas have moved on — that's when a neighborhood restaurant's… More >>
  • Best Fashionable Body Part

    The Neck

    Bellies are for beginners. Tripe has become trivial. Hearts are surging fast, but the truly trend-spotting offalian has moved on to eating necks. Chabaa Thai Cuisine, Lers Ros Thai, and Zaab Thai all grill boneless pork neck and serve it with a fermented-fish dipping sauce or tossed in a salad. Izakayas such as Ippuku grill skewers of tiny, juicy chicken… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Scottish Grub

    Commonwealth Cafe and Public House

    There is nothing better than a purebred Scot serving you macaroni and cheese using a recipe from the homeland. Aside from the authentic accents and traditional dishes — pasties, sharp cheddar toasties, and "beanz and toast" — you can feast on the basics, including tasty granola from Berkeley. Even if that doesn't suit you, the chocolate beer (not root beer)… More >>
  • Pomme d\'Amore at Knead Patisserie

    Best Cult Pastry

    Pomme d'Amore at Knead Patisserie

    Mention to a friend that you just visited Shauna Des Voignes' pastry stand in the back of Local: Mission Eatery, and their eyes will go vacant. "Did you have that thing?" they'll sputter. "That crème brûlée thing?" That thing, a name few people can remember, is something Des Voignes calls "pomme d'amore": a high-lipped golden round of pastry, with the… More >>
  • Poco Dolce\'s Olive Oil and Sea Salt Bar

    Best Local Chocolate Bar

    Poco Dolce's Olive Oil and Sea Salt Bar

    By now we're used to chocolate's Heart of Darkness narrative — that it has to travel ever deeper up-jungle into some terra incognita of earthier, bitterer, single-estatier. Poco Dolce isn't afraid to move instead into the flavored realms of old-school chocolatiers like Lindt, but in a way that eschews overt sweetness and opts for modern flavors like Chinese five-spice and… More >>
  • Limón Peruvian Rotisserie

    Best Roast Chicken

    Limón Peruvian Rotisserie

    Whatever secret marinade Martin Castillo's cooks smear onto the chickens at Limón before threading them onto the rotating spit, the chickens come to the table with crackly, ruddy skins marked with waves of flame-blackened spice. Lick your fingers and you'll note salt and garlic, perhaps a little lemon; we suspect, but can't prove, the presence of rocoto chiles. The cooks… More >>
  • Best Weekend Birria

    Gallardos Mexican Food

    There are birrias so thick they could be mistaken for moles, but at this 51-year-old Mission restaurant whose tables still fill with diners every Saturday and Sunday, the lamb stew, estilo San Juan de Lagos, is an elegant, near-transparent carmine. The brilliant color comes naturally, roasted tomatoes simmered with fistfuls of dried chiles — guajillos for fruitiness, New Mexicos for… More >>
  • Best Improbable Breakfast

    Tell Tale Preserve Co.'s Rebel Within - CLOSED

    While pastry chef William Werner searches for Tell Tale Preserve Co.'s permanent home, he has become a welcome presence at the Tuesday and Saturday Ferry Plaza farmers' markets, where he brings caramel brownies, confitures du lait, and the astonishing savory muffin he calls the Rebel Within. It's made from the same Parmesan and Asiago cheese batter he uses for his… More >>
  • Best Barbecued Ribs

    Slow Hand BBQ

    Some barbecue cooks brag about the length of their smoking times and the thickness of their spice rubs as if barbecuing is a virility test. Slow Hand's Dan Frengs believes in low-and-slow cooking, too, but the man has his mind on the meat, taking a more minimal Texan approach to barbecuing. That black crust on his ribs? It's just salt,… More >>
  • Contraband Coffee Bar

    Best New Cafe

    Contraband Coffee Bar

    Opening a great coffee shop isn't just a matter of roasting your own beans (which Contraband does) installing a high-performance espresso machine (a Synesso Hydra), or offering continuing-ed sessions (Saturday afternoon Coffee Labs). It's about bringing great coffee to territory still dominated by burned espresso and desiccated scones. The Mission, SOMA, Hayes Valley: well served, thank you very much. The… More >>
  • Commonwealth and Mission Chinese Food

    Best New Restaurant

    Commonwealth and Mission Chinese Food

    Apart from co-owner Anthony Myint and a shared propensity for donating restaurant profits to local nonprofits, Commonwealth and Mission Chinese Food are independent businesses with very different modi operandi. One is a bistro decorated like a CSI lab, complete with shiny appliances and photogenic staff; the other is a raucous Chinese restaurant with a hip-hop soundtrack and a paper dragon… More >>
  • Bill\'s Place

    Best History Lesson in Ground Beef

    Bill's Place

    A working smartphone for fact-checking will be helpful when bringing your children — or recent arrivals — to this Richmond cafe, whose celebrity burger menu dates back to the days when the Examiner was known as the afternoon paper and Willie Brown was still Da Assemblyman. Who's Herb Caen (a patty topped with Monterey Jack)? That's easy. What about Milton… More >>
  • Park Chow

    Best Fruit Cobbler

    Park Chow

    The most satisfying sweets are the simplest, and the cobbler (aka the Great American Dessert) is simplicity itself. Put fruit in baking dish; pour biscuit dough over fruit; bake until hot and bubbly; devour, preferably with vanilla ice cream. But despite the dish's culinary modesty, it's hard to find a good cobbler outside the country kitchen. Happily, Park Chow, home… More >>
  • The Taco Shop at Underdogs

    Best Taco Tuesday

    The Taco Shop at Underdogs

    Every Tuesday is Taco Day in salsa-loco San Francisco, with bars throughout the city offering stuffed tortillas to their patrons at exceptionally reasonable prices. The origins of this particular feast day are lost to history, but we do know that Nick's Crispy Tacos and the Underdogs sports bar host the best Taco Tuesday in town. The Baja-style fish taco combines… More >>
  • Deep-Fried Salmon Roll at the House

    Best Appetizer

    Deep-Fried Salmon Roll at the House

    A successful appetizer should tease the tongue with wit, complexity, a touch of the unexpected, and just enough culinary know-how to hook the diner into sticking around. (This is the reason the hors d'oeuvre course is usually the highlight of any meal.) The House has had its deep-fried salmon roll on the menu for more than a decade, and it's… More >>
  • Norman\'s Ice Cream & Freezes

    Best Hot Fudge Sundae

    Norman's Ice Cream & Freezes

    The key to any great sundae is the hot fudge, and at Norman's, a sunny, friendly white-bricked hole-in-the-wall, the house sauce is made with Belgian chocolate in small batches by Norman's wife. The result is lush and earthy and not too sweet, with a hint of salt, an extrathick consistency, and enough endorphins to cheer up Eeyore. There's more to… More >>
  • Fort Mason Farmers\' Market

    Best Cool Little Farmers' Market

    Fort Mason Farmers' Market

    Despite its smallish dimensions, Fort Mason's farmers' market always seems to have whatever freshly plucked fruits and veggies you're looking for, whether it's Hollister celery root and sun-dried Kingsburg persimmons or off-the-comb La Honda honey and smoked cod from Half Moon Bay. In-the-know shoppers from the Marina and Cow Hollow converge on the market's two rows of produce stands every… More >>
  • Best Pork in All Its Glory

    Boulette's Larder

    Whether you're talking spareribs, prosciutto, chops, pig's feet, ham, bacon, head cheese, or pork belly, the flesh and sinew of the pig provides some of the yummiest protein available on the planet. And one of the best places in town to sample pig meat in all its succulent manifestations is Boulette's Larder, an upscale takeaway counter and restaurant that specializes… More >>
  • Taqueria San Francisco

    Best Classic Burrito

    Taqueria San Francisco

    Just as the best way to test a sushi chef's skill is to order the rolled omelet, the best way to test a taqueria's mettle is to get a regular carnitas burrito, in which it's impossible to hide flaws with fistfuls of melted cheese. This bare-bones taqueria on the eastern end of the 24th Street strip, which still prices its… More >>
  • Fraîche

    Best Frozen Yogurt

    Fraîche

    Patama Roj and Jessica Gilmartin started their from-scratch frozen yogurt business back when the Korean froyo bubble was still expanding, all in imitation of L.A. cult chain Pinkberry. But Fraîche is froyo even Alice Waters could love. Made from organic Clover milk, it has a nipping acidity and lax sweetness. The consistency: faintly grainy, with the odd ice sliver that… More >>
  • La Oaxaqueña

    Best Hot Chocolate

    La Oaxaqueña

    La Oaxaqueña's hot chocolate is made from blocks of chocolate the owner, Albino Carreno, hauls back from Oaxaca City or Ocotlán on his regular sourcing trips. The 20-pound blocks of cacao de Oaxaca get pulverized in the kitchen, then mixed with ground almonds and cinnamon. The chocolate is dissolved in milk to order, then heated and frothed with the steam… More >>
  • Pork sandwich from Little Vietnam Cafe

    Best Banh Mi

    Pork sandwich from Little Vietnam Cafe

    All the banh mi from this bright-green storefront in the Inner Richmond excel in the basic competencies: A warm, airy French roll so crisp that crumbs fly off its surface when you press down. A faint coating of sweetened mayonnaise. Enough cilantro to perfume each bite, and enough jalapeños to keep you pausing after every few mouthfuls. The pork, however,… More >>
  • Gitane

    Best Restaurant for the Vampirishly Inclined

    Gitane

    Yes, there are a few windows at Gitane, located down a dim and narrow alley in the Financial District, but they're few and easily covered. The glow of the back bar has a Midas touch, turning the bottles of liquor into liquid gold (some of them, frankly, are) and warming up even the ashiest pallor. Loosened up with a cocktail,… More >>
  • SPQR

    Best Restaurant Reinvention

    SPQR

    It's rare for a restaurant to survive a big transition without a name change and significant rebranding. But when Nate Appleman left SPQR to move to New York, his replacement, Matthew Accarrino, took the food in a radically different direction. Of course, the focus stayed nominally Italian, but Appleman's rustic Roman cuisine gave way to some of the city's most… More >>
  • The Blue Plate

    Best Unexpectedly Interesting Wine List

    The Blue Plate

    Blue Plate has long been a diner full of surprises. Cory Obenour almost always keeps meatloaf and braised shortribs on the menu, but also crispy pork belly with mussels escabeche and gnocchi with braised lamb shoulder and charred turnips. And if you expect to find big American wines to go with the familiar American flavors, you may find yourself ecstatically… More >>
  • Best Traditional San Francisco Treat

    Lap Cheong

    A few years after Gold Rush emigrants like the Boudins and the Ghirardellis begun making some of San Francisco's favorite foods, the Lee family moved to San Francisco, where they begun selling Cantonese-style preserved meats. Six generations and 145 years later, the Lees are still making what the new generation of foodies might call local, artisanal salumi — Cantonese style.… More >>
  • Best New Local Cheese

    Nicasio Valley Cheese Co.'s Nicasio Square

    Although the Lafranchi family has been raising dairy cattle on the West Marin hills for more than 80 years, it has been selling cheese — certified organic, farmstead cheese — for only a little more than a year. The Lafranchis traveled back to their ancestral home, the Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland, and persuaded a local cheesemaker to teach them to… More >>
  • Goody Goodie cream & sugar\'s Liège Waffle

    Best Dessert Waffle

    Goody Goodie cream & sugar's Liège Waffle

    Like crème brûlée, the Liège-style waffle makes a virtue out of the burning point of sugar. The street snack named for a Belgian city incorporates pearl-sized lumps of sugar in its batter, which melt and caramelize as the waffle cooks. At her Mission cafe, Remi Hayashi (who is also behind the Goody Goodie window at Folsom and Eighth streets) achieves… More >>
  • Prospect

    Best Fine Dining Happy Hour

    Prospect

    For one of the Bay Area's most amazing dining offers, Prospect's happy hour (4-6 p.m.), chef Ravi Kapur offers a taste of luxury with a selection of five substantial bar snacks, like the black garbanzo hummus with crackers; fried cauliflower; or trotter taquitos with avocado crema — $5 each. There is even great value in the wine with $5 glasses… More >>
  • Sidekick

    Best Crispy Cheese Experience

    Sidekick

    Grilled-cheese fans are often divided into people who love the creamy, oozy insides and those who find the most joy in the crisped bits that ooze out and sizzle on the griddle. For those who prefer crunchy, the Cheese Toasties ($7.95) at Cowgirl Creamery's Ferry Building food stand are a dream come true. Thick slabs of Acme bread get a… More >>
  • Best Cookie Muse

    Alice Medrich

    No one knows cookies better than local sweets author Alice Medrich, and her latest book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, showcases her immense talent and creativity. Starting with a basic recipe and technique, she extrapolates amazing variations, including wheat-free and whole-grain versions, and flavor variations than manage to both comfort and excite. You'll find Spicy Carrot Masala Macaroons in… More >>
  • Best Dishes Worth Hunting Down

    By Jonathan Kauffman and John Birdsall Since the summer of 2009, when a profusion of food carts sprouted up around the city, smartphone-enabled San Franciscans have become nomadic eaters. Give them a few hours' notice via Twitter, and they'll bike far afield of their normal foraging sites, lining up for half-hours at a time at their favorite street-food source until they've… More >>
  • Best Food Trucks

    By Jonathan Kauffman and John Birdsall Thanks to more hospitable city regulations and the seeding of Off the Grid street-food events at sites around the city, the food-truck scene is finally taking root in San Francisco. Its tendrils are twining around the light posts and parking meters. New blossoms are unfurling in parking lots and downtown streets, and the swarms of… More >>
  • Best Counter Dining

    Now that cooking has become entertainment and cooks our favorite performers, the counter is no longer the worst place in the restaurant to sit. Some counter spots require reservations, while others are the only seats you can easily score. Eat by yourself, and you're dining with company. Sit with a friend, and there are a million activities to comment on.… More >>
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