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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ten Best San Francisco Restaurants Not on OpenTable

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge You want to get with Nojo's tempura? OpenTable won't hook you up. - JEN SISKA
  • Jen Siska
  • You want to get with Nojo's tempura? OpenTable won't hook you up.

Five years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the lock that OpenTable now has on San Francisco restaurants. From the highest of the high end to mid-priced neighborhood places, the locally based online reservations company has signed up every restaurant in town.


When SFoodie noticed that SF's best Chinese restaurants were all avoiding OpenTable -- and online reservations in general -- we scanned OpenTable's 1,115 Bay Area restaurants to see who else had opted out. Here are our favorite monopoly-busters. Some use Urbanspoon's Rezbook, which is a bigger player in other cities, while others rely on their own e-forms or devotedly cling to Luddism. All answer the telephone.

1. Alembic

2. Cafe Jacqueline (hey, it's run by an ancient French woman)

3. Delfina

4. Gary Danko

5. Incanto (practically anti-OpenTable activists)

6. Isa

7. Locanda

8. Namu

9. Nojo

10. Universal Cafe

Runners up: All of SFoodie's favorite pizza places (Gialina, Pauline's, Una Pizza Napoletana, Pizzeria Delfina, Tony's Pizza Napoletana)

One last tip: Even if you're trying to get into a restaurant that OpenTable swears is booked, call anyway. Most places don't allocate all their tables to online reservations, and will keep a few spots open for tenacious, non-wheedling telephone callers.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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