Michelin-Approved Bay Area Restaurants

The culinary arbiters aren’t handing out stars in California this year, but they do have some suggestions.

Michelin stars are normally a boon for restaurateurs, who can consistently count on increased business after receiving a coveted star rating. Originally, according to The Chronicle, the 2020 Michelin Guide was going to carry on with its traditional awards based on pre-pandemic research. But, given all that’s happened this year — from a global pandemic to worldwide civil unrest to a devastating wildfire season — the French culinary publication has since changed its mind.

While the Michelin Guide won’t be doling out stars in California this year, it did round up a list of 25 “inspector-approved” restaurants up and down the coast, including six Bay Area restaurants. The Michelin Guide honored these half-dozen “discoveries” at a virtual family meal:

5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
azizasf.com | 415-682-4196
Open for takeout, indoor dining, outdoor dining

We praised Aziza in January, just a few months after founder Mourad Lahlou ended his three-year hiatus, induced by a falling out with his mother and constant renovation challenges to the building. The California Moroccan restaurant’s spreads — butterbean merguez, piquillo-almond, and dill-lebni-roe — and chicken basteeya are a must for any interested diner.

Tacos Oscar
420 40th St., Oakland
tacososcar.com | 510-735-9620
Open for takeout

When former SF Weekly Editor Peter Lawrence Kane paid a visit to Tacos Oscar in 2019, he had a few very important questions for our readers: “Have you ever had a taco that sent electrical impulses running down both of your arms? Have you ever moaned, ‘Oh my fucking God’ mid-bite with your mouth full of taco and your head cocked 90 degrees to one side? Have you ever felt like you had a fucking taco chakra and it was sitting on top of an acupuncture meridian and it was just qi, qi, qi through all eight of your extraordinary vessels?”

Definitely order the $4 mole coloradito — a mushroom mole taco — if you go.

Brotzeit Lokal
1000 Embarcadero, Oakland
brotzeitbiergarten.com | 510-645-1905
Open for takeout and outdoor dining

A Bavarian restaurant with an impressive waterfront view and an even more impressive beer selection, which sources from German and Austrian family breweries, monastery microbrews, and local selections.

Los Carnalitos
30200 Industrial Pkwy., Hayward
Facebook | 510-324-8125
Open for takeout and outdoor dining

Los Carnalitos makes their Mexico City street food from scratch, including gorditas, a deep fried pocket of dough stuffed with meat, queso fresco, salsa, and onion. The Michelin Guide recommends the quesadilla, made with house-made tortillas, squash blossom, queso fresco, and tomatillo salsa.

Tony’s Seafood
18863 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall
tonysseafoodrestaurant.com | 415-663-1107
Open for takeout and outdoor dining

Enjoy some seafood classics like a fried oyster po’ boy sandwich, or order a clam chowder kit to-go for some at-home cooking. Tony’s Seafood also sells Hog Island’s chipotle bourbon butter: brown sugar, bourbon, garlic, and chipotle chilis all in an eight ounce jar.

3001 El Camino Real, Redwood City
selbysrestaurant.com | 650-546-7700  
Closed during COVID-19, but open for Thanksgiving takeout

The Michelin inspector says, “Swanky Selby’s is headed by the very talented Chef Mark Sullivan and chef de cuisine Jason Pringle. Elegant American classic fare is the focus, as is the farm-to-table ethos via produce from the group’s own farm, SMIP Ranch.”

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