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Year in Eater 2008: Top Standby Restaurants

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Welcome to Eater's annual year-end survey of friends, industry types, restaurateurs, chefs, media, and readers. This year, we asked the group seven questions. We've already seen Meals of the Year and Top Newcomers; the rest will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Wednesday. The responses are unedited and in no particular order:
SPQR has quickly risen from hot new kid to solid standby. [Photo: Kesler, 10/07]

Q: What was your favorite standby restaurant over the last 12 months?

Elizabeth Falkner, Orson/Citizen Cake: Boulevard

Sarah Sung, UrbanDaddy: NOPA, SPQR, Kokkari

Jessica Boncutter, Bar Jules: Zuni Cafe, Pizzetta 211. Slanted Door is still delicious every time I go. La Ciccia is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, I send everyone there.

Joe Hargrave, Laiola: Pizzeria Delfina on 18th street, at the counter. There is no other standby.

Jan Newberry, San Francisco Magazine: Pizzaiolo

Brock Keeling, SFist: Salt House, Velvet Cantina

Chris Cosentino, Incanto: Sebo is always great, Gialina for the whole family

Patrick Heig, Citysearch: Zazie's.

Kevin Blum, City Dish: Still lovin' Metro Katmandhu. Wish folks would show them more love. Still like Bar Jules and Arlequin for lunch. Still love Range, Aziza, and I'm always a sucker for Mangarosa.

Lissa Doumani, Terra/Ame: We find ourselves many nights at Ryoko’s relaxing drinking sake or shochu with ume and soda and just letting Atsushi-san choose our fish for us. It is a bit loud with the dance beat always going but just simple sashimi and a good drink and we are relaxed. We also have been hanging out at Bar Bambino, simple honest food well prepared. The staff is great, they know what they are doing and are very well informed about the wines on their list. They always find something we haven’t had before.

Marcia Gagliardi, Tablehopper: NOPA, baby!

Anna Weinberg, South: Coco 500, Slanted Door, Indian Garden takeout

Nish Nadaraja, Yelp: Foreign Cinema. I was there for their opening almost 10 years ago, so it’s nice to have seen them become an SF institution. I live a block from NOPA, so my wife and I are there almost every Sunday, early around 6pm, with our son Dash (he’s loyal to their cheeseburger and fries).

Lucchesi: Dated dining room decor aside, what's better than drinks, French onion soup, a perfect burger and some fries on a foggy evening at the bar at Absinthe? Honorable mention: SPQR, Java House, Out the Door takeout, and one that's gone unmentioned until now, Canteen.

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