St. Vincent [Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux]
As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. We asked the group eight questions about the highs and lows of San Francisco dining over the past year. The answers to our first question are in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited, below:
Q: Name your top restaurant standbys of 2012 -- the restaurants you returned to most.
Jane Goldman, CHOW.com: I keep going back to St. Vincent. Everything changes all the time, so it never gets boring, but mostly I go back because the food is delicious and complex, the beer and wine are extraordinary, and the place is comfortable. It's one of the few places that combines a homey vibe with thoughtful, surprising food. I'd also keep going back to State Bird Provisions if I could get in.
Josh Sens, San Francisco Magazine: Hawker Fare and Ippuku. Partly because I love them both but also because I'm an East Bay resident. If I lived in SF, I'd be at Izakaya Yuzuki more often.
Jesse Hirsch, The Examiner: Outerlands, Schmidts (brunch), Pancho Villa, Lers Ros, Deli Board, Seoul Patch
Jonathan Kauffman, Tasting Table: If frequency is the sole measure, I'd have to say Sunrise Deli for falafel, and I'll blame my partner for that, though it's not hard to convince me to accompany him. Because we live on the Panhandle, I also end up at Nopalito and Ragazza on a semi-regular basis. And I can't seem to stay away from Bar Tartine -- first for dinner, now for lunch; plus, every week it seems like they're hosting some interesting guest-chef dinner.
Virginia Miller, SF Bay Guardian: Never wanting to forsake the classics, I returned to long time favorites like Matterhorn, House of Prime Rib, Rosamunde, the house, Aziza, Zushi Puzzle, Leopold's, or take-out at Curry Village and Good Luck Dim Sum. I've been to Tony Gemignani's new Capo's more than is reasonable for only being open a few weeks, consuming copious amounts of deep dish.
Anna Roth, SF Weekly: I haven't had much time to fall into a rut since I moved here in July – I try to eat at different places every time on my nights off – but I've returned to a few. Bar Tartine, as much for their Monday night guest chef dinners as for their regular menu. Nopa, when I was subletting a block away. Takeout from Lers Ros, Mission Chinese, or Wing Wings when I'm feeling lazy.
Grant Marek, Thrillist: Biergarten (steins!), Super Duper, Tacolicious on Valencia, Bluestem Brasserie, West of Pecos, Leopold's (steins... again!), Maven, Park Tavern, Wise Sons Delicatessen, and Darwin Cafe.
Marcia Gagliardi, Tablehopper: Benu, Saison's chef counter, and Michael Mina. Ha ha, kidding. I found myself returning to Bar Tartine often (brunch, lunch, dinner—that place has you covered), DOSA on Fillmore, and takeout from Nopalito and Green Chile Kitchen (I live nearby). For "I am hangry" moments, I hit up the El Tonayense truck on Harrison and Wing Lee on Clement (those damn baked chashu pork buns) a fair amount.
Paolo Lucchesi, Inside Scoop SF: Original Joe's, Bouche, Incanto, Hapa Ramen, Wing Wings, Sing Sing,Liverpool Lil's, Pizzeria Delfina, Turtle Tower, Bar Agricole, Comstock.