Bon Appetit drops a new city guide to San Francisco, listing out a bunch of spots that show the range of our dining landcape, making light jabs about "residents puffing out their chests a bit" when it comes to food, and dropping several "San Fran" bombs, which—digression for the record—is like calling New York "The Big Apple" or "The City That Never Sleeps."
As locals it can be tough to read these guides written by outsiders, because there's no way it can encapsulate everyone's favorite recommendations. One man's Zuni Cafe is another woman's Tadich Grill, and somehow our bubble continues to spin on its axis and the slow drip Blue Bottle continues to drip, slowly. Here now, the best San Francisco has to offer, according to Bon Appetit restaurants and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton:
Bar Tartine: "the more elegant, quieter" companion to tourist-packed Tartine Bakery where "[Chad] Robertson, arguably the country's greatest baker, has a passion for obscure grains and exotic breads, and anything that comes out of the oven here is going to be great..."
Benu: "...you shouldn't feel badly about splurging. This is where we do it when we're in town."
Boulette's Larder: "In the morning, go for a French press of Blue Bottle coffee and maybe a mess of tender beignets dusted with sugar and spice."
El Farolito Taqueria: "The carnitas, hunks of crispy, shredded pork shoulder cooked in its own fat, are super-tender, and the cooks know to leave the quesadillas on the griddle long enough to turn the cheese completely molten and give the tortilla those wonderful brown bubbles."
Mission Chinese Food: "one of the country's most sought-after food nerd destinations...Although it's crowded, MCF is worth the wait. After all, where else are you going to find thrice-cooked bacon?"
State Bird Provisions: "an incredibly inventive restaurant where much of the food is wheeled table-to-table on two dim sum carts. Pick what looks good as it rolls by--oysters garnished with daikon pickles, maybe, or a creamy duck liver mousse."
Swan Oyster Depot: "Chatty waiters in long aprons serve some of the country's best seafood...If you're lucky, a waiter may even offer you some tequila from the house barrel. This is old-time San Fran at its best."
The Alembic: "order a cracking good Mint Julep, a perfect Old Fashioned, or a pint of Magnolia, brewed four blocks away. Don't skip the food, like hotshot butcher Ryan Farr's hot dog topped with chicharrónes. It's as good as the drinks."
Bar Agricole: "If aesthetics matter to you as much as taste, you've found your new favorite watering hole."