The 2014 Bay Area edition of the Zagat Survey has arrived in bookstores today, with the opinions of 17,505 avid diners amassed within its pages. As it has for the past four years, Gary Danko once again topped the listings for Best Food, Best Service, and Most Popular Restaurant, while Sierra Mar, in Big Sur, took home the prize for Top Decor. The top five most popular restaurants were Danko, Kokkari Estiatorio, Boulevard, The French Laundry, and The Slanted Door, while the best food prizes went to Danko, Erna's Elderberry House, The French Laundry, Sierra Mar, and Acquerello.
The survey also revealed some unique facts about the dining habits of the Bay Area folks surveyed: while they ate out less often than the national average (4.2 meals out per week, compared to 4.4 nationally), they spent slightly more per tab, averaging $41.87, compared to the national standard of $40.53. Unsurprisingly for the hometown of OpenTable and Urbanspoon, they're also far more likely to make their reservations online, with 68% of voters booking tables on the Web (compared to 52% nationally). And surprisingly, given the much-vaunted propensity of SF-dwellers to wait, 52% of participants said they'd wait no longer than 30 minutes for a table at a no-reservations spot, with 6% more saying they wouldn't wait at all.
The most popular cuisine among Bay Area diners is Italian, with 22% of them listing it as their favorite; Acquerello and La Ciccia topped the list of best Italian spots. The cuisine diners most want to see more of, however, is French, with 18% seeking more French restaurants in the area. (La Forêt, Le Papillon, and La Folie topped the rankings.)
Finally, here are the Zagat rankings for some major first-timers to the guide that opened in 2012 (scored out of 30):
State Bird Provisions: Food 26, Decor 18, Service 23
Hakkasan: Food 24, Decor 26, Service 24
Ramen Shop: Food 24, Decor 21, Service 22
Craftsman & Wolves: Food 25, Decor 24, Service 23
St. Vincent: Food 21, Decor 20, Service 20
Rich Table: Food 25, Decor 18, Service 22
Namu Gaji: Food 24, Decor 22, Service 21
Local's Corner: Food 26, Decor 23, Service 24
Dixie: Food 20, Decor 23, Service 22
Central Kitchen: Food 24, Decor 22, Service 22
Farina Pizza: Food 20, Decor 18, Service 15