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Bauer Has Delivered His Yearly Screed Naming SF’s Top 100 Restaurants

22 newcomers have joined the ranks

La Taqueria made the list
Eater Archives

Love him or hate him, SF Chronicle critic Michael Bauer has revealed his yearly Top 100 restaurants list, with 22 newcomers and a fancy new, searchable format in tow. In its 22nd year, the list is the result of a dizzying amount of eating out around the Bay Are, and a slew of pretty mediocre reviews.

The newspaper’s dining budget must be astronomical, as critic visits each restaurant several times. In fact, Bauer’s big takeaway from the dining scene this year is that “So many high-quality restaurants have opened in recent years that it feels as if we’re in the golden age of dining. The downside: It can take a lot of gold to eat out these days.” To offset the “price creep,” this year’s Top 100 includes many more lower priced eating establishments, places Bauer says he goes “on my own dime.” That includes cementing La Taqueria, which was also named a James Beard Award Classic this year, as the victor over El Farolita, plus Souvla, Vik’s Chaat, and other non-tasting menu spots.

Bauer lamented the difficulty of only choosing 100 places, which he says is an indication of how good the Bay Area’s dining scene is. He has found a loophole however, lumping Chez Panisse and its cafe into one slot, as well as combining Pizzaiolo and Boot and Shoe Service. And while he admitted that many of the restaurants that departed the list are excellent, there’s just not enough room. Some SF institutions were shown the door this year (like Perbacco, Bix, Kusakabe, and Trou Normand), as well as some that were only added last year (like Old Bus Tavern, Little Gem, Belga, and once again, Bix). (Here’s last year’s list of additions and subtrations.)

Also new this year: A disclosure naming the restaurants featured on IfOnly, a website with which Bauer’s partner is involved.

Full disclosure:

My partner is involved with the IfOnly website, which features chefs and owners from a number of Bay Area restaurants. Those included in the Top 100 are A16, Bar Agricole, Bottega, Camino, Chez Panisse, La Ciccia, Frances, Gary Danko, Hawker Fare, Marlowe, Mourad, Park Tavern, Progress, Octavia SPQR, Wayfare Tavern.

What do you think of this year’s decree? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Tawla
  2. Izakaya Rintaro
  3. Kin Khao
  4. Tartine Manufactory
  5. Single Thread
  6. Souvla
  7. Vik's Chaat
  8. Ju-Ni
  9. Corridor
  10. In Situ
  11. Seven Hills
  12. Nido
  13. August 1 Five
  14. B. Patisserie/B. on the Go
  15. Miminashi
  16. Tastee Steam Kitchen
  17. Original Joe's Westlake
  18. Aster
  19. The Saratoga
  20. Bellota
  21. La Taqueria
  22. Onsen


  1. Akikos
  2. Bix
  3. Bistro Don Giovanni
  4. Bravas Bar de Tapas
  5. Belga
  6. The Cavalier
  7. Flour + Water
  8. Ichi
  9. Kusakabe
  10. Little Gem
  11. Madrona Manor
  12. Mamacita
  13. Ninebark (closed)
  14. Old Bus Tavern
  15. Oso
  16. Perbacco
  17. Press
  18. Range (closed)
  19. Redd Wood
  20. Sir & Star
  21. Trou Normand
  22. Volta (closed)