After a long year of eating through America, Eater critic Bill Addison has released his updated list of the country’s 38 best restaurants. The effort is the result of over 600 meals in cities from West to East, sussing out the best, brightest, and most destination-worthy experiences in the United States. His list of best new restaurants and a guide to eating through California came out earlier this year, the lead-up to a year’s worth of dining.
Unsurprisingly, the Bay Area snagged three spots on the list this year: Atelier Crenn, Benu, and Koi Palace in Daly City. Atelier Crenn and Koi Palace join the list for the first time this year, gently nudging Cala and Mister Jiu’s off from last year’s list.
Addison declares that Dominique Crenn’s two-Michelin-starred flagship “mines the middle ground between intellect and emotion, between heady presentation and flat-out deliciousness.” With pastry chef Juan Contreras, Crenn is in a constant state of reinvention, with a constantly changing menu of refined modernist cuisine.
Meanwhile, Benu’s fifth year on the list gives it 38 Icon status, thanks to chef Corey Lee’s “visionary cooking.” His three-Michelin-starred flagship offers a tasting men influenced by Korea, China, Japan. Addison says “After thousands of meals consumed for Eater, I don’t know another place in America that serves food more dazzlingly, gratifyingly singular than Benu.”
And in a fitting demonstration of the Bay Area’s wildly swinging pendulum of socio-economic disparity and cultural diversity, Koi Palace joins the Michelin-heavy list with a menu of dim sum classics. Addison calls it “the indispensable cornerstone among the region’s many stellar dim sum options,” singling out the restaurant’s Daly City location as worth the wait for “dumplings, noodles, congees, sweet and savory cakes, piled greens, and crisp-skinned meats, a through-line of freshness and craftsmanship gives the feast cohesion.”
Check out Eater SF’s own Essential 38 here for even more of the best that San Francisco has to offer, and here for the East Bay 38. And for the hottest, newest spots in town, head on over to the Heatmap.