clock menu more-arrow no yes
Wings at San Tung
Michael C./Yelp

The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, Winter 2019

Answers to where to eat tonight

View as Map
Wings at San Tung
| Photo by Michael C./Yelp

It's time to update the Eater 38, the answer to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant?" This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all restaurant needs. Every few months, pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game will be added. Sometimes a still great restaurant makes way for another one, in order to keep things new and fresh.

After all, this is San Francisco — 38 restaurants are only a start to the many worthy places to dine in this city. In fact, many of them can be found here, on the Heatmap, or on the East Bay Essential 38. And keep in mind, this list is presented West to East; there's no ranking involved.

Added in January 2019: Four new restaurants have joined the ranks. Please welcome Delfina (classic California-italian), Marlowe (American bistro fare in stylish surroundings), RT Rotissere (rotisserie meats and vegetables from Rich Table team), and San Tung (classic Inner Richmond Chinese cuisine). Making the move off the map this go-round are (also very good restaurants) Cala, Aina (closed), Monsieur Benjamin, and Sons and Daughters.

Rather than having a stage-four meltdown over the exclusion of a favorite restaurant from the list, wouldn't it be more productive to just nominate it for inclusion?

For all the latest San Francisco dining intel, subscribe to Eater SF's newsletter.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cassava

Copy Link
Read Review |
3519 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 640-8990
Visit Website

This Outer Richmond restaurant is a destination worthy of traversing the city, even if just for its very excellent Japanese breakfast. Warm hospitality from co-owner Yuka Ioroi is part of the draw at this intimate restaurant, as is the menu of dishes skillfully prepared by chef/owner Kris Toliao (Luce) at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make a reservation for brunch, or be forced to join the long line that forms each weekend morning.

2. Fiorella

Copy Link
2339 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 340-3049
Visit Website

The Outer Richmond lucked out when this buzzy Italian restaurant hit the scene, bringing an eclectic wine list and pies with a Brooklyn pedigree to the neighborhood (chef/partner Brandon Gillis hails from the iconic Franny’s). There’s far more than pizza, though, with a selection of antipasti and fritti (fried options like arancini stuffed with fior di latte mozzarella), and large plates like Berkshire pork spare ribs. Custom wallpaper adorned with Bay Area icons like Alice Waters and E-40 is a fitting backdrop.

3. San Tung

Copy Link
1031 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 242-0828
Visit Website

Though known for its very excellent dry-fried wings, San Tung offers a wide selection of favorites like dumplings, sizzling rice soup, noodles with black bean sauce, and the house shrimp. The Lines form early and the wait can go on for hours, so plan accordingly. But, once inside the dining room with its beige walls, carpeted flooring, and lazy-susan-topped tables, dinner will be worth the wait.

4. Hong Kong Lounge II

Copy Link
3300 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 668-8802
Visit Website

Though the dim sum doesn't arrive on a cart, it's all extremely delicious at this Inner Richmond standby. Coffee pork ribs, har gow, and more are all excellent, though their dinner entrees can hold their own as well. Salt and pepper soft shell crab, or whole abalone and pea shoots in supreme oyster sauce: there’s no wrong order here.

Eater Archives

5. Spruce

Copy Link
3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 931-5100
Visit Website

Nestled deeply in upsacle Presidio Heights, Spruce is a refined neighborhood restaurant. With its white tablecloths, fantastic wine list, and great service, it summons memories of a more dignified style of dining (but in a more modern setting). For a less formal experience, sit at the comfortable bar and order the burger, a favorite amongst those in the know. Add taleggio or foie gras for ultimate indulgence.

Spruce

6. Nopalito

Copy Link
306 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 437-0303
Visit Website

Though it shares ownership with Nopa, Nopalito is very much its own beast, serving smart, sustainable sit-down Mexican fare that provides a nice counterpoint to the often hectic taqueria experience. From the tangy totopos con chile to the comforting tortilla soup to the killer carnitas, there's something for everyone here (plus damn good margaritas).

7. The Progress

Copy Link
1525 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 673-1294
Visit Website

The bigger sibling to Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s original (and still excellent) hit restaurant next door, State Bird Provisions, the Progress has evolved into a true essential restaurant, including the addition of a Michelin star in 2018. A spacious, high-ceilinged dining room and buzzy bar area are right for date night, or a large group. In addition to inventive a la carte dishes, you can order a platter for two to six people, like a whole fried Mcfarland Springs trout with pickled ginger, Japanese mushrooms, and lime butter. And don’t leave without ordering one (or two) of the best martini in town, made with gin or vodka, vermouth, smoked Castelvetrano olive juice, and rosemary oil.

8. Octavia

Copy Link
Read Review |
1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 408-7507
Visit Website

Since chef Melissa Perello opened it in 2015,Octavia has been a charming neighborhood restaurant restaurant. Now it has grown up to match its Michelin-starred sibling, Frances, and is a destination in its own right, with dishes like Dungeness crab tonnarelli with toasted hazelnut, saffron, marash pepper and fino sherry, and the signature “deviled” egg with fresno chile relish, marash pepper and spice. There’s no bar to wait in, so don’t show up early with the hope of grabbing a drink.

Octavia’s “deviled” egg
Patricia Chang

9. La Ciccia

Copy Link
291 30th St
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 550-8114
Visit Website

Not so much San Francisco Italian as pure unadulterated regional Italian (Sardinia, to be specific), this family-run sparkler is free of pretension. Don’t miss the spicy octopus stew, the sea urchin pasta, and the unusual wine selection at this cozy Noe Valley spot.

10. Petit Crenn

Copy Link
609 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-1744
Visit Website

Inspired by the cuisine of Brittany, chef Dominique Crenn's more casual spinoff to three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn offers a dinner party vibe, in an intimate space. A multi-course set menu is centered around seafood, like oysters and roasted whole fish; the crisp wine list, and extensive offering of cider are part of the charm. Reservations are required for a table, but walk-ins are always welcome at the white marble bar that has a prime view of the kitchen.

11. Delfina

Copy Link
3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 552-4055
Visit Website

After 20 years Delfina continues to embody the Cal-Ital dining that has helped shaped both SF’s dining scene and its Mission neighborhood. Black truffle arancini, bowls of ricotta cavatelli and classic spaghetti, and wood-fired entrees keep regular diners coming from blocks (and miles) away. It’s always packed, so try to grab a reservation ahead of time.

12. a Mano

Copy Link
Read Review |
450 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 506-7401
Visit Website

Not only does this Hayes Valley restaurant draw lines each night (sorry, no reservations here) but its menu of approachable — and reasonably priced — Italian cuisine has hit its stride. Chef Freedom Rains’ signature Tuscan fried chicken is an easy choice, as are any of the often changing pastas and pizzas; classics like bucatini all’ amatriciana are a constant. Top it off with an Aperol spritz at a sidewalk table and watch the hustle of Hayes Valley go by.

13. Robin

Copy Link
Read Review |
620 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 548-2429
Visit Website

A year in and this Hayes Valley sushi restaurant is firing on all cylinders, from service and to the style of sushi made by chef Adam Tortosa and his team. The omakase includes new signatures like potato chip nigiri topped with caviar, and wagyu with foie gras “snow,” served in a moody space. Definitely aim for a seat at the sushi bar.

14. Rich Table

Copy Link
199 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 355-9085
Visit Website

Evan and Sarah Rich's Hayes Valley favorite is a challenging reservation, thanks to wildly inventive, consistently delicious food and a smart wine selection and cocktail program. Don't miss the sardine chips, porcini doughnuts with raclette fondue, seasonal salads, and pastas, and one of Sarah Rich’s desserts. If a seat in the small dining room isn’t available, try for a place at the bar for dinner and drinks.

Burrata Caramelle, brown butter, aged balsamic vinegar @richtable

A post shared by Brandon Rice (@brandonrice123) on

15. House of Prime Rib

Copy Link
1906 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 885-4605

This 30-year-old Nob Hill classic is a trip back in time to when plating with tweezers was not yet a thing. The restaurant's apropos name says it all — it serves one thing and one thing only, and it does that roast beef very, very well. The only choices to make are: meat temperature, cut thickness, mashed or loaded baked potatoes, and martini or manhattan. Each plate comes with a salad prepared tableside, creamed spinach, Yorkshire pudding and potatoes— and of course a hulking piece of beef cut from roving meat carts. Take visiting friends and family, celebrate momentous occasions or just satisfy cravings for steak here.

16. El Buen Comer

Copy Link
3435 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 817-1542
Visit Website

Mexico City native Isabel Caudillo is serving family recipes at her two-year-old restaurant, with a menu focused on guisados, slow-cooked meat and vegetable stews served with rice and beans. Tacos and enchiladas are also excellent, using handmade tortillas and organic masa. Stop by for chilaquiles at brunch, or enjoy the warm embrace of a truly welcoming neighborhood restaurant at dinner.

17. Jardinière

Copy Link
300 Grove St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 861-5555
Visit Website

After 20 years, chef Traci Des Jardins Hayes Valley restaurant continues to excel. It’s an elegant setting with elegant dishes like Alaskan halibut with sweet corn, chanterelles, and crème fraîche. Des Jardins recently added the Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger that mimics the real thing, to the bar menu. Stop in for a cocktail, caviar, and one of SF’s few worthwhile white tablecloth dining experiences.

18. Zuni Café

Copy Link
1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 552-2522
Visit Website

Besides "the" chicken, Zuni's burger, Caesar salad and bloody mary have all been called the best in the city. Sitting on the edge of Hayes Valley, it’s the utility belt of restaurants: good for brunch, for late-night dining, for oysters and a cocktail at the bar, or for a lovely sit-down meal with a date. And don’t forget the chicken.

Bill Addison

19. Loló

Copy Link
974 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 643-5656
Visit Website

This busy, colorful oasis in the Mission with craft cocktails and Mexican dishes is always a great choice. Not only does it have queso — a surprisingly elusive dip in SF — but its taco options are on point with fillings like panko-crusted shrimp, fish, and grilled beef. Grab a seat at the bustling bar or make a reservation for a table, since this place is always bumpin’, especially during brunch.

Patricia Chang

20. RT Rotisserie

Copy Link
101 Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102

The Rich Table Team’s foray into fast-casual is, predictably, a craveable, delicious restaurant with most of its dishes centered around rotisserie cooking. The menu offers sandwiches with fillings like pork belly, lamb, or chicken cooked on a spit, and Sarah Rich’s famous fried chicken sandwich. Don’t, however, miss out on the excellently prepared vegetable items, or the sleeper hit RTR salad with herbs and pickled onions. Order at the counter, grab a number, and a seat in the minimal, but hip, dining room.

21. Swan Oyster Depot

Copy Link
1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-1101
Visit Website

Open only for lunch, Polk Street’s 100-year-old gem still churns out the best crab, oysters and sourdough in town. The late Anthony Bourdain unfortunately clued the tourist crowd into this one a while back, so get there early to snag one of the handful of seats (and a prime view of the quirky, old-school staff), or be prepared for a long wait.

Daniel Krieger

22. Lazy Bear

Copy Link
3416 19th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 874-9921
Visit Website

For a dining experience that deviates from the norm, head to chef David Barzelay’s ticketed Lazy Bear in the Mission. The communal tables and attentive, casual service evoke a dinner party, but comparisons to your friend’s house stop there. An evening herekicks off with a cocktail hour of passed appetizers in the mezzanine before heading to the loft-like, yet cozy dining room with seating at two long, live-edge oak slab tables. Chefs deliver the modern American dishes like grilled lamb with spring herbs to the table themselves and invite guests into the kitchen to peer over their shoulder while they work.

Patricia Chang

23. Foreign Cinema

Copy Link
2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-7600
Visit Website

While the beloved brunch, flickering hearth, and nightly movies continue to be projected onto its patio walls, Gayle Pirie and John Clark are keeping things fresh at their Mission standby, with a menu that leans  North African and Mediterranean and a deep wine program. It’s one of the city’s most romantic restaurants, with high ceilings, low lighting, and dishes like the ever-popular Madras curry-sesame fried chicken with chickpea hummus, Moroccan carrots,  radicchio salad, and ice-cold raw oysters.

Foreign Cinema/Facebook

24. La Taqueria

Copy Link
2889 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-7117
Visit Website

It wouldn’t be San Francisco without The Mission’s squadron of high-quality taquerias. This one continues to lead the pack with unwavering rave reviews for its sublime, spot-on Mexico staples, including an America's Best Burrito title, and a deep-dive via Eater Elements. The carnitas here are the best around.

25. Californios

Copy Link
3115 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 757-0994
Visit Website

The stunning, polished decor of Californios is matched only by its very precise, intricate food. Chef Val M. Cantu has created a stylish menu that offers Mexican flavors embedded in the format of a formal tasting experience. Delicate dishes with layers of flavors are the order of the day, accompanied by small-production wines from Charlotte Randolph (The French Laundry).

26. Rintaro

Copy Link
82 14th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 589-7022
Visit Website

Rintaro feels a secret hideout in the Mission, with a lovely front patio guarded from the street by a bamboo fence. Enter, and find an inviting, wood-clad izakaya from Chez Panisse alum Sylvan Brackett, whose menu draws a stylish, bustling crowd. Gyoza, yakitori of all kinds, pristine sashimi, and the platonic ideal of fried tori katsu (fried chicken stuffed with Cowgirl Creamery cheese) are all on order. Sit at the bar to watch chefs deftly turning skewers of meats on the grill and sip on sake or Japanese beer.

27. Liholiho Yacht Club

Copy Link
871 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 440-5446
Visit Website

This sleek, sophisticated and slightly cheeky tribute to the Hawaiian islands blends chef Ravi Kapur’s heritage with his Prospect pedigree. The Hawaiian-Indian-NorCal cuisine results in dishes like poppy seed steam buns with beef tongue and kimchi that are uniquely Kapur’s. It all takes place in a high-energy space in Lower Nob Hill with a bright yellow open kitchen as the centerpiece. Pros know to stalk the bar, where stools open up much quicker than the oft-quoted two-and-a-half hour wait.

28. Tartine Manufactory

Copy Link
595 Alabama St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 757-0007
Visit Website

Tartine Manufactory scratches all the itches, starting with excellent coffee from its own brand Coffee Manufactory; bread and pastries in the morning; and moving on to an airy light-filled lunch experience, complete with porchetta sandwiches, grain bowls, and smørrebrød. Dinner brings heartier versions of Tartine’s aesthetic, including pork ribs with pumpkin seed salsa and yogurt, and an 18-ounce dry-aged ribeye with chanterelles, paired with wines selected for quality, sustainability, and diversity. At all hours it’s a lively Mission spot filled with locals eating, bakers baking, and seekers of beautifully lit Instagrams hard at work.

29. Kin Khao

Copy Link
55 Cyril Magnin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 362-7456
Visit Website

The dynamic food at Kin Khao, a Thai respite in Union Square’s Parc 55 hotel, induces cravings. Owner (and well-respected Chez Pim food blogger) Pim Techamuanvivit doesn’t blog much anymore; she’s too busy translating the recipes of her native Bangkok into pedigreed, Bay Area-appropriate fare. Don’t overlook the selection of unparalleled curries — all cooked from spice pastes that are made fresh daily in house — and craft cocktails.

Ellen Fort

30. The Morris

Copy Link
Read Review |
2501 Mariposa St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 612-8480
Visit Website

Not only is sommelier/owner Paul Einbund’s Mission restaurant a wine-lover’s dream, it’s a meat-lover’s paradise. From the smoked duck with perfectly browned and crispy skin to the foie gras dumplings and country paté, it’s a hearty menu of nuanced dishes in a packed dining room. Don’t sleep on the Chartreuse slushie, an ode to Einbund’s love of the herbaceous liqueur. Read more about it in Eater SF’s review.

The duck at the Morris
Patricia Chang

31. China Live - Market Restaurant

Copy Link
644 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 788-8188
Visit Website

China Live’s Market Restaurant burst onto the Chinatown scene last year with a sleek dining room and a deep selection of dishes. From pan-fried shen jian bao to Peking duck and char siu, it’s all an inviting exploration of the cuisine as part of a larger emporium of retail goods, a smaller cafe, with a fine dining restaurant and Scotch bar upstairs. The Market Restaurant combines craft cocktails, a finely matched wine list, and a casual atmosphere to make it a wise choice for lunch or dinner.

32. Deli Board

Copy Link
1058 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-7687
Visit Website

This SoMa deli doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to heaping flavorful meats onto its pillowy rolls. The menu changes daily, but it always includes Romanian pastrami (a fatter, more delicious cut according to owner Adam Mesnick). Sandwiches like the “Mina,” made with pastrami, roast beef, cheddar and muenster cheese, cole slaw and the signature “board sauce” might make it onto the menu more than once, but check back daily for meaty surprises.

Stefanie Tuder

33. Mister Jiu's

Copy Link
28 Waverly Pl
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 857-9688
Visit Website

Mister Jiu's has breathed new life into the shuttered Four Seas restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Chef Brandon Jew has translated his Chinese-American heritage and SF upbringing into a fresh take on the cuisine, in a modern setting. Cocktails are excellent, the wine list is filled with local producers, and classics like tea-smoked duck are made new again.

Kassie Borreson

34. Cotogna

Copy Link
490 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 775-8508
Visit Website

With a warm, flickering hearth in the kitchen, friendly service, an innovative fixed-price wine program, and Michael Tusk's pasta throwbacks from the old Quince days (the raviolo al uovo is a favorite), Cotogna is an easy E38 pick. Good luck getting a table, though, as the warm, firelit dining room in Jackson Square fills up fast at dinnertime. It's also an ideal destination for a relaxed lunch at one of the sidewalk tables.

35. Mourad

Copy Link
140 New Montgomery St #1
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 660-2500
Visit Website

The SoMa restaurant’s big and beautiful interior is matched by chef Mourad Lahlou's bold, Moroccan-inspired flavors. Choose from a la carte options like duck basteeya and shareable, large format dishes of lamb and short rib — or go for the tasting menu. Drinks are equally inspired, featuring combinations like pineapple and artichoke, while the wine cellar — on view in a gorgeous glass-enclosed mezzanine — is filled with old- and new-world treasures.

A post shared by Mourad (@mourad_sf) on

36. Benu

Copy Link
22 Hawthorne St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 685-4860
Visit Website

Three Michelin stars aren’t easy to come by, and chef Corey Lee earned its trio via his refined tasting menu ($298). A unique mix of East and West flavors bring Lee’s French technique, California produce, and Korean heritage into focus in SoMa, with dishes like foie gras xiao long bao.

Bill Addison

37. Marlowe

Copy Link
500 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 777-1413
Visit Website

The epicenter of the Big Night Group’s restaurant empire (which also includes Park Tavern, Petite Marlowe, and Leo’s Oyster Bar), Marlowe brings a high-energy, casual bistro vibe to SoMa. White tiled floors and walls and leather banquettes are the perfect setting for rich and juicy Marlowe burgers, deviled eggs, and its signature brussels sprout chips. It’s loud and busy at all times, so grab a cocktail at the bar if there’s a wait.

Marlowe

38. Saison

Copy Link
178 Townsend St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 828-7990
Visit Website

Saison can certainly drain a paycheck (it is the state’s most expensive restaurant at $398 per person), but there’s perhaps no tasting menu in town more deserving of that money. The plush atmosphere remains relatively unstuffy, especially in the Salon, where you can drop in for an impromptu cocktail and order a la carte. The nightly dishes change often, achieving the arty, evocative heights to which chefs of Josh Skenes’ ilk aspire, but — most importantly — they are very delicious.

Ellen Fort

Loading comments...

1. Cassava

3519 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Read Review |

This Outer Richmond restaurant is a destination worthy of traversing the city, even if just for its very excellent Japanese breakfast. Warm hospitality from co-owner Yuka Ioroi is part of the draw at this intimate restaurant, as is the menu of dishes skillfully prepared by chef/owner Kris Toliao (Luce) at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make a reservation for brunch, or be forced to join the long line that forms each weekend morning.

3519 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121

2. Fiorella

2339 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

The Outer Richmond lucked out when this buzzy Italian restaurant hit the scene, bringing an eclectic wine list and pies with a Brooklyn pedigree to the neighborhood (chef/partner Brandon Gillis hails from the iconic Franny’s). There’s far more than pizza, though, with a selection of antipasti and fritti (fried options like arancini stuffed with fior di latte mozzarella), and large plates like Berkshire pork spare ribs. Custom wallpaper adorned with Bay Area icons like Alice Waters and E-40 is a fitting backdrop.

2339 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121

3. San Tung

1031 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

Though known for its very excellent dry-fried wings, San Tung offers a wide selection of favorites like dumplings, sizzling rice soup, noodles with black bean sauce, and the house shrimp. The Lines form early and the wait can go on for hours, so plan accordingly. But, once inside the dining room with its beige walls, carpeted flooring, and lazy-susan-topped tables, dinner will be worth the wait.

1031 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

4. Hong Kong Lounge II

3300 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
Eater Archives

Though the dim sum doesn't arrive on a cart, it's all extremely delicious at this Inner Richmond standby. Coffee pork ribs, har gow, and more are all excellent, though their dinner entrees can hold their own as well. Salt and pepper soft shell crab, or whole abalone and pea shoots in supreme oyster sauce: there’s no wrong order here.

3300 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

5. Spruce

3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Spruce

Nestled deeply in upsacle Presidio Heights, Spruce is a refined neighborhood restaurant. With its white tablecloths, fantastic wine list, and great service, it summons memories of a more dignified style of dining (but in a more modern setting). For a less formal experience, sit at the comfortable bar and order the burger, a favorite amongst those in the know. Add taleggio or foie gras for ultimate indulgence.

3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

6. Nopalito

306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Though it shares ownership with Nopa, Nopalito is very much its own beast, serving smart, sustainable sit-down Mexican fare that provides a nice counterpoint to the often hectic taqueria experience. From the tangy totopos con chile to the comforting tortilla soup to the killer carnitas, there's something for everyone here (plus damn good margaritas).

306 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94117

7. The Progress

1525 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

The bigger sibling to Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s original (and still excellent) hit restaurant next door, State Bird Provisions, the Progress has evolved into a true essential restaurant, including the addition of a Michelin star in 2018. A spacious, high-ceilinged dining room and buzzy bar area are right for date night, or a large group. In addition to inventive a la carte dishes, you can order a platter for two to six people, like a whole fried Mcfarland Springs trout with pickled ginger, Japanese mushrooms, and lime butter. And don’t leave without ordering one (or two) of the best martini in town, made with gin or vodka, vermouth, smoked Castelvetrano olive juice, and rosemary oil.

1525 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

8. Octavia

1701 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Read Review |
Octavia’s “deviled” egg
Patricia Chang

Since chef Melissa Perello opened it in 2015,Octavia has been a charming neighborhood restaurant restaurant. Now it has grown up to match its Michelin-starred sibling, Frances, and is a destination in its own right, with dishes like Dungeness crab tonnarelli with toasted hazelnut, saffron, marash pepper and fino sherry, and the signature “deviled” egg with fresno chile relish, marash pepper and spice. There’s no bar to wait in, so don’t show up early with the hope of grabbing a drink.

1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109

9. La Ciccia

291 30th St, San Francisco, CA 94131

Not so much San Francisco Italian as pure unadulterated regional Italian (Sardinia, to be specific), this family-run sparkler is free of pretension. Don’t miss the spicy octopus stew, the sea urchin pasta, and the unusual wine selection at this cozy Noe Valley spot.

291 30th St
San Francisco, CA 94131

10. Petit Crenn

609 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102