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Daniel Nguyen

Top Chef Winner Mei Lin's Top Five Restaurants in San Francisco

Here's where this Top Chef eats when she's in town.

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It's been a busy year for Top Chef Season 12 winner Mei Lin, who has shown no signs of slowing down since the season ended. When she's not traveling the country doing pop-ups with her talented friends, the L.A.-based chef, a 2014 Eater Young Gun and most recently a sous chef at fellow Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio's Ink., has been spending quite a bit of time in the City by the Bay. Back in February she joined BFF and fellow Top Chef competitor Melissa King for a collaborative pop-up; now she's back, headlining the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage with indie-rockers The Mowgli's, at Napa's Bottlerock music festival. But no matter how busy she is, there's always time to hit up some of the best restaurants in town.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Benu

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22 Hawthorne St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 685-4860
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Benu is in my top 5 favorite/memorable meals of all time. The menu is so focused and every item has a purpose.

2. Mourad

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140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 660-2500
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I didn't have one single bad bite at Mourad, but the basteeya is simply the tastiest item on the menu! All the plates are visually appealing and super tasty.

3. Cockscomb

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564 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 974-0700
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I want Cockscomb to be my neighborhood restaurant. All the plates are so warm and comforting. Grandma Rosalie's tripe is my favorite dish there!

4. Swan Oyster Depot

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1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-1101
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I simply love this establishment. Not only is it no fuss, but you're going there to eat some of the best seafood that the city has to offer. And not to mention, the atmosphere is so much fun!

5. Tartine Bakery

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600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 487-2600
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If I can single out one item, it would be their lemon tart. But every time I go to Tartine Bakery I find myself buying an assortment so I can have a bit of everything!

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1. Benu

22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Benu is in my top 5 favorite/memorable meals of all time. The menu is so focused and every item has a purpose.
22 Hawthorne St
San Francisco, CA 94105

2. Mourad

140 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105
I didn't have one single bad bite at Mourad, but the basteeya is simply the tastiest item on the menu! All the plates are visually appealing and super tasty.
140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105

3. Cockscomb

564 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
I want Cockscomb to be my neighborhood restaurant. All the plates are so warm and comforting. Grandma Rosalie's tripe is my favorite dish there!
564 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

4. Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
I simply love this establishment. Not only is it no fuss, but you're going there to eat some of the best seafood that the city has to offer. And not to mention, the atmosphere is so much fun!
1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. Tartine Bakery

600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110
If I can single out one item, it would be their lemon tart. But every time I go to Tartine Bakery I find myself buying an assortment so I can have a bit of everything!
600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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