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The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, April 2011

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It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours 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 of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we'll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.

This time around, after reflection and study of reader emails and comments, we're switching out Town Hall (still a very nice example of San Francisco's hallowed local influences, but not list material at present), and Nopalito (lacking Eater 38 spark of late). In their places we're welcoming back Zuni Cafe, as recent trips confirm the premiere status of its burger, Caesar and oyster program; and La Torta Gorda, a Mission gem where owner Armando Macuil and family have recently stepped up their game to offer even more authetic cocina Poblano.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite restaurant isn't on the list, wouldn't it just be more productive to nominate it for inclusion? State your cases for (or against) restaurants in the comments or in the tipline.

October, 2010: Added: Frances, The Alembic, Nopalito, Baker & Banker, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana; Dropped: Coco 500, Zuni, Absinthe, Magnolia Brewery, Boulevard
December, 2010: Added: Mission Chinese Food, Absinthe, La Taqueria, La Ciccia, Gitane, Wayfare Tavern, Prospect; Dropped: R&G Lounge, Coi, 15 Romolo, A16, Blue Bottle Café, Tadich Grill, Sebo
April, 2011: Added: Zuni Cafe, La Torta Gorda; Dropped: Town Hall, Nopalito

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Perbacco

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230 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

2. Bix Restaurant

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56 Gold St
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Slanted Door

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San Francisco Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. Quince

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470 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

5. Swan Oyster Depot

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1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

6. Canteen

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817 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

7. Ryoko Restaurant & Bar

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619 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102

8. SPQR

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1911 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

9. DOSA on Fillmore

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1700 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

10. Spruce

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3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

11. Nopa

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560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

12. Namu

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439 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94118

13. Halu

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312 8th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

14. Aziza

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5800 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121

15. Contigo

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1320 Castro St
San Francisco, CA 94114

16. Frances

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3870 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-3870
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17. Incanto

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1550 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94131

18. Baker & Banker

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1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 351-2500
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19. Beretta

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1199 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

20. Range

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842 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

21. The Alembic

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1725 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 666-0822
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22. Maverick

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3316 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

23. Foreign Cinema

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2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

24. Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina

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3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

25. Bar Bambino

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2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

26. Flour and Water

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2401 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(212) 965-0955
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27. AME Restaurant

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689 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

28. Tony's Pizza Napoletana

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1570 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133

29. Zaré at Fly Trap

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606 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94105

30. Wayfare Tavern

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558 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 772-9060
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31. Lung Shan Restaurant\Mission Street Food

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2234 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-5710
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32. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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398 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 551-1590
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33. Prospect

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300 Spear St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 247-7770
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34. La Taqueria

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2889 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-7117

35. La Ciccia Restaurant

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291 30th St
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 550-8114
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36. Gitane Restaurant & Bar

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6 Claude Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 788-6686
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37. La Torta Gorda

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2833 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-9600
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38. Zuni Cafe

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1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
((415) 552-2522
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1. Perbacco

230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
230 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

2. Bix Restaurant

56 Gold St, San Francisco, CA 94133
56 Gold St
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Slanted Door

San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94105
San Francisco Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. Quince

470 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
470 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

5. Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

6. Canteen

817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
817 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

7. Ryoko Restaurant & Bar

619 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102
619 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102

8. SPQR

1911 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
1911 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

9. DOSA on Fillmore

1700 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
1700 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

10. Spruce

3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118
3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

11. Nopa

560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

12. Namu

439 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94118
439 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94118

13. Halu

312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118
312 8th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

14. Aziza

5800 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121
5800 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121

15. Contigo

1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114
1320 Castro St
San Francisco, CA 94114

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16. Frances

3870 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
3870 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

17. Incanto

1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131
1550 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94131

18. Baker & Banker

1701 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94109
1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109

19. Beretta

1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
1199 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

20. Range

842 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
842 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

21. The Alembic

1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
1725 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

22. Maverick

3316 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
3316 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

23. Foreign Cinema

2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

24. Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina

3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

25. Bar Bambino

2931 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

26. Flour and Water

2401 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2401 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110

27. AME Restaurant

689 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
689 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

28. Tony's Pizza Napoletana

1570 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133
1570 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133

29. Zaré at Fly Trap

606 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94105
606 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94105

30. Wayfare Tavern

558 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111
558 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111

31. Lung Shan Restaurant\Mission Street Food

2234 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2234 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

32. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
398 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

33. Prospect

300 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105
300 Spear St
San Francisco, CA 94105

34. La Taqueria

2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2889 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

35. La Ciccia Restaurant

291 30th St, San Francisco, CA 94131
291 30th St
San Francisco, CA 94131

36. Gitane Restaurant & Bar

6 Claude Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108
6 Claude Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108

37. La Torta Gorda

2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2833 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

38. Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

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