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The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, April 2012

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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.

In this latest edition, we're axing the ever-charming Bar Bambino—a painful removal, but it had to go due to the critical mass of Mission restaurants on the list. In its place goes Outerlands, an Outer Sunset hang-out that marries Hobbit and surfer aesthetics, where everything from the lunch-time grilled cheese (on housemade bread) to dessert's salted caramel pot de creme is startlingly nuanced, given the restaurant's laid back front. It's also time to say goodbye to Spruce, because it's hard to justify a 38 restaurant where we'd only go back for a burger and a cocktail at the bar. This leaves room for Bar Agricole, where chef Brandon Jew's experimental use of farm-fresh fare, a stellar cocktail program and a strikingly modern LEED-certified design embody everything dining in San Francisco should be. Finally, Roam Artisan Burgers is off and Park Tavern is on.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite restaurant isn't on the list, wouldn't it just be more productive to leave your thoughts in the comments? You can also state your cases for (or against) restaurants by sending a note over the tipline.

Additions and Subtractions:
· October, 2010: Frances, The Alembic, Nopalito, Baker & Banker, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, added; Coco 500, Zuni, Absinthe, Magnolia Brewery, Boulevard, dropped
· December, 2010: Mission Chinese Food, Absinthe, La Taqueria, La Ciccia, Gitane, Wayfare Tavern, Prospect, added; R&G Lounge, Coi, 15 Romolo, A16, Blue Bottle Caf&eacute, Tadich Grill, Sebo, dropped
· April, 2011: Zuni Cafe, La Torta Gorda, added; Town Hall, Nopalito, dropped
· July, 2011: Roam Artisan Burgers, Lers Ros Thai, added; Namu, Ame, dropped
· October, 2011: Bar Crudo, added; Maverick, dropped
· January, 2012: Cotogna, Izakaya Sozai, Commonwealth, added; Quince, Halu, Prospect, dropped
· April, 2012: Bar Agricole, Outerlands, added; Bar Bambino, Spruce, dropped

For more Eater 38 guides updated today across the Eater Universe, head over to Eater National.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Swan Oyster Depot

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Slanted Door

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Bix Restaurant

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Ryoko Restaurant & Bar

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Perbacco

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Canteen

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DOSA on Fillmore

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Contigo

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Baker & Banker

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Frances

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Incanto

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Beretta

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The Alembic

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Tony's Pizza Napoletana

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Lers Ros Thai

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Flour and Water

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Zaré at Fly Trap

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Wayfare Tavern

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Lung Shan Restaurant\Mission Street Food

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Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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La Taqueria

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La Ciccia Restaurant

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Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina

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Bar Agricole

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Gitane Restaurant & Bar

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La Torta Gorda

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Outerlands

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Zuni Cafe

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Bar Crudo

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Cotogna

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Izakaya Sozai

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Commonwealth

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Park Tavern

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Foreign Cinema

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Swan Oyster Depot

Slanted Door

Bix Restaurant

Ryoko Restaurant & Bar

Perbacco

Canteen

SPQR

DOSA on Fillmore

Nopa

Aziza

Contigo

Baker & Banker

Frances

Incanto

Beretta

Related Maps

The Alembic

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Range

Lers Ros Thai

Flour and Water

Zaré at Fly Trap

Wayfare Tavern

Lung Shan Restaurant\Mission Street Food

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

La Taqueria

La Ciccia Restaurant

Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina

Bar Agricole

Gitane Restaurant & Bar

La Torta Gorda