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The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, January 2011

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It being the beginning of 2011 and all, it’s only fitting we 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 lots of deep thoughts and reader reflections, some major housekeeping was in order. 15 Romolo and Blue Bottle Café are off due to limited food menus. We’re replacing R & G Lounge with Mission Chinese Food, a more nuanced, MSG-free offering. Tadich Grill has got to go -- though it’s a classic spot with great cioppino, that’s not enough to hold up to the hot competition 2010 created. Similarly: Coi, because a $145 eleven-course tasting menu isn’t where it’s at now. And next A16 as we give them some time to smooth out the coming Liza Shaw exit. Then finally Sebo -- impeccably sourced fish indeed, but high prices and a restrained atmosphere confine its range of appeal to true sushi buffs. Now who else is in: Hayes Valley’s steadfast charmer with a freshly energized menu, Absinthe; genre-defining Mission taqueria, La Taqueria; La Ciccia because its honest renditions of Sardinian fare are unparalleled and unique to San Francisco; Gitane -- its décor and menu add much-needed spice to the city; new FiDi destination Wayfare Tavern and finally Prospect, because chef Ravi Kapur’s intensity of focus has ushered his “relaxed” Boulevard spinoff to prominence in SF dining.

10/7: Added: Frances, The Alembic, Nopalito, Baker & Banker, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana; Dropped: Coco 500, Zuni, Absinthe, Magnolia Brewery, Boulevard
12/2: 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

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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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Ferry Bldg, 101 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. Quince

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470 Pacific Ave, San Francisco
CA 94133, United States

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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Valencia Street Books, 569 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 94103

26. Flour and Water

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Flour and Water, Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110-2710

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. Nopalito

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306 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 437-0303

30. Town Hall Restaurant

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342 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94105

31. Zaré at Fly Trap

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606 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94105

32. Wayfare Tavern

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

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

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

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

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

37. La Ciccia Restaurant

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

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6 Claude Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 788-6686
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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

Ferry Bldg, 101 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
Ferry Bldg, 101 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. Quince

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

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

Valencia Street Books, 569 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Valencia Street Books, 569 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 94103
2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

26. Flour and Water

Flour and Water, Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110-2710
Flour and Water, Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110-2710

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. Nopalito

306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA 94117
306 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94117

30. Town Hall Restaurant

342 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105
342 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94105

31. Zaré at Fly Trap

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

32. Wayfare Tavern

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

33. Lung Shan Restaurant\Mission Street Food

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

34. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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

35. Prospect

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

36. La Taqueria

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

37. La Ciccia Restaurant

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

38. Gitane Restaurant & Bar

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

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