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The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, March 2010

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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 month or so, 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 much reflecting and poring over reader emails and comments, we're adding SPQR, Maverick, 15 Romolo (!), Contigo and little place called Quince. Unfortunately, the additions mean there must be the difficult decision to drop five others, so sadly: Zarzuela, Cliff House, La Taqueria, Blue Plate, and despite the great old-school sophisticated Nob Hill ambiance, Big 4, mostly because as good as the martinis are top-notch, sending someone to indulge in $40 duck breasts ain't cutting it nowadays (but to be sure, the bar there is still special).

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? Simply state your cases for (or against) restaurants in the comments. Reminder: the list is numbered in no particular order, aside from a rough geographic one.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Slanted Door

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Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94105

2. Boulevard

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1 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

3. Perbacco

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230 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

4. Tadich Grill

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240 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

5. Bix Restaurant

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56 Gold St
San Francisco, CA 94133

6. Quince

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470 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

7. COI Restaurant

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373 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

8. 15 Romolo

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15 Romolo Pl
San Francisco, CA 94133

9. R & G Lounge

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631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108

10. Swan Oyster Depot

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1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

11. Canteen

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817 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

12. Ryoko Restaurant & Bar

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619 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102

13. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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398 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

14. Zuni Cafe

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1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

15. Sebo

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517 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

16. SPQR

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1911 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

17. DOSA on Fillmore

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1700 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

18. A16

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2355 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123

19. Spruce

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3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

20. Nopa

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560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

21. Namu

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439 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94118

22. Halu

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312 8th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

23. Aziza

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5800 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121

24. Magnolia Pub & Brewery

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1398 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

25. Contigo

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1320 Castro St
San Francisco, CA 94114

26. Incanto

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1550 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94131

27. Beretta

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1199 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

28. Range

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842 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

29. Maverick

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3316 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

30. Foreign Cinema

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2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

31. Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina

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3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

32. Bar Bambino

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2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

33. Flour and Water

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2401 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110

34. Blue Bottle Cafe

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66 Mint St
San Francisco, CA 94103

35. Coco500

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500 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107

36. AME Restaurant

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689 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

37. Town Hall Restaurant

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342 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94105

38. Zaré at Fly Trap

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606 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94105

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1. Slanted Door

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

2. Boulevard

1 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
1 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

3. Perbacco

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

4. Tadich Grill

240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
240 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

5. Bix Restaurant

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

6. Quince

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

7. COI Restaurant

373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133
373 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

8. 15 Romolo

15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133
15 Romolo Pl
San Francisco, CA 94133

9. R & G Lounge

631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108

10. Swan Oyster Depot

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

11. Canteen

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

12. Ryoko Restaurant & Bar

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

13. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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

14. Zuni Cafe

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

15. Sebo

517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
517 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

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16. SPQR

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

17. DOSA on Fillmore

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

18. A16

2355 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123
2355 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123

19. Spruce

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

20. Nopa

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

21. Namu

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

22. Halu

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

23. Aziza

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

24. Magnolia Pub & Brewery

1398 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
1398 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

25. Contigo

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

26. Incanto

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

27. Beretta

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

28. Range

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

29. Maverick

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

30. Foreign Cinema

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

31. Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina

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

32. Bar Bambino

2931 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

33. Flour and Water

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

34. Blue Bottle Cafe

66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103
66 Mint St
San Francisco, CA 94103

35. Coco500

500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107
500 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107

36. AME Restaurant

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

37. Town Hall Restaurant

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

38. Zaré at Fly Trap

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

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