It's almost unfair. With world-class wineries, artisinal cheese makers and small farms just a short drive away, San Francisco is awash in culinary riches. The quality and quantity of the restaurants here make San Francisco an unparalleled food city. The city is best known for its farm fresh, ingredient-driven food showcased at restaurants like the Foreign Cinema, Greens and Boulevard. Trendy neighborhoods like the Mission District and Noe Valley have come on strong with inventive but down-to-earth restaurants such as Range, Delfina and Incanto while top-of-the-line newcomers Coi and Ame wow locals and visitors alike with their eclectic, technically precise cuisine rooted in western and Asian traditions. With so many choices, the only downside in this city of plenty is deciding where to eat.
Fresh Seafood and Stunning Views
1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco CA 94121
American. Since 1863, the Cliff House has perched high on a rocky bluff above the Pacific Ocean at the far western edge of San Francisco. This beautiful collection of restaurants and lounges appeals to every occasion with fresh seafood, fine steaks, excellent wines, live Jazz nights and more. Famous worldwide, this restaurant attracts visitors from around the globe and is a favorite destination of the locals for outstanding views of the Pacific Ocean, Ocean Beach and Seal Rocks, the Sutro Bath ruins, Marin Headlands and the entry to the Golden Gate.
House of Prime Rib
1906 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco CA 94109: Tel. 415.885.4605
Steak. A landmark restaurant in San Francisco, the House of Prime Rib has been a satisfying neighborhood dining spot for over 60 years. The moniker leaves no doubts about the menu’s star player, and the kitchen uses only the finest, Eastern corn-fed beef aged 21 days for the prime rib dishes. Accompaniments like fresh horseradish, mashed potatoes, seasonal greens or creamed spinach give this honorable dining spot a comfort-food appeal.
200 Jackson St., San Francisco CA 94111; Tel. 415.981.0983
Mediterranean. Named after an island featured in a Greek myth, Kokkari Estiatorio specializes in “food fit for the gods”. Located in San Francisco’s Financial District, this Mediterranean gem provides a number of specialty dishes from the Aegean Sea and beyond. From Moussaka to Dolmathes, Kokkari Estiatoria is devoted to traditional and delicious cuisine in a familiar yet elegant setting.
1 Ferry Building #270, San Francisco CA 94111; Tel. 415.861.8032
Vietnamese. From its upstart roots in the Mission District more than a decade ago to its current location at the Ferry Building, The Slanted Door has established itself not just as the city's best modern Vietnamese restaurants but one of its premier restaurants, period. The sleek décor, superb wine list and modern Vietnamese cooking continue to make The Slanted Door one of San Francisco’s must-visit restaurants.
432 Powell St., San Francisco CA 94102; Tel. 415.395.8555
Italian. Just a half a block from Union Square, Scala's Bistro is bustling with Old World ambiance, from original murals and a warm atmosphere done in deep, rich tones to a pan-Mediterranean menu. The open kitchen pours out aromas from Italy, Spain and France while the service is just as warm as the decor. After dinner, Harry Denton's Starlight Room is the place for a cocktail on the twenty-first floor of the Sir France Drake hotel overlooking downtown San Francisco's city lights.
2534 Mission St., San Francisco CA 94110; Tel. 415.648.7600
Californian. A spot of artsy urban chic in the Mission District, Foreign Cinema is an industrial space with exposed brick walls and high iron-beam ceilings, perfect for projecting the night's foreign film. With fresh oysters from the Oyster Bar and an international menu of approachable new favorites, Foreign Cinema is one of San Francisco's most beloved restaurants. The adjoining Laszlo Bar is a hip spot for a Brazilian caipirinha.
#8 Fishermans Wharf, San Francisco CA 94133; Tel. 415.673.0183
Seafood. A classic San Francisco restaurant, three generations of the Alioto family have been serving up Sicilian-style seafood at Alioto's since 1925. At this San Francisco seafood restaurant, Patrons dine on local calamari and fresh Dungeness crab as they watch the boats come in under the Golden Gate Bridge. Alito's, with its wall of windows, offers a view of the bay and the marina that are not to be missed.
E&O Asian Kitchen
314 Sutter St., San Francisco CA 94108; Tel. 415.693.0303
Modern Asian. E&O Asian Kitchen is a Modern Asian restaurant and lounge in the heart of San Francisco's vibrant Union Square. Executive Chef Sharon Nahm creates exciting and bold flavors in modern Asian dishes. A sleek lounge offers guests a chance to enjoy shareable late night bites and creative cocktails. Spanning three floors, the restaurant offers numerous venues for private dining, parties, and special events. Easy off-site parking is available at the Sutter-Stockton garage next door.
Franciscan Crab Restaurant
Pier 43 1/2, San Francisco CA 94133; Tel. 415.362.7733
Seafood. A critically acclaimed San Francisco restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant is an institution that has been satisfying seafood cravings since 1957. Extensively remodeled, the beautiful dining room boasts striking Bay and Alcatraz views through 20-foot windows, and unique accents create a casual, yet classic, atmosphere that's easy to enjoy. The menu features a fantastic array of fresh seafood dishes, with notable favorites like whole roasted Dungeness crab, iron skillet-roasted mussels and seafood cioppino that's out of this world.