Bay Area Recommendations
B Patisserie - get the kouign amann
Neighbour Bakehouse - blackberry pistachio croissant, ginger pull-apart, apple handpie
Ariscault Bakery - classic butter croissant
Acme Bread - for bread. The epi pain is great as a ripapart baguette.
Oakland + Berkeley
Firebrand Bakery - for their French Batard or the blackberry cream cheese danish. Other pastries were only okay. Their oat milk tumeric latte is great.
El Farolito - our favourite Mexican joint for tacos in the Mission. The
Hard Knox Cafe - two locations, fried chicken & corn bread. Need I say more?
Liholiho - tuna poke on seaweed cracker, beef tongue bao, roasted cauliflower, fried chicken / game hen.
Tselogs - Fillipino silog dishes. Near a lot of bars, good late-night stop. Where else are you gonna find food at 2AM in SF?
Nabe (2 locations) - Japanese nabe, they make a porridge with your soup at the end. Get the Kimchi + Kurobuta Pork set and order it with the pork shoulder. Amazing.
PPQ Dungeness Island - Roast crab or Salt+Pepper crab. Garlic noodles. Spoon the roast crab garlic butter over the garlic noodles. Amaze
Thanh Long - Viet roasted crab
Swan Oyster Depot - start lining up at 9:45AM latest if you want first seating.
Hog Island Oyster Co - recommend coming at odd hours so you don’t have to wait
Bellota - Spanish tapas, a bit pricey. Patatas bravas and the Brussels and the cauliflower. Skip the paella.
Italian Homemade - multiple locations, but I recommend the linked original. Down-to-earth delicious homemade pasta
Pizza Delfina - multiple locations, great pizzas, get the tripe appetizer
Montesacro Pinseria-Enoteca - Roman style pizza called “pinsa”. Lighter and just as yummy as pizza. Delicious appetizers too
Oakland + Berkeley
Vik’s Chaat (East Bay) - fantastic Indian food. Batata Puri, cholle batture, chicken biryani, lamb biryani, lamb baida roti
Emilia’s Pizzeria - Gina calabrese
Great China - best Peking duck
Ippuku - really good yakitori in Berkeley
Rest of Bay Area
Bing’s Dumpling (Fremont) - Excellent XLB, prefer the
Mama Chef (Santa Clara) - Casual Taiwanese, excellent beef noodle soup and other Taiwanese snacks
Red Hot Wok (Cupertino) - Taiwanese
China Bee (San Mateo) - Taiwanese
Sumika (Los Altos) - Excellent yakitori in Los Altos
Ad Hoc (Yountville) - TK’s casual restaurant that serves fantastic buttermilk fried chicken. Up in Yountville. Worth a visit if you’re up in Napa
Coffee / Cafe
These are places that either have good coffee or are good for chilling in (or both)
Blue Bottle (many locations in SF) - get a waffle
The Interval At Long Now - cool space, near Marina, also a bar with yummy drinks
Red Door Coffee - great coffee spot to meet someone, located inside art gallery!
The Mill - beautiful space to hangout in and get coffee. They’re famous for the fancy toasts.
Trouble Coffee - good coffee, good toast
Other SF Third Wave Coffee Shops - 4B, Reville, Sight Glass (beautiful SOMA location for hanging out)
i-Tea (many locations, but I like the one on Kearny best) - get the mango pomelo sago
Asha Tea house - good tea-based boba drinks
Oakland + Berkeley
Guerilla Cafe (Berkeley)
Ice Cream - Smitten (many locations, get the Tcho 60% choco), Bi-rite (2 locations), Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous, Humphry Solocombe (‘Secret Breakfast’ flavor - bourbon and corn flakes)
Kowloon Tong - HK style dessert cafe
Most of these are cocktail bars. Some are restaurants with really good bars.
The Interval At Long Now - Cool space, near Marina, also a coffee shop
Third Rail - out of the way in the Dogpatch district, but delicious cocktails and jerky pairings!
Bellota - restaurant, but also excellent cocktails at the bar
Coqueta - overpriced restaurant, but excellent gin & tonics
True Laurel - from Lazy Bear group. Great drinks. Fried mushroom dish is bueno.
Benjamin Cooper - good cocktails near Union Square
Mister Jiu’s - good drinks. Skip the overpriced food.
The Progress - good drinks. Skip the overpriced food.
Fancy ($100+ per person)
Kokkari - Greek. So delicious. Get the lamb chops and grilled fish.
Californios - modern fancy Mexican. 2 Michelin stars. It’s just really delicious and a much better experience than all the other 2 + 3 stars I’ve been to. Great for special occasion.
I don’t super recommend eating (paying for) omakase in SF, but these are delicious if you want to. Just not terribly great bang for buck versus Japan
I don’t recommend Kinjo anymore. Changed chefs, blah. However, a sushi chef recently encouraged me to try it again.
I don’t recommend Hashiri. Very pricey for not amazing sushi.
In Situ - Restaurant inside SFMoMA. Really interesting concept. Presents famous dishes from all over the world.
Fancy Omakase Sushi - Utzutzu (Alameda)
I don’t recommend the much-lauded Yoshizumi (San Mateo). It’s pricey and not very consistent. Service is also oddly Chinese.
CDP - the little sister “bar lounge” of 2 Michelin Star Commis. Highly recommend getting the house levain bread with chicken skin butter, and the cured egg yolk and allium puree. The latter is a Commis signature and super good with the warm bread. CDP also has great cocktails
Honestly, skip Commis.