There are 50 (and counting) Michelin-starred restaurants in the San Francisco area. Only a handful have the 3 stars, the highest award — Benu in SF, The French Laundry and Meadowood in Napa Valley. Twenty-four other restaurants have one star.
Everyone knows that SF is a food mecca and, as you would expect, the variety of Michelin restaurants ranges from Asian-fusion and farm-to-table, to modern Italian and elevated Moroccan food, and everything in between. Since you can't eat at them all we've pared down the list to our top ten choices.
Inventive Mexican-fusion food served up in pocket-size restaurant in the Mission.
Their twist? The only dining option is a seven-course tasting menu, and the printed menu won't be presented to diners until the end of the meal. Chef Val M. Cantu wants to encourage diners to "immerse themselves in their evening and enjoy the company and moment, rather than anticipating what is coming next."
Chef Nancy Oakes continues her legendary reign at Boulevard, the jewel of the Embarcadero. The Belle-Epoque-inspired decor is timeless and the menu continually evolves. Try the Thanksgiving Turkey Salad with slow roasted turkey breast, "stuffing" of croutons toasted walnuts, chestnuts & glazed cranberries persimmons. Or the American Wagyu Beef Burger with Cowgirl Creamery cheese.
Egyptian born Michael Mina has stormed the San Francisco culinary scene as a celebrity chef, cookbook author, and restaurateur. Local ingredients shine here — Morro Bay Abalone, Schmitz Ranch Ribeye, Tolenas Farm Quail, just to name a few. If you want to experience something special opt for the four-course chef's tasting menu.
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This innovative Italian restaurant packs the diners in like sardines, but they love it! What might you expect? An artful jumble of Baby kale leaves, wilted rapini, and Romanesco broccoli with farro, quinoa and burrata. Combine theatre with dining by getting a seat at the counter to watch the cooking action.
Something delicious is happening at the InterContinental Hotel south of Market. Holding a Michelin star for years now, Luce continues to turn out soulful, inventive cuisine. The setting is elegant with modern furniture and floor to ceiling windows. We recommend the three-course "Sunday Supper".
This husband-and-wife team turns out small, inventive plates in a farm-to-table American eatery in the Fillmore District. Forgot to make a reservation (pretty much mandatory)? Arrive at 4:30 PM for a chance to snag a walk-in table. In case you're wondering, the official State Bird of California is the native Valley Quail, known for its hardiness and adaptability.
Rock the Casbah! Expect elevated mediterranean & Moroccan dishes with a California influence. The menu changes constantly. Recommended? The 13-course chef's tasting menu. Don't worry, the portions are small, with bright, fresh flavors. Nice touches are the aromatic grilled flatbread with house-churned butter and a garnish of pink peppercorn.
This upscale dining establishment specializes in New American cuisine. Sure, it's pricey, but word has it they serve the best hamburger in San Francisco. Eat at the bar and drool over the herbed caper aioli, house-made pickles, and crispy fries cooked in duck fat. Or, if you want to save a few USD, go at lunchtime when the menu is decidedly more affordable.
This modern, edgy bistro in the Mission serves up creative Californian cuisine with a menu of refined, yet bold food. Even though the food is elevated it has neighborhood-restaurant feel. Try the four-course prix fixe menu. In case you're wondering, Aster is a local wildflower.
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