There is a saying, “some people eat to live while others live to eat.” Frankly, I don’t understand the people who fall into the first category. To some, it’s a numbers game; let’s eat in the top 50 best restaurants in the world. Fly off to Sebastian Spain to dine at Mugaritz, or travel to Mexico City for Pujol or head to Moscow for the White Rabbit. I once met a man whose goal it was to dine in every 3 star Michelin restaurant in the world in two months. I asked whether he ever got tired of all the rich food? His answer “of course not, why would I?” That is a die-hard foodie! Luckily, living in San Francisco affords us to travel the world of food without a passport. Lets take a peek at some of the best places to eat and drink in San Francisco.
Places To Eat
People take their food seriously. Think fun, lively and low key but never stuffy. Dress up or down. Be as unique as the restaurants. How to decide? Hopefully this list will help!
From the outside, a bistro, from the inside, three star service, a lacquer duck to die for and a 61 page wine tome thanks to Paul the sommelier. Have him as your server if you can. He’s a blast!
2501 Mariposa St
What you get by crossing a communal Japanese bathhouse with excellent small plates, beer and tea service. Clean and full!
466 Eddy St
This izakaya Japanese jewel is the sister to Michelin star Sushi Ran in Sausalito. Their name means drinking house – get the picture? Must order the chicken stuffed brioche 24 hours in advance!
2223 Market St
Contemporary sleek surroundings, serving upscale Indian cuisine with creative cocktails. Much easier than a ticket to New Delhi!
Red leather booths and crayola colored twinkling ceiling lights. Korean style fried chicken and ribs washed down with Pina Colada slushies? I’m in!
3161 24th St
Latin and Asia come together in this hip fun atmosphere. Think pork chop with pecan mole and bacon-kimchi deviled eggs. And a great wine list.
2990 24th St
Hearty & warming Hungarian dishes, perfect on a rainy night.
983 Valencia St
What can you say about a chef who cooked at the French Laundry, Benu and Saison and now opened his first restaurant? I’d say rush right over to experience his reasonably priced 11 course-tasting menu!
Their tag line “Play with Fire” says it all! New and “hot” dining in a gorgeous art deco room. Order the charcoal grilled bread.
In the Bijou hotel, Eddy & Mason St.
A hip restaurant and lounge designed by famed interior designer, Kelly Wearstler. Order the Okonomiyaki if you can pronounce it!
In the new Proper Hotel, Market at 10th St.
Places To Drink
Bartenders are now sexy mixologists creating artisanal cocktails with names you can’t pronounce and ingredients you don’t recognize. Most drinks require a degree in molecular biology with a bit of artistry thrown in. They not only have to taste good, they have to look good. But don’t worry, a martini is still the height of sophistication! So lets splash in! There really tons of options for the best places to eat and drink in San Francisco.
Old Bus Tavern
A brewery serving beer, cocktails and comfort food. Live music with no cover charge. What are you waiting for?
From the Lazy Bear chef comes this unique cocktail lounge. With drink names like Grandmas to Blame and In the Pines Under the Palms you know it will be fun. Don’t forget the loaded baked potato or crab fondue.
The drinks may be cold but the atmosphere is hot! Above the new China Live restaurant lurks a door. Follow the bats (yes bats, don’t ask) to this swanky cocktail den. Heavy on scotch drinks and tuxedo waiters.
Love strange weird beers? Look no further! Choose from the best around the world. Serves all day. Who doesn’t love beer at brunch?
34 Mason St
Snuggle into this new Pac Heights bar. Two stories, great people watching and dining. Did I mention the strong drinks?
Chic new rooftop lounge outfitted with fire pits, heat lamps and views. Be prepared to wait on line but with names like The Proper Cup you’ll be anything but proper!
The Proper Hotel Market at 10th St
It’s an industrial warehouse with a twist. Every 6 months, the menu morphs into a boarding pass or dog calendar or Chinese take out menu. All proceeds benefit a selected charity. Oh yes, drinks and food are great.
3010 20th St
Woods Islands Club
Are you ready for adventure? Want beach vibes and picnic tables? Head to Treasure Island (weekends only) where they make their own beer & serve up casual food. Uber for sure!
422 Clipper Cove Way
And lets not forget the wine…
The Hidden Vine Wine Bar
This hidden upscale bar serves wines from all over the world. Great snacks and a rentable Bocce ball court!
408 Merchant St.
The Press Club
This urban wine cellar is tucked away downtown. One of the few bars selected to use the Coravin Method allows them to pour fabulous single glasses of wine without removing the cork. It’s a magic trick!
20 Yerba Buena Lane