(See further descriptions and places on my blog.)
Worth the Splurge
Despite the legendary story of this restaurant of a Vietnamese princess escaping her palace with only one hour to pack and wisely remembering to pack the kitchen's recipes, it's all about the crab for me. OK, and just about anything from their secret kitchen. But really, I still salivate thinking about their crab.
Slanted Door (Ferry Building)
Probably the best Vietnamese not just in the city, but in the country.
Sushi Ran (Sausalito)
I love any excuse to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and sit down in scenic Sausalito. And Sushi Ran is possibly the best excuse there is. Not only is there some of the freshest sushi possible, but the sake selection is 'da bomb.'
Personal Faves & Craves
Burma Superstar (Richmond District)
The best metaphor to describe my first dining experience at Burma Superstar: imagine my tongue as Dorothy back in Kansas and then taking a bite exploded my tastebuds into the undeniably rich colors of Oz. Holy wow.
City View Dim Sum (Financial District)
There's an ongoing battle over who has the best dim sum (my kind of battle, if you ask me). I think City View has some of the best dim sum and at such incredible prices compared to Ton Kiang (a high contender for best dim sum, but preferably on someone else's tab).
Iron Horse (Sonoma Valley)
Sparkling wine galore, or rather glamore!
Moki Sushi (Bernal Heights)
The only thing that can overshadow the super-fresh, Hawaiian-esque sushi is the banana lumpia for dessert.
R&G Lounge (Chinatown)
One of my favorite lunch spots with incredible Chinese food that isn't as greasy as some of the other more traditional spaces, and not as touristy. My favorite is the salted fish & chicken fried rice, but if you don't like stinky food, all the other dishes are excellent.
Roederer Estate (Anderson Valley)
The American sister of France's Roederer champagne, their sparkling wine is some of my favorite for a sophisticated experience, without the sophisticated price.
Silverado Brewery (Napa)
I know, not exactly San Francisco, but I haven't started a Napa page yet. My ideal kind of bbq, with high-quality natural meat from Niman Ranch and organic ingredients, even down to their ketchup.
Cheap n' Good
Akagi (San Bruno)
My must-stop whenever flying into or out of SFO.
Pancho Villa (Mission)
One of the things I miss most is a good burrito and San Francisco has a plethora of shops to choose from. I'm partial to Pancho Villa because 1) it was conveniently located at my transfer stop, 2) I grew up with some of the family members and 3) it's damn good.
Tartine Bakery (Mission)
I just ordered one of everything here and it was all wonderful. My arteries however...
Ti Couz (Mission)
I love their Brittany-style crepes made with buckwheat.
A good pit stop before or after hunting ghosts at the USS Hornet. My favorite breakfast spot in the Bay Area, worth the drive across the bridge.
Tu Lan (Market & 6th)
Not exactly in the most scenic of neighborhoods, this place is so worth stepping over crackheads to get some of the best dive Vietnamese food. One of the restaurants claim to fames is it was Julia Child's favorite Vietnamese restaurant. My typical order: imperial rolls and shrimp fried rice.