Top San Francisco Restaurants

by Anthony Freddura

Chez Panisse pizza

I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 2000 to 2007 while working as a Business Systems Analyst for Genentech, a biotechnology company. While residing in the region, I enjoyed the opportunity to try some of the best restaurants in the country. I recently looked at the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants list to see which eateries and fine dining establishments now appear in the rankings.

If you visit the Bay Area, I recommend that you try these five restaurants.

1. Chez Panisse (Berkeley):

Included among the Top 100 since 2001, Alice Waters founded the dining establishment in 1971. The downstairs comprises a formal restaurant whose menu changes daily and the upstairs accommodates a café. Specializing in fresh, organic cuisine, Alice Waters focused on this philosophy long before the general public became aware of the idea. Chefs Jean-Pierre Moulle and David Tanis each spend six months of the year overseeing the renowned kitchen, which specializes in California-Mediterranean cuisine.

2. Flour + Water (San Francisco):

The establishment received a nomination for a James Beard Best New Restaurant of 2010 Award. Specializing in Italian fare, including wood-fired pizzas and a warm lamb’s tongue salad with poached egg, Chef Thomas McNaughton changes the menu on a daily basis. The acclaimed eatery offers entrees ranging in price from $15 to $23.

3. Yank Sing (San Francisco):

Located in the world-famous Chinatown, this restaurant ranks among the city’s best for Chinese cuisine. Renowned for its dim sum and Peking duck, this establishment offers more than 80 items on the carts that circle the dining room. The Chronicle mentioned that Yank Sing costs more than some similar eateries, but the food quality also remains higher.

4. Hog Island Oyster Co. (San Francisco):

Located in the Ferry Building, the establishment serves seafood enthusiasts in the Bay Area and ships first-quality oysters to restaurants around the United States. Served on ice, oysters arrive at the table in sets of 6 or 12 and cost as much as $30. The menu also includes salads and other types of seafood and visitors can watch the ferries come in from the dining room.

5. The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton (San Francisco):

For diners seeking French cuisine, this restaurant does not disappoint. The chef combines French and Japanese influences to create exquisite dishes featuring fish and other seafood. In addition to the appealing menu, patrons enjoy fantastic service. The prix fixe offerings range in price from $74 to $120.