Category: Best Of

Why San Francisco is the U.S.’ best food city

San Francisco has long been rife with world’s best cocktail bars: it was one of three cities, alongside New York and New Orleans, that introduced the world to cocktails in the 1800s, after all. Then SF and NYC led the cocktail renaissance of the past three decades. But as one of the world’s best food cities, many of these bars also serve killer food. While bars like True Laurel and The Snug are shining examples of this combo, there’s a recent wave of new bars where food and drink shine together, but the vibe is fully bar vs. restaurant. Three of the most interesting newcomers? Stoa, Movida and Bar Gemini. Read more →

San Francisco’s best new bar and restaurant openings of 2023

It’s that time of year again: sifting through the hundreds of new SF Bay Area restaurants and bars visited this year — plus a few hundred more internationally and across the U.S. Here are the San Francisco spots that stand out most, all opened between December 2022 and November 2023. The previous year’s top openings are here.

What stands out most, and why, in one of the best regions to eat and drink in the world: Read more →

Rich Table 10 Years In: Celebrating One of the Best Restaurants in the Nation

Since Rich Table opened in July 2012, I knew it was “primed for greatness,” as I headlined my initial SF Bay Guardian review back in my Bay Guardian critic days. Rich Table (RT) went on to place on many best-of lists (including my own), earn a Michelin star for years (ridiculously — and I think errantly — dropped in 2021, hopefully rectified this year), James Beard nominations and a wonderful cookbook. This summer, they just turned 10 years old. Another huge feat in the restaurant world, especially when remains packed every night.

But what are they like 10 years in? Read more →

Our #1 New Restaurant of 2021, Over 1 Year In: Ernest

Ernest opened March 2021 in the lofty, two-tiered, industrial space that formerly housed Coffee Bar. One year into the pandemic — which means they were in planning mode well before — was one of the worst times to open a restaurant, especially an ambitious one. Next door to legendary Heath Ceramics, and in a neighborhood lined with nationally lauded restaurants and bars, Ernest entered seamlessly into that tier.

Now, a few visits later and over one year in, my review on Ernest today: Read more →

Michelin-Starred SF Great, State Bird Provisions, 10 Years In

When Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions opened in December 2012, I reviewed it at the SF Bay Guardian, saying, “Jazz is the soundtrack of the streets of Lower Fillmore. From its storied days as the ‘Harlem of the West,’ to the current seat of… blues/jazz venues, the subtly gritty streets echo with its soulful past. I would venture to say Fillmore newcomer State Bird Provisions is an ideal jazz companion. There’s no musical connection. But the spirit of jazz is present in their playful, dim sum-style presentation… and in the way… Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, evolve the menu almost daily… Plates flow out on carts or trays like an experimental jazz riff, but never feel rootless.”

10 years (and a few months) later, jazz fanatic that I am, still feeling those improvisational chops, even as the team has evolved. Review here: Read more →

The Best Bakeries in San Francisco

In my latest Time Out column: in the nation’s baking capital, here are merely 10 of San Francisco’s best bakeries. Time Out bakery article here. Well beyond our famed San Francisco sourdough, the SF Bay Area has been a baking/bread leader for decades. Think legends like Acme Bread pioneering artisanal bread from Berkeley since 1983 or Tartine Bakery’s Liz Pruiett and… Read more →