Kin Khao - It's hard to find legit Thai food. It's even harder to find legit Thai food that uses excellent ingredients. So glad Kin Khao is now open.
Kusakabe - New favorite sushi in the city. Omakase only. Beautiful and traditional Japanese. As good as I've had anywhere outside Tokyo.
Coqueta - Amazing Spanish food. Beautiful cocktails. Lovely atmosphere. I adore this place.
Akikos Restaurant - Spectacular sushi. However my favorite sushi chef recently left (mid 2014), so I'm not sure if the quality is what it used to be. At one time this was my favorite in the city. (BTW, this is the Akikos on Bush street, not the one in Union Square).
The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena) - The two best meals I've ever had were at The Restaurant (sit at the chef's counter if you can). Truly incredible from end to end. Worth the 1.5 hour drive from the city on the most special of occasions. 3 Michelin stars, with a matching price tag, but I liked it a lot more than a nearby place that rhymes with Wrench Quandry.
Boulibar - My new favorite place for lunch at the Ferry Building. Beautiful space too. And yes, the pastries and pizza are worth it.
St. Vincent - Truth be told this is my favorite restaurant in the city. I still can't believe I can get food this quality, at this price point, in a casual, unpretentious atmosphere. Not to mention the spectacular wine and beer selections. P.S. The bone marrow from St. Vincent is what I would want to eat on my death bed.
Ichi - Delicious, casual sushi. Both traditional and innovative food without resorting to squirt bottles and mango rolls.
Cotogna - Spectacular Italian food, probably my new favorite.
Benu - Awesome food in a fancy atmosphere. Great if you're looking for something a little different from a high-end tasting menu.
Izakaya Yuzuki - Wow, this place is so legit. Every bite reminds me of Japan, the food is amazing, made the old-fashioned way, and totally affordable. What an awesome addition to the Mish.
Namu Gaji (Mission) - Absolutely delicious Korean/Japanese fusion. It's casual and there's nothing bad on the menu.
State Bird Provisions - One of the most innovative restaurants I've ever tried. Michelin caliber food on dim sum style carts. The type of place that makes me want to never leave SF.
Bar Jules - Bar Jules food is exactly like I would cook at home if I had all day to prepare dinner. Oh, and on Tuesday nights (and any lunch/brunch), they have the best burger in the city. I feel strongly about this. Order it medium rare (or rare+ if you aren't too squeemish) with cheese. Bacon is good, but not necessary at all.
Range - Consistently amazing food, even the chicken will blow your mind. Fabulous cocktails (some of my favorites in the city).
Aziza - Really high-end Morrocan food. It's delicious, but my last two trips here weren't as impressive as my first two.
Commonwealth - Innovative and delicious food. I love how they play with flavors from various cuisines.
Dosa - By far my favorite Indian food in the city. It's South Indian style, so don't expect tandoori. But the ingredients are all very high quality (hard to come by with Indian food) and the dishes are seasonal and consistently awesome. Great drinks too. Try the gin & tonic (housemade).
Coi - Chef Daniel Patterson is a culinary genius. The food is very intellectual, but not in a way that detracts from the taste. Very fancy, so expect to drop some cash for this special occasion spot.
Locanda - I don't often eat pasta, but when I do I prefer Locanda.
Bar Crudo - Solid seafood spot (why don't we have more of these?). The crudo plates are fabulous, as is the seafood chowder. Come to think of it, it's hard to go wrong.
Nopalito - I thought all SF Mexican food was a disappointment until I found Nopalito (I'm from SoCal and part Mexican). Amazing sit down Mexican food. Carnitas and mole should not be missed.
Nopa - Always a win. This is where I send people who don't have much time to spend in the city. Everything on the menu is fabulous, it's trendy but not too pretentious. Great burger, rotisserie chicken and seasonal food. Brunch is good too. Oh, and order a Blue Bottle Martini.
Saison - Saison is my favorite fancy spot to go in the city proper. Consistentyl some of the best food I've ever had. Expect to borrow from your children's education fund to eat here though.
Contigo - Seasonal, organic Spanish tapas and cava bar. Need I say more?
Il Cane Rosso - One of my favorite spots to grab lunch at the Ferry Building. Perfect food made from all the goodies you find at the farmers market.
Thai Time - Most authentic Thai food I've found in SF, like stepping into Bangkok for dinner.
Jai Yun - Crazy bizarre but fancy and tasty Chinese food in Chinatown. Service is absolutely terrible and the menu is confusing (e.g. "tell me how much you want to pay and I'll make you food"), but it's an experience worth having. Bring cash and, if you're smart, your own booze.
Zuni Cafe - A city favorite that keeps putting out fabulous food. The oysters, the rabbit, the burger, all fantastic.
Sushi Ran (Sausalito) - Popular sushi spot out in Sausalito. Fabulous food and great place to impress out of town visitors or a date. Don't miss the salmon skin and spicy tuna rolls. They also carry fresh wasabi. After dinner get a drink along the waterfront and watch the sunset over the city.
Little Star Pizza - I've never been a huge deep dish fan, but Little Star is worth every buttery calorie. Yum.
Delfina Pizzeria - The closest I've found to legitimate Italian pizza in SF (I lived in Italy back in 2000).
Frances - Hard to get a reservation, but if you can swing it DEFINITELY do. And definitely get the bacon beignets.
Jardinere - I love the ambiance at Jardinere, very classic and elegant. Great romantic date spot, especially pre or post ballet.
Papalote - It's not even close to what I consider Mexican food, but the shrimp burrito is probably my favorite in the city. Even the grilled veggie burrito is awesome (super, sin crema, sin riso).
Slanted Door - Have you ever wondered what pho or bahn mi would taste like if they weren't made with crappy ingredients? They would taste like this.
Fatted Calf - My favorite butcher in the city. I swear by their bacon, the Riverdog Farms chicken they carry, and their eggs. Anything they've seasoned or marinated themselves is usually amazing.
Tacolicious - Another place with excellent food that uses ingredients I trust. My favorite tacos in the city.
Samovar - Great spot for tea and healthy food. No internet, so don't confuse this with a coffee shop.
Bi-Rite Market - Best deli in the city. All the prepared foods are amazing, as is everything carried in the store. The world would be a much better place if all businesses were run like Bi-Rite
BrunchCentral Kitchen - New to the brunch scene, but already one of my new favorites.
Foreign Cinema - Very fun brunch spot, with excellent drinks for the hair of the dog crowd.
Bar Jules - Always spectacular brunch. If they ask if you want a waffle AFTER you've eaten, the answer is yes.
Plow - I secretly hate this place, but the potatoes are so good it's worth mentioning (I don't like the eggs or pancakes or French toast or bread pudding or coffee). Weekend lines are a nightmare, and the menu is way better on weekdays (Chinese breakfast FTW!).
Wine & BeerThe Abbot's Cellar - Amazing beer and food pairings by people who really know their stuff. Beautiful decor.
St. Vincent - This is technically a restaurant, but the wine and beer are so amazing it is worth mentioning here as well. They'll sell you half the bottle of any wine on the menu. Such a great way to experiment with a friend during dinner.
Toronado - Random dive with great beers on tap.
Hotel Biron - Great wines, heavy pours. And dog friendly. Great first date spot too.
Monk's Kettle - All your beer wishes come true at Monk's Kettle.
The Wine Merchant - Reliable spot for a great bottle or glass while shopping at the Ferry Building.
Coffee & TeaBlue Bottle Coffee - My favorite in the city. I order drip coffee or New Orleans style iced coffee. Gibralter is their specialty.
Ritual Coffee - Also really fabulous coffee.
Samovar Tea Lounge - I've never seen a tea spot with a better selection, particularly for Japanese green teas.
Red Blossom Tea - Best spot to buy Chinese teas (ask about the formosa oolongs and charcoal roasted tung ting), worth the trip to Chinatown.
DessertTartine Bakery - The only cake I've ever loved.
Boulette's Larder - Mind-blowing pastries. You will be ruined for life. Get there early to get one of the few canales they make each day.
Bi-Rite Creamery - Best ice cream in the universe.
Bourbon & Branch