- The Best of the City’s Fine Dining: A sleeper restaurant if ever there was one, Italian Acquerello has been creating extremely special dining experiences for 25 years in its stunning, unlikely location. Expect perfectly prepared, gorgeous food with service to match and plenty of elbow room. For a French-influenced counterpart, Restaurant Gary Danko never disappoints with refined food, polished service, an amazing cheese cart, and flambéed finales.
- Best Authentic San Francisco Dining Experience: Even top local chefs can’t get enough of Swan Oyster Depot, where patrons have been bellying up to the narrow bar to indulge in fresh crab, shrimp, oysters, and clam chowder since 1912.
- Best Dim Sum Feast: At Ton Kiang, you’ll be wowed by the variety of dumplings and mysterious dishes.
- Best-Kept Secret: Far, far away from Fisherman’s Wharf, hidden on a residential street a few blocks from the heart of the Castro, step through the heavy curtain at the front door and enter L’Ardoise, which has the look and feel of an old, romantic Paris bistro.
- Best View: Fog permitting, The Cliff House is where to take in the Pacific coastline. Perched high on a cliff above Ocean Beach, it offers an expansive scope of the crashing Pacific Ocean, sunsets, and sea lions out front on the rocks. At the other end of town, Waterbar has bayfront tables and an upstairs cocktail area with a patio looking directly onto the Bay Bridge and its twinkling lights.
- Best Out-of-This-World Decor: Chances are, no matter where you hail from, you have never seen a place like Farallon, with its giant hand-blown jellyfish lamps, glass clamshells, kelp columns, and a sea-life mosaic underfoot. You’ll feel like you’re on the bottom of a beautiful ocean floor while you munch on its inhabitants.
- Best in the Country: According to the recent James Beard foodie awards—and judging by the throngs waiting hours just to stand at the bar to eat, this one goes to State Bird Provisions. With its dim sum–style service—and no Chinese food in sight—this is the perfect place to try a few bites of all sorts of fab food.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.