Best of SF: My top 7 FAV restaurants in San Francisco

  Posted by - June 20, 2014 - CynEats Foodie Guide, Daytime, NightTime, Restaurants, San Francisco, Travel

People keep asking for my favorite restaurant in SF…

Which is a very hard question for me to answer since I have a tonnnn of FAVs.

I pretty much have one for each cuisine and/or occasion.

Like…my favorite brunch place is different than my FAV $1 happy hour oyster spot. And my favorite fine dining restaurant is different than my go-to sushi joint. And the best meal of my life is OBV at French Laundry… but it’s not like you can just stroll in and ask for a table.

You get the point.

So here is my “go-to” list every time someone asks for suggestions in SF, you really can’t go wrong with any of these choices.

Here it is…in no particular order.

Brunch: Kitchen Story


What to get: Millionaires bacon, Belly Rancheros, Mom’s Benedict.

Why: Kitchen Story is an awesome brunch spot for any occasion. They serve American breakfast with an Asian twist. The Millionaires bacon is unbelievable AND they have bottomless mimosas (<– need I say more?)

Hint: It’s always busy, but so worth it. Eat the bacon with a bite of everything else. You’ll thank me later.

Millionaire's Bacon



Greek: Kokkari Estiatorio

Kokkari Lamb Chops

What to get: Lamb Chops. Greek Salad. Zucchini cakes. Grilled fish. And honestly, anything else.

Why: It’s the best lamb chops I’ve ever had. The tenderness of the meat is unbeatable and the way they grill the chops melts with each bite you take.

Hint: If you can’t get a ressie, try and snag a seat at the bar. Also rated #1 restaurant on Trip Advisor and on Yelp’s Top 100 restaurants in the U.S.


Mexican: Tropisueno


What to get: Everything is sooo dang good here. You can’t go wrong with the Camarones Tropisueño or Tampiqueno.

Why: Hands down, one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city. Tropisueño has a classy, yet cosy and inviting atmosphere with great staff and service. It’s also a great happy hour spot to catch up with friends & co-workers.

Hint: Make sure you get a reservation to avoid the typical 1 hr wait time.


Japanese: Daigo Sushi

What fresh sashimi should look like

What to get: Sashimi

Why: Forget all the fancy sushi restaurants that try WAY too hard. This place has better grade sashimi than most of the sushi restaurants I’ve been to in SF.

Side: I’m sort of a sushi snob. Because. I’m scared of getting a tummy ache if I eat bad quality fish. Ya know?

PS: check out my sushi party HERE.

Hint: It’s a hole in the wall, there’s usually no wait time, and the sashimi is super fresh.


Happy Hour: WaterBar


What to get: Happy hour $1 oysters

Why: Why NOT? It’s $1 oysters.

Hint: Happy hour goes everyday from 11:30-5:30pm. Don’t get the food, it’s overpriced and not that good. Awesome place to hang with friends while drinking wine, eating oysters, and enjoying the view.


Fine Dining: Quince

8 Course meal at Quince/ 2 Michelin star restaurant in San Francisco

What to get: Quince Tasting Menu

Why: It’s one of those dining experiences that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Top restaurant in the city with 2 Michelin stars. It’s also the most affordable for a restaurant of this caliber.

Hint: Reservations should be made at least 2 weeks in advance. It’s perfect for any celebration: graduation, birthday, anniversary, work promotion, or anything in between.


Chinese: Great China 

Best Peking Duck- Great China

What to get: MUST get the Peking duck. It’s seriously like 90% stripped of fat & the best I ever had. Also get the honey walnut shrimp and hot & sour soup.

Why: Honestly, it’s the best Chinese restaurant in the bay area.

Hint: It’s actually located in Berkeley (not SF), but close enough. They don’t take reservations unless it’s a party of 6 or more. Get there before everyone else.


Do you guys have any SF favs?? Do tell below! I’m always looking for bomb recommendations : )

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  • Devin K. January 18, 2015 - 5:39 am Reply

    What are some of your favorite seafood places?

    • CynEats January 20, 2015 - 12:10 pm Reply

      Check out Hog Island Oyster Co in the Ferry Building or Woodhouse Fish Co in Fillmore!

  • Jenny November 20, 2014 - 6:49 pm Reply

    Kokkari is hands down, the best restaurant in SF. Amazing service every time!

  • Em August 1, 2014 - 12:56 am Reply

    You have to go to Daly City for some good Filipino food. Try Fil-Am BBQ…The food there is soo good! I like the BBQ chicken, pancit, chicken adobo, and of course the lumpia!

    • CynEats August 1, 2014 - 8:16 pm Reply

      You are sooo clutch! Thanks for the tip, I’ve been cravingggg adobo and pancit lately. I’ll give Fil-Am a try :)

  • Dorcas June 29, 2014 - 1:13 am Reply

    No Filipino food on the list?

    • CynEats June 30, 2014 - 3:57 am Reply

      I actually haven’t had any in SF. Let me know if you have any good places :) The best Filipino spots I know of are in San Diego.

  • Joanq June 28, 2014 - 10:12 pm Reply

    For Peruvian food, my favorite place is Mi Lindo on Mission. Try all but if you’re new to Peruvian food start with the lomo saltado (beef with fries). Now my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    • CynEats June 30, 2014 - 3:59 am Reply

      I’ve only been to La Mar off the embarcadero (super overpriced and not worth it). But I will definitely try Mi Lindo and get the lomo saltado! Thanks for the rec :)

      • Mar July 10, 2014 - 9:20 pm Reply

        You’re right. I didn’t think LaMar was worth it either! There’s plenty other places I’d go to before recommending LaMar.
        I agree, too, Mi Lindo Peru is good casual/homey food with big portions… For a more “upscale” Peruvian, I’d suggest Mochica or Piqueos (they’re sister restaurants). Everything is delish! My favorite plates are the ceviche mixto, papa rellena, empanadas, the stuffed red snapper (amazing!), & of course lomo saltado… :)
        There’s also Fresca in the Fillmore. I loved their crab causa & aji de gallina.

        • CynEats July 11, 2014 - 12:36 am Reply

          OMG. Thanks soooo much for these suggestions! I was JUST looking for a new place to try this weekend. Will have to check it out :)

  • Anna Grovelt June 21, 2014 - 5:08 pm Reply

    Have you been to Hog Island? They have the best clam chowder and grilled cheese sandwiches!

    • CynEats June 21, 2014 - 6:08 pm Reply

      Hog Island is actually right down the street from me! Amazzzinggg clam chowder and THE best grilled cheese :)

  • Hanson June 21, 2014 - 4:59 pm Reply

    Must try Zuni Cafe! One of the best breakfast spots in SF.

    • CynEats June 21, 2014 - 6:09 pm Reply

      Yes, That’s actually on the top of my list! Can’t wait to try it :)

  • Emily M. June 21, 2014 - 12:13 pm Reply

    I’ve heard great things about Great China. I can’t wait to try the Peking duck, thanks!

  • Petrina June 20, 2014 - 6:46 pm Reply

    I’ve been to 6/7 places in your post! Haven’t been to Quince yet, but have heard great things about it.

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