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The 25 Best San Francisco Restaurants for Summer 2014

Posted By Nicholas Winfrey On June 25, 2014 @ 12:15 pm In Dining,San Francisco/Bay Area | No Comments


Mason Pacific | Nob Hill

Mason Pacific restaurant in Nob Hill

The Best San Francisco Restaurants to Eat at Right Now

Every summer, San Francisco comes alive with culinary possibilities, both new and old. There are the neighborhood standbys, of course, but the refreshing summer season tends to call for something a bit more exciting. So dive into Eastern European fare deep in the Mission, carouse over bay views and New Orleans-themed plates from a Slanted Door alum, then make your way to Berkeley for some of the city’s best regional Mexican fare. Summer is here. Presented in alphabetical order, these are GAYOT’s 25 best restaurants in San Francisco to eat at, right now.


The establishments below are presented in alphabetical order.


A16 RockridgeOakland

A16 Rockridge | Oakland

Oakland’s sister restaurant to San Francisco’s A16 serves up inventive Italian fare.

Recommended dish: Neapolitan-style pizza.

Review and rating of A16 Rockridge restaurant in Oakland.



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AQ Restaurant & BarSoMa

AQ Restaurant & Bar | SoMa

The restaurant’s sleek décor changes seasonally, as does its menu.

Recommended dish: Cured local sturgeon.

Review and rating of AQ Restaurant & Bar in SoMa.



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Bar AgricoleSoMa

Bar Agricole | SoMa

With inventive food, creative cocktails and modern décor, Bar Agricole is a stylish hideaway.

Restaurant tip: Grab one of the first-rate cocktails from the bar, which rely almost exclusively on organic ingredients.

Review and rating of Bar Agricole restaurant in SoMa.



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Bar TartineMission

Bar Tartine | Mission

This romantic Mission restaurant turns out Eastern European cuisine.

Recommended dish: Gulyas (brisket, wine, caraway broth, whole-wheat bread and marrow).

Review and rating of Bar Tartine restaurant in the Mission.



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Boxing RoomHayes Valley

Boxing Room | Hayes Valley

Boxing Room satisfies with its modern friendliness and dedication to traditional New Orleans and Southern Louisiana fare.

Restaurant tip: A “plate lunch special” offers value with an entrée, side, dessert and beverage for $15.

Review and rating of Boxing Room restaurant in Hayes Valley.



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The establishments below are presented in alphabetical order.



Comal | Berkeley

Downtown Berkeley’s be-there-or-be-square hotspot puts a savvy spin on regional Mexican dishes both classic and obscure.

Recommended dish: Duck-and-mole enchiladas.

Review and rating of Comal restaurant in Berkeley.



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ContigoNoe Valley

Contigo | Noe Valley

Linger over cava and small plates inspired by Barcelona and made California-cool by the inclusion of local ingredients.

Recommended dish: Pork belly bocadillo with harissa aïoli.

Review and rating of Contigo restaurant in Noe Valley.



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Coqueta | Embarcadero

Daring, dramatic Spanish-inspired dishes prepared by a celebrity chef within a stone’s throw of San Francisco Bay.

Restaurant tip: Ask for a seat by the window so you can enjoy views of the bay.

Review and rating of Coqueta restaurant in Embarcadero.



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CotognaJackson Square

Cotogna | Jackson Square

A lively urban trattoria, operated by the same team behind high-end sibling Quince.

Restaurant tip: Enjoy a glass of wine with the very cool fixed-price wine program.

Review and rating of Cotogna restaurant in Jackson Square.



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EPIC RoasthouseEmbarcadero

EPIC Roasthouse | Embarcadero

Big views, charm and New American cuisine call the elite to this show-stopper on the Embarcadero.

Restaurant tip: Sit by the window for a view of Oldenburg’s “Cupid’s Span” and the iconic Bay Bridge.

Review and rating of EPIC Roasthouse restaurant in Embarcadero.



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The establishments below are presented in alphabetical order.


Fog CityEmbarcadero

Fog City | Embarcadero

Bruce Hill’s exciting homage to all-American diversity brings a whole new meaning to roasted chicken, burgers and fries.

Recommended dish: The Fog City burger.

Review and rating of Fog City restaurant in Embarcadero.



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Hard WaterEmbarcadero

Hard Water | Embarcadero

This New Orleans-themed excursion from Slanted Door’s Charles Phan has bay views and a Bourbon bar.

Recommended dish: Braised rabbit.

Review and rating of Hard Water restaurant in Embarcadero.



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La Mar Cebicheria PeruanaEmbarcadero

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana | Embarcadero

Modern Peruvian cuisine and sweeping Bay views distinguish chef Gastón Acurio’s first U.S. restaurant.

Restaurant tip: If you’re overwhelmed by all the choices, make things easy with the Sunday night multi-course prix-fixe dinner.

Review and rating of La Mar Cebicheria Peruana restaurant in Embarcadero.



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La UrbanaNoPa

La Urbana | NoPa

Artisanal mezcal and out-there ingredients inform this artistic urban take on the traditional cantina.

Recommended dish: A menudo featuring braised oxtail, hominy, clams and cabbage tostadas.

Review and rating of La Urbana restaurant in NoPa.



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MaderaMenlo Park

Madera | Menlo Park

California rustic meets pastoral luxury at this Menlo Park hot-spot that also boasts an attractive cocktail lounge.

Recommended dish: Potato gnocchi with seasonal vegetables.

Review and rating of Madera restaurant in Menlo Park.



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The establishments below are presented in alphabetical order.


Mason PacificNob Hill

Mason Pacific | Nob Hill

Old-fashioned elegance meets cutting-edge culinary drama at this see-and-be-seen spot.

Recommended dish: New York strip steak.

Review and rating of Mason Pacific restaurant in Nob Hill.



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PlowPotrero Hill

Plow | Potrero Hill

A lovely neighborhood spot with soaring ceilings and striking views of the city that serves up breakfast and lunch.

Recommended dish: Carrot cake muffins.

Review and rating of Plow restaurant in Potrero Hill.



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Roka AkorJackson Square

Roka Akor | Jackson Square

Contemporary Japanese cuisine in a visually distinctive setting cast around a large open kitchen.

Recommended dish: Lobster tempura.

Review and rating of Roka Akor restaurant in Jackson Square.



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Saison | SoMa

Upscale Saison makes the transition from the Mission to SoMa; its distinctive dining experience remains intact.

Restaurant tip: Those looking for a more casual evening can dine in the bar and lounge area, which offers a daily-changing à la carte menu.

Review and rating of Saison restaurant in SoMa.



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SPQRPacific Heights

SPQR | Pacific Heights

This Pacific Heights osteria from the team at A16 highlights the food and wine of Rome.

Restaurant tip: Ravioli topped with truffle.

Review and rating of SPQR restaurant in Pacific Heights.



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The establishments below are presented in alphabetical order.


State Bird ProvisionsFillmore District

State Bird Provisions | Fillmore District

Their California take on dim sum offers casual, seasonal variety, with small plates wheeled between the tables.

Restaurant tip: Book a reservation far in advance or be prepared to wait for a space at the “chef’s counter.”

Review and rating of State Bird Provisions restaurant in the Fillmore District.



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The CavalierUnion Square

The Cavalier | Union Square

A high-end British brasserie from the folks who brought Marlowe and Park Tavern to San Francisco.

Recommended dish: Berkshire pork loin.

Review and rating of The Cavalier restaurant in Union Square.



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Twenty Five LuskSoMa

Twenty Five Lusk | SoMa

This strikingly designed restaurant has quickly endeared itself to San Francisco’s style-savvy crowds.

Recommended dish: Steelhead trout.

Review and rating of Twenty Five Lusk restaurant in SoMa.



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VerbenaRussian Hill

Verbena | Russian Hill

Sean Baker’s flair for produce at this Russian Hill hotspot might just convert even the most fiercely vegetable-averse.

Recommended dish: Sprouted-seed bread with chèvre.

Review and rating of Verbena restaurant in Russian Hill.



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Waterbar | Embarcadero

Gorgeous views, bold flavors and a whimsical interior have made Waterbar a seafood-lover’s dream.

Recommended dish: Seared halibut with black chai and cashew couscous.

Review and rating of Waterbar restaurant in Embarcadero.



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