My 20 Favorite San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants

As time goes by I slowly realize that memory becomes less clear. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 24 years. Specifically in: San Anselmo, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Noe Valley (SF), Western Addition (SF), and Palo Alto. For me, a great restaurant is like excellent theater, an evening where one is transported, both by the food and the ambiance. Not all of the following restaurants are still open, but these are my top 20 (in no particular order, not including the ones that I may have already forgotten).

-Kokkari Estiatorio (San Francisco)

-Wakuriya (San Mateo)

-La Ciccia (San Francisco)

-Paseo (Mill Valley)

-Gary Danko (San Francisco)

-Tosca Cafe (San Francisco)

-L’Ardoise Bistro (San Francisco)

-Iberia (Menlo Park)

-Chez Panisse (Berkeley)

-Acquerello (San Francisco)

-Lark Creek Inn (Larkspur, closed in 2009)

-Jardiniere (San Francisco, closed in 2019)

-Mister Jiu’s (San Francisco)

-Bar Jules (San Francisco, closed in 2015)

-Cotogna (San Francisco)

-Spruce (San Francisco)

-Tadich Grill (San Francisco)

-SPQR (San Francisco)

-Quince (San Francisco)

-Ristorante Ideale (San Francisco)

Remembering Doris Grumbach: 1918-2022

Photo Credit: The New York Times

I corresponded with Doris and loved her memoirs. She sent me signed books. This is the post I wrote about her a couple of years ago:

A link to her books: