A selection of restaurants

in the San Francisco Bay area (selected by piero scaruffi but NOT updated in a long time)
Back to Travel resources | Back to San Francisco | Veggie dining | Suggestions
Below you find a selection of my favorite restaurants, organized by cuisine.

Needless to say, this is an "alternative" guide to restaurants in the Bay Area. I don't particularly like fancy restaurants, and I don't judge the quality of food based on the price (very often the cheapest and humblest restaurant is the best one, while the expensive and fancy one is the worst). The last thing that influences my ratings is what other magazines or newspapers write.
I am particularly tough with San Francisco restaurants. The hype is high, but the quality is low. The best restaurants are likely to be outside San Francisco. Say what you will, restaurants in the middle-class areas of the Peninsula or the East Bay, are far better (not to mention far cheaper) than restaurants in the city. Plus you get easy parking, no lines, excellent service. Plus the atmosphere is slightly better outside San Francisco (no bums panhandling on the sidewalk, no gangsters selling drugs, no psychos wrecking your car) and the weather is warm and pleasant (unlike the constant fog/wind of San Francisco). And, last but not least, excellent, authentic food (as opposed to "it's ok" food). Most of the restaurants in the city where I've recently eaten simply made me laugh (before the bill came). I have had terrible dinners at the "best restaurants" according to the most popular San Francisco papers.

LATE identifies a restaurant that is open till decent hours. San Francisco is pretty much like Siberia when it comes to restaurants: while the rest of the world starts eating at 10pm, San Francisco restaurants start closing at 9:30pm. We encourage you to support restaurants that are open till LATE and especially 24-hour restaurants.

Before you go, doublecheck that the restaurant still exists.


SPANISH:
  1. Zarzuelas (2000 Hyde & Union)
  2. B44 (44 Belden & Bush)
  3. Pintxos (557 Valencia & 17th)
  4. Picaro (3120 16th & Valencia)
  5. El Patio Espanol (2850 Alemany & Farragut)
  6. Alegrias (2018 Lombard)
  7. Esperpento (3295 22nd)
  8. Vinga (320 Third St & Folsom)
  9. Basque (398 7th St)
  10. Timos (842 Valencia)

INDIAN:
  1. Bombay Garden (5995 Mowry Ave, Newark)
  2. Taste of India (Mowry & Farwell, Fremont)
  3. House of Curries (2520 Durant, Berkeley) LATE
  4. Elel Deedee's (341 Lafayette St #101, Santa Clara)
  5. Ananda Bhavan (5168 Mowry Ave, Fremont)
  6. Udupi Palace (5988 NewPark Mall Rd, Newark, 510-794-8400)
  7. Tirupathi Bhimas (1208 S. Abel Street, Milpitas, 408- 945-1010)
  8. Shah (962 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94086)
  9. Little India Cafe (415 N Mary Ave, Sunnyvale)
  10. Naan 'N' Curry (336 O'Farrell St, open till late)
  11. Favourite India Restaurant (24052 Mission Blvd, Hayward)
  12. India Oven (233 Fillmore & Haight, San Francisco)
  13. Clay Oven (150 Del Monte, Monterey)
  14. Kokila (20956 Homestead, Cupertino)
  15. Rice'n'Spice (1025 University Ave, Berkeley)
  16. Sarvana Bhavan (Sunnyvale)
  17. Ajanta (1888 Solano, Berkeley)
  18. Bombay Garden (El Camino & Lawrence, Sunnyvale)
  19. Sitar Indian Cuisine (Santa Cruz)
  20. Kokila's Kitchen (20956 Homestead Rd & Sterling, Cupertino)
  21. Pakwan (3182 16th & Guerrero)
  22. Ganesh (2700 16th St)
  23. Bombay (2217 Market)
  24. Raja (500 Haight)
  25. Masala (1220 Ninth Ave)
  26. Rasoi (1037 Valencia & 22nd St)
  27. Shalimar (532 Jones & Geary, 415-928-0333)
  28. Shilpa (3530 El Camino Real & Lawrence, Santa Clara)
  29. Maharani (1122 Post)
  30. Ganges (775 Frederick)
  31. Vik's Chaat Corner (726 Allston, Berkeley)

ETHIOPIAN:
  1. Blue Nile (2525 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley) CLOSED
  2. Zeni (1320 Saratoga Ave, San Jose)
  3. Cafe Colucci (6427 Telegraph Ave, Oakland)
  4. Asmara (5020 Telegraph, Oakland)
  5. Massawa (1538 Haight)
  6. Nyala (39 Grove & Market)
  7. Assab (2845 Geary Blvd)
  8. Rasselas (2801 California & Divisadero)
  9. Red Sea (5200 Claremont)
  10. Cafe Eritrea (4069 Telegraph, Oakland)
  11. Tana (4238 18th St & Diamond)

MEXICAN:
  1. Casa Lupe (185 Main St, Los Altos)
  2. Imperial (948 C St, Hayward) CLOSED
  3. Cafe Campesino (Santa Cruz)
  4. Mexico Tipico (3980 Horner St between Union City Blvd & Vallejo St, Union City)
  5. La Fiesta (240 Villa, Mountain View)
  6. El Tapatio (1416 Fruitdale Ave, Oakland, 510 261-1411)
  7. Cocina Michoacana (Main St, Groveland)
  8. Adelita's (Boulder Creek)
  9. Hacienda (895 Second Ave, Redwood City)
  10. Casa Vallarta (1910 Park Blvd, Oakland, 510 834-8915)
  11. Picante (1328 Sixth St & Camelia, Berkeley)
  12. La Rondalla (901 Valencia)
  13. Casa Sanchez (2778 24th St)
  14. Taqueria Can-Cun (2288 Mission)

CHINESE:
  1. Kingwu (10851 North Wolfe Rd, Cupertino)
  2. Jing-Jing (443 Emerson, Palo Alto)
  3. Daimo (3288 Pierce St, Richmond)
  4. Brandy Hos (450 Broadway & Kearny)
  5. Royal Feast (148 El Camino, Millbrae)
  6. Yuet Lee (1300 Stockton & Broadway) LATE
  7. Mandarin Gourmet (10145 DeAnza Blvd & Stevens Creek, Cupertino)
  8. House of Nanking (919 Kearny & Columbus)
  9. Soo Fong (3801 Third St & Evans)
  10. Star Lunch (605 Jackson & Kearny)
  11. Peking Wok (4920 Third St & Palou)
  12. Dragon Well (2142 Chestnut & Pierce)
  13. Crouching Tiger (Broadway, Redwood City)
  14. Empress Of China (838 Grant Ave)
  15. Kan's (708 Grant Ave)
  16. Ten THousand Buddhas (608 Geary)
  17. Shangai 1930 (133 Stewart)
  18. Lotus Garden (532 Grant)
  19. Lucky Creation (854 Washington & Grant)

JAPANESE:
  1. Ebisu (1283 Ninth Ave)
  2. Hotei (1290 Ninth Ave & Irving)

CAMBODIAN:
  1. Battambang (850 Broadway, Oakland)
  2. Angkor Borel (3471 Mission & Cortland)
  3. Angkor Wat (4217 Geary)

THAI:
  1. Krungthai (580 N Winchester & 280, San Jose)
  2. Khan Toke (5937 Geary)
  3. Plearn (University Ave & Shattuck, Berkeley)
  4. Thaibodia (910 Woodside Rd, Redwood City)
  5. Thai Spoons (El Camino Real, Sunnyvale)
  6. Siam Royal (338 University Ave, Palo Alto)
  7. Manora (1600 Folsom & 12th)
  8. Ladda (2033 Broadway, Redwood City)
  9. Thep Phanom (400 Waller & Fillmore) (415) 431-2526
  10. Real Thai Food Cafe (Santa Cruz)
  11. Gatip (Lombard & Steiner)
  12. Marnee (2225 Irving & 23rd Ave)
  13. Thai City (3691 El Camino, Palo Alto)
  14. Malai Thai (3189 16th St)
  15. King of Thai (639 Clement St) LATE
  16. Suriya (1432 Valencia)
  17. Siam Garden (1143 Crane, Menlo Park)
  18. Samila (5336 Geary & 18th)
  19. Cha-Am (701 Folsom & Shattuck in Berkeley)

MALAY/INDONESIAN:
  1. The Island Cafe (111 East 4th Ave, San Mateo) CLOSED?
  2. Spice Islands Cafe (210 Hope St, Mountain View)
  3. Indonesia (678 Post St & Jones)
  4. Straight Cafe (3300 Geary & Parker)
  5. Rasa Sayang (977 San Pablo, Albany)
  6. Borobudur (700 Post)

BURMESE:
  1. Burma Superstar (309 Clement St & 4th)
  2. Nirvana (544 Castro & 18th)
  3. Mandalay (4348 California & Sixth Ave)

VIETNAMESE:
  1. Tu Lan (8 Sixth St)
  2. Golden Turtle (2211 Van Ness)
  3. Saigon City (418 Third Ave, San Mateo)
  4. Sais (680 laurel, San Carlos)
  5. Elephant Bleu (3232 16th St)
  6. Le Colonial (20 Cosmo Pl, bet Taylor and Jones)
  7. Loongbar (900 North Pt & Beach)

MIDDLE EASTERN:
  1. Oren's Hummus (261 University Avenue, Palo Alto)
  2. House of Falafel (19550 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino)
  3. Mediterranean Delite (El Camino Real, San Carlos)
  4. Tarboosh (837 Jefferson St, Redwood City)
  5. La Mediterranee (288 Noe & Market)
  6. El Mansour (3123 Clement)
  7. Amira (590 Valencia & 17th St)
  8. Lapis (Pier 33 & Bay)
  9. Aram (3665 Sacramento & Spruce)
  10. Hasahez (3083 16th St)
  11. Byblos (1910 Lombard & Buchanan)
  12. Kan Zaman (Haight & Shrader)
  13. Ali Baba's Cave (531 Haight) LATE
  14. Oritalia (586 Bush)
  15. Baraka (288 Connecticut & 18th)

BRAZILIAN:
  1. Terra Brazilis (602 Hayes & Laguna)
  2. Canto do Brasil (3621 18th)

NEPALESE:
  1. Little Nepal (925 Cortland Ave, San Francisco)
  2. Himalaya (El Camino & Broadway, Belmont) CLOSED?

TIBETAN:
  1. Cafe Tibet (2020 University Ave, Berkeley)
  2. Lhasa Moon (2420 Lombard & Scott)

TURKISH:
  1. New Kapadokia (2399 Broadway, Redwood City)
  2. A La Turca (869 Geary)

PERSIAN:
  1. Maykadeh (470 Green & Grant)
  2. Pasha (1516 Broadway & Polk)

POLISH:
  1. Old Krakow (385 West Portal)
CARIBBEAN:
  1. Babaloo (2030 Lombard)
  2. Port Cafe (3499 16th St & Sanchez)
  3. Cha Cha Cha (1801 Haight St)

AFGHAN:
  1. Not a restaurant but best bread of the Bay: Maiwand Market, 37235 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536
  2. Zalla (4743 Clayton Rd, Concord, CA 94521)
  3. Kabul (135 El Camino Real, San Carlos, 650 594-2840)
  4. Helmand (430 Broadway)

RUSSIAN:
  1. Traktir (4036 Balboa & 42nd)
  2. Russian Renaissance (5241 Geary)
  3. Russian Bear (939 Clement)

ITALIAN:
  1. Tramonti (528 Seabright ave, Santa Cruz)
  2. Una Pizza Napoletana (210 11th Street San Francisco)
  3. C'era Una Volta (1332 Park St, Alameda)
  4. Sapore Italiano (1447 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame, 650 348-3277)
  5. Steps of Rome (348 Columbus) LATE
  6. Gondola (15 Columbus Ave)
  7. Brindisi (88 Belden Place)
  8. Mezza Luna (Half Moon Bay)
  9. Bay e Bacco (Noe Valley)
  10. Delfina (3621 18th St & Guerrero)
  11. Home (Market St)
  12. Caffe delle Stelle (395 Hayes St)
  13. Bella Roma (Capitola Ave, Capitola)
  14. L'Osteria del Forno (519 Columbus)
  15. Buca Giovanni (800 Greenwich & Columbus)
  16. Pasta Bella (796 Gravenstein, Petaluma)
  17. Emporio (2300 Chestnut)
  18. Zuni (1658 Market St)
  19. Oritalia (1915 Fillmore)
  20. Caffe Puccini (411 Columbus Ave) LATE
  21. Original Joe's (144 Taylor St) LATE
  22. Piemont (So Mt Shasta Blvd, Mt Shasta)
  23. Basta Pasta (1268 Grant Avenue) LATE
  24. Enrico's (504 Broadway) LATE
  25. Mozzarella di Bufala Pizzeria (2114 Fillmore St) LATE
  26. Ponte Vecchio (Valencia & 23rd)

PIZZA
    Zachary's (5801 College & Oak Grove, Oakland) Goat Hill Pizza (300 Connecticut & 18th St) Zante Pizza (3083 16th St & Valencia)

FRENCH:
  1. Le Charm (5th St & Folsom)
  2. Absinthe (398 Hayes & Gough) LATE
  3. Fleur de Lys (777 Sutter & Taylor)
  4. Chez Panisse (1517 Shattuck & Cedar, Berkeley)
  5. Bizou (1598 Fourth St & Brannan)
  6. Cafe Claude (7 Claude Ln)
  7. Grand Cafe (501 Geary)

GERMAN:
  1. Suppenkueche (601 Hayes & Laguna)

AFRICAN:
  1. Keur-Baobab (3386 19th St & Mission)
  2. Joubert (4115 Judah)

PHILIPPINE:
  1. Tito Rey (1 St Francis Sq, Daly City)

GREEK:
  1. Rainbow Pizza (112 Crystal Springs Shopping Center, San Mateo)
  2. Papa's Taverna (Lakeville Road, Petaluma)
  3. Samos (Pier 33)
  4. Kokkari (200 Jackson & Front)

PERU:
  1. Limon (524 Valencia)
  2. Peru Club (3020 Mission & 26th St)

GUATEMALA:
  1. San Miguel (3520 20th & Mission)

California Nouvelle Cuisine:
  1. Fuzio (2175 Chestnut)
  2. Home (2100 Market)
  3. Millennium (246 McAlister)
  4. Lulu (816 Folsom)
  5. Gordon's (500 Florida & Mariposa)
  6. Liberty Cafe (410 Cortland & Bennington)
  7. Ramp (855 China Basin)
  8. Christopher's Cafe (1501 Solano & Curtis, Albany)
  9. Eos (901 Cole)
  10. Hawthorne Lane (22 Hathorne Ln)
  11. Bizou (598 Fourth St & Brannan)
  12. Firefly (4288 24th St & Douglass)
  13. Cafe Akimbo (116 Maiden Ln)
  14. Bix (56 Gold & Sansome)
  15. Woodward's Garden (1700 Mission)
  16. Globe (290 Pacific) LATE

DECOR:
  1. Backflip (601 Eddy)
  2. Betelnut (2030 Union)
  3. Val 21 (995 Valencia)

VIEWS
  1. Carnelian Room (Bank of America building)
  2. Beach Chalet (1000 Great Highway)
  3. Julius' Castle (1541 Montgomery)

CAJUN
  1. Elite Cafe (2049 Fillmore & California)
  2. La Bayou (3278 Adeline & Alcatraz, Berkeley)
  3. Cajun Pacific (4542 Irving & 46th Ave)

DINERS:
  1. Mason's (320 Mason) LATE
  2. Fog City Diner (1300 Battery)
  3. Hamburger's Mary (1582 Folsom)

SUNDAY BRUNCH:
  1. Casa Madrona (Sausalito)
  2. Absinthe (398 Hayes & Gough) LATE
  3. Palace's Garden Court (2 New Montgomery)
  4. Sofitel (Redwood Shores)
  5. La Mediterranee (288 Noe & Market)
  6. Chloe (1399 Church)
  7. Dottie's True Blue Cafe (522 Jones)
  8. Kate's Kitchen (471 Haight)

BAKERY:
  1. Dianda's (Crystal Springs shopping center, San Mateo, Polhemus exit off 92 near 280)
  2. Prolific Oven (550 Waverley St, Palo Alto
  3. Goldilocks (3535 Callan Blvd, So San Francisco, near 35 & Westborough, 650 873-0565)

CREPES:
  1. (Haight & Masonic)
  2. Ti Couz (3108 16th)

DESSERT:
  1. Dianda's (Crystal Springs shopping center, San Mateo, Polhemus exit off 92 near 280)
  2. Rosine's (434 Alvarado St, Monterey)
  3. Mitchell's Ice Cream (688 San Jose Ave & 29th, 415.648.2300) LATE
  4. Crepes A Go Go (350 11th St, San Francisco) LATE
  5. Tart to Tart (641 Irving St & 8th St)
  6. La Tartine (830 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City)
  7. Joe's Ice Cream (5351 Geary & 18th)
  8. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain (Ghirardelli Sq) LATE
  9. Citizen Cake (399 Grove)
  10. Emporio (2300 Chestnut)
  11. Sweet Inspiration (Market St) LATE
  12. Au Coquelet (2000 University Ave & Milvia, Berkeley)
  13. Zero Degrees (490 Pacific Ave)
  14. Just Desserts (College Ave, Berkeley)
  15. xyz (181 Third & Howard)
  16. Ciao Bella (685 Harrison & Third St)
  17. Patisserie Cafe (1155 Folsom)
  18. Alfred Schilling (1695 Market)
  19. St Francis Fountain (2801 24th St & York)
  20. Bombay Ice Creamery (552 Valencia)
  21. Daily Scoop (1401 18th St)
  22. Rory's Twisted Scoop (2015 Fillmore)
  23. Swiss Chalet
  24. Cliff House

VEGETARIAN:
  1. Source (11 Division St, San Francisco)
  2. Greens (Fort Mason)
  3. Vegetarian House (520 East Santa Clara St, San Jose, 408-292-3798)
  4. Roxanne's (Larkspur)
  5. Cafe Gratitude (2400 Harrison)
  6. Herbivore (983 Valencia 826-5657)
  7. Neworld (464 8th St @ Broadway, Oakland)
  8. HappyCow's Vegetarian restaurant guide

SEAFOOD:
  1. Tadich Grill (240 California & Battery)

24 HOURS or late enough:
  1. Au Coquelet (2000 University Ave & Milvia, Berkeley)
  2. Baghdad Cafe` (2295 Market St)
  3. Sparky's (242 Church St)
  4. Silver (737 Washington & Stockton)
  5. Lucky Penny (2670 Geary & Masonic)
  6. Denny's (495 Beach St)
  7. Denny's (1700 Post St)
  8. International House of Pancakes (2299 Lombard St)
  9. King's Diner (1390 Mission St)
  10. Mel's Diner (1050 Van Ness & Geary)
  11. Lori's Diner (336 Mason St)
  12. Orphan Andy's (3991 17th St & Castro)
  13. Pinecrest Diner (401 Geary St)
  14. Video Cafe (5700 Geary Blvd)
  15. Cafe Mason (320 Mason St)