Food & Drink

Eat Where San Francisco Chefs Eat

Dining advice from the pros

smoked potatoes!

Even top chefs need a night off. We asked some of our favorites for their current restaurant picks around the Bay. From ramen to alligator to burgers, you’ll want to add these to your must-eat list.

Bar Tartine
“The smoked potatoes and black garlic [pictured above] at Bar Tartine is hands down one of the best dishes I ate in 2013. I’ve sent at least a dozen people there just for those. The dish is worded simply on the menu (literally, ‘smoked potatoes and black garlic’), but it has a lot more going on, like fresh herbs and turnip aioli. It’s amazing.” — Adam Timney, chef and partner, Starbelly

“I love the Tan Tan Men ramen at Himawari-Tei in San Mateo. It’s the perfect balance of spice, sesame oil, and miso. The sweet ground pork helps bring out the flavor of the broth. I always add a little extra nori to it. I drive there at least once a week for lunch.” — Tim Archuleta, executive chef and partner, Ichi Sushi

Yummy Yummy
“My favorite dish right now is the chicken pho at Yummy Yummy in the Sunset. The broth is clean and rich, and I love the toasted garlic they add to it.” — Yoni Levy, chef, Alta CA

Local’s Corner
“This is my favorite easy-breezy lunch spot. They always have really interesting old world-style, funky California whites to go with the oysters that you would be a fool not to start with. From there, it is all about the smoked sturgeon, however chef Timmy Malloy has it on the menu. That is what you order.” — Joshua Wilder Oakley, chef and founder, Tango & Stache


“I think I can eat chef Adam’s chicken liver pâté [pictured above] every day — or as long as my arteries allow it. He helps me not miss foie gras as much.” — Alejandro Morgan, executive chef, Lolinda and El Techo de Lolinda

“One of my most favorite spots to go for sushi is Eiji. It’s a tiny little restaurant (I wouldn’t recommend going there with a large group) with traditional paper wall decor. One menu item I always make sure to get is the made-to-order oboro tofu. The fresh, silky tofu is served with shiso, bonito flakes, pickled daikon, and yuzu. It’s a great way to start dinner and goes great with a bottle or two of sake.” — Michael Mauschbaugh, chef and proprietor, Sous Beurre Kitchen

Sam’s Burgers
“There’s the obvious pick: Sam’s Burgers on Broadway. It’s been a late-night haunt of mine for years. It’s right around the corner from Comstock and my house, so I’ve been known to eat there often. Pretty standard greasy, delicious burger with some fries. Glorious.” — Ronnie New, chef, Comstock Saloon

boxing room!

Boxing Room
“The deep-fried alligator [pictured above] at Boxing Room is totally different — it’s not something you’ll find all over San Francisco. It’s served with a really tasty creole remoulade with lemon. It has its own unique flavor, and the chef’s approach to Louisiana cuisine is spot on.” — Chris Thompson, chef, A16; via ChefsFeed

Anchor Oyster Bar
“Whenever people visit San Francisco, they want to go to Swan Oyster Depot, which is delicious. But my absolute favorite go-to spot is Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro. An older lady runs the kitchen and cooks the most delicious clams and garlic bread. I always start with oysters and finish off with a big bowl of clams and a beer.” — Kim Alter, chef, Plum Restaurant

Bakesale Betty
“This is the best fried chicken sandwich I have ever had. I will drive out to Oakland for it, and I hate driving.” — Adam Tortosa, executive chef, 1760; via ChefsFeed

dosa masala!

Dosa on Fillmore
“The food I cook and eat every day is either Mediterranean or modern Mexican, so when I go out, I like a palate challenge. Give me Dosa on Fillmore any day. It’s steps from my house, the cocktail program is awesome, the ambience akin to sexy Mumbai, and the food smacks of flavor. I feel most at home at the bar with a dosa masala [pictured above] and a spicy bowl of daal.” — Joanne Weir, maestra de cocina, Copita Tequileria y Comida

“Any pizza, a bottle of red wine, and gnocchi. Done.” — Adam Dulye, chef, The Abbot’s Cellar and The Monk’s Kettle

Photos: Chad Robertson / Courtesy of Bar Tartine; Aubrie Pick / Courtesy of Starbelly; Courtesy of Absinthe Restaurant Group; Courtesy of Dosa

1015 Irving St
bt 11th & 12th Aves
San Francisco, CA 94122
2500 Bryant St
@ 23rd St
San Francisco, CA 94110
1700 Fillmore St
@ Post St
San Francisco, CA 94117
618 Broadway St
@ Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
5098 Telegraph Ave
@ 51st St
Oakland, CA 94609
579 Castro St
bt 18th & 19th Sts
San Francisco, CA 94114
202 2nd Ave
@ N Ellsworth Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
317 Sanchez St
bt 16th & 17th Sts
San Francisco, CA 94131
561 Valencia St
bt 16th & 17th Sts
San Francisco, CA 94110
399 Grove St
@ Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
311 Divisadero St
bt Page & Oak Sts
San Francisco, CA 94117
3583 16th St
bt Pond & Market Sts
San Francisco, CA 94114