Your city? Big. Your comfort zone? Small. But if you’ve got the right intel (like this list of San Francisco’s best new restaurants) and the perfect urban adventure vehicle (like the all-new 2010 Hyundai Tucson), you can’t go wrong.
The mod industrial eatery slings Roman-style pizzas along with antipasti (beet carpaccio with goat ricotta and truffle) and house-made pastas. Lager lovers rejoice with 30 artisanal brews to pair with your pie.
2175 Chestnut Street, between Pierce and Steiner Streets (415-673-7100).
Named for the proprietor’s great grandfather’s butcher shop, the dressed-down resto pays homage to the trade while keeping fare light with baked oysters, bone marrow with salsa verde, and roast chicken with herb puree.
330 Townsend Street, between 4th and 5th Streets (415-974-5599).
Local: Mission Eatery
With its locally sourced menu, full-service bakery, and partnerships with Terroir and City Beer Store, you’ll have no problem making a night of it at one of the restaurant’s twice-weekly prix fixe dinners.
3111 24th Street, between Folsom and Shotwell Streets (415-655-3422).
As casual Italian goes, you can’t beat this 66-seat charmer. Expect rustic gems like Sicilian meatballs (braised chard, pine nuts, tomato), quick-braised calamari (chile, fennel, olives), and 60 wines by the glass.
230 California Street, between Battery and Front Streets (415-955-1919).
The fare may be unfussy (the unofficial motto is “Fingers not forks!”), but oh, the flavors. Order the signature shot-and-a-beer braised chicken and carnitas tacos in sets of four or ten; pair with a pitcher of margarita picante.
2031 Chestnut Street, at Fillmore Street (415-346-1966).
Get help funding your adventure with a $100 gift certificate to any of the aforementioned.