We basically ate and drank our way through San Francisco; it was a week of gastronomical bliss. Our goal was to hit all the restaurants we know and love while adding a few new ones to the list. A huge part of our traveling experience revolves around dining out, and we enjoy planning and making most reservations in advance— leaving room for serendipity or a great tip from a local.
There are a couple of characteristics my husband and I look for when planning our dining adventures.
First, we tend to seek out restaurants that offer us something different that what we can get at here in Santa Barbara. Whenever we’re traveling to a big city we always make sure to book a table at a great French bistro.
Previously, when we were in San Francisco that meant Bistro Jeanty at Jack’s but it (sad face) closed, so we tried Café des Amis and it satisfied our rose-colored cravings. Steak frites was just what the doctor ordered after a few nights of “celebration” in the city by the bay.
Second, when traveling we look for restaurants with a substantial wine list. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the wines on the list. If you consider yourself a foodie, it’s a great tip for finding good restaurants.
If you know a restaurant is trying with the wine, the food is usually guaranteed to be delicious. This does not necessarily always mean expensive wines – that’s the difference—a thoughtfully curated list of wines (both by the glass and by the bottle) indicates that the restaurant seeks out the best quality ingredients.
A diverse, well-chosen wine list tells you that this restaurant cares about every aspect of your meal. A great example of this is found at The Slanted Door, which offers many crisp, effervescent, sparkling wines and Rieslings that match the Asian food beautifully, bringing together all the elements of your experience in an incredible way.
Here’s my tried and true top picks for San Francisco. If you have the chance to visit this special city, I think you will have a wonderful food and wine experience at any of these restaurants: