Charcuterie has become widely popular at wine bars and restaurants around town over the last decade, but a handful of chefs and restaurants claim this as a specialty, and have been creating delicious and interesting meat boards in recent years. Adhering to whole-animal butchery practices that leave them with a bevy of offal and scraps, these restaurants regularly serve some of the finest salumis, cured meats, pates, and terrines you'll find anywhere in the country.
This three-year-old, under-the-radar Mission restaurant is well known to neighbors for their excellent burger and their top-notch, idiosyncratic charcuterie boards. Unusual items include rabbit ciccioli (a spiced terrine style from Northern Italy made typically with the last of the scraps and fat from a pig), "tipsy" coppa, and smoked duck breast. 1001 Guerrero at 22nd
Known especially for steaks and well prepared seafood, this restaurant has slowly gained notice over the last year for its charcuterie program, now in the hands of chef Francis Hogan. Hogan's latest experiment is a delicious "mortadella" made with pork trotters and green olives, but he's also making excellent spicy coppa, a well-seasoned pig's head terrine, and some of the best, garlicky finnochiona we've ever tasted. Expect a rotating selection of ten different mousses, pates, and salumi on any given evening, which can be sampled on a Butcher's Choice board for $21. One Yerba Buena Lane
This Hayes Valley deli and butcher shop, which also has a regular presence at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, is the go-to spot for a do-it-yourself charcuterie board at your next dinner party. They make excellent pancetta and sausages, spreadable pates like ciccioli and duck rillettes, as well as unusual salumi items like lomo (cured pork loin with paprika) and French-style petit sex aux herbes (an air-dried, heavily herbed, jerky-like salami). 320 Fell Street
Chef Chris Cosentino's Noe Valley restaurant takes it as a duty to proselytize the wisdom and ethics of whole-animal cuisine, and Cosentino has also gone on to found Boccalone, the Ferry Building-based salumi shop that is Fatted Calf's main competitor in town. At Incanto you'll find a rotating selection of unusual and carefully made charcuterie boards, primarily from Boccalone, including their signature 'nduja–a spreadable salami that takes its name from an Italian-ization of the word "andouille." 1550 Church Street at 28th
One of the most ambitious and well established charcuterie programs in town is that of chef Staffan Terje at his FiDi restaurant Perbacco, and its casual, next-door sister Barbacco. Selections include a quartet of prosciutto varieties like La Quercia, Parma, and San Daniele, and unusual things like lardo di cavour; and salame cuneese, a Piemontese specialty made with spiced wine. 220-230 California Street
The one-year-old, charcuterie-heavy spinoff of Flour + Water is styled after old-timey Italian delicatessens, and in additions to sandwiches, salads, and antipasti they specialize in house-cured prosciutto, speck, and salame nostrano. And if you're looking for a cool spot to host a private dinner, Salumeria does private, catered events at night around their butcher block for parties of eight to 14. 3000 20th Street at Florida
Now a standby in Laurel Heights for celebratory dinners, Spruce offers a charcuterie plate each night for $18 featuring things like prosciutto and a terrine of sweetbreads. Though they don't offer some of the offal oddities they once did like thinly sliced, cured pig's ear or tongue, the restaurant can still be counted on for great duck prosciutto and a delicious duck liver mousse topped with Madeira gelée. 3640 Sacramento Street