The Big Eat 2019: 100 Best Dishes in San Francisco
Avery's Northern Coast—a seasonal composition of abalone—is new to the list this year. (Nick Czap)

The Big Eat 2019: 100 Best Dishes in San Francisco


Ready your Resy app and call a Lyft—this year's list of 100 must-try dishes in San Francisco is served.

The 2019 Big Eat features a whopping 81 new plates (*each noted with an asterisk) that made our mouths water last year, as well as 43 restaurants that have never graced the list before. Many of those freshman opened their doors in 2018 (December 31st is our cut off for consideration), so yeah, you might say it was a busy year in SF culinary world. It was also a tasty one.

For gluten and carbs to be so out of fashion, San Francisco restaurants served up a smorgasbord of pleasing pastas and tempting breads, not to mention succulent dumplings, juicy burgers, and meaty sandwiches. There were also enough creative seafood preparations (at Avery, Ayala, and Angler) to make us consider going pescatarian.

Tasting menus are also having a moment and you'll find seven of them here. It's too many, we admit, and yet there are so many from which to choose! Just consider this your once-in-a-lifetime guide to eating your way through the city (that is, until we dish out next year's list—sorry, not sorry).

Many dishes here are the sure-to-become-iconic standouts from the city's hottest newcomers, and several are SF's still-undisputed gold standards (Zuni's chicken and Delfina's calamari, for instance). We're not playing favorites—all dishes here are listed in random order—and together they represent the most memorable dishes we ate in 2018.

But we're not gonna lie: Many of our most beloved spots always get bumped to make way for fresh eats—did we mention there are more than 40 new restaurants here? (To Foreign Cinema, Blue Plate, and Marlowe: Our relationship isn't over; we're just taking a break.)

As always, restaurant menus rotate regularly and some dishes may be seasonal, so make sure to call ahead. And now get to eating, and share your progress and pics with us on Instagram with the hashtag #7x7bigeat.

Prairie's rustic-fun pane distrutto promises to become one of the restaurant's most iconic dishes. Read 7x7's full review of chef Anthony Strong's latest restaurant.(Nick Czap)

1. *Pane distrutto at Prairie, 3431 19th St. (Mission),

2. *Salt cod beignets at Lord Stanley, 2065 Polk St. (Nob Hill),

3. *Pad see ew at King's Thai Cuisine, #1 639 Clement St. (Inner Richmond),

4. *Cured amberjack at Angler, 132 The Embarcadero,

5. *Gol guppa at August 1 Five, 524 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center),

6. *Northern Coast (seasonal, included in tasting menu) at Avery, 1552 Fillmore St. (NoPa),

7. *Top Shelf Margherita at PizzaHacker, 3299 Mission St. (Bernal Heights),

8. *Tasting menu ($145/person) at Son's & Daughters, 708 Bush St. (Tendernob),

9. *Wood-fired Berkshire prime pork chop at Boulevard, 1 Mission St. (Embarcadero),

10. *Chocolate tres leches cake at Ungrafted, 2419 Third St. (Dogpatch),

11. *Mushroom dumplings at Onsen, 466 Eddy St. (Tenderloin),

12. *Seur rong hai (grilled top sirloin) at Esan Classic, 739 Larkin St. (Tenderloin),

The tasting menu at Eight Tables begins with jiu gong ge, the nine essential flavors of Chinese cuisine. Read 7x7's full review of the restaurant.(Robert Birnbach)

13. Jiu gong ge (included in the tasting menu) at Eight Tables, 8 Kenneth Rexroth Place (North Beach),

14. *Duck leg confit with cannellini beans at Bistro Aix, 3340 Steiner St. (Marina),

15. *Pozole verde at El Pipila, 879 Brannan St. (SoMa),

16. *Rigatoni alla carbonara at Locanda, 557 Valencia St. (Mission),

17. *Chocolate chip cookie at Merchant Roots, 1365 Fillmore St. (NoPa),

18. *Aged beef agnolotti at Rich Table, 199 Gough St. (Hayes Valley),

19. *Roast chicken at Zuni Café, 1658 Market St. (Hayes Valley),

20. *Dungeness crab Louie at Swan Oyster Depot, 1517 Polk St. (Nob Hill),

21. *Hangtown fry at Tadich Grill, 240 California St. (FiDi),

22. *Special combo bánh mí at Sing Sing, 309 Hyde St. (Tenderloin), 415.885.5159

23. *Sri Lankan tasting menu ($110/person) at 1601 Bar & Restaurant, 1601 Howard St. (SoMa),

Besharam's tandoor-baked flatbread stuffed with crumbles of melted Stilton. Read our First Taste of the restaurant here.(Sarah Chorey)

24. *Blue cheese naan at Besharam, 1275 Minnesota St. (Dogpatch),

25. *Burger at Spruce, 3640 Sacramento St. (Presidio Heights),

26. *Turkey momos at Bini's Kitchen, 1 Post St. (FiDi)

27. *Build your own Scandinavian brunch board at Kantine, 1906 Market St. (Duboce Triangle),

28. *Focaccia di Recco at Cotogna, 490 Pacific Ave. (Jackson Square),

29. *Lumberjack cake at Frances, 3870 17th St. (Castro),

30. *Kale salad with chicken at Café Terminus, 16 California St. (FiDi),

31. *Wasabi lobster at In Situ, 151 Third St. (SoMa),

32. *Sourdough, sauerkraut, pecorino and ricotta pancakes at State Bird Provisions, 1529 Fillmore St. (NoPa),

33. *Grilled Don Watson lamb ($85, serves 2-6 people) at The Progress, 1525 Fillmore St. (NoPa),

Isla Vida's Cubano sandwich is a mouthful of ham, manchego cheese, mustard, and pickles on a soft roll, accompanied by shoestring fries. Read our First Taste of the restaurant.(Sarah Chorey)

34. *Cubano at Isla Vida, 1325 Fillmore St. (NoPa), [*UPDATE: RESTAURANT NOW CLOSED]

35. *Chef's charcuterie selection at Trou Normand, 140 New Montgomery St. (SoMa),

36. *Tasting menu ($185 to $205 per person) at Lazy Bear, 3416 19th St. (Mission),

37. *Avocado toast at Provender Coffee & Food, 1415 18th St. (Mission),

38. *Oyster and sorrels at Sorrel, 3228 Sacramento St. (Presidio Heights),

39. *Mustard capellini with Guinea hen ragu at SPQR, 1911 Fillmore St. (Pacific Heights),

40. *Geoduck, sea urchin, and egg custard at Commonwealth, 2224 Mission St. (Mission),

41. *Wheaten soda bread at Andytown Coffee Roasters, 3655 Lawton St. (Outer Sunset),

42. *Bagel plate at Marla Bakery, 3619 Balboa St. (Outer Richmond),

43. *Cherry vareniki at Cinderella Bakery, 436 Balboa St. (Inner Richmond),

44. *Churmur at Indian Paradox, 258 Divisadero St. (Lower Haight),

45. *Yukon potato gratin at Cocotte, 1521 Hyde St. (Nob Hill),

All tasting menus at Atelier Crenn include her Kir Breton: a cherry-sized bauble with an ultra-thin white chocolate and cocoa butter shell topped with a tiny piped-on button of jellied crème de cassis. Get a deeper taste.(Nick Czap)

46. Kir Breton (included in tasting menu, $335 per person) at Atelier Crenn, 3127 Fillmore St. (Cow Hollow),

47. *Soft-cooked egg with farro verde at Aster, 1001 Guerrero St. (Mission),

48. *Nene lunch plate at Bon Nene, 2850 21st St. (Mission),

49. *Vegetarian combination at House of Tadu, 484 Ellis St. (Tenderloin),

50. *Siberian ossetra, Crème au l'Os de Moelle at Bar Crenn, 3131 Fillmore St. (Cow Hollow),

51. *Tor di quinto (smoked salmon) pinsa at Montesacro Pinseria, 510 Stevenson St. (SoMa),

52. *Chocolate canelé at Dandelion Chocolate, 740 Valencia St. (Mission),

53. Salt and pepper crab at R&G Lounge, 631 Kearny St. (Chinatown),

The seafood "charcuterie" plate at Ayala includes various raw bites such trout with a touch of citrus and thin slices of black cod with kombu and Chartreuse, and a stunning octopus terrine. Get a bigger taste of the restaurant.(Molly DeCoudreaux)

54. *Seafood charcuterie at Ayala, 398 Geary St. (Tendernob), [*UPDATE: RESTAURANT NOW CLOSED]

55. *Cauliflower roast at Spice of America, 1655 Market St. (SoMa),

56. *Pecan pralines at Yvonne's Southern Sweets, 5128 Third St. (Bayview),

57. Russian honey cake at 20th Century Cafe, 198 Gough St. (Hayes Valley),

58. *Tom yum goong at Dumpling Time, 11 Division St. (SoMa),

59. *Off-menu meatballs at Tosca, 242 Columbus Ave. (North Beach), [*UPDATE: RESTAURANT NOW CLOSED]

60. *Pretty hot wings at Kin Khao, 55 Cyril Magnin St. (Tenderloin),

61. *Edomae-style sushi menu ($120 per person) at Kinjo, 2206 Polk St. (Russian Hill),

62. *Katsu sando at Stonemill Matcha, 561 Valencia St. (Mission),

At the most buzzed-about restaurant of 2018, the pineapple, red onion, and fermented chili pizza rules. Read our review of Che Fico.(Sarah Chorey)

63. *Pineapple, red onion, and fermented chili pizza at Che Fico, 838 Divisadero St. (NoPa),

64. *Patty melt at Rookies Sandwich Shop, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, 1 The Embarcadero,

65. Fancy oyster at Leo's Oyster Bar, 568 Sacramento St. (FiDi),

66. *Handkerchief white bolognese pasta at Pearl 6101, 6101 California St. (Outer Richmond),

67. *Tavern Burger at Violet's Tavern, 2301 Clement St. (Outer Richmond),

68. *Japanese breakfast with natto at Cassava, 3519 Balboa St. (Outer Richmond),

69. *Salt and pepper gulf prawns at Bon Voyage, 584 Valencia St. (Mission),

70. *Tasting Menu ($185 per person) at Birdsong, 1085 Mission St. (SoMa),

71. *Pork wontons with butternut squash skin at Mister Jiu's, 28 Waverly Pl. (Chinatown),

72. *Smoked fish toast at Radhaus, Landmark Building A (Fort Mason),

73. *Salami piccante pizza at Del Popolo, 855 Bush St. (Tendernob),

At Nico's new location in Jackson Square, the seasonal menu is ever-changing. Just ask for the chef's choice (and hope for spring peas on toasty brioche).(Sarah Chorey)

74. *Chef's choice ($85 per person) at Nico, 710 Montgomery St. (Jackson Square),

75. *Dutch pancake at Outerlands, 4001 Judah St. (Outer Sunset),

76. *Spaghetti alla cacio e pepe at Fiorella, 2339 Clement St. (Outer Richmond),

77. *Mushroom toast at Horsefeather, 528 Divisadero St. (NoPa),

78. Carne asada burrito at La Taqueria, 2889 Mission St. (Mission),

79. Coddled eggs at Tartine Manufactory, 595 Alabama St. (Mission),

80. *Omakase at Akiko's, 431 Bush St. (Union Square),

81. *Okonomiyaki at Namu Gaji, 499 Dolores St. (Mission),

82. *Boozy sundaes (rotating monthly) at Humphry Slocombe, 2790a Harrison St. (Mission),

83. *Basteeya at Mourad, 140 New Montgomery St., Ste. 1 (SoMa),

84. Moh hinga at Burma Superstar, 309 Clement St. (Inner Richmond),

85. The Fideua at Bellota, 888 Brannan St. (SoMa),

86. Rockfish a la talla at Cala, 149 Fell St. (Hayes Valley),

87. King Henry VIII cut at House of Prime Rib, 1906 Van Ness Ave. (Nob Hill),

The fondue at the The Beehive is more than just a kitschy accompaniment to the delicious cocktails at this retro-themed Mission lounge. Go on, have a drink and a snack.(Sarah Chorey)

88. *Aged cheddar, piquillo pepper, mezcal fondue at The Beehive, 842 Valencia St. (Mission),

89. Grilled lamb chops at Kokkari Estiatorio, 200 Jackson St. (Jackson Square),

90. Shanghai dumplings at Yank Sing (multiple locations),

91. Spaghittusu cun allu ollu e bottariga at La Ciccia, 291 30th St (Noe Valley),

92. Seasonal kouign amann at B. Patisserie, 2821 California St. (Pacific Heights),

93. Spring rolls at Slanted Door, 1 Ferry Building #3 (Embarcadero),

94. "Deviled" egg at Octavia, 1701 Octavia St. (Pacific Heights),

95. Brine pickled French fries with smoked apple sauce at Al's Place, 1499 Valencia St. (Mission),

96. *Duck liver mousse at Jardinière, 300 Grove St. (Hayes Valley), [*UPDATE: RESTAURANT NOW CLOSED]

97. Tuna poke at Liholiho Yacht Club, 871 Sutter St. (Tendernob),

98. Ham & cheese croissant at Arsicault Bakery, 397 Arguello Blvd. (Inner Richmond), 415.750.9460

99. *Hawaiian bread at Villon, 1100 Market St. (Mid-Market),

100. *Monterey Bay calamari at Delfina, 3621 18th St. (Mission),

Calamari has been a constant on Delfina's menu for two decades. Read our review upon the restaurant's 20th anniversary.(Nick Czap)

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