2013 Top 10 San Francisco Bay Area Dishes

Bridge San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge isn't just a beautiful backdrop. It also leads to glorious food.

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities on the planet, and I was lucky enough to make six trips there in 2013. Learn about my 2013 Top 10 San Francisco Bay Area dishes, which appear in alphabetical order.

1. B. Patisserie Cheese Sticks

Bakery San Francisco

B. Patisserie’s cheese sticks are like superpowered Cheez-Its, but with a hell of a lot more heft.

This Lower Pacific Heights bakery from longtime pastry chef Belinda Leong (Gary Danko + Manresa) and native Frenchman Michel Suas generated plenty of interest in 2013. Sure, B’s known for her flaky kouign amann featuring a sticky molten sugar pool, but I prefer the savory cheese sticks.

2. Boot & Shoe Service Spaghetti [CLOSED]

Pasta Oakland

Boot & Shoe Service tossed spaghetti with a spicy, tangy cauliflower mess, anchovies, hot peppers and capers.

Chef Charlie Hallowell’s second restaurant resides in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood, in a former shoe repair store. The sharp space features exposed wood beams, brick walls, and a pizza oven with green and white tiles that burns almond and oak, naturally. Still, while pizza was good, spaghetti was most memorable.

3. Fish Saigon Salmon Sandwich

Fish Sausalito

Fish’s fun play on banh mi showcases rosy medium-rare salmon, and tangy pickled julienne carrot on a soft Acme torpedo roll.

William Foss’s restaurant rests right on the water in Sausalito, by Spaulding Boatworks, with wooden picnic tables overlooking the marina. Really, the food wouldn’t have to be that good for Fish to work, but it is thanks to dishes like the Saigon Salmon Sandwich, which comes with a side of chile lime slaw with crunchy kick.

4. KL Restaurant Geoduck Two Ways [CLOSED]

Chinese Food San Francisco

KL made sure geoduck meat was tender in milky soup with baby bok choy and ginger, best accentuated with a dusting of black pepper. I also enjoyed blanched geoduck salad with shaved scallion, cilantro, spicy julienne ginger and crunchy bean sprouts, spicy julienne ginger. Dipping the clam meat in spicy soy sauce elevated the flavor.

Be sure to pre-order prized seasonal seafood when heading to Elbert Kong’s Cantonese restaurant in Outer Richmond. Depending on the month, you might find ling cod, Dungeness crab or Korean King crab. During my visit, the spotlight was on geoduck, the notoriously phallic oversized clam that’s typically from the Pacific Northwest.

5. Namu Gaji Beef Tongue CLOSED

Korean Food San Francisco

Tender, unctuous beef tongue slabs joined broccoli, blistered Jimmy Nardello peppers and spring onion.

This modern Korean restaurant from brothers Dennis Lee (chef/co-owner), Daniel Lee (co-owner) + David Lee is located next to Bi-Rite and across from Dolores Park. Counter seats in open windows provide views of Mission District street life, but all eyes were on the beef tongue when it arrived on the table.



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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