Top 10 San Francisco Bay Area Dishes of 2013

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. Here are my 10 favorite foods from the Bay Area from the past year.

6. Outerlands Donuts

Brooke Mosley has upped the restaurant’s pastry game in time for Outerlands’ impending expansion. Her Saturday-only, pot-fried donuts change weekly based on seasonal ingredients.

Donuts San Francisco

Mosley made roasted yam cake donuts with vanilla glaze, and even better, airy brioche balls coated with yuzu glaze, toasted coconut shavings and candied citrus.

7. Rickybobby Beef & Bacon Burger [CLOSED]

James Moisey and Shane LaValley’s Lower Haight restaurant specializes in all-American comfort food, including an epic Beef & Bacon Burger.

Burger San Francisco

Twin patties crafted from ground chuck and pork belly, griddled and stacked, meld seamlessly with molten American cheese, house-made mayo and ketchup on a griddled brioche bun. Pickled onions and a dill pickle spear could help add balance, but that would mean putting the burger down.

8. Sketch Ice Cream Soft Serve [CLOSED]

Eric Shelton and Ruthie Planas-Shelton sell four flavors of soft serve daily at their stark industrial space with skateboard deck signage. During my visit, they had vanilla bean, walnut, lavender and melon sorbet, with the ability to swirl two pairs of flavors and pile on premium fixins like salted caramel sauce, olive oil + sea salt, or candied cocoa nibs.

Ice Cream Berkeley

Airy lavender soft serve wasn’t as floral as many people fear, and melon sorbet was similar to honeydew, but mustier. The couple also crafts thin, double-wrapped waffle cones with near-magical caramelization.

9. SPQR Blond Chocolate Panna Cotta

For his blond chocolate panna cotta, versatile Chef Matthew Accarrino incorporates Valrhona’s new chocolate style, Dulcey, which basically caramelizes white chocolate, adding depth of flavor and a toasted quality.

Dessert San Francisco

Dulcey helped provide a silky base for SPQR’s airy coconut spuma, crisp caramelized coconut shavings, salted caramel and apple crumble, completing a savory, texture-rich study.

10. Swan Oyster Depot Dungeness Crab

This San Francisco institution displays stainless steel trays of pristine, seasonal seafood in their window, which factor into salads, cocktails, plates and cups. People often wait for more than an hour to experience unadulterated oceanic joy, which for me, came in the form of Dungeness crab.

Crab San Francisco

My seasoned Swan Oyster Depot server piled sweet Dungeness crab claw and body meat in a glass, pairing simply with cocktail sauce. Still it was the crab back that I’ll remember most, featuring a shallow pool of green innards, white fat and briny mystery parts, which I mopped up with slices of crusty Boudin sourdough.


Joshua Lurie

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

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