Hot Restaurants in San Francisco

If you’re visiting San Francisco then you’re in luck when it comes to gastronomical delights. The city is a bona fide foodie hotspot and gaining critical acclaim for the variety of cuisine and the incorporation of incredible fresh local produce and seafood. Some of the hottest restaurants on the scene in San Francisco are listed below.

Gary Danko

Gary Danko is an award winning chef and brings his fantastic cuisine to the San Francisco market with his self named restaurant, Gary Danko. The restaurant in its seventh year has earned its sixth Five Star rating from Mobil and has been listed as a Relais & Chateau designation. The intimate restaurant features some of the most attentive wait staff in the city and some classic food that is sure to delight. Gary Danko prides himself on his tried and true recipes and refuses to be cutting edge and trendy when it comes to food. The prix-fixe menu is probably the way to go with three, four, or five course meals and wine pairings can be added to each course for an additional fee. The wine cellar features more than 1,500 wines so even if you decide to go off of the prix-fixe you can find a wine that will perfectly fit the meal. If wine is not your cup of tea, how about a cup of tea? Gary Danko now features a tea service with selected tease form the Rishi Tea Company.

Dottie’s True Blue Café

Sometimes the hottest restaurants aren’t the newest, the most cutting edge or ones with noted chefs, sometimes they’re like Dottie’s True Blue Café, an old staple that serves comfort diner style food. Come for breakfast or lunch (as they’re not open for dinner) and be prepared to stand in line for quite a while. The food isn’t necessarily good for you but it’s incredible tasting and everything is made fresh, including the baked goods.

Fleur de Lys

Speaking of famous chefs, there is almost none more famous than Hubert Keller, the Chef and Owner of Fleur de Lys. Noted as one of the most romantic restaurants in San Francisco, Fleur de Lys has been a staple in this city for more than 45 years. It wasn’t until 1986 that Hubert Keller joined the restaurant and together with his co-owner Maurice Rouas they brought Fleur de Lys to new levels. The menu at Fleur de Lys lets guests choose from three, four and even five course menus with a variety of appetizers and entrees and extras. There are also a number of vegetarian selections for the non-meat eaters in the crowd.


It almost seems crazy to open a French restaurant in a city that already houses Chef Hubert Keller, but Chapeau! does it and does it well. This upscale dining room is full of romantic French touches and the owners do their best to reach out to each customer and make their visit enjoyable. The food is traditional country fare, nothing fancy or imaginative here, just the old classics with a French emphasis. The multi course prix-fixe menu gives you a great way to sample a variety of the best selections on the menu. And if you’re willing to arrange your schedule, the early bird specials are incredible values and a good way to experience Chapeau!


Since its opening in 1993 Boulevard has been a favorite in the San Francisco area with Chef Nancy Oakes at the helm. The beautiful Belle Époque style of the restaurant makes it a destination in itself but the amazing American regional flavors with French influenced style makes the meal something you won’t soon forget. Located in the popular waterfront area in the historic Audiffred Building this restaurant is the perfect way to cap off an evening after a day exploring San Francisco’s waterfront.


Speaking of the waterfront, it’s hard to ignore San Francisco’s proximity to the ocean so it just goes to reason that there are some incredible seafood restaurants in the area and Aqua is one of the best. Aqua is upscale and elegant with a theatrical sense about it. Having earned a two star from the Michelin Guide you know that this restaurant is one of the best and with the freshest local and imported seafood its one of the best restaurants for seafood with a European flair.

Greens Restaurant

Executive Chef Annie Somerville has earned quite a reputation for herself and Greens Restaurant with her unique approach to vegetarian cooking. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you’ll love the cuisine at Greens Restaurant because it features the freshest seasonal organic ingredients in incredibly creative ways. The dishes are created not just for flavor but they also take color and texture into consideration to provide a dish that really puts its best foot forward. Expect flavors from the Mediterranean, Mexico, and the American Southwest.


Masa’s in San Francisco is a fine dining experience that shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the area. Their noted Californian French cuisine is headed by Chef Gregory Short and marries classic French techniques with Californian ingredients. This particular region of the country is bursting with fresh produce and other ingredients which gives them a variety of directions to take any seasonal fare. Expect greatness each and every time you visit Masa’s.

Mama’s on Washington Square

Another long time favorite for the citizens of San Francisco, Mama’s on Washington Square has been a family owned and run business for almost 50 years and has always been in the same location. The quaint cozy restaurant is welcoming to all and there can be a wait as the dining room only seats about 50 people, max. The food is all fresh and made entirely on premises, even the baked goods. Take advantage of those specialty homemade breads as they may be some of the best you’ve ever had. Weekends are extraordinary with different specials and 11 different kinds of omelets. Again, another restaurant that only serves breakfast and lunch so plan on having one of the best meals of the day early.

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