Take a bite out of six of our favorite restaurants that dish up great gourmet fare in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Humbly placed at the corner of Hyde and Jackson streets on Russian Hill, Nook dishes up locally sourced gourmet lunch items like a seasonal heirloom tomato salad and an avocado, mango chutney and Gruyère baguette sandwich. It also serves wine for a quick pick-me-up after work.
Puccini & Pinetti
This happy-hour hot spot, which is connected to the Hotel Abri, is a local favorite for its eclectic arsenal of cocktails and appetizers. Whether you work downtown or are just visiting, Puccini and Pinetti’s convenient location makes it an easy escape from all the chaos in the Financial District. A couple of favorites of ours are the trio of meatballs and the margherita pizza, paired with a refreshing cocktail like the “Fog Rolled In.”
Colibrí Mexican Bistro
It’s tough to pinpoint one great Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, but we love Colibrí Mexican Bistro. Its bold interiors parallel the bright flavors of Colibrí’s staple menu items based on Mexican traditions, namely the fresh guacamole served in a mortar and the ceviche de pescado, fresh white fish cooked with lime juice, green olives, jalapeño, avocado and olive oil. Also be sure to check out the tequila list.
Just along the main street in the quaint city of Tiburon is Tiburon Tavern. This urban, sophisticated restaurant and bar showcases farm-to-table fare for which the region is known and paired perfectly with reclaimed wood interiors. Not only does this eatery stay true to its roots of serving local dishes, its chef, Jamie Prouten, partnered Tiburon Tavern with the nearby Bel Aire Elementary School, and he teaches third and fifth graders about the importance of gardening, while building herb gardens with the students. The restaurant later purchases the herbs to use in its dishes. The seasonal heirloom tomatoes with burrata cheese and the rich grilled cheese are simple yet decadent, and the grilled skirt steak paired alongside roasted and pureed mushrooms, onions and a flavorful wine jus only rounds out the evening.
The pulse of the Mission District’s food scene, Beretta serves authentic Italian cuisine in typical Italian fashion — in a crowded, dimly lit room flowing with cheese and wine. Rub shoulders with your neighbors and enjoy decadent starters — mild burrata bruschetta on warm walnut bread drizzled with a mushroom truffle honey or a mushroom funghi and truffled panna risotto — before indulging in main courses like pan-seared petrale sole with lemon and capers. For drinks, choose from a wide collection of wines or go with one of the retro cocktails like the Golden Record: a smooth combination of gin, lemon, raspberry, oloroso sherry and bee resin.
Adjacent to the modern hotel Casa Madrona in Sausalito is Poggio, a Euro-style bar and restaurant. City goers can opt to drive or ferry across the San Francisco Bay (the restaurant is walking distance to the ferry) and dine on dishes with vegetables and herbs, which are grown on site, and pair them with the laid-back culture and a glass of red wine.