Chef Laurent Gras of Saison Names His 5 Favorite Meals in SF

Where does the Michelin-starred chef get his tacos?

Chef Laurent Gras
Boulettes Larder is Chef Laurent Gras' top breakfast spot
Boulettes Larder
By Diane Rommel / August 6, 2019 7:59 am

When Joshua Skenes disappeared from the public eye to focus on Skenes Ranch, the sure-to-be-spectacular hunting and fishing lodge in Washington, he handed over the reins at his two-Michelin star restaurant, Saison, to Laurent Gras — most recently the leader of the three-Michelin star Chicago restaurant L20. 

Gras is also the man David Chang called “ounce-for-ounce the best cook in the world.” 

Basically, Gras — returning to S.F. after earning the title of the city’s best new chef from Food & Wine for Fifth Floor in 2002 — knows good food. So we asked him to help us figure out the best cheap eats in town. (We’ll note that “cheap” was reconfigured as “casual” when Gras’s picks came back.) 

If you’ve ever wondered where a world-famous Michelin chef gets his tacos (and doughnuts, and oysters), we got your answer right here. 

Laurent Gras
Chef Laurent Gras (Photo by Joseph Weaver)

Post-bike ride treat: Happy Donuts

“On my day off, I love to start my day with a bike ride and socializing with local riders. On my way back home, I’ll occasionally visit Happy Donuts. It’s a cash-only classic donut shop. No frills, but comforting in its simplicity.”

Laurent Gras
(Instagram/@bouletteslarder)

Breakfast: Boulettes Larder

“This special spot in the Ferry Building opened toward the end of my time at Fifth Floor, and I’ve loved returning to the restaurant now that I’m back in San Francisco. While more formal than the other stands in the Ferry Building, it is one of my favorite places for breakfast. I’ll order eggs, a baked good, and housemade jam.”

Laurent Gras
(Instagram/@tacobarsf)

Lunch: Tacobar

“San Francisco has such an incredible diversity of cuisine available, and Mexican food was something I missed the most when I left California. I love Tacobar’s burrito and that they use all organic ingredients.”

Laurent Gras
Instagram/@hogislandoysterco

Oysters: Hog Island Oyster at the Ferry Building

“An SF icon for good reason, Hog Island is my favorite place to go for oysters.”

Chef Laurent
(R & G Lounge)

Dinner: R&G Lounge

“My go to-here is the salt and pepper baked crab, a dish that Anthony Bourdain also featured in his San Francisco No Reservations episode.”