If you love food, you know that San Francisco’s Michelin stars were recently announced, with some big news, like Dominique Crenn’s long-awaited, much-deserved trois-étoile result.
Just so happens that we’ve been chatting with the Bay’s Michelin-starred chefs for the past couple years — and scribbling down their top picks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Herein, eight of them name their favorite spots to eat in the Bay Area.
Best part? Unlike the restaurants the chefs themselves helm, you might actually be able to get a reservation at these ones.
Michael Mina: Dinner at Liholiho Yacht Club and Saison
“I love what Chef Ravi is doing in the kitchen at Liholiho Yacht Club. I especially love how his heritage comes out in his food. If you’re also looking to spoil yourself or your guests, I highly recommend Saison for an out-of-this-world experience.”
Saison’s Joshua Skenes: Breakfast at Boulettes Larder
“Chef Amaryll Schwertner is one of the few chefs that has the innate ability to bring things to life. Her cooking has a maturity and sense of balance you rarely see. I don’t know why this place isn’t waitlisted for the next three years. It’s the best restaurant in San Francisco.”
Nico’s Nicolas Delaroque: Dinner at Sushi Ran and Rich Table
“Now that we live in Sausalito, when we want to stay local we often find ourselves frequenting Sushi Ran for its award-winning sushi — like the crunch roll and the unagi nigiri. When want to enjoy dinner in the city, we also love going back to Rich Table, which is definitely one of our favorite restaurants here in San Francisco.”
Image: Mike C./Yelp
Campton Place’s Srijith Gopinathan: Breakfast at Eats on Clement
Huevos rancheros. “They have a very lively presentation — it wakes me up on a Sunday morning. There’s a spice kick, and best of all, I can walk to it with my family."
Lazy Bear’s David Barzelay: Dinner at Koi Palace
“Great for dim sum, but I have probably had dinner here more times than any other restaurant in the Bay Area. The menu is enormous, and I have been here enough times to have tried all of the dungeness crab preparations. The fried ones are best. Try the classic salt-and-pepper version, or the Sampan-style. For beginners, be sure to get the oven-roasted pork royale and the roasted albino chicken (but ask for the red bean sauce on the sauce — half the time they will know what you are talking about and serve this amazing sauce on the side. The other half, you can still dream.) All the soups are awesome (and will feed at least 72 people). Avoid the fried spot prawns, which they always overcook, and finish with the sugar egg puffs, which are the airiest donuts, covered in sugar, with an interior that is somehow also custardy at the same time.”
AL’s Place Aaron London: Lunch at Nopalito
“This is the perfect lunch spot: lots of tasty Mexican food made from great produce. I pretty much always get the totopos and the fish tacos, and at least one other thing — often the huaraches — and, of course, horchata to wash it down. They also have a great mezcal selection if I’m feeling naughty.”
Californios’ Val M. Cantu: Drinks at Lone Palm
“Lone Palm is a small, dive-y escape here in the Mission. It has a Miami Beach, 1980s vibe and there is usually room at a table or the bar. Don't go expecting crazy mixology — instead enjoy a Manhattan and bask in the neon light.”
Aster’s Brett Cooper: Breakfast at Craftsman and Wolves or Plow
“For breakfast I love grabbing a Rebel Within or breakfast sandwich from Craftsman and Wolves, and it's hard to leave without buying a bunch of other stuff. I also love Plow if I get the chance to actually sit down with my family. My daughter is obsessed with the biscuits.”
Main image: Getty