Error message

Lingotek profile ID 4 not found.
7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_SI_T1_Sasion_T.Tseng_Flickr_1280x642
T.Tseng/Flickr

7 San Francisco Standouts

7 San Francisco Standouts
Restaurants with Michelin star power

With the abundance of the Pacific directly to the west and the bounty of farmlands in all the other directions, the San Francisco Bay Area is rightfully known as having one of the nation’s hottest food scenes. It’s no surprise then that local chefs are dedicated to the three tenets of California cuisine: organic, local, and sustainable, and these seven Michelin starred restaurants celebrate that trio in stellar form. 

First up, Berkeley’s Chez Panisse. Since 1971, Chef and farm to table pioneer Alice Waters has been the driving force behind this celebrated, and much lauded, restaurant. Here you can expect rustic, refined cuisine, expertly prepared using the freshest in season ingredients. How fresh? Much of the produce is grown at Petaluma’s Green String Farm, less than an hour’s drive from Berkeley. 

Across the bay, some of the region’s finest restaurants can be found in San Francisco. Gary Danko has held the standard for high end dining at his eponymous restaurant since 1999. Dramatic, contemporary lighting sets the stage for an intimate experience that you will never forget. Save room for an end of meal visit from the legendary cheese trolley. 

Downtown, celebrity chef Michael Mina serves up Japanese French California fusion with unparalleled sophistication at his eponymous restaurant. Insider’s tip: the Mina line of restaurants runs deep in the Bay Area, so you can also check out his expert oversight at Bourbon Beef, Pabu, and several others located throughout the region. 

At Coi, in the city’s lively North Beach neighbourhood, chef Daniel Patterson dreams up artfully inventive plates with lesser known local ingredients, like a wintertime offering of live Santa Barbara sea urchin, Meyer lemon, radishes, and kohlrabi. Chef Joshua Skenes consistently impresses critics and diners at his seafood centric Saison.

For a visual feast that also happens to taste amazing, book a table at Atelier Crenn, where gifted chef Dominique Crenn creates magic on a plate. Micro greens, edible flowers and dabs of sauces and foams elevate dishes from just plain dinner to undeniable art.

About an hour drive south of San Francisco, executive chef David Kinch brings French and Catalan influences to his modern menu at Manresa, in Los Gatos. Produce is grown exclusively for the restaurant at Love Apple Farms in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains and is harvested each morning for the night’s meal. In nearby Saratoga, ask for a tour of the glass encased 1,800 bottle wine cellar at Plumed Horse. Situated at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this classic is the gem of the Bay Area’s secret (and amazing) wine country. Contemporary California cuisine by chef/owner Peter Armellino is top notch. 

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_TI_5_BayLoop_Hero_Manley_1280x642_sized
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

7 San Francisco Standouts vca_maps_sfbayarea
10
December
Average (°C)
Dec - Feb
16°
High
5°
Low
Mar - May
23°
High
8°
Low
June - Aug
27°
High
14°
Low
Sept - Nov
26°
High
7°
Low

A crimson bridge, cable carriages, a sparkling bay and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes, San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great

"I left my heart in San Francisco. High on a hill, it calls to me." - Singer Tony Bennett

cities. Located in Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches and the tech-savvy southern end of the Bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation.

7 San Francisco Standouts vc_portchicagonavalmagazinenationalmemorial_su_nps_7970f8ed_1280x640
Courtesy of NPS Photo

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Tour this military memorial that honours soldiers killed on the World War II home front and pays tribute to Concord’s role in civil rights history

California’s smallest national park service outlet covers a mere half-acre in Concord on San Francisco Bay’s east shore—but it tells a very big...

May

Rock rolls into the wine country with this three-day event in Napa that features 2019 headliners Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, and Mumford & Sons. With more than 80 performers in the May 24–26...

7 San Francisco Standouts BottleRock_JessicaS_Flickr_preview_686x885_sized
Jessica S./Flickr
7 San Francisco Standouts vca_maps_sfbayarea
San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
SPECIAL FEATURE
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a pastel coloured pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_SI_T10_Milliken&Feniger_Portrait_preview_686x885
SPECIAL FEATURE
Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for child-friendly fun zones that...

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_SI_T5_John_preview_686x885
John/ Flickr
July

Get the Spanish spirit at this colourful event. Stroll the grounds of Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards with a glass of bubbly, and take in a whirl of passionate music, flamenco dancing and food....

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_Events_GloriaFerrer_Photography_Catalan_preview_686x885
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
7 San Francisco Standouts vca_maps_sfbayarea
SPECIAL FEATURE
World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

7 San Francisco Standouts PalaceHotel_LynGateley_preview_686x885
Lynn Gately/Flickr
San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.
William Saroyan
SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_SI_FarmersMarket_T4_CV_DavisFrmMkt1_Flippen_preview_686x885
Laura Flippen
SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

7 San Francisco Standouts McWayFalls_JPB_SP_preview_686x885
Amy Meredith/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

Sand, water, and children-it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. These sandy beaches offer appealing, family friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for...

7 San Francisco Standouts Carmel_BeachDog_Farnum_preview_686x885
Alex Farnum
It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit. ... Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child
SPECIAL FEATURE
Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

When you come to California, come hungry. This is a state that really knows how to cook. Amazing and innovative chefs sprinkled with Michelin stars work with local farms and artisanal food...

7 San Francisco Standouts Preview_GeorgesCove_FishTaco_686x885_2
George's at the Cove
SPECIAL FEATURE
Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city park charmers and boisterous adventures - smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play. These smaller parks offer...

Safari West
Tai Power Seeff
7 San Francisco Standouts FF_NCA3429_sh
According to legend, Winchester Mystery House's maze of passages and building oddities were designed to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your children to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a...

7 San Francisco Standouts T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_preview_686x885
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind the scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of actvities...

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_SI_VIP_T1_MichaelSaechang_preview_686x885
Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
7 San Francisco Standouts SF_GGB_TS_1280x642_sized
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Golden Gate Bridge

7 San Francisco Standouts vca_maps_sfbayarea
See one of the world’s most famous landmarks, spanning an elegant bay

With towers soaring 227 metres into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay and all of it painted bright red-orange, the...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

7 San Francisco Standouts Shopping_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885_0
Prayitno/Flickr
7 San Francisco Standouts Livermore_TaiPowerSeeff_1280x642_sized
Tai Power Seeff

Livermore

Ranches, vineyards, and relaxed appeal east of San Francisco

With warm sun and wide open spaces cradling vineyards, ranches, and wine country estates, the Livermore Valley makes an appealing destination just...

7 San Francisco Standouts VC_Sausalito_Hero_Stock_RF_508260845_1280x640
Eiojo Torpe/Getty Images

Sausalito

Explore this quaint town that’s just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a steep hillside covered in brushwood and eucalyptus drops from Highway 101 to a flat, sunny shoreline, two...

7 San Francisco Standouts VC_SpotlightBerkeley_Hero_Stock_RF_149303390_1280x640
Chao Kusollerscharlya/Shutterstock

Spotlight: Berkeley

7 San Francisco Standouts vca_maps_sfbayarea_2
See a stunning museum, shop, and feast in the Bay Area’s most outspoken city

A haven for backyard artists and coffee-shop philosophers, Berkeley has deep roots in the Flower Power movement of the 1960s and ’70s. But...

7 San Francisco Standouts VCW_D_SFcity_CableCarWharf_1280x642_0
San Francisco's cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.