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Retro Crav­ings

This year marks the 70th an­niver­sary of the San Fran­cisco-based diner chain Mel’s Drive- In. In 1972, a lo­ca­tion ap­peared in Ge­orge Lu­cas’ film “Amer­i­can Graf­fiti.” The vinyl and chrome decor, juke­box and vin­tage cars make for a fun, nos­tal­gia-filled din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s open late, serves break­fast all day and even has a fresh-squeezed fruit juice bar. The menu of­fers staples such as chicken pot­pie, meat­loaf, grass­fed beef burg­ers and milk­shakes. San Fran­cisco has four lo­ca­tions. 801 Mis­sion St., 415.227.0793


Span­ish Lo­cated on the street level of the Swedish Amer­i­can Hall, this Basque restau­rant (pro­nounced aah- CHAY) excels in Span­ish wines, ciders, beers and tapas from ta­lented chef Ryan Poll­now. 2174 Mar­ket St., 415.471.2977.


Span­ish/ Tapas This el­e­gant restau­rant in the Cas­tro neigh­bor­hood serves tra­di­tional tapas and mod­ern Span­ish dishes, sourc­ing ingredients from sus­tain­able Cal­i­for­nia mar­kets, farms and fish­eries. The wine list is care­fully cu­rated to pair with the ex­ten­sive menu, and the dim, thought­fully dec­o­rated din­ing room has a ro­man­tic feel. Brunch (Su), D (nightly), closed M. 2272 Mar­ket St., 415.552.3000.


Cal­i­for­nia Serv­ing mod­ern Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine in a neigh­bor­hood set­ting, ac­claimed Frances serves de­lights like chest­nut soup with roasted ciopollini and house- cured pancetta; slow-roasted beef with creamed win­ter greens; and ling cod crusted with Boccalone lardo, squash and ap­ples. D (nightly). 3870 17th St., 415.621.3870. $$$


Chi­nese This bustling spot has a col­or­ful lounge and cheer­ful, mod­est decor in the din­ing room down­stairs. The Hong Kong-style menu in­cludes tank-fresh seafood. The Travel Chan­nel’s “No Reser­va­tions” host An­thony Bourdain vis­ited the restau­rant on his show and raved about the salt and pep­per crab. L, D (daily). 631 Kearny St., 415.982.7877. $$


Mod­ern In­dian This restau­rant, named for the hol­i­day and date com­mem­o­rat­ing In­dia’s in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tish rule, cel­e­brates the re­gional cook­ing of north­ern and cen­tral In­dia as seen through a mod­ern Cal­i­for­nia lens. A global wine list and cocktails high­light­ing ingredients like turmeric, jag­gery and house-made ke­fir round out the bev­er­age op­tions. The in­te­rior is in­spired by the jewel tones and mo­tifs of In­dia’s na­tional bird, the pea­cock, and fea­tures rich woods, brass ac­cents and booths draped in teal vel­vet. 524 Van Ness Ave., 415.771.5900.


Mex­i­can This up­scale Mex­i­can restau­rant and cock­tail bar is the lat­est suc­cess story from chef Gabriela Ca­mara, who is known for sev­eral re­spected restau­rants in Mex­ico, in­clud­ing MeroToro and Con­tra­mar. The seafood and veg­etable-fo­cused menu is un­like that of any Mex­i­can restau­rant in San Fran­cisco. 149 Fell St., 415.660.7701.


Steaks Pace your­self: This au­then­tic Brazil­ian steak­house of­fers all-you- can- eat skew­ers (“espetus” in Por­tuguese) of slow-roasted beef, lamb, pork, chicken and shrimp for a fixed price. The gi­ant salad buf­fet is in­cluded. L, D (daily). 1686 Mar­ket St., 415.552.8792. $$$ ; 710 S B St., San Ma­teo, 650.342.8700.


New Amer­i­can This mod­ern Cal­i­for­nia eatery serves up dishes free of gluten, dairy and re­fined sugar. Lit­tle Gem be­longs re­flects a grow­ing trend of fine din­ing in a ca­sual set­ting, of­fer­ing counter ser­vice for lunch and week­end break­fast. Din­ner is a sit- down af­fair with servers, and high­lights in­clude smoked Wagyu beef brisket and king sal­mon topped with lemon scal­lion vinai­grette. 400 Grove St., 415.914.0501.


Amer­i­can Named for its lo­ca­tion North of the Pan­han­dle, this ex­pan­sive, hip restau­rant serves wood-fired rus­tic cui­sine that epit­o­mizes the best of San Fran­cisco’s cur­rent food scene. One of the city’s best late-night din­ing op­tions, it’s also pop­u­lar for its brunch, burger and pork chops. Brunch (Sa-Su), D (nightly un­til 1 am). 560 Divisadero St., 415.864.8643. $$$


Mediter­ranean Three words: Get the chicken. This San Fran­cisco in­sti­tu­tion has been in busi­ness for more than 35 years and is most fa­mous for its cooked-to- or­der roast chicken for two (al­low an hour), a true stand- out on the Mediter­ranean-in­spired menu of roasted and grilled good­ness. Watch the vin­tage street cars roll down Mar­ket Street through the floor-to­ceil­ing win­dows while you wait. Brunch (Su), L, D (daily), closed M. 1658 Mar­ket St., 415.552.2522. $$$


Pizza Whether you’re look­ing for a quick slice or you’re plan­ning a meal for 100, Gochees has you cov­ered. The down­town joint spe­cial­izes in thin crust piz­zas for dine in, pickup

or de­liv­ery. 2 Embarcadero Ctr., 415.834.9600.


Seafood This up­scale seafood restau­rant is the lat­est es­tab­lish­ment from Anna Wein­berg and James Ni­cholas (Mar­lowe, Park Tav­ern, The Cav­a­lier), who de­scribe the place as hav­ing a “breezy, slightly trop­i­cal ‘50s feel.” The retro in­te­rior was in­spired by the TV show “Mad Men” and fea­tures a long brass and onyx bar com­plete with an oys­ter sta­tion as well as an atrium out­fit­ted with ferns and other plants. Menu high­lights in­clude more than a half dozen va­ri­eties of oys­ters along with crab, shrimp, lob­ster Louie and lob­ster rolls. 568 Sacramento St., 415.872.9982.


Amer­i­can This ever-pop­u­lar restau­rant on the Embarcadero water­front across from the Ferry Build­ing of­fers con­tem­po­rary pre­sen­ta­tions of Amer­i­can clas­sics from chef/part­ner Mark Dom­men, show­cas­ing farm­fresh ingredients, her­itage meats, ar­ti­sanal cheeses and an all-Amer­i­can wine list. 1 Mar­ket St., 415.777.5577. $$$


Ja­panese & Sushi Michael Mina and Ken Tom­i­naga’s mod­ern Ja­panese pub, or iza­kaya, of­fers sushi, ro­bata and small-plate menus com­ple­mented by more than 100 pre­mium sake se­lec­tions and a va­ri­ety of wines, Ja­panese whiskies, cocktails and Asian beers. 101 Cal­i­for­nia St., 415.668.7228.


Seafood One of San Fran­cisco’s old­est restau­rants run by one of the city’s most prom­i­nent fam­i­lies, this Fish­er­man’s Wharf land­mark has mag­nif­i­cent views of the San Fran­cisco Bay and a rep­u­ta­tion for great ciop­pino and fresh seafood. Don’t mess

around with the menu: Get the Dun­geness crab. Cracked, caked, stuffed or stewed, it’s im­pos­si­ble to get your fill. L, D (daily). 8 Fish­er­man’s Wharf, 415.673.0183. $$


Amer­i­can This wharf in­sti­tu­tion by the Hyde Street cable car turn­around is fa­mous for first in­tro­duc­ing Ir­ish cof­fee to the U. S. in 1952, and it has served mil­lions of the hot cocktails since. B,L, D (daily). 2765 Hyde St., 415.474.5044. $$


Seafood & Steak In a dra­matic set­ting by the wa­ters of San Fran­cisco Bay, din­ers can still watch fish­er­men bring­ing their boats to dock and un­load­ing the day’s catch. The menu fea­tures fresh seafood, steaks and chops. Don’t miss the daily happy hour and live mu­sic through­out the week. 286 Jef­fer­son St., 415.776.5015. $$$


Seafood Floor-to- ceil­ing win­dows pro­vide spec­tac­u­lar bay views from ev­ery ta­ble in this three-tiered, spa­cious mid- cen­tury mod­ern gem. Menu high­ights in­clude fish and chips, siz­zling iron skil­let mus­sels and whole roasted Dun­geness crab. Free park­ing with val­i­da­tion. L, D (daily). Pier 43 1/2, 415.362.7733. $$$


Amer­i­can Known for its warm hos­pi­tal­ity and all- day break­fast, the key word at this diner is home­made, from meltin-your-mouth blue­berry pan­cakes to gravy-smoth­ered bis­cuits. The out­side pa­tio is a great spot to en­joy a break from city life. B, L (daily), D (SaSu). 380 Beach St., 415.867.1711. $$


Amer­i­can This spot in the heart of the Fill­more District

serves up soul­ful Amer­i­can cui­sine. Sig­na­ture dishes in­clude black skil­let-fried or­ganic chicken, shrimp and grits and maple syrup slow­braised short ribs. Don’t miss the Her­itage Wall pay­ing homage to the neigh­bor­hood’s leg­endary jazz his­tory. Gospel Brunch on Sun­days. D (nightly). 1300 Fill­more St., 415.771.7100. $$$


New Amer­i­can Named af­ter the Progress The­ater that oc­cu­pied the same build­ing over a cen­tury ago, this is the sec­ond restau­rant from the team be­hind the na­tional smash-hit State Bird Pro­vi­sions, and it’s lo­cated just next door. The bound­ary bust­ing, in­ter­na­tional menu is served fam­ily style (choose six dishes for $62 per per­son) and fea­tures dishes like lamb mer­guez with yel­low eye beans, oc­to­pus and crispy squid. If you don’t man­age to snag a reser­va­tion, the bar is walk-in only. The Progress is a 2015 James Beard Award win­ner. 1525 Fill­more St., 415.673.1294.


Ital­ian This Ma­rina neigh­bor­hood hot spot com­bines the cui­sine of Cam­pa­nia with the piz­zas of Naples and pours small-pro­duc­tion wines from Cal­i­for­nia and South­ern Italy. L ( W- F), D (nightly). 2355 Chest­nut St., 415.771.2216. $$$


French This mod­ern up­scale restau­rant from the world’s only two Miche­lin-star fe­male chef blends the line be­tween food and art, pre­sent­ing gar­den- cen­tric dishes that are as pleas­ing to the eye as they are to the palate and menus that read like po­etry. Giv­ing cen­ter stage to the food, the 40-seat din­ing room has an earthy, min­i­mal­ist ap­pear­ance with teak ta­bles, fig trees and glass orbs that pro­vide soft light­ing. Din­ers can se­lect from one of two multi- course

tast­ing menus. D ( Tu-Sa). 3127 Fill­more St., 415.440.0460. $$$$ MAYBECK’S

Ital­ian This Ital­ian restau­rant ex­plores re­gional culi­nary stan­dards (with a heavy fo­cus on Ital­ian Amer­i­can cook­ing) and play­fully trans­lates them into a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia style. Re­fined, light-handed ren­di­tions of clas­sics pair with a Ne­groni- cen­tered bar. The dimly lit and white table­cloth- cloaked din­ing room cou­pled with the big band sound­track cre­ates a dash of drama and a dose of old school charm. 3213 Scott St., 415.400.8500. MIS­SION DISTRICT AL’S PLACE

Cal­i­for­nia Cui­sine Named Amer­ica’s best new restau­rant of 2015 by Bon Ap­petit mag­a­zine, Al’s Place is a ca­sual, 46-seat restau­rant lo­cated on an unas­sum­ing cor­ner in the out­skirts of the Mis­sion District. Chef and owner Aaron Lon­don, a Sonoma na­tive who’s worked at ac­claimed restau­rants like Ubuntu, cre­ates veg­etable-fo­cused and seafood main dishes, of­fer­ing meat as a side. 1499 Va­len­cia St., 415.416.6136. CRAFTS­MAN & WOLVES

Bak­ery This mod­ern and sleek patis­serie in the hip Va­len­cia cor­ri­dor from James Beard­nom­i­nated chef Wil­liam Werner fea­tures a ro­tat­ing menu of break­fast pas­tries, cakes, con­fec­tions, con­fi­tures, desserts, lunch and other sa­vory fare. The bak­ery is fa­mous for the Rebel Within, a sa­vory break­fast muf­fin with asi­ago cheese, green onion and break­fast sausage baked into the mix and a full soft- cooked farm egg in the cen­ter. 746 Va­len­cia St., 415.913.7713; 1643 Pa­cific Ave., 415.855.1414. DELFINA

Ital­ian This bustling neigh­bor­hood trat­to­ria is a lo­cal fa­vorite that pi­o­neered San Fran­cisco’s farm-to-ta­ble move­ment. It has re­ceived rave re­views since its open­ing in 1998 and still packs the house (and out­door pa­tio) each night. D (nightly). 3621 18th St., 415.552.4055. $$$ FOR­EIGN CINEMA

Cal­i­for­nia Never was the old din­ner-and-a-movie done so art­fully, or so de­li­ciously. The vast, bohemian- chic space suits the always ex­cel­lent Cal­i­for­nia- Mediter­ranean cui­sine. A heated, cov­ered pa­tio screens a ro­ta­tion of clas­sic, for­eign and in­de­pen­dent films pro­jected onto one of three walls, and speak­ers on each ta­ble al­low you to ad­just the vol­ume. Me­an­der­ing through the chang­ing ex­hibits in the ad­ja­cent gallery is the per­fect way to wait for a ta­ble. Brunch (Sa-Su), D (nightly). 2534 Mis­sion St., 415.648.7600. $$$ TARTINE BAK­ERY & CAFE

Dessert/Cof­fee This pop­u­lar ar­ti­san bak­ery serves fresh­from-the- oven pas­tries all day, as well as pies, cakes, ar­ti­san bread and cof­fee. Break­fast quiches, gourmet sand­wiches, clas­sic pas­tries and an ad­dic­tive bread pud­ding keep folks lin­ing up. B, L (daily). 600 Guer­rero St., 415.487.2600. $ NOB HILL OSSO STEAK­HOUSE

Steaks This swanky, sprawl­ing steak­house with a strik­ing Art Deco in­te­rior is lo­cated just across the street from Grace Cathe­dral in the sto­ried Nob Hill neigh­bor­hood. Menu stand­outs in­clude dry-aged steaks and but­tery Dun­geness crab. D (nightly).

1177 Cal­i­for­nia St., 415.771.6776. $$$


Ital­ian Dubbed Amer­ica’s old­est Ital­ian restau­rant, Fior d’Italia has been serv­ing au­then­tic North­ern Ital­ian cui­sine since 1886. It has has more than 20 va­ri­eties of pas­tas to choose from, most of them made in-house. L, D (daily). 2237 Ma­son St., 415.986.1886. $$


Ital­ian This clas­sic restau­rant serves gen­er­ous por­tions of hearty Tus­can cui­sine from its ex­ten­sive menu. The award-win­ning wine list boasts over 500 bot­tles to pair with house spe­cial­ties such as chicken al mat­tone with Ital­ian herbs, filet of lamb alla Bruno and ciop­pino alla pesca­tora. The four din­ing rooms cater to a va­ri­ety of oc­ca­sions, from a power lunch to a first date. 1512 Stockton St., 415.392.1700. $$$


Seafood One of Tony Ben­nett’s fa­vorite San Fran­cisco restau­rants, Sotto Mare is an au­then­tic Ital­ian North Beach ex­pe­ri­ence. The seafood restau­rant serves up oys­ters and clams on the half shell, Bos­ton-style clam chow­der, bac­cala, crab ciop­pino, Louis sal­ads, seafood pas­tas and more. Sotto Mare’s daily fresh fish can also be pur­chased re­tail if you feel like cook­ing your­self. L, D (M-Sa), close Su. 552 Green St., 415.398.3181.


Ital­ian Fol­low your nose to one of the city’s most in­ter­est­ing din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, where gar­lic is king. This restau­rant goes through more than 5,000 pounds of the pun­gent in­gre­di­ent each month. Spe­cial­ties in­clude 40 clove gar­lic chicken, pork chops, roasted Dun­geness crab and even gar­lic ice cream. L, D (daily). 325

Colum­bus Ave., 415.781.7673. $$


Amer­i­can Lo­cated in the his­toric Jack­son Square district, Tres­tle of­fers a dailly- chang­ing prix-fixe menu of re­fined com­fort cui­sine. English pea soup or mush­room pap­pardelle fol­lowed by crispy-skin striped bass served with po­lenta and lob­ster emul­sion are just a few dishes you might served up at this in­ti­mate es­tab­lish­ment. 531 Jack­son St., 415.772.0922.


Amer­i­can Near Ocean Beach and Lands End Trail, this iconic his­toric site lo­cated on a head­land above the coastal cliffs is home to two restau­rants and spec­tac­u­lar views of the Pa­cific Ocean (whale and sea lion spot­ting is a pos­si­bil­ity) and Sutro Baths. The cam­era ob­scura on the deck is on the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places. Sutro’s of­fers an up­scale set­ting, while The Bistro of­fers a more ca­sual ex­pe­ri­ence, with burg­ers, sand­wiches and other Cal­i­for­nia fa­vorites. B,L, D (daily). 1090 Point Lo­bos Ave., 415.386.3330.


Amer­i­can Housed in the his­toric, pre- earth­quake At­las Build­ing, Archive of­fers a menu de­signed with shar­ing and so­cial­iz­ing in mind. Piz­zas are the fo­cus, but the restau­rant and bar hy­brid is also known for its slid­ers, sal­ads and char­cu­terie as well as sea­sonal cocktails and lo­cal and craft beers. 602 Mis­sion St., 415.987.5770.


Asian The San Fran­cisco lo­ca­tion of this in­ter­na­tional restau­rant fam­ily fea­tures Roy Ya­m­aguchi’s sig­na­ture Hawai­ian-fu­sion cui­sine, com­ple­mented by ex­otic cocktails, Ya­m­aguchi’s own line of pre­mium sake, and Hawai­ian art. L (M- F), D (nightly). 575 Mis­sion St., 415.777.0277. $$$


Seafood This clas­sic Pat Kuleto restau­rant in Union Square has been en­chant­ing guests for 18 years with care­fully crafted de­tails that cap­ture the life aquatic. Blend­ing ca­sual and high- end coastal cui­sine, Farallon of­fers fresh seafood op­tions and sim­ple raw prepa­ra­tions from the oys­ter bar. Be­yond the wel­com­ing spot’s din­ner menu, find an ap­proach­able wine list, one of the largest col­lec­tions of sin­gle malt whiskeys in the city and in­ven­tive desserts. D (nightly). 450 Post St., 415.956.6969. $$$


Amer­i­can Founded in 1908, this ca­sual steak­house is one of the city’s old­est restau­rants, steeped in San Fran­cisco his­tory. It served as a set­ting for the clas­sic book and movie, “The Mal­tese Fal­con.” The framed black-and-white pho­to­graphs and news clip­pings hung through­out serve as a ver­i­ta­ble mu­seum of San Fran­cisco mem­o­ra­bilia. Live jazz ev­ery night. L, D (daily). 63 El­lis St., 415.986.0069.


In­dian Dec­o­rated like a Ma­hara­jah’s pri­vate ban­quet room, this re­gal restau­rant serves north­ern In­dian food, with recipes culled from royal menus dat­ing back 400 years. Chef- owner Ran­jan Dey cre­ates daily spe­cials with his six gourmet spice blends. The bar has drawn down­town pro­fes­sion­als since the ‘80s with its Dou­ble- Hap­pi­nessHappy Hour, 5:30-7:30 pm and 10 pm-mid­night. Try the Madras Mad­ness or Oh! Cal­cutta. L (M-Sa), D (nightly). 160 El­lis St., 415.397.8470. $$


Steaks This iconic restau­rant rep­re­sents clas­sic steak­house din­ing, but chef Michael Buhagier adds a Cal­i­for­nia sen­si­bil­ity, The Kobe rib eye, cut from se­lect Ja­panese cat­tle reared for op­ti­mal mar­bling, has a rich and del­i­cate tex­ture. A red caber­net but­ter melts on its seared sur­face, typ­i­fy­ing a sub­tle flair for the un­ex­pected. 2100 Van Ness Ave., 415.673.1888.


Cal­i­for­nia Don’t for­get to make reser­va­tions for Chez Panisse, the famed Berke­ley restau­rant founded by Slow Food move­ment chef Alice Wa­ters. The wait for a ta­ble at the main restau­rant can be up to a month! If you’re look­ing for a more ca­sual ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, the cafe be­low of­fers sim­i­larly or­ganic, gourmet meals at an af­ford­able price. 1517 Shat­tuck Ave., 510.548.5525.


Cal­i­for­nia This restau­rant fea­tures Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try cui­sine. En­joy sea­sonal dishes made from ingredients sourced from the vine­yard’s mag­nif­i­cent herb and veg­etable gar­den, along with nu­mer­ous wine pair­ings for each dish. 5050 Ar­royo Rd., Liver­more, 925.456.2450.


Lo­cated in Bris­bane, this is a fam­ily and dog-friendly restau­rant, sports bar and live mu­sic venue. The his­toric site is more than 163 years old and was orig­i­nally built as a stage­coach stop seven miles from the San Fran­cisco Ferry Build­ing. To­day, the restau­rant is known for Filipino dishes in­clud­ing sisig and adobo, as well as live jazz per­for­mances three times a week. 2800 Bayshore Blvd., Bris­bane, 415.467.2343.

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