San Francisco's Top 13 Farm-to-Table Restaurants
It’s actually impossible to determine what the best farm-to-table restaurants are in San Francisco when you consider more than 200 chefs shop regularly at the CUESA Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. Farm-to-table is just what we do here. But here are a few places that do it really, really well.
Bar Tartine (561 Valencia St.)
Chefs Cortney Burns and Nick Balla are known for the seasonal produce they source, and the creative ways they ferment, pickle, dehydrate, and preserve so many of the fruits and vegetables they use and serve at their Mission restaurant. (They probably have one of the most exciting pantries in the city.)
Bix (56 Gold St.), Zero Zero (826 Folsom St.) and Fog City (1300 Battery St.)
Chef Bruce Hill has been a huge supporter of local farmers markets for many years, and has the tight relationships to show for it. He teaches many cooks at his restaurants the ins and outs of using the best produce, and he even created a “tomato cart” to serve height-of-the-season tomatoes with housemade mozzarella at Bix. www.bixrestaurant.com, www.zerozerosf.com, www.fogcitysf.com
Boulevard (One Mission St.) and Prospect (300 Spear St.)
Boulevard’s Nancy Oakes has always highlighted many top producers and purveyors in their intricate dishes, and it helps that the restaurant is just a hop and a skip from the CUESA Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. Their sister restaurant, Prospect, has the same ingredient philosophy—chef/partner Pam Mazzola sources the beauties of the seasons www.boulevardrestaurant.com, www.prospectsf.com
Frances (3870 17thSt.) and Octavia (1701 Octavia St.)
Chef Melissa Perello has a knack for making you feel like you are eating the best ingredients of the season, because, well, you are. It’s apparent she finds a lot of inspiration at the market, which translates into dishes that are always evolving and changing (and taste so fresh and flavorful).
NOPA (560 Divisadero St.) and Nopalito (1224 9th Ave.)
Chef Laurence Jossel is a big supporter of all the farmers he works with, even inviting them to NOPA at lunchtime to teach his staff about their farms and ingredients. Through their media arm, Nopalize, the restaurant arranges trips to many of the farms they work with and creates video profiles of food growers, makers and more, all in an effort to make the food community as strong as it can be. Anyone who works at Nopa (and Nopalito) walks the organic walk, and talks the sustainable talk.
Spruce (3640 Sacramento St.)
Chef Mark Sullivan is lucky to be a part of the Bacchus Management Group, which has its own farm, SMIP Ranch, that provides a lot of their restaurants with remarkable produce—it’s some of the freshest around (they even offer a weekly CSA, sharing the bounty with their customers). www.sprucesf.com
State Bird Provisions (1529 Fillmore St.) and The Progress (1525 Fillmore St.)
Both of these restaurants write a love letter to local produce every night on their menus. Chef-owners Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski do marvelous things with the exquisite ingredients they source—even the cocktails at the bar at The Progress reflect the seasons.
Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, tablehopper, about the SF dining and drinking scene, get all the latest news at www.tablehopper.com. Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram for more SF finds!