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May 3, 2022

Why San Francisco Is So Delicious

Visitors come to the Bay Area for a long list of reasons. The sightssportsmusic, and cultural attractions alone inspire millions of travelers each year. However, the biggest draw is San Francisco’s renowned culinary landscape. Food and drink are intricately woven into the region’s history and traditions, making the Bay Area a dining destination like no other. If you leave San Francisco hungry, you did it wrong. Here are the reasons why San Francisco is so delicious.

Culinary Innovation

San Francisco restaurants and chefs have been a driving force in global culinary innovation for decades, and there are countless examples of local establishments leading the way in experimentation, advancement, and excellence.

You can see this innovation at work by dining at restaurants such as Lazy Bear, where diners get to commiserate with chefs are their meal is prepared. 

Chef Michael Mina and television host and cookbook author Ayesha Curry joined forces to develop an exciting new flavor experience. International Smoke borrows techniques from cultures in every corner of the world for its smoked and grilled specialties.

San Francisco was also the birthplace of the Impossible Burger, the site of sourdough's perfection, and the first city to embrace farm-to-table philosophy on a large scale.

There is this integrity and foundation that's already established in the Bay Area specifically for culinary innovation - Stuart Brioza, Michelin Star Chef

Global Recognition

San Francisco boasts 42 establishments with at least one Michelin star, and three that have achieved the three-star distinction. That's more than New York City! San Francisco is also home to a number of James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants. Hear directly from accomplished chefs, like Corey LeeDominique CrennHeena Patel, and Evan and Sarah Rich, about why San Francisco is the best place for them to excel at their culinary craft. You'll even learn about places they love within walking distance from their restaurants. 

Diversity of Dining

San Francisco is well-known for its deeply inclusive culture, and residents are open to diversity in every aspect of daily living. This welcoming spirit and willingness to embrace other cultures have made the city’s incredible variety of cuisine possible. In a single trip, you can enjoy classic flavors and modern remakes from the culinary traditions of dozens of nations. 

Taste everything from dim sum to burritos to sushi, and drink coffee and wine so abundant you won't believe it's possible to pack so many flavors into one city.

No matter which type of cuisine you are craving, you will find a San Francisco restaurant that satisfies.

An Expectation of Excellence

San Franciscans have always had a discerning taste, meaning culinary creators are always upping their game. The city is full of Michelin Star-winning restaurants (some of them repeat winners), and there is just as much talent beyond the bridge.

San Francisco's exceptional dining is not limited to any one cuisine or style. We have a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants that are so good even the staunchest carnivore will be satisfied. We have restaurants where the wine list is just as impressive as the menu, not to mention establishments where the only thing more memorable than what's on your plate is the view from your table.

Of course, one of the best ways to discover San Francisco's delicacies is to do so with your friends. Check out these great places for group dining, these excellent food tours, and the learning experiences available at the San Francisco Wine School. In one trip to San Francisco, you can develop the palette of a pro!

Planting, growing, using that ingredient in the kitchen, bringing it to the table, and having a story on the plate, it's so powerful. - Dominique Crenn, Three Michelin Star Chef

Local, Sustainable Sources

Northern California has robust agriculture, providing top-quality ingredients to the chefs of the city year-round. As a result, Bay Area cuisine has taken its place as a leader in fresh flavors.

For example, the famous Waterfront Restaurant is a favorite among celebs and locals alike for its farm-to-table produce and its selection of sustainably harvested seafood. The STEM Kitchen & Garden menu features produce from its on-site garden, as well as certified cage-free eggs and humanely-raised meats. 

Some restaurants extend their sustainability commitment to their choices in building and furnishing. One of the most notable examples is Plow, which relied on the skills of contractors within their zip code to transform the building from an architecture studio to an eatery. All construction materials were locally sourced, and now that Plow is open for business, nearly every ingredient takes a direct path from farm to table.   

You can enjoy the Bay Area's bounty without having to make a reservation. Simply visit one of the city's exceptional farmers' markets, like the one at the historic Ferry Building, and pick up some treats for yourself.

World Renowned Wine Culture

What would the Bay Area be without its wine? As one of the world's top producers of everything from chardonnay to zinfandel, your visit to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a trip to wine country. The best part is that it's so close by. You can get from the city to the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma County in just over an hour's time and explore the beautiful countryside. After a few tastings, you'll find plenty of great places to eat in either region. There's no bad time to visit, so you'll never miss an opportunity to experience it for yourself.

Napa and Sonoma aren't the only places in the Bay Area you can find delicious wine. From the city to the suburbs, vineyards, tasting rooms, bars, and restaurants all provide visitors with ways to experience the region's famous varietals.

Try Scoma’s of Sausalito across the bay for the perfect combination of delicious seafood, an amazing view, and a carefully curated wine list. Palomino combines flavors from Italian, Spanish, and Mediterranean cuisine for a variety of unique dishes that are paired with craft cocktails and wine from nearby vineyards. Those willing to make a larger commitment to discussing and tasting California wine can join the two-hour Wine & Beverage Explorations class at the Culinary Institute of America.

San Francisco has also become a brewer's paradise. There are almost as many different kinds of local beer to sample as there are local wines. You can even tour breweries, including San Francisco's original Anchor Brewing.

And now the rest of the country is looking to San Francisco to see what we're doing and how we're creating these farm-to-table restaurants. - Sarah Rich, Michelin Star Chef

With so many options, you'll never go hungry in San Francisco. You also may have to keep a running list of which places to try on your next visit—and we can't wait to have you back!

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