The Required: San Francisco

The Required: San Francisco

A definitive guide to San Francisco's tried and trues, as chosen by over 3000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

December 27, 2018
The Required: San Francisco

The Required: San Francisco

A definitive guide to San Francisco's tried and trues, as chosen by over 3000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

December 27, 2018
By Roxanne Webber | Art by Cassandra Landry

There are a lot of "musts" in this world. 

And yes, we'll admit it, this list is absolutely littered with them, but we can promise you this: they weren't appointed by a lone critic, or by write-in votes from well-meaning foodies. Instead, The Required is comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and the like. There's no black box of arbitrary editorial committees or user surveys with obtuse criteria fueling this list: just plain, crave-able truth.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just be sure you've checked all the best boxes on your home turf. 

Hog Island Oyster Co.

The San Francisco location of local oyster farm Hog Island sits appropriately facing the bay, nestled in the back of the Ferry Building. On an ideal day, grab an outdoor seat, and simply get a few dozen oysters and beverage of your choice while watching the water and taking in a little flavor of the West Coast. Chefs also love the grilled cheese if you want to add in something with a little more substance.

Deli Board

Deli Board in SOMA is an industry favorite for its heavyweight deli sandwiches packed with homemade sauces, pickles, and generally, loads of thinly sliced meats and melty cheese. Everyone has their own favorite, but the Carzle has received lots of chef love for its combo of Romanian pastrami, brisket, provolone, cherry peppers, pickles, cole slaw, and Board sauce, served on a garlic french roll.

4505 Burgers and Barbecue

Chef Ryan Farr makes many an industry insider's favorite burger at 4505, one might go so far as to say it is a legendary burger in San Francisco. Since he started serving it, he's been able to expand from his farmer's market burger stand to a full-blown barbecue establishment in NOPA, where you can still grab the burger, but also check out his take on barbecue, traditional sides, grab a local beer on draft, and sit outside at heated picnic tables. 

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