Other US cities boast bigger monuments, but San Francisco packs more flavor. With more restaurants per capita than any other North American city (sorry, New York) San Francisco spoils diners for choice. Almost anything grows in California’s fertile farmland, so SF’s top chefs have an unfair advantage with local, organic and – oh yes – incredibly tasty ingredients.
Multi-ethnic San Francisco has been finessing fusion since the Gold Rush days. SF’s favorite flavors are still cross-cultural but now highlight local ingredients – oysters sustainably farmed in Sonoma, bubbly from Napa, and noodles made with Mendocino seaweed. Forty years after Alice Waters started the local, organic food revolution in Berkeley, her influence is all over SF menus. Lately no local chef’s tasting menu is complete without wild-crafted ingredients: chanterelles found beneath California oaks, miner’s lettuce from Berkeley hillsides or SF-backyard nasturtium flowers. Eccentric? Absolutely – but it’s hard to argue with your mouth full.