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6 Amazing Michelin Star Restaurants In San Francisco, Including One With A $12 Dish

Ashlyn Davis Ashlyn Davis

michelin star dish

Munch your way through The City like a billionaire, in the starry land of Michelin restaurants.

San Francisco is home to many of the smartest minds and deepest pockets in the US, thanks to Silicon Valley being only a very short helicopter ride away. It’s also home to the highest concentration of 3-star-Michelin restaurants. So with tech executives, founders and financiers inhabiting the city, it’s created a thriving haute cuisine culture. And, with many of the tech giants deciding to publicly float this year, the landscape is only set to get a whole lot twinklier.

1. Acuerello, Nob Hill

 

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When this fine establishment was founded 30 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee was still adding the finishing touches to the World Wide Web. However, this two-starred-Michelin Italian restaurant remains an “esperienza di una vita”, an Italian experience of a lifetime. The vaulted wood-beamed roof and old-world comforts of traditional Italian cuisine are beautifully juxtaposed with innovation and contemporary touches from leading female chef, Suzette Gresham. How can you show this wonderful female inventor and entrepreneur support? By tucking into the white truffle tasting menu, wagyu beef studded Bolognese and the famed parmesan budino, starting at $75.

📍1722 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

💵$75 to $150 (depending on your choice of wine)

2. Quince, Financial District

 

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The tech industry often attracts the brightest and most liberal minds, with that comes the growing importance of sustainability and a clean conscience. At the heart of this restaurant is a strong marriage – award-winning chef, Michael Tusk, founded this venture alongside his wife Lindsay – and a focus on flavorsome local produce. Their ingredients are exclusively sourced from one of the first-ever organic certified farms in California run by a third-generation farmer, Peter Martinelli. This allows Chef Tusk to curate a seasonal menu from over 40 varieties of carefully selected heirloom fruits, vegetables, and flowers. With a tasting menu at just shy of 300 dollars, this is one of the more expensive in its category but in no way any less value for the buck.

📍470 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, United States

💵 $298 for the tasting menu.

3. Tsuta, Jackson Square

 

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Some may not know that when a streaming giant, Netflix, headquartered in the nearby Los Gatos, released the most successful food program of our times, Chef’s Table, it was inspired by a film documenting a very modest and traditional Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in the Oscar-winning documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. So when a similarly quintessential Japanese restaurant, courtesy of chef Yuki Onishi, opened up its doors to the town, serving delicious noodle bowls of black or white truffle oil and chicken seafood stock blend, it got Jackson Square dreaming too. There is an industrious but nuanced simplicity to Mr. Onishi’s ramen-only menu, which is what undoubtedly made him the first chef to bag a star for what is typically considered as filling street food.

📍155 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States

💵 $12 (for shoyu, miso, shio with no additional toppings).

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4. Saison, China Basin

 

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After beginning one of the best educations in cooking possible, Joshua Skene, a graduate at the French culinary institute in New York, and student to Jean-Georges Vongerichten as well as notable other elite chefs moved to the west coast with the eventual goal of opening one of the most unique restaurants in California. The open American wood-fire kitchen compliments the extensive seasonal ingredients sourced directly from fishermen, hunters, gatherers, ranchers, and farmers to offer you a bite into the best in local existence.

📍178 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107, United States

💵 $398 for their tasting menu.

5. Lazy Bear, Mission District

 

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Lazy Bear abandons the stuffy, white-clothed mold of Michelin-star restaurants in favor of a farm-style communal meal for 40, around two chunky hunks of tree. Diners are invited to get involved by scribbling their orders on a piece of paper and then taking a leisurely stroll into the kitchen to discuss it with the chef. According to a Michelin guide’s review, the Sonoma County duck with fermented kumquat and sautéed broccolini is worth a try.

📍3416 19th St., San Francisco, 94110, United States

💵$75 – 150

6. Atelier Crenn, Cow Hollow

 

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The first (and only) female to earn three Michelin stars for a restaurant in the US. That’s just one reason to be interested in what Dominique Crenn considers her “house”. She invites to pull up a chair and have a conversation with her, and the language is food. The 14-course menu offers seasonally sourced items that come straight from her farm, Bleu Belle, in Sonoma. Signature dishes consist of magical creations such as her signature amuse-bouche, frozen apple cider inside a white chocolate ball and topped off with crème de cassis jam. The fresh explosion is meant to transport you to Brittanny–where she grew up–and so, where the poetic dialogue begins.

📍3127 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, California 94123

💵$298–this is for a better wage for her staff and higher quality local produce. Worth it.

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