The Mission District continues to retain its longstanding rank as the #1 restaurant neighborhood in the Bay Area and perhaps the world. It has been a long run where no San Francisco neighborhood or even another SF Bay Area City has had more critically acclaimed restaurants than the historic Inner Mission.
On Oct. 25, 2016 Michelin announced its highly regarded star selections for the 2017 edition of the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country. With the elevation of Quince in San Francisco, the Bay Area now has six three-star restaurants, on par with New York City. In 2014 Michelin elevated Saison, the former Mission restaurant once located on a Mission Creek low spot at 18th and Folsom till late 2012, and often called San Francisco's most expensive restaurant, to the ranks of three-starred restaurant. Saison moved in late 2012 to its downtown waterfront joining former Mission District 5-star restaurants Butterfly and Slanted Door.
A new two-star was awarded to chef David Barzelay's Lazy Bear, which had been a one star last year. Always creative and multifaceted, Barzelay showcases a sophisticated, often experimental cooking style using supremely high quality ingredients. Lazy Bear now joins other San Francisco two star-establishments, including Acquerello, Atelier Crenn, Campton Place and Coi, as well as Oakland's Commis and Palo Alto's Baume, all of whom retained this coveted culinary distinction in the 2017 guide. David Barzelay’s Mission restaurant which seats diners at communal tables using a unique dinner party format for its 14 course meal was an underground restaurant just three years ago.
"The expensive fixed price menu is a defining element of our current dining scene," the San Francisco Chronicle's food critic Micheal Bauer recently wrote as well as. "No other region in the country — not even New York, with 10 times the population — has such a deep bench of fine dining establishments."
There is a foodie segment with a willingness to spend hundreds or even 4 figures on a meal for two which has become a welcome sweet spot for San Francisco restaurant business. Even in good times there is much turnover in the restaurant business which in the City of San Francisco faces squeezed margins brought on by high rents, far flung employees, mandatory health care, paid sick leave and a $13 going on $15 minimum wage.
4. Al's Place✪ 1499 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 416-6136 alsplacesf.com
5. Aster 1001 Guerrero St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 875-9810 astersf.com/food
Michelin Guide 2017 Bib Gourmand list for the Bay Area, a collection of moderately priced restaurants, is announced in mid October. Here diners can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less, before tax and tip.
? Bar Tartine 561 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 487-1600 bartartine.com
6. Delfina✪ 3621 18th St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 552-4055 delfinasf.com
7. Farmhouse Thai Kitchen 710 Florida St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 814-2920 farmhousesf.com
9. Yuzuki Japanese Eatery 598 Guerrero St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 556-9898 yuzukisf.com
The 5 restaurants with ✪ star above together with the 4 restaurants below are featured on the SF Chronicle/Michael Bauer's TOP 100 Bay Area Restaurants List.
10. Flour + Water 2401 Harrison St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 826-7000 flourandwater.com
11. Foreign Cinema 2534 Mission St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 648-7600 foreigncinema.com
12. Hawker Fare 680 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 400-5699 hawkerfare.com
13. Range 842 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 282-8283 rangesf.com
Bar Tartine Transitions while Motze Opens
Nick Balla and Cortney Burns heading up the Bar Tartine kitchen for the last five years have relocated at 983 Valencia near 21st Street taking over the Herbivore restaurant after nearly 20 years of operation with a new focus on Japanese food that will be a semi-permanent pop-up. The cuisine switch is easy to understand when you realize that Balla ran the stoves at Nombe for two years and cooked in the that country, while Burns recently took a trip to Japan for fermented rice research. The family-style meals are $58 per person.
This is the last of the 3 Herbivore vegetarian restaurants to close, all within the last year. Bar Tartine owners Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt (Tartine, Tartine Manufactory) will eventually move a new concept into the space at 561 Valencia St. Burns and Balla had plans to buy the space and turn it into Crescent which still remains a goal as they wait for their preparation to meet the right opportunity [sometimes called luck].
What about the Greater Mission?
The Greater Mission includes the Outer Mission as well as our surrounding neighborhoods of Potrero, Bernal Heights, Castro, Noe Valley. Here we find that there are four nearby restaurants on the sfchronicle.com's Top 100 list worthy of your consideration.
The first to reblog this 2017 Michelin information was eater.com which covers the restaurant scene in nearly 250 cities. We were taken with how they ignore YELP reviews which are controversial, generally speaking, among business owners. Mission Merchants will also follow this lead and will be updating this article with an expanded lists of user reviews sites for our TOP 13 of 2017 in further updates to this list should you wish to bookmark us.