Finding the best restaurants in a new place isn’t easy, and there are so many things to consider.
Wouldn’t it be easier if someone researched for you and all you had to do was pick your favourites? Well, we’ve provided a list of 10 of the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. All of which enable you to stay in your comfort zone or push your taste palettes should you wish. There are so many things to explore in this city, and their range of restaurants is one of them.
Reasons You NEED to Visit San Francisco
You can’t talk about San Francisco without referencing the infamous Golden Gate Bridge. Stretching 1.7 miles, take a walk across it, or jump in a taxi to explore its beautiful scenery. Each day, around 120,000 vehicles drive over it every day, and how wonderful would it be to be a part of that figure one day.
Since the 19th century, cable cars have been the main mode of transport for residents and tourists. It’s only $7 for a ticket to each route. Experience something you’ve never done before and make the most of spectacular views along the way.
Thanks to its warm climate almost all-year round, San Francisco often hosts outdoor festivals. These attract people from all walks of life, of different interests and a variety of ages. From music, to shopping, to dining, there’s something for the entire family at these festivals. Make sure you research in advance before booking a trip here to make the most of your experience. Also, thanks to its admiring climate, pack a picnic and head to one of their popular parks to soak up some sun. Good company, a relaxing environment and delicious food is all you need at times.
Finally, San Francisco is buzzing with culture and history. This is evident throughout their architecture, interior design and through their food. People love to eat in San Francisco, and with so many luxury and unique restaurants, we’re not surprised to discover this. For this reason, you'll find a high concentration of the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.
The Best Michelin Star Restaurants in San Francisco
San Francisco has some of the coolest, luxurious and hipster restaurants in the world. With so much to offer, tourists from around the world love to explore their uniqueness. However, the industry is suffering to survive and hire waiters. Let’s put that to an end and support businesses such as the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.
Here are the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco which offer a variety of tastes, atmosphere and more.
1. Atelier Crenn
Atelier Crenn is one of the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco and aims to deliver a high-end service to every customer who enters their doors. What makes this restaurant so beautiful and well-liked is that it offers a luxurious dining area. As a result, it’s an ideal choice if you’re searching for glamorous location for a business meeting or catch-up with friends. As soon as you walk through their door, a member of staff reads a short passage from a poem. What a beautiful welcoming and amazing way to end your day. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 5-9pm, it’s an ideal play to visit after a long day at work.
Although this restaurant is small – with only eight tables in total – this offers an intimate setting. As a result, many people visit here for a romantic meal out with a loved one. The low-lighting and calm ambience offers a magical experience everyone will love. The head chef offers a multi course where you can taste everything on their menu for $335. Book a reservation and invite your favourite people to experience new flavours and experiences. As it’s a unique restaurant which offers a menu and service unlike any other, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to spend your night here.
Finally, this restaurant offers a no-tipping service. This is so that guests can come and enjoy their meal without spending extra. However, staff are treated appropriately with a salary of around $20-$40 an hour (depending on experience). Only the best, expert chefs and waiters are hired. Therefore, you’ll always receive an exceptional meal and high level of customer service. As it’s recently been fully renovated, Atelier Crenn is an exciting place to spend your evening with excellent company.
2. The French Laundry
The French Laundry is unlike any other contenders for the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. Built in 1900, it still holds an element of history and culture which the staff never intend to lose. Before serving as a restaurant, this building was used as a French steam laundry. Fascinating and unique, this restaurant was then renovated into the restaurant whilst maintaining its beautiful history. Constructed of timers and river rock, there’s nothing else in the world which resembles this. Therefore, it’s a special and blessing experience each time you visit The French Laundry.
There are daily changes made to the menu so that it’s always kept fresh and exciting. However, each meal stays true to a classic French cuisine and uses only the best high-quality ingredients possible. As The French Laundry is a respectable size, it often welcomes large parties of people and holds events here. The staff can even custom-design flower arrangements, gifts, the menu and wine selections for an unbelievable experience. No matter your dietary needs, they can accommodate everyone. The menu is forever-changing as the chefs only like to use seasonal ingredients which are fresh and tasty. As a result, each time you visit this Michelin restaurant, you’ll receive a different experience and taste.
If you love wine, then you’ll appreciate their vast selection of bottles from around the world. You can review their wine list at any time. Also, staff are always on-hand to help you make the perfect selection for you. With a vast wine menu, The French Laundry take their alcohol seriously and only endeavour to provide you with exceptional flavours. Invite your loved ones together and become a part of history in one of the best Michele star restaurants in San Francisco.
If you’re searching for the most luxurious and best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco, then you can’t afford to miss out on Quince. Our favourite aspect of this restaurant is that they change their menu every night to highlight new and upcoming flavours. It’s reassuring to know that they only use the healthiest and freshest ingredients in the area. Thanks to the Fresh Run Farm close by, they grow over 40 of their own selections of fruits and vegetables. All of which are used in this luxury restaurant. As a result, you get peace of mind knowing that you’re only eating the finest food. Organically produced and locally sourced, these ingredients are the result of hard work, dedication and love.
Their menu is limited and created with attention. As it’s constantly evolving, customers are always eager to try the newest addition to the restaurant. For example, you can expect Dungeness crab, blood orange, cherry belle radish with winter vegetables. Alternatively, opt for black cod with bay squid, new potato and saffron. Quince is equally as proud to showcase a fine selection of wines from around the world. Therefore, you won’t just feel like you’re in San Francisco, but getting a taste from around the globe when you’re here. Each bottle costs $85 per 750ml, and customers are limited to two bottles which aren’t featured on the wine list.
We love that there are plenty of areas to eat at Quince. If you’re looking for an open-plan setting, then they have that covered. Alternatively, you can opt for a more private zone for a romantic and quiet ambience. However, no matter which room you choose, the restaurant maintains a high-standard of architecture and modern interior throughout. It can all depend on the number in your party and time of year. Nonetheless, it's one of the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco you won't want to miss.
Californios is a must-visit if you’re ever in San Francisco. Compared to the other options for the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco, this restaurant is much smaller and more intimate. However, this certainly isn’t a flaw if you’re searching for a romantic space with a loved one. Its history began as a pop-up fine-dining restaurant which then translated to a petite setting with 25 seats. Staying true to its roots, this restaurant never intended to become something it’s not. Although it might be small, their menu isn’t. As a result, you can expect a vast selection with fine ingredients and cuisine influenced by Mexican heritage.
The most interesting aspect of Californios is that it only offers a seven-course tasting menu costing $57. However, chefs will gladly accommodate dietary requirements and adjust as necessary. Here are a few examples of their menu: Grain soup, blood orange frozen yogurt, chocolate mousse, and hazelnuts and corn and rice chip with fermented pepper puree. Alternatively, if you have a sweeter tooth, try the Mexican wedding cookie with coconut caramel and chocolate min. We promise you won’t regret it! This restaurant also puts a huge emphasis on non-alcoholic beverages. Therefore, it’s ideal for non-drinkers and drivers, or for a daytime meet-up.
Many customers who’ve visited this restaurant claim that it’s one of the best restaurants in the United States. Rather than replicating Mexican food, they take inspiration from it and put their own twist on flavours. For example, their mission-style burritos are a favourite amongst regulars and never fails to please. The head chef intends to create something completely new whilst playing with traditional combinations. As a result, you won’t have tried anything like this before, even amongst the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.
5. Lazy Bear
Lazy Bear is one of the friendliest and best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. It offers a different temperament and mood compared to the other restaurants above. Specifically, it’s designed to be the best dinner party you’ve ever had. Sit around a table and share delicious food and memorable stories. Alternatively, it’s also a great place to visit to make friends and speak with regulars. As it provides a sociable atmosphere, the food and drinks follow suit and the staff accommodate everyone. In typical San Francisco style, they only serve one menu each night. This is regularly refreshed and updated, or you can opt for their tasting menu to get their flavours a try before fully committing.
The Lazy Bear delivers a professional service. Each meal is delivered at the same time for fairness. Also, the cooks come out and describe the dishes in detail. This provides you with a brief history of the meal, as well as in-depth detail about the ingredients used in your food. Their food is delicious and unlike any other Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. This spot is one of the most desired restaurants in visit in the city, and after one visit, you’ll want to book another reservation.
As the Lazy Bear is so popular, it’s not easy to get in. Each month, the staff notify people on social media of tickets and availability to get in. Make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. This unique touch is just one of the reasons alone why we love the Lazy Bear. However, make sure you get on their mailing list to not miss out on important dates and releases.
Another of our favourite and best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco is Aster. This luxury restaurant offers a casual and peaceful setting for everyone. By hiring the best chefs and waiters in the business, they create delectable meals each and every time. Their ingredients are sourced from local farmers which are harvested and created with care. That means no chemicals, preservatives or MSG added into your food. By going above and beyond to deliver for their customers, Aster has become an award-winning dining spot. Owner and chef, Brett Cooper, adapts his fine-dining techniques to a relaxing setting. With a true appreciation and passion for food, you can sense that he deeply cares about his creations.
Aster heightens their dishes to create new and healthy flavours. As a result, you won’t have tasted anything like their dishes before in your life. However, their menu is still reasonably priced to provide a welcoming environment for people from all walks of life. Many people describe its interior and vibe as similar to California. We also appreciate that they cater for all. This means dietary requirements, but you can also try their selective range of teas from all around the world. Not only is this an idea way to limit your alcohol intake, but a chance to try new flavours.
Aster is notoriously known for their homemade creations. With a four-course tasting menu for $75, you get amazing value for money. This is a great way to treat your palette without breaking the bank. With a modern and light interior, there’s plenty of light to make you feel comfortable. Alternatively, you can head to their open-kitchen section for a more intimate vibe.
7. Gary Danko
Gary Danko is a must-visit restaurant if you’re ever in San Francisco. After 17 years of service, Gary Danko’s received multiple awards for its fine dishes and impeccable service. With a combination of French cooking combined with modern techniques, you’ll discover flavours unlike no other restaurant. By making constant improvements and developments, this restaurant is continually on the rise. There’s a sense of positivity and calmness as soon as you walk into this restaurant. With vibrant artwork filling the walls, it offers a unique dining experience unlike any other San Francisco diner; this is exactly the result the owner was achieving.
You can also head here if you’re intending to hire a private venue for a party. Perhaps you have a special celebration or just want a private evening with friends. No matter your reason, their dedicated staff will do everything in their power to create an unforgettable evening. On the other hand, head to their open restaurant for private lunches which accommodate 10-65 guests.
If you do get the opportunity to visit Gary Danko, make sure you take up the opportunity of their tasting menu. For a set price of $134, you get the chance to eat five delicious meals. This includes glazed oysters with osetra caviar, leeks and lettuce cream. This is then followed by horseradish crusted salmon medallion with dilled cucumbers and mustard sauce. For the third course, you can enjoy seared filet of beef with yukon potatoes, swiss chard, stilton butter and cassis-shallot marmalade. You’ll then get a beautiful selection of farmhouse and artisanal cheeses. Finally, this is then followed by chestnut cremeux with spiced honey cake, molasses custard and brown butter ice cream.
Commis is one of many options for the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. This luxury restaurant has many elements to it, and also offers an innovate bar. This offers a premium wine selection, an array of spirits from around the world and a large collection of spirits. As a result, you can try some of the most amazing cocktails in your lifetime. The restaurant section is small, which makes it more intimate and a challenge to get a booking. However, if you reserve a table in advance, you’ll have no problem scoring a seat.
Their set menu makes it easy to order, and gives you an excellent opportunity to try their amazing dishes. For $175, you receive eight courses with delicious beverages to match the flavours. Handcrafted and made with passion, each mouthful is a little taste of heaven. With hard-working, dedicated staff, Commis is committed delivering a world-class service to every guest who walks through their doors. Furthermore, here are a few of our favourite wines: Flower Power - vodka, grapefruit, rosemary, centennial hops and malt foam. The Wind Cries – mescal, broiled lemon shrub, cherry, lime and cedar. Also, Easy Livin’ – bourbon, peace, hickory-smoked honey and yuzu.
After a renovated two years’ ago, Commis is stunning and filled with beautiful throughout the restaurant. The interior boasts a dark wood theme which contrasts against the white walls. It’s a huge difference from its minimalist appearance beforehand, but offers personalization and a warm tone. Finally, their team of chefs have a way of combining unusual ingredients to create delectable dishes you’ll never try again in your lifetime.
9. Sons and Daughters
Sons and Daughters is everything a restaurant in San Francisco should be. Thanks to its ever-changing menu, there are always new flavours and ingredients to explore here. With a solid relationship with local farmers, everything is made fresh and curated from natural ingredients. Also, there’s always something happening at Sons and Daughters. With an array of events happening all the time, it’s one of the best places in San Francisco to spend your day/night. They’ve recently renovated their private dining room, as well as introduced The Family Room. This offers a private experience where you have more time and opportunity to share your time with family.
If you’re looking for delicious food and a wonderful experience, then Sons and Daughters has everything you need to make that happen. Their dining area seats 28 guests, which is less intimate than some of the other luxurious restaurants in San Francisco. Also, the restaurant features an open kitchen to inspire the overall dining experience and offer a unique quality. With a recent new wine list, this boasts classic and modern flavours of alcohol. Furthermore, the staff like to add unique flavours to enhance their seasoning and provide a fulfilling sip each and every time.
Here are a few examples of their menu: Duck breast with creamed leeks, sage and cured lasoda potatoes. Beef with smoked egg, matsutake mushrooms and local seaweeds. Fried tai snapper with fermented cabbage, grapes and lovage. Their menu is forever changing, so make sure you visit quickly to not miss out on their current dishes.
10. Kin Khao
Finally, Kin Khao is another of our favourite amongst the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. Their menu is mainly dedicated to meat and sea food, and they also serve delectable Thai food. However, unlike some restaurants, they don’t endeavour to change its origin, but instead, stay true to its authentic flavours. Everything presented to you has been made in-house daily. With so much freshness and flavour trapped in every mouthful, you can really taste the difference. On the other hand, you won’t be over-faced with too much food, as their portions are expertly crafted.
All of their dishes use local ingredients and the chef’s homemade components are on display in the gaeng som for all guests to see. Unlike some Thai food restaurants, you won’t be overwhelmed with a large menu filled with confusing options. Instead, the staff have developed a short menu of Thai dishes to make eating out easier and less confusing. It’s also a great opportunity to indulge in new flavours and spices. You’ll appreciate that Kin Khao is committed to providing an authentic Thai experience. Therefore, they don’t try to make the dishes into something they’re not, but instead, remain true to their roots.
Reviews show that the food is always consistent here, so you’ll never experience a ‘bad meal’. If you’re new to Thai food, the staff are happy to offer their recommendations and warn you away from spicy ingredients. The waiters are knowledgeable and happy to explain the cocktails and dishes in depth for guests. All you have to do is ask and they’re happy to help you.
Which of These Michelin Star Restaurants in San Francisco Would You Like to Visit?
With so much creativity and beauty to explore in San Francisco, you can’t afford to miss out on these unique and creative dining spots. If you only visit the city, you won’t get the opportunity to visit all of these restaurants. However, which of the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco would you like to visit?
Share your thoughts, or alternative recommendations for Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco in the comments to keep this conversation going.
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