10/22/2012 02:00:00 PM

The 10 Best Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area

Who says fine dining is dead? Acquerello made the top 10.
This week we released the results of the 2013 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants Survey, and there were some big names in the top 10. Gary Danko retained his four-year stronghold on the Top Food category (along with repeat wins for Top Service and Most Popular), inching out bicoastal wonder Thomas Keller, who deserves his own title for simultaneously running the second-highest-rated restaurants in the Bay Area and New York (with a little help from a battalion of cooks and a two-way video camera linking the two kitchens). This year's winners are a diverse bunch that includes a tiny Japanese mom-and-pop, two high-end Greek restaurants and two Italians.

And as a testament to our love of great food, SF natives and visitors aren’t afraid to travel long distances for a great meal: five out of the top 10 spots for Food are located outside city limits. So whether you’re in Downtown San Francisco or headed out to wine country, these are the restaurants that you’ll want to seek out. Click through the slide show below to see the best of the best, and let us know what you think of the rankings in the comments. Pick up your copy of the guide here, and be sure to check back later as we reveal more Best Of lists.

Dont forget to follow all of our SF Bay Area guide launch coverage on social media using hashtag #ZagatSF2013.


  1. Ridiculous list. Gary Danko isn't even one of the five best restaurants in SF. (The 27 for its hopelessly outdated decor is also absurd.)

    No Saison, Benu, Atelier Crenn anywhere on the top 10 list? At a minimum, Coi and Sons & Daughters are also better than Danko. At least Michelin got it right.

    1. Perhaps more egregious to me is that most of these restaurants don't even qualify as being in the San Francisco Bay Area. I mean, seriously! Napa Valley, Monterey, YOSEMITE? Can the author even find the Bay Area is on a map?

    2. Napa county is one of the 9 sf bay area counties.

    3. I totally agree with anonymous. My wife and I call Danko stinko. It's of course not bad, but in so many ways it is just "pretty good," nothing spectacular. Last time there one hot course was served cold and both of our lobsters were almost tasteless. The decor is somewhere between corporate and bordello. It is confounding that it is so highly rated.

  2. Gary Danko is a nightmare....I have been there 3 times....once everything was excellent - but TWICE our table was not ready and we were made to stand for 45 minutes near the bar (packed with walk-ins) where the waiters nearly tripped over us everytime they passed by. The second time we finally left before ever getting seated. We go out a lot - but we will never go back to this place.

  3. Gary Danko is our favorite restaurant for anniversaries and for out of town visitors. We have ALWAYS gotten out reserved table quickly, terrific service and fabulous food. The three or four course selection menu is great. And we eat out at good restaurants every week, so we can make reasonable comparisons.

    The guy who said he had to wait long may not have had a reservation, which is a necessity.

  4. It sure looks like Google has ruined Zagat. Several of their choices aren't in the top 50, much less top ten. I've heard tales of promotional contests where people were asked to rate as many restaurants as they could for prizes. The people who used to rate for Zagat were people who really cared about food, not prizes, and the effects show. French Laundry is great, Danko is great, but so are dozens of restaurants that don't show up. New corollary for "Don't be evil"--"Don't waste my time"