Bay Area Restaurants


February 1997

San Francisco restaurants have a reputation for high turnover, but you wouldn’t know it looking at our second annual Top 100 list. Only two places on last year’s list have closed: the decade-old Square One, run by celebrity chef Joyce Goldstein, and the 133-year-old Jack’s, which has been sold and will reopen later this year.

Still, there have been some significant changes in the list: You’ll notice about 25 new names. Some restaurants that are missing this year, such as Rubicon, are in transition with new chefs; others simply couldn’t compete with the new crop. In any year’s time, The Chronicle prints reviews of more than 200 restaurants and, in the process, we visit even more.

In compiling the list, we tried to put together a well-rounded selection of the best of what the Bay Area has to offer — from the haute Masa’s to the humble La Taqueria. Although they’re worlds apart in ambience, each offers food that’s the best it can be. And each restaurant in the following list was chosen because it adds something special to the dining scene.

This year, we’ve added information about parking, so the start of your experience will be as smooth as the rest of it.

ABOUT THE GUIDE Prices quoted are for the range of main courses at dinner. In some cases restaurants cross categories of cuisine, but in the index they are listed in only one category. The listings are not ranked, but are listed in alphabetical order.

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