As one of the world’s most decorated cities in terms of Michelin stars, San Francisco is a gourmand’s dream. The Californian city spans many neighborhoods, each unique in character, and embraces that diversity in its cuisine. The epicenter of hippie culture in the 1960s, the city continues to push the envelope with its innovative fine dining scene. These are San Francisco’s two- and three-Michelin starred restaurants.
For fine Italian fare in San Francisco, Acquerello is the answer. In the Nob Hill neighborhood, the two-Michelin starred restaurant offers classic sophistication in its decor. The Seasonal Tasting Menu is limited each evening, but is sure to delight with traditional pasta, seafood, meat and vegetable dishes cooked with a modern approach to traditional Italian cuisine.
At the Taj Campton Place, this two-Michelin starred restaurant melds California originals with traditional Indian cuisine. Chef Srijith Gopinathan’s elegant restaurant highlights Indian seasoning in its Spice Route Menu. Dishes like Maine lobster with coastal curry, Sonoma liberty duck with tandoori carrot relish and Alaskan halibut with mango nectar bring the chef’s roots to the surface.
A two-Michelin starred restaurant with a twist, Lazy Bear operates as “a modern American dinner party.” The restaurant serves only one Tasting Menu each night, limited to two dinner seatings at long, communal tables. The experience of Lazy Bear is a far cry from the reserved atmospheres of other upscale establishments. Here, socialization is the emphasis.
In Oakland, Chef James Syhabout’s two-Michelin starred restaurant is both elegant and elusive. Guests experience an eight-course meal where the intimate setting allows for the dishes to take center stage. An extensive wine list is available to complement an exciting meal.
Posh and contemporary, Chef Michael Tusk’s three-Michelin starred Quince is a hotspot in San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood. With a Murano chandelier as its focal point, Quince serves seasonal fare and, most notably, a Quince Menu. This prix fixe option includes dishes like Tsar Bicoulai caviar, garganelli lobster and milk fed lamb before a strawberry dessert.
The three-Michelin starred Saison is famous for its spontaneity. There is no set menu, leaving guests to be surprised by what Chef Joshua Skenes is cooking up. In a spacious yet relaxed setting, guests can also enjoy an acclaimed wine list and cocktail menu along with their meals.
This San Francisco restaurant holds two Michelin stars for its outstanding seafood. One tasting menu nightly draws its influence from the coastal location as well as classic French cuisine. Guests will savor an array of seasonal dishes like mussel cannoli, Dungeness crab, black bass and praline with cremeux and mandarin. Inside, the environment is pleasantly reserved, with low ceilings and soft lighting.
The winner of Elite Traveler‘s Rising Star Award for 2017, Chef Dominique Crenn brings French sophistication to the San Francisco dining scene. Atelier Crenn holds two Michelin stars to its name, offering guests a multi-course tasting menu crafted with seasonal and sustainable produce. The standout dish is the Grain and Seed, while the entire menu focuses on emotional cooking and an understanding of where our food comes from.
With another California hot spot on his resume – The French Laundry, to be exact – Chef Corey Lee’s expertise is clear in the Benu kitchen. Lee’s Korean roots are evident in the Asian-inspired cuisine, with the most talked about being the Thousand-Year-Old Quail Egg. The tasting menu also comprises fresh seasonal caviar, sea urchin and fried river eel. Benu’s three-Michelin star rating cites the artful cooking and notable wine list.