1. The Richmond
Essential restaurants: B Star Cafe, Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, Aziza, Wako Sushi
I was going to pick the Mission. I swear. It had so much firepower. But when I really dug into the research, and you combine the Inner and Outer Richmond 'hoods (I’M NOT SORRY, I CAN DO WHAT I WANT), and see what’s left, it is absolutely remarkable just what is available out there. And the fact that, unlike the Mission, it’s a relatively close-guarded secret mostly just enjoyed by the people who live there makes it even more attractive (also: sorry for blowing you guys up).
Also known as “second Chinatown,” the Asian food game is unmatched. From Burmese spots like the famous Burma Superstar and its second (actually better) sibling B Star, to Korean from Han II Kwan, to dim sum joints like Good Luck Dim Sum, Hong Kong Lounge II, Dragon Beaux, or Ton Kiang, to dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling King or Wing Lee, to Szechuan at amazingly named Spices! 2, to Michelin-starred sushi at Wako, you cannot go wrong. But what really puts The Richmond at the top is the fact that Asian food may be playing on the main stage, but there are a lot of other shows going down. Arguello Super Market’s famous turkey sandwich, for one. The Russian pelmeni at Cinderella Bakery. Cardamom coffee cake at Marla Bakery. Great pizzas at Fiorella and Pizzetta 211. Perfectly fine Mexican food to go with the best margarita in the country at Tommy’s. Michelin-starred Moroccan-California dishes at Aziza. French food in lieu of hats at Chapeau! Behold the glory that is the Richmond.