Eric Wolfinger
4505 Meats
Pabu SF
The Commissary
Lazy Bear
JOSH ALONZO
Gaspar Brasserie
Joe Starkey
Urchin
Plin SF
Arguello Restaurant
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1. Monsieur Benjamin 451 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

The options can get a little pricey at this Hayes Valley French spot, but they're worth the price for a pleasant ambience and tastes that definitely live up to the hype, such as their "fully dressed" hamburger and steak frites.

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2. 4505 Burgers & BBQ 705 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA 94112

An offshoot of the original 4505 Meats, this burger and 'cue shack is one for the Divis books. This butcher-owned and operated spot takes meat and barbecue seriously, with loaded platters of pulled pork, smoked ribs, and hot sausage, and quarter-pound grass-fed burgers. No matter if your main is in the form of a sandwich or platter, don't overlook the fixin's -- the fried mac & cheese with a hot dog inside is an insanely delicious creation.

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3. PABU 101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Financial District)

When you think of Japanese whisky bars, you think of Nihon Whisky Lounge. But Pabu is a solid surprising contender: they have a secret Japanese cocktail menu, plus traditional Japanese whisky service. Each of the 14 Japanese whiskies offered are served with a complimentary food item that's blowtorched in front of you, meant to bring out the complex flavors of the drink.

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4. The Commissary 101 Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94129 (The Presidio)

This former Montgomery St barracks mess hall in the Presidio is brought to you by award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins, and features Spanish-influenced California cuisine.

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5. Lazy Bear 3416 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Lazy Bear, which began as a pop-up dinner party, is a whole new kind of dining experience. Though its since gone brick-and-mortar (and earned a Michelin star), the Mission restaurant still feels like an intimate party. Tickets must be bought in advance for one of two, 40-person seatings a night. The communal seating means it's a great place to mingle with strangers, but it's not a bad place to impress an epicurean date either. They've also got a mixed drink pairing that blends cocktails, wine, and beer.

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6. Causwells Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

This casual bistro from Alvin Garcia (Delarosa, Lolinda, Don Pisto's) and Tom Patella (California Wine Merchant) boasts classic American fare, like a deviled egg trio and pork belly confit, but the real star of the show is the the American Burger. The two patties have dry-aged fat in the mix, and are topped with American cheese, secret sauce (it's a mixture of Thousand Island and Worcestershire), and pickles. If that burger isn't enough to get you to the Marina, though, plan your meal around a visit to the Presidio Theater, which is located next door.

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7. Gaspar Brasserie 185 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Financial District)

This Parisian-style brasserie in FiDi is the kind of place you'd bring a date if you wanted that date to go on for hours. For starters, the dark wood interior, red leather banquettes, textured walls, and chandeliers practically ooze sex appeal. The downstairs restaurant serves a menu of classic French food with a Northern California twist, but there are some pure bistro staples like Croque Monsieur and steak frites. Upstairs in the Cognac Room bar, you'll find the largest selection of brandy drinks in San Francisco.

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8. Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing 2505 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Dogpatch)

The folks behind Magnolia Brewing Company expanded their beloved operation with this hip warehouse-style brewpub in Dogpatch (exposed pipe and reclaimed wood abound), which not only boasts a huge, on-site brewing system that can produce up to 30 barrels, but also -- across the room -- smoked-in-house BBQ offerings including sausage, brisket, and Wagyu beef ribs. There's even a full-of-surprises cocktail program that slings exceptional whiskey concoctions like the Dutchman's Flat with rye, ginger, honey, lemon, toasted Nori, and beef bouillon (didn't see that one coming, did you?).

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9. Urchin Bistrot 584 Valencia, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Urchin Bistrot's serving French bistro fare, but with a twist (the steak tartare comes with fried oysters, and the spaghettini is served with sea urchin and yolk). The cocktail menu is equally creative, with drinks like the Champs Elysees (Congac, Green Chartreuse, lemon, angostura, served up).

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10. Plin 280 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Plin is all about the seafood, but there's not one thing on the menu that feels traditional or expected, which explains why two of the sections are named "Explore" and "Discover". Like any Italian restaurant, Plin has an extensive wine list, but there is also a focus on cocktails and a full bar.

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11. Arguello 50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129 (The Presidio)

Located inside the Presidio Officers' Club, this Mexican-themed restaurant from Traci Des Jardins dishes out upscale tacos, seafood, and a number of other south-of-the-border dishes. Sit by the fire pits on the patio and sip your margaritas or mescal cocktails while enjoying the outdoorsiness of it all.

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