History: Legend has it that when the eatery originally opened, as The Oakdale Bar and Clam House, the structure stood completely on the water—until the earthquake in 1906 filled the Bay. Since then, the restaurant’s gone through many changes, yet still stands on the same ground, making it SF’s oldest restaurant still operating in its original location. When the current owners took over, they renovated the interior, yet kept the menu’s most-loved dishes, such as the cioppino and the cup of hot clam broth that greets each diner upon arrival.
While You’re Waiting
Inside Tip: Try the clam chowder; it’s made with a recipe from The Oakdale Bar and Clam, dating back to the late 1800s.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Find some new place settings at the Heritage House Tableware show room (2190 Palou Avenue), where more than 1,900 patterns are on display.
After: See what’s in season at the Bayshore Farmers Market (300 Bayshore Boulevard).
What to Drink: Zagat reviewers rave about the Macho Margarita, which blends sweet and spicy thanks to the addition of muddled jalapeños.
Where to Sit: Try to land one of the plush booths and avoid the tables near the open kitchen—a high-traffic zone.
While You’re Waiting: Head to the bar area and watch the 1940s Latin film clips playing on the TVs.
The Vibe: Classic Spanish paintings adorn gold and red walls, and uniquely shaped tequila bottles punctuate a space that’s reminiscent of Mexico City restaurants in the early 1900s.
Mole: there are many regional varieties of this rich sauce, but chilies, spices, and mexican chocolate are the most common ingredients. It’s typically served atop poultry or pork.
How to Get There: Colibri's location in the heart of the Theatre District means traffic and parking can be problematic. However, the Powell Street BART Station is just a couple blocks away.
Led by executive chef Shawn Bayless, the culinary savants at at Michelin--recommended](http://www.paulkrestaurant.com/michelin-image.htm) and [_Zagat-praised Paul K modernize Mediterranean dishes in a warmly elegant setting. Servers whisk complimentary black-and-white hummus and cucumber-infused water to white-draped tables as guests scan the dinner menu. A diverse selection of small plates—ideal for sharing or sating a single Lilliputian—includes potato gnocchi, house fries with harissa ketchup, and pomegranate-braised lamb riblets with garlic yogurt. Entrees weave together Greek, Middle Eastern, and European flavors, as well as Armenian touches from owner Paul Kavoksorian's heritage. Meats are pan-seared, grilled, and wine-braised, and mezza platters feature the traditional tastes of kebabs and baba gannouj, as well as unique flourishes such as carrot-mint yogurt. Selections from an import-heavy wine list—with descriptive headings such as "Bottles Full of Bubbles" and "Rich, White Wines Showing Appropriate Restraint"—fill glasses as diners linger, admiring abstract artwork against a slate gray wall in a dining room with red and yellow accents.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the brunch menu proffers sophisticated takes on breakfast dishes—in the form of orange pancakes topped with toasted walnuts and a hash of confit duck and onion salsa— as well as lunch sandwiches, soups, and greens. Sipping a mimosa or maple-bacon-infused bloody mary awakens taste buds, and downing a latte made with espresso or green tea gives diners a morning jolt akin to mistaking the muzzle of a pet tiger for an alarm clock.
Behind the Name: Parada 22 is a bus stop in San Juan, the hometown of consulting chef Gloria Pinette.
When to Go: Stop by during happy hour (Monday–Thursday from 4–6 p.m.) for discounts on beers, mixed platters, and pitchers of sangria.
Inside Tip: The restaurant only has 10 tables and doesn’t accept reservations. To avoid long waits, place your order online before arriving.
Picadillo: a Latin American take on hash that typically blends ground beef, tomatoes, and various vegetables and spices.
Tostones: fried slices of unripe plantain; a common side dish in Latin America.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Browse retro fashions at La Rosa Vintage (1711 Haight Street)—rumored to be burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese’s favorite vintage shop.
After: Sip on a cocktail surrounded by Persian-inspired murals at Zam Zam (1633 Haight Street).
B Restaurant is committed to integrating local, seasonal ingredients into their food menu, and you can see the kitchen’s influence on the drink list. Mixologists reach beyond typical barroom ingredients to create experiments that feel downright culinary. Take the sweet and savory Bourbon & Berry, infused with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, or the Rad Rabbit with rye whiskey, manzanilla sherry, benedictine, and a porter reduction.
Though the restaurant serves a full menu, the raw bar is a main attraction thanks thanks to its daily selection of oysters available by the half or full dozen. During B Restaurant’s annual outdoor Oyster Bash, attendees can pluck oysters from a rowboat full of ice and then shuck them on a newspaper-covered table stocked with limes, hot sauce, crackers, and corn cobs. If you can’t make it to the Bash, pop in for $1 oysters during happy hour (Tuesday–Friday, 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.).
Tucked away amid some of downtown’s most distinctive buildings, B Restaurant was built with views in mind, thanks in part to its soaring windows and sunny patio. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the “airy, elegant atrium provides a fitting contrast to commanding architectural icons as diverse as the Contemporary Jewish Museum, historic St. Patrick Church and gleaming Marriott Marquis hotel.” The restaurant’s own stunning, modern design complements SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, also nearby.
What to Drink: Pick a bottle from a wine list with more than 100 vintages from Italy, California, Argentina, and Chile.
Where to Sit: Grab a booth facing the front wall of windows in the cozy, canary-yellow dining room.
While You’re Waiting
While You’re in the Neighborhood: After dinner, head across the street for a game of pool and a discussion on the merits of Epicureanism at the Philosophers Club (824 Ulloa Street).