Warm up your stomach with a steaming bowl of Pho at Oakland's Pho Hiep Hung.
Gather the whole family for a trip to this restaurant — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Pho Hiep Hung offers a free wifi hot spot — perfect for surfing the web or getting a little work done.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
If you prefer to drive to the restaurant, go right ahead. Parking is abundant in the area.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Pho Hiep Hung.
Nothing can beat a satisfying bowl of pho on a rainy day. Make sure to stop by Pho Hiep Hung for a little pick-me-up.
If you're craving tasty Chinese cuisine, Happy Valley Restaurant in Oakland is sure to hit the spot.
Happy Valley Restaurant features a wide variety of flavorful low-fat and gluten-free eats.
Beer, wine, and more are also available from this restaurant's extensive drink list.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Casual dining at its best, Happy Valley Restaurant customers are free to enjoy themselves in jeans and a T-shirt.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Diners at Happy Valley Restaurant will love the simple and nearby street parking options.
At Happy Valley Restaurant, you can ease your appetite and please your pocketbook
the menu offers a selection of mid-priced, budget-friendly meals.
Happy Valley Restaurant serves up traditional and innovative Chinese fare, so head on over today and check out the menu options.
La Estrellita Cafe and Bar serves a laid-back Mexican feast.
Health nuts will be pleased with the menu at La Estrellita Cafe and Bar, which includes a number of fresh, nutritious items.
Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at La Estrellita Cafe and Bar just as much as mom and dad.
Wireless internet access is available for no charge at La Estrellita Cafe and Bar.
The patio tables outside of La Estrellita Cafe and Bar are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
Throwing a big party? Count on La Estrellita Cafe and Bar to provide top-notch catering with the same great dishes you love.
La Estrellita Cafe and Bar offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available at La Estrellita Cafe and Bar.
Turn up the heat with a Cajun dish from The Rockin' Crawfish.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
At this restaurant, kids of all ages are welcome.
The Rockin' Crawfish is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Reserve a table ahead of time and avoid the lines.
Need to get out of the house? Order and pick up from this restaurant.
Bring your car to dinner and easily find a space in the area — street parking is available, as is a nearby lot.
The Rockin' Crawfish is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
Meals at The Rockin' Crawfish are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
So satisfy your Cajun craving with a delicious lunch or dinner from the highly-rated The Rockin' Crawfish.
Rated Best Thai Restaurant by the East Bay Express in 2011, Chai Thai Noodle earns its title with a vast menu of authentically prepared dishes imbued with vibrant flavors and spices. Chai Thai Noodle's masterful and lively preparations have earned the chefs enthusiastic accolades and multiple high-fives from local press; their pork leg stew in particular inspired across-the board ardor. The San Francisco Chronicle's Carol Ness credited owners and chefs Sangchai Vatanachai and Amnouy Manyvong for making "'pork leg stew' three of the most exciting words in the language of Thai food." John Birdsall of the East Bay Express mentioned that it had to rate "among the most satisfying meat dishes in all of East Oakland," and SF Weekly’s Meredith Brody cited the stewed leg, accompanied by pickled vegetables and mustard greens, as her primary motive for dining at Chai Thai Noodle.
Most Top Chef finalists launch their restaurant careers right after their time on television ends. Not Casey Thompson—she spent seven years after season three traveling, all the while thinking hard about what she wanted in a venue. She met farmers, built relationships, and finally opened Aveline (plus its cocktail bar sibling, The European) in June. As the result of so much careful planning, the restaurant truly embodies Casey’s vision, both in the space and on the plate.
One key part of that vision? Pigs. Casey loves to use almost every part of them, including the head. In honor of Aveline’s recent launch, we asked her about her fondness for pork, her cooking philosophy, and some of her go-to spots in San Francisco.
GROUPON: One ingredient that crops up on the menus at Aveline and The European is pork. Specifically, pork from the pig’s head—pork jowl, pig cheek, pig ear. What do you like about this ingredient?
CASEY THOMPSON: In general, I love any animal that tastes good from head to toe! As a chef, it’s really beneficial for me to use different parts of an animal that might otherwise be underutilized. It keeps costs down and provides guests with the opportunity to try things they may not otherwise try.
There is a lot more marbling in these parts than you might think, and there are a variety of different textures in specific parts like the ear.
G: Do you think that pig face is trending right now?
CT: I don't know. I try not to pay too much attention to what’s “trendy.” I just want to make food that tastes good, and if it means using parts of an animal that are unfamiliar to most people and [then] educating people about them, I’m happy to do so.
G: If someone hasn't tried any part of the pig’s head, where should they start?
CT: I think a good place to start is with pig cheek—it’s rich and it braises perfectly! Confiting a pig cheek [at home] is easy. The most difficult part is probably finding the product, but your local butcher can help with that.
G: Are there other pig dishes in San Francisco that you like?
CT: The pork at Kokkari is unreal, and Namu Gaji does a pretty impressive job too!
G: Aside from cooking with pig parts, you’re also an advocate for sustainability and the environment. Where does that passion come from?
CT: I have a job that impacts the environment, and as such, I have a duty to make sure that my staff and I do all we can not to add to the overwhelming issues we’re already facing.
I am also a firm believer in good husbandry. All animals deserve to live a good life, especially if they are giving us theirs for nourishment. It’s our responsibility as humans to recognize that.
G: Some of your dishes have original ingredients with a cool, earthy vibe. I’m talking about the "ham snow" and "chicory soil" on Aveline’s menu. Can you tell us more about these?
CT: Environmental elements in a dish add interesting flavors. The chicory soil contains nori, breadcrumbs, candied cashews, and chicory—all pretty earthy, you’re right. Now, the ham snow is highly technical stuff: we freeze ham, grate it over cold amberjack, and call it snow!
G: You’re also creating the menu over at The European, your bar-and-lounge project with Adam Wilson. It seems like the snacks have more of an updated comfort-food feel. Is The European the other side of Aveline's coin?
It absolutely is! There is a secret kid side to me with that menu and, really, it’s us having fun. I do think we have the best burger—it is so good. I want people to use both spaces! Come and eat at The European!
G: To close out, can you share some of your favorite San Francisco spots to grab a bite?
For coffee: Réveille Coffee Co.
For breakfast (and guilty, greasy pleasures): San Jalisco
For lunch and dinner: Kokkari, Kin Khao
For after-hours drinks and eats: Rye, Tradition, Le Colonial
For outdoor dining: The Ferry Building, Slanted Door, Cavallo Point, Coqueta
This interview has been condensed and edited. Photos courtesy of Casey Thompson. The European photo by Andi Fisher.
When you live in a city with so much scenery, eating inside can feel a bit stifling. Here are five beautiful restaurant patios in San Francisco that allow you to order in the great outdoors.
Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd.)
The restaurant group that owns South Park staples MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern overhauled Mission Rock Resort in late 2012. Now, it’s a bayside escape with plenty of deck seating, calming ocean views, and easy parking. Try bites from the raw bar or fried seafood for lunch, brunch, or happy hour.
Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St.)
The most popular tables at this Mission stalwart are in the romantic covered patio. In the evening, artsy or retro flicks are projected on the patio wall while sound can be played through drive-in–style speakers at each table. The movies, however, are a secondary draw compared to the Californian-Mediterranean food.
Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero S)
Waterbar is a perennial Top 100 restaurant, so you can bet on some memorable seafood with views of the bay, the Bay Bridge, and the Bay Lights—not to mention $1.25 oysters every day before 5:30 pm.
Bar Agricole (355 11th St.)
Opened by a collective of the city’s best bartenders and sommeliers, Bar Agricole is led by master drink maker Thad Vogler. Unsurprisingly, its cocktails are just as good as its seasonal food. The space’s award-winning design features plenty of redwood, concrete, and glass, plus a spacious patio that’s covered and heated during the winter months.
Biergarten (424 Octavia St.)
Biergarten takes its name literally—its only seating is outdoors, where all of its Bavarian-style street food is served from shipping containers converted into a kitchen and bar. Brews can be ordered by the half- or full-liter, but considering the long lines, it’s best to get the larger of the two before you squeeze into one of the communal picnic tables.
Photos courtesy of Mission Rock Resort, Foreign Cinema, Waterbar, and Bar Agricole; Biergarten photo courtesy of BarFlySF.
Sushi is not hard to come by in San Francisco, but so much variety means that finding the perfect sushi spot can be a challenge. Here are our picks for the five freshest, most innovative sushi restaurants in the Bay Area.
1. Cha-Ya (762 Valencia St.)
Vegetarian sushi anyone? While that may sound like an oxymoron, Cha-Ya is redefining what sushi means, veggie- and vegan-style. It’s cash-only here, and the wait can be long, but the food is inventive and the service is great. Even meat eaters should enjoy the Cha-Ya Roll: tempura-battered asparagus, avocado, yam, and carrot with Cha-Ya’s special sauce.
2. Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant (2154 Mission St.)
Never tried fried “veggie eel” before? This place has you covered, and it accommodates most dietary restrictions. There’s a vegan menu, a gluten-free menu, animal-product-free tempura, and sushi made with brown rice.
3. Roka Akor (801 Montgomery St.)
The presentation at Roka Akor is out of this world: sushi served on a landscape of salt rocks, ice, bamboo boxes, and light (that’s right, your sushi plate will glow). The tasting menu is a must-try and incorporates a wide range of different fish.
4. Tsunami Sushi Panhandle (1306 Fulton St.)
Tusnami’s classic california rolls are half off during happy hour, but the restaurant is most famous for its combination rolls. Try the Mama San with tempura shrimp and spicy tuna or the Magic Mushroom roll with salmon, snow crab, and enoki mushrooms. Also, consider adding some zing to your meal with sake or wine.
5. Akiko’s Restaurant (431 Bush St.)
Located in Union Square, Akiko’s serves up superfresh sushi—the menu changes daily based on the availability of ingredients. The kitchen focuses on serving sustainable, organic, seasonal, and local fish at high-end prices. The omakase menu will run up to $100 per person, but for sushi die-hards, it’s worth it. If you’re not feeling fish, there are non-sushi items on the menu, too, including teriyaki meats and udon soups.