Italian eats can be found at La Veranda Ristorante Italiano, and fans will argue it's the best fare in town (fantastic reviews are everywhere in sight).
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
The perfect place to take the kids, dining out at this restaurant won't cost you a sitter.
When the weather is nice, hurry to La Veranda Ristorante Italiano to grab a spot on the patio.
Your large group can all sit together at La Veranda Ristorante Italiano.
Make a reservation to ensure your night goes according to schedule.
At La Veranda Ristorante Italiano, "dress to impress" is a thing of the past, and jeans are the new norm.
Catering from La Veranda Ristorante Italiano will take your party to the next level.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
La Veranda Ristorante Italiano is surrounded by a number of street parking options for patrons.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the restaurant.
An average meal at La Veranda Ristorante Italiano will set you back about $30.
Save the cash for another day and pay by major credit card at La Veranda Ristorante Italiano.
For a lovely Italian night out, look no further than La Veranda Ristorante Italiano.
So get ready to discover all the best flavors of Italy under one roof at La Veranda Ristorante Italiano.
Catering toward the non-conformist, Steeltown Coffee and Tea serves coffee to those searching for a seriously strong cup.
Bring the whole clan to this coffee shop — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Complimentary wifi is available as well.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Steeltown Coffee and Tea for a group meal.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at Steeltown Coffee and Tea.
Musical groups perform live at Steeltown Coffee and Tea, so tables can perk up with some tunes.
Fancy-schmancy attire is not required; in fact, guests are told to keep things casual.
You can also serve food from Steeltown Coffee and Tea at your next party — the coffee shop offers catering.
The coffee shop is next to a parking lot, but drivers can also settle for street parking.
Bike parking is also available outside the coffee shop.
Steeltown Coffee and Tea accepts all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Coffee at Steeltown Coffee and Tea will put a pep in your step with great taste.
The coffee at Steeltown Coffee and Tea is fresh and flavorful, so head on over today and enjoy a taste of paradise.
For tasty Mexican fare, Pittsburg's Super Taco Mexican Food to Go is hard to top.
Gluten-free? No problem! Super Taco Mexican Food to Go has options for even the most sensitive stomach.
You'll find a wonderful selection of drinks from this restaurant's full bar to top off your meal.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Be sure to check out Super Taco Mexican Food to Go's outdoor seating when the climate is right.
Tables at Super Taco Mexican Food to Go are available first-come, first-served, so be sure to show up a bit earlier on busy weekends.
Business casual attire is acceptable, so guests can let go of the "dress to impress" standard.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Super Taco Mexican Food to Go offers catering.
If you're strapped for time, take out food from this restaurant.
Super Taco Mexican Food to Go is located near a parking lot, which many diners take advantage of.
So switch up your normal lunch or dinner routine and try one of Super Taco Mexican Food to Go's tasty Mexican dishes.
Pittsburg's Outback Steakhouse features exceptional food and wine options.
Fear not you gluten-free or low-fat eaters, you'll have plenty of choices here.
Toast your evening out at this restaurant with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
At Outback Steakhouse, your large or small party can easily enjoy a meal.
Outback Steakhouse's guests are no strangers to casual clothing, and sneakers are spotted around every corner.
Outback Steakhouse will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Driving to Outback Steakhouse? Check out the nearby parking selections and park with ease.
Outback Steakhouse offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
Outback Steakhouse serves up fresh steaks at a great price, so make your way over to this restaurant and enjoy some good eats.
For casual cuisine that everyone will enjoy, stop by Chipotle Mexican Grill for a Mexican-style menu in Pittsburg's Pittsburg neighborhood.
Those with special dietary needs will love Chipotle Mexican Grill, a restaurant with gluten-free and vegan eats.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Sit outside when the weather is fine — Chipotle Mexican Grill has a lovely patio to enjoy a warm day.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
We know your wallet needs to last the whole night. That's why our food is priced under $15.
If you prefer casual dining, head on over to Chipotle Mexican Grill and enjoy some Mexican fare in a comfortable setting.
Chipotle Mexican Grill serves up tasty and innovative Mexico-inspired eats, so head over today and try something new.
Have a relaxing night with a refreshing beverage and tasty pizza at Wingstop.
For fresh and healthy eats, head to Wingstop.
This pizzeria also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
Parents appreciate this pizzeria's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Your group can sit comfortably at Wingstop, a local restaurant.
The lively clientele and reverberating tunes result in a noisy scene, so don't plan any quiet conversation at the pizzeria.
That's right! Wingstop will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Forget the hassle of street parking and head to Wingstop for easy access to parking lots.
Store your bike at one of the many racks outside of Wingstop.
Reviewers heap high praise on the pizzeria's brunch menu, but lunch and dinner are also available.
With a casual atmosphere and great pizza, you can't go wrong by dining at Wingstop.
When you are in the mood for a delicious, mouthwatering pizza, pay Wingstop a visit.
Sacramento has become known as America's capital of farm-to-fork cuisine, and it’s easy to see why. Consider the geography surrounding the city: a whopping 70% of the land is either agricultural, forest, or open space, including the Sierra Nevada foothills and the Capay Valley. That means there are 7,000-plus acres of local farms that Sacramento restaurants can partner with to make farm-to-fork dishes. Many of these Sacramento farms still ship their products across the country, but regional restaurants have capitalized on an opportunity that's pretty much a chef's dream: pick up fresh produce in the morning, and serve it for lunch and dinner. Oliver Ridgeway is the executive chef at Grange Restaurant, a prominent restaurant in the city's farm-to-fork scene. He first made connections with growers at local farmer’s markets, and now he visits mosts of the farms he buys from regularly. "Local food tastes better," he says. "They pick it, you eat it the next day. Simple." But Ridgeway doesn't buy from local farms just because of the fresh taste. He's passionate about supporting a community, not to mention supporting a better environment. "Farmers work really hard to produce amazing ingredients that will supply our local restaurants, which helps the local economy," Ridgeway says. "It's great for our future. By supporting the farmers now, we will ensure the next generation is set up with nutritious and delicious food." Ridgeway gave us some of his recommendations for farms that grow the best organic produce in Sacramento. And, of course, he also clued us in on some places to eat in Sacramento where the chefs are dedicated to the farm-to-fork concept.Heirloom Tomatoes from Watanabe FarmsChef Ridgeway loves all the farms he works with, but one of his favorite relationships is with Heidi Watanabe of Watanabe Farms, who helps supply the restaurant with different produce year-round. “She grows pristine produce,” he says. “She specializes in heirloom tomatoes that are some of the best I have ever tasted!”Kale from Capay OrganicCapay Organic grows 130-plus fruit and vegetable varieties in the Capay and Imperial Valleys, on certified organic land. Green, red, and lacinato kale is grown year-round, along with other greens such as rainbow chard. The farm supplies to more than a dozen local restaurants, including Farmhouse Inn. There's a good chance you'll come across their produce in a main course such as Farmhouse’s roasted breast of guinea hen with grilled asparagus, leek potato puree, and celery soubise.Honeyloupe from Full Belly FarmFull Belly Farm grows many different varieties of melons perfect for late-summer snacking. Along with fresh watermelons in all colors and sizes, the farm produces honeyloupe, a sweet mix between a cantaloupe and honeydew with smooth, pale skin. Look for the farm’s melons at stores and markets around the city, and at Gather Restaurant in nearby Berkeley, where it’s served in the melon gazpacho.Farm-to-Fork Meals at Downtown Sacramento RestaurantsAside from Grange, locals and visitors alike can enjoy a farm-to-fork meal at these downtown Sacramento restaurants: Ella Dining Room and Bar: New American and French-style cooking made with seasonally and regionally sourced ingredients thanks to the Selland Family’s 20-year relationship with local farmers and ranchers. Kru: Chef and owner Billy Ngo prepares inventive Japanese dishes with the help of locally sourced ingredients. The Porch Restaurant & Bar: Chef Jon infuses Southern dishes with a Californian approach, using strictly local ingredients to make watermelon salads, skillet cornbread, and other regional classics.
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.