Bay Area Restaurant Guide

If you’re looking for a restaurant or bar in the Bay Area then this is the guide for you.

Hailed by critics as “a pretty average guide” and “not a complete waste of time” it’s clear that Phil’s Bay Area Restaurant Guide will completely change your life and make you extremely successful. Simply by reading this guide you are likely saving a kitten’s life.

“But Phil, how did you pick these restaurants and bars?”

I either spent millions of dollars coming up with a complex algorithm using stolen technology from NASA and Google, or I sat down and wrote what came to mind. At this time, I’m not willing to say which.

“Why did you make this guide?”

On a recent trip to Seattle, Rand’s Restaurant and Bar Guide to Seattle and Jon Colman’s Seattle Coffee Guide made my life a lot easier. I’m attempting to help out folks visiting the Bay Area like Rand and Jon helped me. Plus, I told myself that I couldn’t eat ice cream until I finished this guide. I really love ice cream.

“Shut up already! Just tell me the best way to use this guide.” -Shouted in an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent.

Fair enough. Below is a Google Map of all of the restaurants and bars listed in the guide. This will give you an easy way to find a “Phil approved” spot that is close to you. Underneath the map I’ve broken down every place by category and jotted down some helpful notes.

Lastly, if you’re really hip, then you can save the Foursquare list that has all of these places on it.

Phil’s Guide in a Map:

Phil’s Guide by Category:


  • Barney’s – Really, this place isn’t that good. However, my parents love it and my mom told me to put it on the list. I can’t disappoint my mom, can I?
  • The Brick Pig’s House – Delicious bbq. It’s a bit of a hole-in-the-wall but it is run by the two nicest people you will ever meet. You’re guaranteed to leave with great food and a smile.
  • Chop Bar - Best burger in the Bay Area. Heck, bacon and avocado are included so you know it’s gotta be good.
  • Homeroom – This restaurant serves 10 different versions of mac and cheese. Plus, they make a homemade oreo cookie. Need I say more? (The answer to that question is “no”.)
  • Naked Lunch – Hole in the wall with a daily revolving menu. Best place to grab a sandwich in SF and they have outdoor seating right next door.


  • Burma Superstar – If you’ve never had Burmese food, then go here. If you’ve had Burmese food, then go here.
  • Golden Era – Everything on the menu is vegan and delicious. This is my go to spot for pho. Warning: this place is in a sketchy neighborhood of SF.
  • Marnee Thai – My favorite Thai food restaurant. It’s right across the street from Park Chow and a half a block away from Golden Gate Park.
  • Mijori – Fantastic sushi. If you’re looking for a date night, head to the Grand Lake Theater after your dinner to watch a movie.
  • San Tung – Chinese food. Everything here is good, but it made the list for the chicken wings.


  • Albatross Pub – This place feels like home (I promise I’m not an alcoholic). Darts, board games and beer.
  • Commonwealth – A cafe and pub with really good food. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Beer, coffee and dinner AT THE SAME TIME!


  • Cinnaholic – Vegan cinnamon rolls that taste better than any cinnamon roll you’ve ever eaten.
  • Howard’s Cafe – This is a diner. Like, a real diner. So real that there’s always a line of old people outside before it opens.
  • Lois the Pie Queen – I dream of this place. Delicious breakfast with very friendly people. It’s not on the menu, but order the sweet tea with some pineapple juice. Plus, I don’t care how early it is, don’t leave without some pie.
  • Mission Beach Cafe – Yummy breakfast. Be warned…there’s going to be a super long line of people wearing really tight jeans.
  • Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen – The Saul’s Deli Hash breakfast plate is the best corned beef hash I’ve ever eaten. If you’re looking for something sweeter, Saul’s also has my favorite french toast.


  • Kara’s Cupcakes – If you see another cupcake place then don’t you dare go. Only go to Kara’s. Better cupcakes and friendlier service than everywhere else. Plus, they sell Blue Bottle coffee.
  • Lush Gelato – Just down the street from Dopo. My personal favorite gelato is the Banana Salt and Caramel (yes, it’s that type of place) but flavors change often so follow your heart when ordering.


  • Dopo – My favorite restaurant in the Bay Area. Amazing Italian food with fantastic service. If it’s busy when you arrive, tell the host you’ll wait at Adesso, the bar down the street. When your table is ready, Dopo will text Adesso to let you know. Recommended food ordering strategy: order a starter, pasta dish, and pizza to share family style. Dessert of choice is usually the diplomatico which is a chocolate like pound cake topped with whipped cream.
  • Little Star Pizza – Deep dish pizza with a crust that tastes like corn bread. No joke.
  • Zachary’s Pizza – Deep. Dish. Pizza. This place is a Bay Area legend which means the line gets REALLY long. Mentally prepare yourself or plan on going at a random time.


  • Taqueria Cancun – If you’re a little tipsy after midnight, then this is the spot.
  • Tropisueno – Mexican food and margaritas conveniently located downtown. The salsa here is guaranteed to make you high five yourself. It’s that good.


  • Kokkari – Trendy/fancy restaurant/bar serving up Greek food. As an added bonus, if you have to use the restroom you get to use a secret elevator.

If you’ve read this far, then you deserve a a high five. HIGH FIVE! To pay me back for that high five, please follow me on Twitter.

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