Food & Drink

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST WORMWOOD WARLOCKS

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There aren't many in the craft-spirit making movement who can boast of having a US Navy nuclear engineer as a master distiller. The story goes: Lance Winters came to St. George Spirits and presented founder Jörg Rupf with a homemade batch of whiskey in lieu of resume. He got the job, and under his watch, St. George churned out its single malt whiskey and a line of gins. In 2007, it became the first in the nation to legally release a wormwood liqueur, and continues to be well known for its excellent Absinthe Verte. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST SURPRISE SANDWICHES

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"Pastries for lunch?" Your friends might scoff, but oh, what a surprise they're in for upon entering this hidden gem tucked between office buildings and business folks. "Banh mi!," they will exclaim, and although there will not be streamers or confetti to complement their shocked expressions, these little sandwiches will do the delighting in both taste and value. Muffins Muffins, tucked innocuously off Second Street, serves up delicious, made-to-order banh mi for as little as five bucks. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BURMESE BRUNCH BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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The wait line to get into excellent Inner Richmond Burmese restaurant Burma Superstar is legendary — so legendary that most of us stopped considering it as a dinner option. So when, a few years ago, the owners announced they would be opening a "little sister" down the block named B Star Bar, we rejoiced. B Star Bar kept some of Burma Superstar's favorites, like the lauded tea leaf salad, but it specialized in innovative Asian comfort food twists. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BARLEYWINE BLAST

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Although it's been absorbed to an extent by SF Beer Week, Toronado's annual Barleywine Festival has been around much longer (20 years as of last February), and it eschews the exuberant trappings of most of its festival kin to focus strictly on what's most essential — the booze. As strong as wine but brewed as a beer, barleywines fall beyond stouts, doppelbocks, and tripels on the strong beer spectrum, and are best savored slowly and with a degree of reverence, which Toronado facilitates with generous, inexpensive sample pours of over 50 varieties from around the world. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST ZAP IN A GLASS

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One of the most amazing recent dishes to smack the local foodie scene upside the head: Mission Chinese Food's Chongqing chicken wings, the little crispy limbs buried in so many "explosive" chili peppers that one bite actually numbs your entire mouth. It's the weirdest, most viscerally addictive experience on our menus. But what if we told you it was also available in cocktail form? Wow and ouch! The Alembic's Nine Volt leapt onto the ever-innovative Haight Street bar's summer cocktail menu this year (crafted by bar manager Danny Louie) and zapped us to attention. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BORSCHT IN BERNAL

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Even if you don't much care for piroshkis (although if that's the case, we feel only sorrow in our hearts for you), the borscht will keep you coming back to Anda Piroshki. Tucked away in the local mini-mall of the Marketplace on Cortland, the counter's proprietor Anna Tvelova keeps things simple by offering only a handful of menu options. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BEST "MADE" PIZZA

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If San Francisco's classier pizza joints ever threw down in some kind of mozzarella-fueled turf war, the smart money would be on Capo's — the year-old North Beach joint that's just as versed in Prohibition Era gangster culture as it is in tasty pizza. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BUN NOODLIN'

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Yes, you will do it in part for the Instagram. However, the hypebeasts were right on this one: Nombe's ramenburger is something any self-respecting gourmand in this town has to try. (Curious folks waited over an hour to try one at the SF Street Food Festival, and no one laughed at them.) The burger of Wagyu beef and pork belly tucked between two ramen noodle buns is a culinary voyage, sometimes accompanied by miso, shiitake, and blue cheese if you're looking for a true umami blast-off. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST ALL-NATURAL SWEETIE

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Juice may be the perky cheerleader in a made-for-tweens drama, but smoothies are the quiet girl that the plot eventually turns on — you know, the one with deeper substance, a touch of shy sweetness, perhaps a few creamy curves. Maybe smoothies aren't hip to the cleansing trend, and maybe they don't come packaged in a collectible glass bottle, but nobody puts them in the corner. The ingredient list for Morning Brew Cafe's Happiness smoothie is deliciously minimal — avocado and whole milk — but your satisfaction will reach maximal heights. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013 Editors Picks: Food and Drink

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FOOD AND DRINK

EDITORS PICKS

Editors picks are chosen by Guardian editors for special recognition for brightening the Bay Area experience.


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