Back in 2007, the San Francisco Bay Area was only the second North American city chosen to have its own Michelin Guide, an honor wanted by many; the guide includes all the major cities in the Bay Area, and it was until 2019 that the guide went under expansion to include the whole of California. However, the Bay Area was a great place for them to start, with plenty of Michelin worthy restaurants around, and below we have taken a look at a few of the top ones for your pleasure.
A 2 Michelin star restaurant, Commis is part of the colorful Piedmont Avenue, serving modern American cuisine which is exquisitely prepared by head chef, James Syhabout, and his team; the constant flow of customers is a testament to the quality of the food and consistent hard work from Syhabout. The eight-course tasting menu packs in a lot of thrilling and rich flavors from locally sourced produce. There is also a set drinks menu to match the food, so you can have the perfect combinations throughout your evening. The soft music and modern setting create a wonderful atmosphere, and the restaurant manages to find the balance between relaxed but not too casual. Commis is a genuine fine-dining experience, but an experience that must be booked in advance, you can do this on their website. https://commisrestaurant.com/
Atelier Crenn, Cow Hollow
French head chef and owner, Dominique Crenn, opened Atelier Crenn in 2011 and was the first female chef in the United States to earn a 2 Michelin star award for her restaurant in 2013, and continued her almighty success when a 3 Michelin star award was given in 2018, which she has kept hold of. As expected, the food is French cuisine, in the style of a tasting menu, with each dish being presented as a work of art, even the menu is written as poetry. The offerings such as black truffles, grassy oysters, and seabass are all divine in looks and flavor, and to finish the evening you have a delicious choice of desserts from the resident pastry chef. Atelier Crenn plan for bookings a couple of months in advance, so you have to plan ahead if you want to take part in this French feast, booking numbers and available dates can be found on their website – https://www.ateliercrenn.com/
Lazy Bear, Mission
Lazy Bear describes itself as a modern American dinner party, and once you are inside and are a part of the eating event, you can see why. This 2 Michelin star restaurant, has created a structure in their dining that is rather extraordinary; one tasting menu is served to guests, in two seatings, you have the option to be there and start at 6pm, or take part in the second offering at 8:30pm. This happens each night, Tuesday through Saturday, with the courses being served on a long communal table where the guests are served each one at the same time. This really is fine-dining with a twist, you have the fantastic variety of flavors that is prepared so well, at the quality and refinement you would expect from a Michelin restaurant, but you also have the layout to be just like a dinner party with friends; but don’t worry, it works. It is actually a great twist and keeps the night intimate and interesting, rather than awkward. The modern American menu means you get plenty of familiar flavors, that are just simply better. Tickets must be purchased around a month in advance which can be done here – https://www.lazybearsf.com/
Back in 2007 when the Bay Area was included to have their own guide, it may have upset some major neighboring cities, however, given that the majority of restaurants who were award Michelin stars back then, still have them today is proof that the area is fully deserving of it.