151 Third St., SoMa
The restaurant inside SFMOMA is as inspired and beautiful as you would want a modern art museum restaurant to be.
22 Hawthorne St., SoMa
A full-fledged tasting menu kind of place, a reservation here is best reserved for a special occasion. Chef/owner Corey Lee (a French Laundry alum) is one of very few restaurants in the area to receive three Michelin stars.
49 Stevenson St., SoMa
This is the best place to go for authentic Dim Sum as the offering is vast, including every dumpling choice you can imagine. The dining room doubles in capacity on the weekends in order to accommodate the crowds while the menu decreases in size, meaning weekdays are definitely the best time for a meal. There's a nearby location on Spear Street, too.
12 4th St., SoMa
The place to be at this lounge-y restaurant (which is up on the fifth floor of Hotel Zelos) is the covered outdoor patio, which has long fire pits that keep guests warm in the cooler months—you can actually eat outside here all year round. Chef David Bazirgan puts together shared plates in unexpected combinations—soft-shell crab with banana ketchup, asparagus with smoked egg yolk, sweetbreads with kimchi and pineapple—which keeps things pretty exciting. They're also known for a fantastic cocktail program. Private dining options here spill onto the patio, making it a particularly good choice for cocktail reception-style events where guests will want to walk around.
178 Townsend St., SoMa
What makes this Michelin-starred spot stand out is that there's no set menu. Instead, the team comes up with a multicourse meal nightly, depending on the day's fresh catch and produce bounty. This also means that the bill can skyrocket to hundreds of dollars per person. That said, those who’ve been lucky enough to go swear you get what you pay for.
500 Brannan St., SoMa
While there are delicious small plates for veggies to tuck into, the mains at this Chef Jennifer Puccio-helmed spot have the carnivore crowd in mind. The Marlow burger is particularly memorable (and by memorable, we mean it's one of the best we've ever had). Ken Faulk—regarded as one of the most talented interior designers in the city—re-imagined the sprawling space to resemble an elevated butcher shop. They have several spaces to accommodate private parties, the best one being their private patio space: It's decorated with herbs and other greenery and dotted with heat lamps that make it comfortable year-round.
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