Best Restaurants in the Mission

Local Love
July 21, 2016
by Zagat Staff

The top-rated spots in the Mission neighborhood.

Tartine Bakery
Bakery · The Mission · $
Food 4.7 · Decor 3.6 · Service 3.7

"In a class by itself" for "sumptuous, buttery" specialties "fresh out of the oven" , this famed Mission bakery produces "last meal requests" including "spectacular pastries" ( "especially the morning buns" ), "the perfect croissant" , "spot-on delicious" hot-pressed sandwiches and "unmatched" country bread that quickly sells out; the cafe section’s "totally overcrowded" , "the wait can be grueling" and the "staff could be friendlier" , but "you’ll be amply rewarded."
Lazy Bear
New American · The Mission · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

Fans roar with approval for this "revolutionary" Mission "experience" , a "can’t-miss" "dinner party with strangers" that "stuns" with "divine" American set menus matched with "world-class" drinks in a communal setting that boasts an open kitchen and "lots character" ; a "humorous and engaged staff" "takes the stuffiness out of fine dining" and helps you forget you’ll need "another student loan" to settle the tab; P.S. tickets for the two nightly seatings are sold a month in advance.
La Taqueria
Mexican · The Mission · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.9

For over 40 years, this "true original" in the Mission has been churning out affordable, "delicious" Mexican meals including "awesome tacos" and burritos (they're "traditional" , so "they don't have rice" ); "seating is scarce" in the "no-frills" space, so prepare for "constant lines" – though the "speedy" counter staff keeps them moving.
Italian · The Mission · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

A "tried-and-true destination" , this Mission mainstay from Craig and Anne Stoll still "wows" with Northern Italian staples "done superbly well" , notably "fantastic homemade pastas" that "just melt in your mouth" ; given the "vibrant atmosphere" and a crew that makes everyone "feel at home" , fans "keep coming back for more" even though it’s a "tough reservation" ; P.S. there’s also a "casual pizza parlor next door" serving traditional pies.
Pizza · The Mission · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.6

The wood-fired pizza is "wonderful" at this "terrific" Mission Italian with "unique" , "engaging" service by a mostly deaf staff; visitors say they "value the challenge of communicating fully in a new way" (iPad or pen and pad are available), as well as the "quiet" environs, but the food is why they "keep going back."
American · The Mission · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

Chef Jason Fox "just keeps surprising" his following of "curious foodies" at this "modest" -looking Mission New American, where the "fabulous" small plates are "beautifully presented" both à la carte and via a "dramatic" tasting menu with "boutique wine" pairings; "considering the quality" and the fact that the "staff exceeds expectations" , it’s "a pretty awesome value" (plus a portion of the receipts are donated to charity).
Craftsman and Wolves
Pastry · The Mission · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.1

The "mind-blowing pastries" are a "feast for the eyes and taste buds" at these "ultrahip" patisseries from William Werner, where "totally fascinating" sweet and savory goods (the egg-in-a-muffin Rebel Within "is a revelation" ) are "curated" in "jewel-like" fashion; the "warehouse chic" surroundings are likewise "a total delight" , "but prepare to spend money."