Restaurants Worth a Trip Near SF

March 6, 2017
by Zagat Staff

The top-rated, destination-worthy places to dine outside of San Francisco proper.

Erna's Elderberry House
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.4

Delivering a "superlative" dining experience that's as "inspired as Yosemite's Half Dome" itself, this culinary "Brigadoon" just outside the park in Oakhurst "delights" travelers with "exquisite" , locally sourced New French–Californian prix fixe dinners proffered in a "magical" setting by a "prescient" staff; P.S. there's also a "wonderful Sunday brunch" for guests who "stay at the château" next door.
The French Laundry
French · $$$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.8

Consistently " " superior " standards continue to mark Thomas Keller’s fine-dining " nirvana " in Yountville, which " awakens the senses " with " soul-satisfying " French-American tasting menus paired with " amazing " wines and served with " formal " flair in a setting that " oozes class and sophistication "; the " otherworldly " " event " (" plan on three to four hours ") requires " scads of money " and scoring reservations can be " hair-raising ", but the payoff is an " astonishing meal " " you’ll remember the rest of your life.
Sierra Mar
American · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.9 · Service 4.5

Overlooking the rugged shoreline of Big Sur " with " incredible Pacific views " through walls of windows, this " spectacular " locale in the Post Ranch Inn provides " superb " Californian fare via " excellent seasonal " tasting menus bolstered by a " wonderful wine list " and " impeccable service "; dinner is undeniably " expensive ", though the prix fixe lunch offers " tremendous value " given the " majestic" setting.
Chez Panisse
American · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

Alice Waters is "still doing it right" at this Berkeley "high temple" of "sustainable methods" , where the "inspirational" , seasonal Cal-Med set menus feature "superior" , "locally sourced" ingredients "prepared to perfection" and served up by a "classy" staff in a "beautifully appointed" "Craftsman-style" setting; the "lively" upstairs cafe is a "more affordable" "delight" with a daily à la carte menu, rounding out a "truly exceptional" destination that’s high "on every foodie's bucket list.
Healdsburg SHED

A modern-day gathering place for those who love to cook, eat and grow food, this dramatic, airy space (just blocks from Healdsburg Plaza) houses a homewares shop, cafe featuring seasonal fare, coffee bar and fermentation bar serving everything from wine and beer to kombucha. A community spirit permeates throughout, with an open kitchen, event space upstairs, communal seating and a large patio where guests are known to take in that iconic wine country sun.
The Restaurant at Meadowood
American · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.6

Simply extraordinary ", this " top-of-the-line " Californian in a " beautiful setting " at St. Helena's Meadowood resort provides an " ingenious " tasting menu from chef Christopher Kostow that's " inventive, bold and unforgettable ", with " wines to match " and service that " mirrors the high level of execution "; if you'd like to see everything " meticulously prepared " – and you're ready for an even more " expensive " evening – reserve the " ultimate chef's table"; P.S. the bar's three-course menu is a less extravagant option.