Chowhounds’ picks for the best things to eat in the world’s best food cities.
Most tourists know all about San Francisco's most famous bread, sourdough—or so the lines at stalwart Boudin indicate. But the Bay Area is home to many other extraordinary breads, from the still-warm levain a lucky few pick up at the famous Tartine Bakery at 5 p.m. to the loaves produced by an emerging generation of bakers with little formal training but tons of enthusiasm. Here, in alphabetical order, are the most-talked-about breads on Chowhound, loaves from San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland that are fine examples of Bay Area ovencraft.
1. THE ACME BREAD COMPANY
1601 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley
1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Acme produces fine breads and rolls readily available in supermarkets and restaurants all over the Bay Area, but it's a certain special-edition bread—the dense, flavorful whole-wheat loaf created to raise funds for the Edible Schoolyard—that gets Chowhounds fired up. READ MORE
Chilaquiles are simple in Mexico, a homey breakfast solution for using up last night's tortillas. Here, they've become a fixture at brunch, only slightly less fancy than eggs Benedict, all dressed up with eggs, avocado, and chicken. Which LA-area restaurants make the best version of this classic morning-after breakfast? Here are eight versions Chowhounds swear by, in alphabetical order.
1. ANEPALCO’S CAFE
415 South Main Street, Orange
Taste meets presentation here, where tortilla strips are woven into a sort of cake, then topped with a truly amazing red sauce. READ MORE
The LA burger landscape offers everything from classic, roadside burger shacks to gastropubs with strict rules about ketchup. When the options are this plentiful, it’s not easy to determine which purveyor is king, but that doesn’t stop Chowhounds from rolling up their sleeves and defending their favorites. Here, listed alphabetically, is a list of restaurants with burgers that local Chowhounds are willing to swear by.
1. APPLE PAN
10801 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles
Grumpy waiters in paper hats, an antique cash register, and counter-only seating are part of the charm at this treasured, one-of-a-kind diner. The Steakburger (pictured above), served with lettuce, pickles, mayo, and Apple Pan’s own sauce, hasn’t changed much over the years (the prices have, of course). Save room for banana cream pie.
2. BIG JO’S
1955 Broadway, Santa Monica
People wait in line for cheap char-grilled burgers at this very casual corner stand. A hamburger will set you back just $2.85, $3.10 for a cheeseburger. Seating consists of plastic lawn furniture behind a roll-up garage door. Open mornings and afternoons only. READ MORE
Many Chowhounds think of fried rice as a homey combo of leftover rice and whatever's in the fridge. But the diverse variations served at restaurants nowadays prompt a rethinking of this humble dish—at least for those of us who don't have foie gras or bone marrow on hand at home. Here's an alphabetical list of New York restaurants that fry rice every which way.
1. ASIAN TASTE 86
86-10 Whitney Avenue (between Macnish Street and 43rd Avenue), Elmhurst, Queens
This Indonesian kitchen cranks up the heat to order in its Fried Rice 86 with egg, shredded chicken, and shrimp paste.
2. BAR MASA
In Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, fourth floor, Manhattan
Luxe accompaniments to Japanese-style fried rice include Peking duck with foie gras and fall mushrooms with white truffles.
3. BKNY THAI
47-11 Francis Lewis Boulevard (between 47th Avenue and Weeks Lane), Bayside, Queens
Jumbo crab stars with stir-fried jasmine rice, egg, and vegetables at an out-of-the-way Thai spot. READ MORE
With the news last week that Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which produces 40 percent of the oysters grown in California, would have to cease operations at its farm in Point Reyes within 90 days, many are wondering how Bay Area restaurants will be affected. The stakes are huge, since an afternoon spent sipping wine and downing local oysters on the half shell is the quintessential San Francisco experience. As a tribute, here are eight local oyster spots that Chowhounds love, listed here in alphabetical order.
1. BAR CRUDO
655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco
This Western Addition restaurant has an oyster happy hour that's always popular. The current happy hour menu includes $1 Washington State's Pickering Passage oysters, as well as a dear-sweet-lord-delicious smoky seafood chowder. Fans crow about the extensive beer list, too.
56 Gold Street, San Francisco
If your must-haves also include martinis, bartenders in jackets, and a classy vibe, slide into Bix in Jackson Square and order six oysters on the half shell with mignonette. On offer recently were the Walker Creek variety, from the mouth of Tomales Bay. READ MORE
Tamales are celebration food in Mexico and Central America, so it's no surprise that as the holidays approach, Angelenos' desire to find the best heats up. Fortunately, Los Angeles has tons of excellent options, in styles ranging from traditional Yucatecan to upscale contemporary. Here are 11 versions Chowhounds think are LA's finest, listed alphabetically.
1. ALBERTO TAMALES
1644 West Temple Street, Los Angeles
The house style calls for firm masa that’s neither overly sweet or mealy. Visit on the weekends for the best choice of fillings.
2. CHICHEN ITZA
3655 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Simple, delicious tamales that hold up next day for leftovers. READ MORE
Thanksgiving is a holiday of plenty, leaving most of us with food to spare when Thursday's feasting is done. It's easy enough to eat a second Thanksgiving meal, but it can be even more rewarding to do something more creative with the leftovers. Here are some great ideas from Chowhound about what to do with all that extra food. READ MORE