Chowhounds in the Bay Area are always on the hunt for a dish that haunts the memory, whether it’s rediscovering a classic or ferreting out a bite in a neighborhood outside the zone of interest for restaurant critics. Below, in alphabetical order, are 10 of the most interesting discoveries unearthed in 2013 by contributors to the San Francisco Bay Area discussion board.
1. 20TH CENTURY CAFÉ
198 Gough Street, San Francisco
Confronting the crumbs of Russian honey cake is the first step in admitting you’re addicted to this Vienna-style café in Hayes Valley.
3. THE CAFÉ AT SPRUCE
3640 Sacramento Street, San Francisco
One ‘hound uncovered a pecan pie good enough to convert those who hate the gummy, tooth-deadening versions that are all too familiar.
4. CITY DISCOUNT
1542 Polk Street, San Francisco
Though the name could refer to, well, anything (cheap socks?), insiders know that City Discount stocks well-chosen standards for home cooks, such as flour-sack towels, and carries a small selection of boxed and canned foods from Europe.
5. CREMEUX EX MACHINA GELATO
Available at various locations
A stroll through the Saturday market at San Francisco’s Ferry Building provides a feast for the senses, from the scent of dried lavender at Eatwell’s booth to the calls of the barkers encouraging shoppers to try samples of peanut brittle and sliced fruit. Make your way to this gelato booth to try one of the flavors that change weekly and reflect the market’s bounty.
9. TO HYANG
3815 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
Uncommon Korean specialties like oxtails cooked in dates and chestnuts, and a who’s who of admiring chefs that includes Anthony Bourdain, Chris Cosentino, and Ravi Kapur? To Hyang’s on fire.
10. VIVE LA TARTE
1661 Tennessee Street, Suite 3B, San Francisco
Holing up in the rain with a savory Belgian tart from Vive La Tarte and the new season of Sherlock seems like a pretty good plan for January, agree?
Photo of Chris Cosentino, Hwa-Soon Im, and Anthony Bourdain from To Hyang / Facebook