We understand that time is the most valuable thing for everyone — especially you! And after time, its food. Life is too short for a bad bowl of soup. We firmly believe that each meal is an opportunity for bliss, hence we have done the hard work for you in selecting the best “fill in the blank” dining options. We work with local food editors up and down the coast, to compiles our “Best of” roundups.
Who’s we? Please meet our California Clean Plate Club, in no particular order.
And if we missed our favorite, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
A Californian by way of Poland, I’ve spent the past 13 years living and eating in the birthplace of snobby ice cream flavors and (potentially) the martini — San Francisco. Whether it’s wood-fired Neapolitan pizza from a no-reservations-hour-long-wait spot, seasonal ankimo at 10-seat sushi bar, $2 take-out har gow, or a new chip at the bodega, selecting food is one of the most thrilling and important decisions of my day. Hence when I’ve traveled for work or pleasure, I study up on where I will spend my two precious resources, time and money. I believe that we can all eat really well regardless of budget and that an expensive meal isn’t always a good one. I love uncovering hidden gems tucked away in strip malls, and am a bit of a heat seeker, so you can catch me slapping on the wasabi and splashing on the Crystal house sauce on just about anything.
There are few things that get me like the crunch of freshly baked sourdough pizza, the sizzle of onions in oil, or a well-balanced hearty salad. I’m known for adding a pinch of fleur de sel to just about everything — open-faced toasts to smoothies to ice cream — and have a proclivity for fitting nearly every meal into a mason jar. In true SF-native form, I spend generous amounts of time ogling farmer’s market stands and talking about new veggie varietals I just learned how to cook. When I’m not perusing the aisles for cooking inspiration, I’m on the lookout for the best vegetarian, dairy-free and seafood dishes that restaurants offer — because yes, cheese-less pizzas (*gasp*) and dairy-free ice cream can be delicious. As a former dairy fiend, I’m here to spread the word.
Growing up in a restaurant family on Oahu, with a cattle ranch on the Big Island, food was always front and center, which is probably why, like many it’s my love language. Bring me fresh dim sum and you’ve won my heart. It’s that easy. My preference is anything Asian-inspired as in all fish should be served with a scoop of rice, because in my opinion, potatoes just don’t absorb the sauce as well. That said, I love a good burger (sustainably raised, because I care about cows, of course) pizza is also the perfect food, from The Living Foods bacon and egg breakfast pizza in Poipu to, Flatbreads in Haiku, the islands have a plethora of pies to explore. Equally as important as the food is the people making, serving and creating the atmosphere – life is hard enough, we don’t need attitude served with our açaí bowl or fish tacos. In other words, sour service, can ruin the best dish. Cheers to finding more good places to share and meeting more dedicated malasada masters.
After many years of reporting on trends in the state and visiting friends, my husband Ian Hersey and I have moved to the Big Island, a.k.a. Hawaii Island. If you check my Instagram account you’ll see cute puppies (I foster) and tasty treats. Getting a photo of me with the meals was not as easy. Luckily, Ian often has a camera in hand during Happy Hour.
An Ohio native, I grew up visiting San Francisco and instantly fell in love with the city’s energy, architecture, and — of course, the food scene. Before every trip out I would do extensive research for my family and make us a restaurant itinerary. Since moving to San Francisco last spring, not much has changed other than my list of favorites grows by the day. On a quest to find the best dim sum in the city, I’ve never met a shumai or scallion pancake I didn’t like. No drive is too far or place too small that I would turn down. Although I can tend to be a creature of habit and I love a lot of SF classic hot spots, I love finding and trying places that are lesser-known. The best is yet to come, so don’t be afraid to try a spot you’ve never heard of or wouldn’t normally go to… it might just end up being your new favorite place.