The 31 Underrated Restaurants Around the Bay Area—and What to Order at Each One
Readers shared their favorite local eateries, plus the dishes that keep them coming back again and again
These are just some of the foodstuffs SFGate readers revealed as their go-to orders at their favorite underrated Bay Area restaurants.
In a recent Facebook post, we asked our readers to tell us about the restaurants they consider true gems and the spots that should be on your radar. Comments poured in, with recommendations for eateries found as far north as Calistoga and as south as San Carlos. The list was full of diverse fare and creative dishes, too.
Guests rave about the tri-tip at Buster’s Original Southern Barbeque. They’ve got indoor and outdoor seating too. Find them: 1207 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga | Contact: (707) 709-8356.
What to order: chicken tikka masala pizza
Luke’s Lobster has locations across the country but just one in SF. They’ve got three different types of seafood fillings for rolls, but readers pointed out that the crab roll is the best. Find them: 92 2nd St., San Francisco | Contact: (415) 483-1580.
Looking for authentic German and Czech fare? Look no further than Concord, where DJ’s Bistro serves up plenty of classics. Their jaeger schnitzel is one of their crowd pleasers. It’s a breaded pork loin in a mushroom sauce with spaetzle and red cabbage. Find them: 1825 Sutter St. Ste. C, Concord | Contact: (925) 825-3277.
What to order: Pumpkin pancakes
Homage’s menu focuses on simplicity and freshness. They’ve got an avocado toast on their morning menu that comes with fresh avocado and mousse, radishes, salt, sesame, and lemon on crusty toast. You can also add smoked trout. Find them: 88 Hardie Pl, San Francisco | Contact: (415) 800-8741.
What to order: Stone
54 Mint has two Bay Area locations, one in SF and the other in Walnut Creek, but the Walnut Creek location offers cannolis for dessert. One reader told us that it’s the only “great cannoli” that makes them feel “homesick.” Find them: 1686 Locust St., Walnut Creek | Contact: (925) 476-5844.
This Puerto Rican spot has two Bay Area locations. They offer the ever-popular pollo al horno dish, which translates to oven-roasted chicken. It comes with boneless, skinless chicken thighs that are marinated in oregano and garlic before being baked. It’s also a Bay Area business Guy Fieri has visited.
Find them: multiple locations | Contact: (415) 380-1986.
Yokohama Lekei Ramen
What to order: Squeezeburger with cheese
Is your mouth watering yet? Yup, that burger has a crispy and gooey cheese skirt. Find them: 3383 Solano Ave., Napa | Contact: (707) 257-6880.
Napoli Pizzeria is a Vallejo institution that’s been continuously operating since 1956. There are plenty of pies to choose from, but the Tony’s Special is among the most popular options. Oh, and for an added nostalgic factor, they’ve got a Miss Pac Man inside the shop. Find them: 124 Tennessee St., Vallejo | Contact: (707) 644-0981.
The paella at Havana will keep you coming back. It’s topped with plenty of seafood and chorizo. Find them: 1516 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek | Contact: 925-939-4555.
One reader said that this spot has a great happy hour and buffet on weekends. Find them: 1 Marina Plz, Antioch | Contact: (925) 775-4862.
It’s hard to settle on one pastry at Gran Milan but the cannoli is a top favorite. Find them: 5327 Jacuzzi St., Richmond | Contact: (510) 984-0679.
What to order: fish tacos
Enjoy the Margherita pizza at The Red Grape’s patio. Find them: 529 1st St W., Sonoma | Contact: (707) 996-4103.
What to order: Squash blossom pizza