Since we lived in the northern part of the city, most of these eateries will be in, but not limited to, the following neighborhoods: Upper Fillmore, North Beach, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, etc.
Bay Bread Boulangerie--six locations in the city, Polk and Green, the Marina district, Union St. and Laguna (not to be confused with Union Sq—this one is in Cow Hollow), Columbus Ave in NB, Cole Valley, and Pine St. and Fillmore (Upper Fillmore). Great for breakfast and lunch. It is both a patisserie and boulangerie. This was a Saturday morning favorite when we lived on Lombard and Polk.
Tartine Bakery in the Mission is the tastiest bakery in the city although the Mission is a bit of a schlep. It is worth it though. On our last visit to the city, our friends the Kokanoviches bought one of every delectable goody for our partaking. What a memorable meal!
Yabbies: great sea bass and other seafood options. Also a great steak for non-seafood lovers. Polk st. between Union and Green.
Down the street from Yabbies, still on Polk, is Pesce. We tried it for the first time on our last trip to the city and loved it. Even my husband, the non-seafood lover, enjoyed some of the fresh samplings at Pesce. We'll definitely go back on our next trip.
Boulevard : one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco. At the end of Market St. near the Embarcadero. This is a great downtown restaurant. It's a little pricey but very good. Wonderful decor. A San Francisco landmark.
Gary Danko: just surpassed French Laundry as best restaurant in the Bay Area. It is expensive but worth it in every way. You'll feel and eat like royalty. Amazing cheese plate and unique Continental cuisine. The best dining experience we've ever had.
Little Thai: Polk and Broadway. Be forewarned: this is not the best Thai for everything; however, we found their yellow curry to be the best of it's kind anywhere...and we've sampled many. Order the #27...and ask for all white meat.
Cafe Kati: beautiful presentation. Make reservations in advance as it is very popular. Asian Fusion type food. It is a wonderful restaurant that is between the Fillmore Shopping district and Japantown. It is on Fillmore and Sutter St.
The best steak restaurant is Harris' on Van Ness and Pacific. Ben and I have not had a better steak elsewhere ever!
Also a fun food store is Leonards on Polk and Pacific. Great cheese selection, fun international foods, etc.
You HAVE to go to Mamas in North Beach for breakfast at least one morning. Seriously, it's the best breakfast I've had ever. It's a nice, casual place that reminds me of a little cottage. Remember, Mamas. Oh and the focaccia bakery across the street called Liguria Bakery makes yummy homemade focaccia.
XOX Truffles on Columbus Ave in North Beach (at Greenwich) is super tasty too.
While we are on the subject of chocolate, the best we've found is Recchuti in the Ferry Building. Try the Tarragon Grapefruit :)