Crispy Brussels Sprout Chips at Marlowe in San Francisco (SF)

Resident Foodies say: Marlowe in San Francisco, right across from the Caltrain stop downtown, is a rustic restaurant known for its Marlowe burger and eclectic menu. Chef Jennifer Puccio puts together some very creative dishes (click here for menu). The crispy brussel sprout chips (shown above) are prepared with lemon zest and sea salt, and fried for 30 seconds. The texture of the brussel sprouts becomes crispy–and the result is pretty tasty!

Ramen Underground: best ramen in San Francisco

Resident Foodies say: We think we found the best ramen in San Francisco at Ramen Underground. The name of the restaurant should tell you that the place is a hole-in-the-wall on 355 Kearny St. (between Pine and Bush), a place where only people in the know frequent. The place is so small it’s easy to walk right past it. We spotted it walking through downtown one day. We’re glad we did.

We got there at 11:50 a.m. on a Saturday and were disappointed to find it closed, with foreboding bars across the front door. But, luckily, we saw workers inside, so we waited it out. They didn’t even acknowledge as we waited. It must be a common occurrence. Turns out they open at noon (and not 11:30 a.m. as advertised on Yelp).

Chef-owner Ken Matsumura, formerly of Katana-Ya, opened the Ramen Underground back in August. It has a dark, rustic interior, and only a few tables. We were lucky to get the window table. As we ate, many passersby rubbernecked their heads to see what we were eating.

We ordered the miso ramen with vegetables and spicy miso ramen with tofu. The noodles in both dishes were the star of the show. The noodles were downright amazing–so tender and delicious. And they give you lots of it! The miso ramen has a cleaner, more soothing taste, while the spicy miso has a bit of kick to it. If you’re going for the more traditional ramen, then go for the miso.

Miso ramen with vegetables

Spicy miso ramen with tofu

Thomas Keller’s fried chicken at Ad Hoc (Addendum) in Yountville

Thomas Keller’s famous buttermilk fried chicken at Addendum

Resident Foodies say: Thomas Keller is known for his 3 Michelin-star restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se. But his buttermilk fried chicken (click here for the recipe) is just as famous. One of the highlights of our year was making a trip to Addendum in the parking lot of Keller’s Ad Hoc restaurant in Yountville. The buttermilk fried chicken is so tender and juicy, our mouths water just thinking of it. The coating has just the right crisp, which gives way to the tender white meat when you sink your teeth into it. The taste is perfection.

Almond croissant at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco

Resident Foodies say: Tartine Bakery in the Mission (600 Guerrero Street) in San Francisco is touted as one of the best bakeries in the U.S. Lines of people form outside Tartine on a daily basis, just to partake of Tartine’s breads and pastries. Chef Chad Robertson is pushing the standards of baking upwards!

Our favorite so far is the almond croissant. The dark crust is baked to perfection. The almond filling inside is so comforting it should be criminal.

Gary Danko: Sweet Corn Soup with Dungeness Crab, Red Pepper, Crème Fraîche and Chive Biscuit

Resident Foodies say: This is one of the best appetizers you will ever taste. Gary Danko’s sweet corn soup is an exquisite creation, with such a distinctive taste that you probably will remember for the rest of your life. Every ingredient — from the dungeness crab to the chive biscuit — is so wonderful to partake. The soup is seasonal (when corn is available), so, if you see it on the menu at Gary Danko’s, you should definitely order it!