San francisco restaurants

Yelp’s list of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants by neighborhood is surprisingly random

Yelp’s list of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhood restaurants is a random hodgepodge of obvious winners, delicious surprises, neighborhood gems, and a few picks some might consider head-scratchers.

Anyone familiar with the city’s food scene will enjoy studying and dissecting this hodgepodge of rankings, debating its merits and comparing its contents with their personal list of favorites. And maybe they’d discover a few places they didn’t even know existed. Did you know there’s a prix fixe pop-up in Russian Hill that serves decadent six-course breakfasts?

The list highlighted in the gallery above was compiled by Yelp’s data team and, according to spokeswoman Katrina Hafford, is based on reviews and ratings dating back to the site’s launch in 2004.

In a few neighborhoods, restaurants that are talked about and widely acclaimed get top marks. In the Western Addition, for example, State Bird Provisions claimed first place. This imaginative and inspired restaurant, where food is served dim sum-style from traveling carts, has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurants and is listed in the Michelin Guide. It’s the kind of place where it’s almost impossible to get a reservation, even if you book 60 days in advance.

In other cases, the small cafe at the counter with only a few stools inside wins the hearts of Yelp reviewers. Case in point: Vietnamese sandwich shop DragonEats is the Haight’s favorite; a Yelp member says the Five Spice Chicken Banh Mi blew her away.

And there are all kinds of surprises. How could Nopa, which regularly receives good reviews and is very popular with locals, not be the most popular restaurant in the neighborhood it is named after?

Most of the time, neighborhood favorites win: Glen Park’s Gialina, where locals line up for chewy, thin-crust pizzas, and Noe Valley’s intimate Saru Sushi, which, according to one Yelp reviewer, serves “fish super duper fee”.

The randomness of the list epitomizes the beauty of Yelp’s restaurant reviews. They’re written by people with varying perspectives and culinary backgrounds – everyone from that picky foodie who has to try the fine dining establishment that just won a Michelin star to your cheap friend looking for sandwiches at the convenience store , food trucks and holes-in-the-walls where the food is fragrant and delicious but the atmosphere is non-existent.

Chance also raises a common question about Yelp reviews: are they trustworthy? While the site advises against people affiliated with the restaurant writing reviews, how do you really know if the owner of this deli doesn’t have 200 cousins ​​who have all been convinced to write rave reviews?

Regardless, there is no doubt about the site’s popularity and comprehensiveness. Yelp’s website received around 73 million monthly visitors last quarter and has more than 121 million reviews of everything from spas to locksmiths to restaurants worldwide. A 2013 Nielsen survey found that Yelp is the most frequently used review site compared to competitors such as OpenTable and Zagat.

Please share your thoughts on the list and your favorite SF restaurants by neighborhood in the comments below.