When we want to pretend we’re heirs to a French skincare empire, we go to Petit Crenn. It’s fancy but not stuffy farm-to-table French food that’s all simple and well-executed, served in a room that resembles the bright country home we do not yet own. The seven-course prix fixe tasting menu is the only option at dinner, and will set you back $87 (including tip) - but the delicious French meal you get is well worth it, and you need to spend your (real or imagined) inheritance somehow. Lunch and brunch are a la carte and more low key - we’re fans of the mushroom and smoked salmon tartines.
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The seafood and vegetable-focused Mexican food at Cala is some of the best in San Francisco.
20th Century Cafe
20th Century Cafe is a sunny corner spot in Hayes Valley with good eastern European food.
Barcino, a Spanish spot in Hayes Valley, serves tasty but expensive tapas. Come for drinks and a snack, but probably not dinner.
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Prepare to pay a lot of money for some delicious raw things - like oysters and beef tartare - at Petit Marlowe in SoMa.
Lalime’s in North Berkeley does inventive French food in a cozy atmosphere that feels like you’re eating in someone’s house.
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La Note is a brunch spot in Berkeley that does fancy French food in a space that will make you feel like you’re eating in the French countryside.
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