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San Francisco: Nopa
560 Divisadero St.; 415-864-8643

Twenty-five years ago, chef Alice Waters turned the Bay Area on with her style of sophisticated simplicity on the plate at Chez Panisse. San Francisco remains as food-crazy as ever, with its heirloom tomatoes and heavenly loaves from Acme Bread. The restaurants are warm and inviting, the service is casual yet informed, and ingredient worship reaches its highest expression.

Just seven months old, Nopa, a soaring industrial-chic room in the North-of-Panhandle district, excels in what San Francisco loves most: urban-rustic Mediterranean dishes created from organic seasonal produce. Only same-day reservations are accepted, but you might luck into a seat at the communal table, where you can dig into a sublime fritto misto and fabulous lamb riblets spiked with harissa. Dinner for two, $75.