San Francisco’s Saison Named Top Restaurant in the Country for Second Straight Year

May 19, 2015
Saison Restaurant in San Francisco named #1 in the U.S.
Courtesy of Saison

San Francisco's most expensive culinary establishment, Saison, has been named the country's top restaurant for the second time in a row by Opinionated About Dining (OAD). Joshua Skenes’ acclaimed restaurant was elevated to international superstar status last fall when it was awarded a three-star Michelin rating. The folks at OAD said they gave it the top spot again because “we still meet people who haven’t visited it.”

“Intent on ‘redefining the concept of a fancy meal,’ Skenes does things like serving aged fish, and offering a service of ducks that have been dry-aged for 32 and 70 days,” OAD says of Saison, where a single 22-course menu in the main dining room was reportedly priced at $398 as recently as February. “Skenes also pushes the envelope in the way he uses the wood-burning grill on the restaurant’s patio. Rather than cook on a grate, Skenes might place ingredients directly in the ash or set them right next to a pile of flaming logs.”

Rounding out the top 10 on the list are:
2. Willows Inn in Lummi Island, WA
3. Urasawa in Beverly Hills, CA
4. Manresa  in Los Gatos, CA
5. é by josé andrés in Las Vegas
6. minibar  in Washington, DC
7. Alinea in Chicago
8. Masa in New York City 
9. French Laundry in Yountville, CA
10. Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY

This year’s elite list grew to 200, which allowed "a greater number of talented chefs to be applauded for their work,” says OAD’s founder, Steve Plotnicki. 

New York had the most restaurants on the list, with 50 of the top 200, followed by Los Angeles with 27, San Francisco with 25, Chicago with 18, Boston/Portland/Providence with 11, the Washington D.C. region with 9 and Las Vegas with 7. Austin, New Orleans and Portland, Oregon had four restaurants each.

Check out the full list of 200 and read about the chefs behind each restaurant at