23 Essential San Francisco Cookbooks

San Francisco boasts some of the nation's top restaurants, but as any local resident knows, making a habit of going out to eat and drink can add up quickly. 

Want to enjoy some of the city's top offerings, made from the comfort (and budget) of your own home? Here are 23 stellar cookbooks sourced straight from the city's most beloved restaurants, bars and dessert spots. 

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Classics

The Greens Cookbook
by Deborah Madison

Published in 1987, this classic cookbook comes from iconic Fort Mason vegetarian restaurant Greens, and features more than 260 vegetarian recipes for all seasons.

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The Zuni Cafe Cookbook 
by Judy Rodgers

Open on Market Street since 1979, Zuni is the epitome of a classic San Francisco restaurant, and in its cookbook, you'll find recipes for everything from Citrus Risotto, to Short Ribs Braised in Chimay Ale, to the famous Zuni Roast Chicken.

Get it here >


The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook
edited by Michael Bauer and Fran Irwin

Chronicle critic Michael Bauer and copy editor Fran Irwin combed through ten years of the newspaper's weekly food section to compile 350 of its finest recipes, many from local culinary heavyweights.

Get it here >


New releases (2017)

Tartine All Day
by Elisabeth Prueitt 

From Elisabeth Prueitt, cofounder of Tartine Bakery, comes this new installment, which goes beyond the in-depth baking instructions of past Tartine offerings to bring home cooks an "all-in-one repertoire of wholesome, straight-forward recipes for the way they want to eat morning, noon, and night."

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State Bird Provisions
by Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski & JJ Goode

Still can't snag a State Bird reservation? Just released in October 2017, this is the debut cookbook from Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions, which brings the much-sought-after recipes of Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski to your kitchen. (Yes, the famous savory pancakes are in there.) 

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Nopalito
by Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando

From Nopalito head chef Gonzalo Guzmán comes this collection of 100 recipes for regional Mexican food, complete with fundamental techniques and favorite dishes from the restaurant, from Crispy Red Quesadillas with Braised Pork and Pork Rinds to Tamales with Red Spiced Sunflower Seed Mole.

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Burma Superstar
by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy

Want to recreate Burma Superstar's famous tea leaf salad? The beloved Inner Richmond restaurant released its cookbook this year, with a lineup of recipes that include "Chili Lamb, Pork and Pumpkin Stew, Platha (a buttery layered flatbread), Spicy Eggplant, and Mohinga, a fish noodle soup that is arguably Myanmar’s national dish."

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All About Pasta

SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine 
by Shelley Lindgren, Matthew Accarrino & Kate Leahy

Inspired by the pasta tasting menu at Lower Pac Heights' acclaimed modern Italian spot SPQR? Get to know Central and Northern Italy’s local cuisines and artisanal wines with this combination regional guide, wine explainer and cookbook.

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Flour + Water: Pasta
by Thomas McNaughton & Paolo Lucchesi

Pasta hotspot Flour + Water offers this how-to guide, in which chef Thomas McNaughton "shares his time-tested secrets to creating simple, delicious, and beautiful artisan pasta—from the best fresh doughs to shaping and cooking every type of pasta."

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A16: Food + Wine
by Nate Appleman, Shelley Lindgren & Kate Leahy

A16's cookbook takes readers on a tour of the Marina restaurant's inspiration: the Campania region of southern Italy, along with other notable grape-growing areas. It offers essays on regional wine, along with recipes for food pairings, from "chile-spiked seafood stews and savory roasts to delicate antipasti and vegetable sides."

Get it here >


Desserts

Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic 
by Yigit Pura

As the winner of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Yigit Pura of Tout Sweet Patisserie knows a thing or two about desserts. Now more than ever, with the Macy's location closed and Tout Sweet focused on catering, you'll want this guide to recreating some of his mouthwatering treats at home, starting with the Negroni Creamsicle.

Get it here >


Modern Art Desserts
by Caitlin Freeman

You may remember the Blue Bottle Coffee outpost at SFMOMA, pre-renovation, which featured eye-catching art-inspired desserts from pastry chef Caitlin Freeman. With this cookbook, you'll get step-by-step instructions for recreating those desserts, from treats inspired by Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, and Matisse, to the famous Mondrian cake.

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Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
by Kris Hoogerhyde,‎ Anne Walker Dabney Gough

Instead of waiting in line outside Bi-Rite for a scoop, you can stay home and learn to master the creamery's popular recipes yourself with this cookbook, which details how to make 90 handmade ice creams, "including the smash hits Salted Caramel and Balsamic Strawberry, plus other favorites."

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Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop
by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath

Miette in Hayes Valley is know for its "pretty Parisian aesthetic" and sweets galore. In this how-to book, you can learn how to make everything from cakes to cookies, cupcakes to confections.

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Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book
by Jake Godby,‎ Sean Vahey & Paolo Lucchesi 

Artisan ice cream is here to stay, and Humphry Slocombe isn't shy about its bold, inventive flavors. Try your hand at favorite flavors like the boozy Secret Breakfast, eye-opening Vietnamese Coffee, or salty-sweet Chocolate Smoked Salt.

Get it here >


Cocktails

Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki
by Martin Cate and Rebecca Cate

Go on a voyage of rum discovery with this James Beard Award-winning cocktail book from Martin and Rebecca Cate of Gough Street tiki den Smuggler’s Cove—and learn about the history of tropically inspired drinks, tiki's contemporary revival, and how to imbibe at home with over 100 cocktail recipes.

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The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics 
by Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz

Though over a decade old, this reference book from Hayes Valley's Absinthe Brasserie still brings classic craft cocktail know-how to the bar, with handsome photos, details on ingredients and techniques, and context for the city's ongoing cocktail renaissance.

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Drinking the Devil's Acre
by Duggan McDonnell 

Billed as a "smart, delightful mix of barman's memoir and literary journalism," this collection covers 25 iconic San Francisco cocktail recipes—including the Pisco Punch, Mai Tai, Irish Coffee, Sazerac, Lemon Drop and more.

Get it here >


High-end

Coi: Stories and Recipes 
by Daniel Patterson

Daniel Patterson shares a personal account of his renowned restaurant Coi, which recently topped three Michelin stars (under chef Matthew Kirkley), as well as 70 recipes paired with narrative essays.

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Benu
by Corey Lee

The first book on San Francisco’s three‐Michelin-starred restaurant Benu and its chef Corey Lee, this release "provides a gorgeously illustrated presentation of the running order of one of Lee’s 33‐course tasting menus, providing access to all the drama and pace of Benu’s kitchen and dining room."

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Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors
by Erik Cosselmon and‎ Janet Fletcher

Kokkari is San Francisco's go-to restaurant for elevated Greek fare, and its stylish cookbook hews close to traditional family recipes for classic dishes like dolmades, avgolemono soup, and lamb moussaka, with easy-to-follow directions that make these dishes approachable for home cooks.

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Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes
by Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla

Missing Bar Tartine? It's been almost a year since the popular Mission eatery closed its doors to reinvent into new concepts like Motze and Duna, but the flavors live on with this cookbook, which draws on traditional practices like fermentation, curing and pickling to produce inventive dishes using preservation techniques from around the world.

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Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste
by Dominique Crenn and Karen Leibowitz

Follow along as lauded chef Dominique Crenn traces her roots in France to her renowned Cow Hollow restaurant Atelier Crenn, which, with two Michelin stars, is known for "organic, sustainable ingredients with an unusual, inventive, and always stunning presentation."

Get it here >

Did we leave out your favorite? Let us know what's missing from the list in the comments, below.

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23 essential san francisco cookbooks