Northern California has so many great restaurants that it’s often hard to make a dining decision. One way to find some of the best spots is to see which restaurants have lines out the door, or long waits for reservations. This list includes everything from humble diners to a world-famous, 3-star Michelin rated restaurant.
1. Bacon and Butter, Sacramento
You'll definitely wait for a table at Bacon and Butter, but it's so worth it! If the name of the restaurant doesn't convince you that everything on the menu is amazing, one look at your fellow diner's plates will. Try the grilled cheese Benedict. 5913 Broadway, Sacramento.
2. Cha Cha Sushi, San Jose
This sushi spot doesn't look very impressive from the outside, but it's so popular that there's usually a line out the door. The people waiting know what they're doing - the sushi is fresh and delicious. 547 W Capitol Expy., San Jose.
3. Delfina, San Francisco
Is there better Italian in San Francisco? We think maybe not. You'll want a reservation, or be prepared to wait for up to an hour. 3621 18th Street, San Francisco.
4. Flour+Water, San Francisco
Flour+Water is a causal dining experience with delicious hand-made pasta and pizza at an affordable price. It's so popular that you'll need reservations about a month in advance, though if you're willing to wait in line for up to an hour and a half, you might snag one of the few no-reservation tables. 2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco.
5. Frances, San Francisco
Mmmm...everything at Frances is so good, and everyone knows it! This cozy little restaurant books out a month in advance, and has just 10 seats available for no-reservation diners (expect a wait of an hour and a half). Once you get there, you MUST order the bacon beignets. 3870 17th Street, San Francisco.
6. The French Laundry, Yountville
If you'd like to dine at The French Laundry, you'll need to make a reservation one month in advance. Make certain that your date is set, though - there's a $100 per person cancellation fee if you cancel within 72 hours of your reservation. The restaurant does not accept walk-ins. Dress appropriately, and be prepared to be wowed - this restaurant is one of the highest-rated in the country. 6640 Washington St,, Yountville.
7. Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar, Santa Rosa
You'll wait for a table for quite awhile, but you'll be handsomely rewarded for your patience with the most amazing pies and some delicious wines - a great prices! 53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa.
8. Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa
The line to get in on a weekend is looooong. But once you get in, you'll be rewarded with delicious beer and tasty pizza! 725 4th Street, Santa Rosa.
You'll want to reserve your table up to a month in advance at this cozy little spot in Healdsburg. Try Nonna's Chicken - it's their signature dish. 10 Plaza St., Healdsburg.
10. Tower Cafe, Sacramento
Business here is always brisk, but you'll want to be prepared for a pretty long wait for brunch. It's well worth it, though - the food is to die for! 1518 Broadway, Sacramento.