Local Gem

Local Gems highlight a notable neighborhood restaurateur or merchant. These profiles tell the story of the merchant’s origin. We explore their inspiration, what the neighborhood was like when they started, how they shaped their menu and what’s next.

Local Gem

alaMar's Chef German: “Let’s Not Quit”

A born-and-bred New Yorker who’d spent his career working in Manhattan kitchens, Nelson witnessed his destiny unfold when he baked a cake for his best friend’s birthday party. It was there that he met his future wife, May. “When she tasted that, it made her get my number,” he says with a grin. “We’ve been together ever since, which is why I’m here today—I came to California for love, of course.” 
Local Gem

RT Rotisserie: Changing the Delivery Game

When Sarah and Evan Rich met in Manhattan 18 years ago, they hardly could have imagined that they would someday be running a small empire of restaurants in San Francisco. In fact, if it weren’t for the need to change clothing before and after service, the wife-and-husband chef duo might never have met at all.
Local Gem

Bucking the V*nill@ and Chocolate Hegemony With Extraordinary Flavors

When Jake Godby and Sean Vahey hung a double-headed cow on the wall and opened the doors to their first location of Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream on a relatively quiet corner in San Francisco’s Mission District back in December 2008, friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry didn’t know what to think.
Local Gem

Homeroom a Pioneer in Temescal Revival

A decade ago, Erin Wade was living an unhappy existence as a corporate labor and employment lawyer in San Francisco. Today, she’s the force behind Homeroom, a perennially packed mac and cheese restaurant in Oakland that’s looking ahead to its 10-year anniversary.