Maybe this article made more sense when it appeared in print, but just sitting out there all alone, this unbylined SFGate list of restaurants the Chronicle claims “capture the spirit of their locale” is confounding my Friday-afternoon-weakened brain.

The nabes and the restaurants that they say capture their respective spirits are below. What do you think?

Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights: Spruce
Mission District: Range
Financial District: Perbacco
Glen Park: Chenery Park
North Beach: L’Osteria del Forno
Embarcadero: La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Noe Valley: Firefly

Dear readers, do you agree that the places above have had their spirits captured by those restaurants? Does Range, for example, capture the spirit of Valencia Street? And, finally, does it seem weird to you that this restaurant listing is classified under “Crime Scene”? Chronicle, are you trying to tell us something?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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  • cedichou

    If the Mission is a sophisticated, carefully presented, expensive but worth it neighborhood to splurge for on a special occasion, then Range perfectly captures the spirit.

    It looks like the neighborhoods do favor humanly raised, organic-if-possible local ingredients. A lot of that spirit is caught on the list for sure.

  • Brock Keeling

    I love Spruce! But it’s always reminded me more of Laurel Village than PH.

    as for Range, that’s a strange choice.

  • kl2real

    I think the greater question is does the Chronicle/SFGate capture the spirit of San Francisco? I say no. This is why I switched to SFAppeal!

  • Becca Klarin

    I find it surprising that for living in SF for eight years, I’ve only been to one of these restaurants (Firefly). Maybe I don’t capture the neighborhoods’ essences as determined by Le Chron/Gate…

  • LibertyHiller

    Imagine how I feel: I’ve been living here for 22 years and am 0-for-7. No wonder I’m planning to get out of here in another year or two.

  • mindusq

    you said it all!

  • bloomsm

    Aside from the obvious filler nature of this article (does it merit “article” status), this is a short-term view for each of these neighborhoods.

    First, Spruce is not truly in Pacific Heights. It’s on Sacramento at Arguello which is south of Presidio Heights but certainly not Pacific Heights (let’s remember what “heights” means).

    Second, if any restaurant captured the spirit of Pac Hts, it would have to be Perry’s. Where else can you see an aging, wealthy, twice-divorced white dude drown his alimony misery in a fair but overrated bloody mary?

    Second, Perbacco is a newcomer to the FiDi, relatively speaking. The ultimate FiDi restaurant remains One Market, because it’s got big windows so that everyone can see you’re eating there (isn’t that the point?).

    Third, as for the Mission…ah where to begin. Suffice to say it should be a taco truck, preferably El Toyanese (ed. check sp.).

    In North Beach, Osteria is a great restaurant, but (1) no reservations; (2) cash only; (3) about eight tables in the place. The restaurant that captures the spirit of NB the best is probably the North Beach restaurant, where the Italian food is average and the tourists love it. I don’t know anyone who goes to the North Beach for Italian unless you live in Orinda.

    As for the Embarcadero, there’s but one restaurant: Red’s. The rest are pretenders.