The Best San Francisco Chowhound Finds of 2013

Chowhounds in the Bay Area are always on the hunt for a dish that haunts the memory, whether it's rediscovering a classic or ferreting out a bite in a neighborhood outside the zone of interest for restaurant critics. Below, in alphabetical order, are 10 of the most interesting discoveries unearthed in 2013 by contributors to the San Francisco Bay Area discussion board.

1. 20TH CENTURY CAFÉ
198 Gough Street, San Francisco
415-621-2380

Confronting the crumbs of Russian honey cake is the first step in admitting you're addicted to this Vienna-style café in Hayes Valley.

2. BASHAMICHI
1390 El Camino Real, Millbrae
650-742-1003

Japanese at a motel in Millbrae? One Chowhound member says the little treasures, like the salmon rice ball, will draw you in.

3. THE CAFÉ AT SPRUCE
3640 Sacramento Street, San Francisco
415-931-5100

One 'hound uncovered a pecan pie good enough to convert those who hate the gummy, tooth-deadening versions that are all too familiar.

4. CITY DISCOUNT
1542 Polk Street, San Francisco
415-771-4649

Though the name could refer to, well, anything (cheap socks?), insiders know that City Discount stocks well-chosen standards for home cooks, such as flour-sack towels, and carries a small selection of boxed and canned foods from Europe.

5. CREMEUX EX MACHINA GELATO
Available at various locations
707-765-1711

A stroll through the Saturday market at San Francisco's Ferry Building provides a feast for the senses, from the scent of dried lavender at Eatwell's booth to the calls of the barkers encouraging shoppers to try samples of peanut brittle and sliced fruit. Make your way to this gelato booth to try one of the flavors that change weekly and reflect the market's bounty.

6. GREGORY'S GOURMET DESSERTS
285 23rd Street, Oakland
510-272-9722

With dessert names like Ugly Duckling Lemon Cookie, how can you not order a flavored cheesecake reputed to be among Oakland's best?

7. PHO AO SEN
1139 E. 12th Street, Oakland
510-835-5588

Regulars rave about the lemongrass and chile condiment prepared here and served tableside or in to-go tubs.

8. THE SPINSTER SISTERS
401 S. A Street, Santa Rosa
707-528-7100

The elegant brunch and Sunday supper at Santa Rosa's Spinster Sisters warm hearts and satisfy bellies.

9. TO HYANG
3815 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
415-668-8186

Uncommon Korean specialties like oxtails cooked in dates and chestnuts, and a who's who of admiring chefs that includes Anthony Bourdain, Chris Cosentino, and Ravi Kapur? To Hyang's on fire.

10. VIVE LA TARTE
1661 Tennessee Street, Suite 3B, San Francisco
415-891-9743

Holing up in the rain with a savory Belgian tart from Vive La Tarte and the new season of Sherlock seems like a pretty good plan for January, agree?

Photo of Chris Cosentino, Hwa-Soon Im, and Anthony Bourdain from To Hyang / Facebook