remarkable: worthy of attention; striking

Go-tos

I visit these places often, and recommend them

Cafe La Taza

(website)

Order-at-the-counter breakfast place in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District (2475 Mission St)

Come here if you want a real cross-section of San Francisco. The painters and construction crews arrive in their smocks at 6:30am for $10 huevos and coffee. Later, you'll see realtors closing deals in suits, groups of college kids watching the World Cup, or families out for a casual breakfast. They do lunch and early dinner too, but breakfast is best.

This place has the best coffee in San Francisco, though they don't advertise it. They've done an admirable job of controlling prices in a city where the minimum wage is headed to $15/hr. If they had a fan club, I'd be their #1 member.

Berkeley Auto Care

(website)

My go-to Bay Area mechanic, when I need more than an oil change.

They aren't cheap, but they're very upfront about what they charge, and will get the job done correctly the first time. They often recommend additional work, but it's always stuff I would've asked them to do myself, if I'd known about it (brakes, new tires, etc.) I've never regretted following their recommendations. I worked on cars when I was younger, and it's fun to talk shop with the pros.

Dr. Elias Qare (Dentist)

(website)

Dr. Qare has been my dentist since I moved to San Francisco in 2011.

It can be difficult to get medical care in the US without employer-provided insurance. I met Dr. Qare when I didn't have insurance, and was delighted to learn his dental practie is operated like any other business: transparent pricing, payent in cash (rather than insurance reimbursement), and oriented around a great customer experience. I hold his practice as a model for what healthcare could look like if prices were subject to market forces, and doctors treated their patients like customers.