dcsimg

Culinary Schools in San Francisco

There is a reason why Anthony Bourdain once told The New York Times that San Francisco is his favorite food city. This is where sophisticated game-changers like Chez Panisse and The French Laundry were founded, but small local favorites like Yang Sing can keep lines out the door for more than 50 years. Of the dozen or so U.S. restaurants to hold Michelin's coveted three-star status, four are in the Bay Area, two in San Francisco specifically. Students attending culinary schools in San Francisco will find endless culinary variety and abundance, which means plenty of professional opportunities.

Culinary Arts

Perhaps the only thing as impressive as San Francisco's culinary achievements is the sheer size and diversity of its food scene: tiny taquerias, dim sum restaurants and food trucks peddling everything from American barbecue and soul food to traditional Jewish and Indian cuisine. Tourists converge on Fisherman's Wharf for a cup of clam chowder; locals escape to nearby Napa and Sonoma for some peace and some of the best wine in the world. One can find almost anything in San Francisco. As Bourdain put it, "the city surprises you every time."

Famous San Francisco restaurants

To say San Francisco has a booming restaurant scene would be a gross understatement. In 2012, Trulia published an analysis of U.S. Census data that declared San Francisco not only had more restaurants per capita than any other major metro in the country, it had nearly 50 percent more than the second contender. The following lists highlight some of the best.

Top rated

As of 2015, two San Francisco restaurants hold three Michelin stars.

  • Benu: Benu is newer than other restaurants featured on our list, but its covered three Michelin stars might suggest otherwise. The Chronicle says chef-founder Corey Lee, a French Laundry alumni, weaves modern and East Asian cuisine with unparalleled imagination and skill.
  • Saison: Like Benu, Saison is relatively new venture that quickly rose to the top of the nation's culinary ranks. Food and Wine's decision to rank Saison chef Joshua Skenes among the Best New Chefs of 2011 was more than vindicated when, just three years later, the high-end, New American restaurant earned its third Michelin star.

Most iconic

San Francisco's list of best loved restaurants is a mile long, but the following surely rank among them.

  • Chez Panisse: Chez Panisse is where, more than 40 years ago, storied chef Alice Waters first demonstrated the seasonal, sustainable culinary philosophy for which she is known. According to San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer, chefs Jerome Waag and Cal Peternel continue the tradition.
  • Yank Sing: Founded in 1958, this famous dim sum spot, run by the Chan Family, has earned its stripes for both quality and longevity. The SFist reports that weekend guests counts swell to 500 as servers endlessly circle the dining room pushing carts stacked with the restaurant's famous dumplings.
  • Slanted Door: This Ferry Building Vietnamese restaurant, founded by Charles Phan, is a regular on "Best of" lists from publications like Food and Wine, Epicurious and Lonely Planet. Bauer calls Phan, who used all organic produce from the very beginning, a pioneer of fresh Vietnamese cooking.

The restaurants offer only a glimpse into all San Francisco has to offer. Critically acclaimed ventures like Coi and Manresa are legends in the making, and classic local hotspots like Mission Chinese Food and the House of Prime Rib never seem to go out of style. For students attending culinary schools in San Francisco, each of these restaurants offers a chance to test their palates -- and maybe even build their resumes.

San Francisco culinary schools & career outlook

According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants accounted for more than 1.6 million jobs in 2015, which is about 11 percent of the state's total employment, and are expected to add nearly 175,000 more by 2025. Many of these jobs will center around California's largest population centers: Los Angeles, San Diego and, naturally, San Francisco.

The California Employment Development Department projects strong growth for a number of culinary professions between 2012 and 2022. This table details job statistics, typical earnings and projected growth for several Bay Area restaurant professionals from the CEDD and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

OccupationTotal Employment in San Francisco (2013)Average Salary in San Francisco (2013)% Job Growth in San Francisco County (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 1,940 $52,270 14.4%
Bakers 1,460 $31,550 2.5%
Food Service Managers 2,230 $61,230 10.6%
Restaurant Cooks 10,780 $29,560 26%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and California Employment Development Department

Not all of these new jobs will require formal training, but employers often prefer candidates with more experience or education. Culinary schools in San Francisco can help future professionals develop the kind of hands-on, marketable skills, and not just in the kitchen. Programs may offer training in the following areas:

Some schools offer additional certifications in specific culinary disciplines, like sommelier and bartending certificates. Prospective students should consider their career goals and research all of their options in order to find the right program.

Culinary veterans attest that gaining experience in the restaurant world is key to a career, but a degree can be of help. For students aiming to attend baking and pastry or culinary school, San Francisco is definitely a city to consider – nearby are also culinary schools in San Jose. Rev up your culinary career by researching the San Francisco culinary schools below.

Additional Resources for Culinary Arts Students on Chef2chef.net
Baking and Pastry Arts Schools in California
Hotel Management Schools in California
Pastry Chef Schools in California

Sources:

  • "Answers to 'Where on Earth to Eat?'" The New York Times, November 18, 2011, Rachel Lee Harris, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/travel/anthony-bourdains-favorite-places-to-eat.html
  • "2015 San Francisco Michelin Selections: Three Stars,: Michelin Travel, 2015, http://www.michelintravel.com/selections/2015-san-francisco-michelin-selections/
  • "Bay Area Top 100 Restaurants," The San Francisco Chronicle, 2014, Michael Bauer, http://www.sfchronicle.com/top-100-restaurants/
  • "The 25 Best Restaurants In The Bay Area (According to Statistics!), sfist, March, 2014, Steven Melendez, http://sfist.com/2014/03/24/25_best_restaurants_san_francisco.php
  • "Best of the Best," San Francisco, ZAGAT, https://www.zagat.com/l/san-francisco/top-list
  • "Best New Chefs: Joshua Skenes," Food and Wine, 2011, http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/joshua-skenes
  • The French Laundry, http://www.thomaskeller.com/tfl
  • Chez Panisse, http://www.chezpanisse.com/intro.php
  • "Eating Towns, Drinking Towns," trends, trulia, August 1, 2012, Jed Kolko, http://www.trulia.com/trends/2012/08/eating-towns-drinking-towns/
  • "California Restaurant Industry at a Glance," National Restaurant Association, 2015, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2015/CA_Restaurants2015
  • "Employment Projections, Long-Term: San Francisco County," Labor Market Information Division,Employment Development Department, State of California, December, 2014, http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/data/employment-projections.html#Long
  • "May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41884.htm

This list also contains online schools that accept students from San Francisco

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2014 & 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked #7 Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Has over 240,000 alumni on record, including Joseph Biden, Stephen Crane, Dick Clark, and Joyce Carol Oates.
  • Offers study abroad programs in several countries all over the world.
  • Has achieved accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Its main campus is located in Syracuse, New York, with extended campuses in a number of major metro cities including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, and more.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
  • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
  • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
  • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
  • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
  • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
  • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked 25th among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • One of the world’s leading private research universities.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 9:1, and 56.8% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has an average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, of 96.8 percent.
  • Dedicated to a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education since 1880.
  • Its faculty includes National Academy members, Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked #11 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Houses one of the largest library systems in the Pacific Northwest, with 3 libraries on the Pullman campus and a library at each regional campus.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
  • Has 5 Washington campuses in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
NCP College of Nursing , South San Francisco

NCP is a California State approved College of Nursing that serves the San Francisco Bay Area. Our nursing programs are attended by many students from nearby of San Francisco, Daly City, San Bruno, Pacifica, Millbrae, Brisbane, San Mateo, Burlingame, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Union City, Fremont, Concord and San Jose.

  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

•        Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

•        Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

•        More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.

•        Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

•        Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Students can complete an entry-level technician program in about a year, and manufacturer training and graduate in as little as 18 months.
  • Provides technical education training programs for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine technicians.
  • Partners with many well-known manufacturers, including General Motors, Porsche Cars North America Inc., and BMW of North America LLC.
  • Offers internships to students and alumni for first-hand experience.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by GI Jobs and Victory Media.
  • 92% of full-time employees have the highest degree in their field.
  • 14:1 student-faculty ratio, with an average class size of 21.
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses

Other San Francisco, California Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
City College of San Francisco Culinary & Service Skills Training
San Francisco State University Hospitality and Tourism Management