Five years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the lock that OpenTable now has on San Francisco restaurants. From the highest of the high end to mid-priced neighborhood places, the locally based online reservations company has signed up every restaurant in town.
When SFoodie noticed that SF's best Chinese restaurants were all avoiding OpenTable -- and online reservations in general -- we scanned OpenTable's 1,115 Bay Area restaurants to see who else had opted out. Here are our favorite monopoly-busters. Some use Urbanspoon's Rezbook, which is a bigger player in other cities, while others rely on their own e-forms or devotedly cling to Luddism. All answer the telephone.
2. Cafe Jacqueline (hey, it's run by an ancient French woman)
4. Gary Danko
10. Universal Cafe
Runners up: All of SFoodie's favorite pizza places (Gialina, Pauline's, Una Pizza Napoletana, Pizzeria Delfina, Tony's Pizza Napoletana)
One last tip: Even if you're trying to get into a restaurant that OpenTable swears is booked, call anyway. Most places don't allocate all their tables to online reservations, and will keep a few spots open for tenacious, non-wheedling telephone callers.