After a year of living away from home, I realized I missed three things: my family, my friends, and my favorite restaurants. These were the places I wanted to be instead of eating the same thing three nights in a row in the cafeteria. Although there are a myriad more than five great Bay Area restaurants, these are just a few of my favorites. 

1. Café Borrone, Menlo Park

A home-town & cult classic, Cafe Borrone, doesn't fail to impress--every. single. time. You can't go wrong with their Berry Waffle or their aahhhmaaazing Chicken Chimichurri Panini. If you're looking for something more healthy, the Seasonal Spring Salad is one of my personal favorites. Cranberries, walnuts, pears, and avocado... what more could you want?! And you can't pass up on the legendary Frosted Mocha. Everytime I order it, I want to eat the whipped cream like its ice cream. 

2. Icicles, San Jose

The Bay Area is no stranger to ~trendy foods,~ including Rolled Ice Cream. Icicles has several locations around the Bay, including San Mateo, Cupertino, and San Jose. With flavors like Oreo, PB&J, Matcha, and "Nutella and Chill" (yes, you read that right), you'll be coming back time and time again. 

3. Gracias Madre, San Francisco

Located in the Mission District, Gracias Madre offers vegan (!!!) Mexican food. If you're like me and can be a bit doubtful about the "all natural, non GMO, dairy free, sodium free, fat free" foods, then this is the place to go. You'd never know that it is vegan! Plus, the margaritas are not only deeeeelish, but they will definitely up your Instagram feed. Did someone say... vamanos? 

4. Sprout Cafe, Palo Alto

Sprout Cafe takes healthy eating to a whole new level. They have a build-your-own-salad option, on top of a menu full of healthy & delicious soups, sandwiches, and small bites ranging from vegetarian options, like Sesame Tofu, to Steak Lettuce Wraps and Calamari. The Summer Rolls are a great side dish with the drooooool worthy Thai dipping sauce. 

5. Plow, San Francisco

How could I not include a brunch place in this article?! Brunch is the most important meal of the day right? Or something like that... Plow offers daily brunch (and a special weekend menu) that puts all other brunch restaurants to shame. Although it can get busy on the weekends, Plow is always worth the wait. Craving something sweet but don't want to feel (too) guilty? Almond Flour Pancakes, coming right up. Feeling fancy? Order the smoked salmon eggs benedict--you won't regret it. 

Now, don't get me wrong, these five restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg. San Fransisco has so much to offer from well known locations like Ghiradelli, to hole in the wall places like Home Cafe (a personal favorite). Enjoy exploring the Bay Area and its food!