THE ULTIMATE SAN FRANCISCO FOOD GUIDE

August 10, 2016

 

San Francisco is a veritable food mecca with delicious options virtually around any corner. Being a Bay Area native compounded with having lived in the city for several years, I have amassed quite the list of go-to eats in most San Francisco neighborhoods. 

 

 

BERNAL HEIGHTS

  • Old Bus Tavern - Quirky but charming restaurant & bar featuring sharing plates, yummy cocktails, and a full craft beer list

  • Little Nepal - Mix of Indian & Asian flavors at affordable prices. Never have to wait for a table!

  • Epicurean Trader - This is more of foodie/craft liquor store, but they do sell sandwiches and other tasty treats. Definitely worth perusing as this shop is adorable. 

  • Pinhole Coffee - Colorful & fun coffee shop, but can often be overrun with children

 

NOE VALLEY

  • Saru Sushi - My go to neighborhood sushi spot (it's 95 steps from my apartment) featuring omakase menus, rolls, and sake. Expect to wait. 

  • La Ciccia - Flavorful Sardinian fare. Make a reservation.

  • La Nebbia - Same team as that behind La Ciccia. More of a pizzeria, low key neighborhood spot. 

 

THE MISSION

  • Tartine - French style bakery. Expect LONG lines if you show up on the weekend. They make the best bread in the city, arguably the best bread I have ever eaten fresh daily. You can pick it up starting at 4:30pm. To avoid waiting, you can order bread 3 days in advance and cut the line for pick up. Trust me, it will change your life. 

  • Rintaro - Modern SF style izakaya with charming wooden interior

  • Californios - My favorite high end restaurant currently. 12 - 16 courses that are modern interpretations of Mexican staples. The beverage pairing is well worth it and typically includes a mixture of wines, beers, sakes, etc. Family owned and operated. Love the people and love the place.

  • Ken Ken Ramen - If you like rich tonkatsu broths like me, come by on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and order the classic Hakata style. Opens at 6pm, quick seating if you arrive at opening. Expect to wait if you arrive in prime time dinner hour. They do have a cute bar covered by chinese lanterns where you can order drinks while you wait. 

  • Delfina Pizzeria - Cute and casual. Previously discussed here.

  • El Farolito - Cheap, quick, and authentic Mexican fare. There are several locations. 

  • La Taqueria - My favorite burrito (they don't have rice if that's something you like)

  • Lolo - Colorful and lively atmosphere. Decent food, but I come here for the drinks. Beautiful & tasty cocktails

  • Al's Place - Quite trendy these days. Need a reservation or walk in when they open. Definitely go with the Family Style option

  • Gallardos - That unhealthy, casual Mexican sit down spot. On the weekends they have posole and menudo!

  • Limon - My favorite Peruvian spot, there are two in the mission! Rotisserie chicken & ceviche at super affordable prices, another family favorite.

(Can you tell? I love the Mission)

 

 

CASTRO & DUBOCE TRIANGLE

  • Frances - Fresh California flavors. Consistent quality

  • Reveille Coffee -Fun vibe & cool tiles

  • Mama Ji's - Yummy dumplings and Chinese staples outside of their usual environments 

 

HAYES VALLEY

  • Cala - High ceilings, exposed concrete, tile, and delicious seafood based Mexican dishes. Also love her restaurant Contramar in Mexico City if you ever head that way

  • Rich Table - Salvaged wood interiors and California cuisine. I strongly recommend the Chef's picks, but for sure try the Porcini doughnuts (I don't even like mushrooms and I LOVE these)

  • Souvla - Tasty and easy Mediterranean flavors. Great lunch spot

  • Two Sisters Bar & Books - Cozy little bar with surprisingly good small bites and snacks

 

TENDERNOB 

  • Liholiho Yacht Club - Blend of Japanese, Korean, Hawaiian, Indian & Northern California flavors with fabulous tile floors. Rezzie or arrive when they open. Bar seats often available if you swing by later at night as well.

  • Mr Holmes Bakehouse - Get baked in San Francisco. They are known for their cruffins, but I'm partial to the passionfruit filled donuts

  • Mensho Tokyo - Straight out of Tokyo, literally. If you can brave the line or can come super late, the ramen is well worth it. I prefer the Tori Paitan Ramen.

 

 

RUSSIAN HILL & POLK GULCH

  • 1760 - California inspired sharing plates & craft cocktails. The Basil-Mezcal Sour was my favorite drink in the city last year...it still might be to be honest

  • Union Larder - Wine, cheese, & charcuterie. Need I say more? 

  • Amelie - Another French wine bar conveniently located right next to 1760.

 

JACKSON SQUARE

  • Kokkari - Modern Greek cuisine, a family favorite. Make a reservation.

  • Trestle - One of the best deals in the city = $35 3-course prix fix plus a friendly wine list

  • Cotogna - Italy meets California. On Sundays enjoy Sunday Supper, 4 courses for $55, menus come out monthly.

  • Quince - Same team as Cotogna. This is their high end two michelin place. Well worth it for a special occasion!

 

NORTH BEACH

  • Il Casaro - My go to Italian style pizza place. 

  • Trattoria Contadina - Classic & consistent Italian dishes

  • Massawa Ethiopian - Go with friends and get a sampler of everything. Great bargain place and good place to go with vegetarians.

  • Park Tavern - A brunch spot that takes reservations! Sophisticated ambiance with avocado toast.

 

 

CHINATOWN

  • City View - A good cheaper/casual dim sum spot. Arrive before 11:45 am to avoid long waits. 

  • Hunan's Home Restaurant - All your Chinese favorites

  • Mister Jiu's - Brand new high-end Chinese food with Californian influences. 3 courses for $45/person or 5 for $69/person

 

UNION SQUARE & DOWNTOWN

  • Kin Khao - Flavorful modern Thai. Be sure to try the Nam Tok Beans & any of the cocktails! (weird location in the Parc 55 hotel)

  • Perbacco or Barbacco - High end Italian at Perbacco and more casual everyday Italian at Barbacco. Both equally delicious.

  • Delarosa - Casual small sharing plates and pizzas. Nice outdoor space and good flavors. 

 

SOUTH BEACH

  • Yank Sing - My favorite dim sum in the city, but definitely not the cheapest. You can make reservations!

  • Prospect - Can be hit or miss, but a good business lunch place.

  • Garaje - One of my favorite weekday lunch spots. Cool, eclectic vibe mimicking garage. Try carne asada fries, ahi tuna taco, sangria, or a zapato.

 

SOMA

  • Mourad - Moroccan meets California in a beautifully designed space. Prices are steep, but it's worth it for an occasion or to try once

  • Turtle Tower - My go-to pho place. Super friendly on the wallet as well. Zero ambiance.

  • Marlowe - Consistent American fare. They do a tasty brunch as well

 

 

POTRERO HILL & DOGPATCH

  • Marcella's Lasagneria - The best lasagna I've ever eaten. Family owned and operated - they are only open Mon-Fri, but also offer trays for catering. 

  • Provender - Cute and tiny coffee shop

  • Aina - Hawaiian brunch!

 

NOPA

  • The Mill - Four Barrel Coffee & Josie Baker Bread in a bright and airy space

  • Nopalito - Modern mexican fare and cocktails. Great for lunch

  • Bar Crudo - Seafood Heaven

 

SUNSET

  • Sunrise Deli - The best falafels in the bay area! A family favorite that has never changed since I was 2 yrs old.  

  • Trouble Coffee - Tiny coffee shop with the lauded $4 cinnamon toast = worth it. People give this place mixed reviews, but they need to relax and just enjoy the experience.

  • Outerlands - Tasty brunch in a modern driftwood heaven. Expect to wait, especially on weekdays, but they have cool driftwood parklets out front and are steps from Trouble Coffee

 

RICHMOND

  • BStar Cafe or Burma Superstar - Tasty Burmese food. Always crowded. Always lively. Always worth it.

  • Han Il Kwan - Korean BBQ. Bring friends, and don't wear your favorite clothes as they will smell afterwards

 

PHEW. What a mouthful. Now go and eat all those San Francisco noms.

 

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HELLO KALINA is part of several affiliate advertising programs. This means that if you click and/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or linked social media accounts, I may make a commission from that click or purchase. All opinions are my own. Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own.

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