Most people who know me understand my love for cooking and gastronomy. My second trip to San Francisco allowed me to deepen that passion. I practically ate my way through the city in four days. Behold, the ultimate guide to the best places to eat in San Francisco!
Glen Park – 691 Chenery St, San Francisco, CA 94131
Mom-and-pop shops hold a special place in my heart. There is plenty of soul in everything they do and Higher Grounds is no exception. Whenever I go to San Francisco, this coffee shop is my first stop for delicious omelets and exceptional coffee. Seeing as they are next door to one of the finest French restaurants in town, you can bet that you’ll be handed a memorable breakfast and a freshly brewed cup of joe.
South of Market – 151 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
If your trip allows, I highly suggest exploring the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA). On the third floor of the SFMOMA, you will find a modern/hip coffee shop called Sightglass. To give you perspective, I got carried away with my excitement and paid the barista a 40% tip. It was SO worth it! The vanilla cold brew along with one of their unique cookies is the perfect way to round out a day at the museum.
Castro District – 427 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Did I mention how fond I am of family-owned independent businesses? Wandering around the colorful Castro district is far more inspiring with a cup of Castro Coffee Company’s java in hand. I appreciate that their breakfast and dessert items are homemade (NOT taken out of a vendor’s box and put on display). The Castro Coffee Company also sells a variety of coffees and teas, if you’d like to brew some at home.
Inner Richmond – 309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
I consider myself to be well versed in Asian cuisine. Prior to my first visit to Burma Superstar in October of 2017, I had never tasted Burmese food. Their culinary approach is influenced by Indian, Chinese, Laotian, and Thai cuisine (Myanmar’s neighboring countries). I highly recommend their Tea Leaf Salad, Fried Yellow Bean Tofu, and their Fiery Chicken. Arrive early for lunch and dinner – their seats fill up in the blink of an eye.
Tenderloin District – 466 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
You absolutely must treat yourself to a session at Onsen’s traditional Japanese bathhouse. It was one of the most restorative experiences of my life. It is the ultimate luxury to relax in their bath, sauna, and steam room. Book an afternoon soak and an evening dinner reservation for the full experience. George Meza, a veteran of several Michelin-starred establishments, creates stunning Japanese dishes that are works of art. Onsen is paramount.
Japantown – 1581 Webster St #206, San Francisco, CA 94115
On the Bridge serves some of the best curry in the city. It’s a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on a bridge that goes through Japantown. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see lime green walls and colorful chairs. Pro tip: order the curry with your favorite toppings and wash it down with a pint of Sapporo. Be warned, On the Bridge takes the spiciness of their curry seriously — start off at a Mild or Medium level.
Glen Park – 2922 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131
I have passed by One Waan a few times after leaving the Glen Park BART station. My friends and I decided to try it before partaking in a night out on the town. What I appreciate about the restaurant is that they have fun with their menu. Familiar dishes are served with a creative spin. They effectively reinvent traditional staples like Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup, and Fried Rice. For the record, their drinks are pretty too.
Castro District – 3970 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Me & Tasty is the king of Asian fusion. If you are a fan of flavors blending together, this establishment delivers. I was blown away by their Ginger-Garlic Tofu…there were many delicious ingredients that I could not put my finger on. Their stellar level of service was even more impressive. Our server was genuinely interested in our experience and made sure that we enjoyed our meals. Pay Me & Tasty a visit if you find yourself in the Castro District.
Dolores Park – 3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
We were blessed with amazing weather on our last day in San Francisco. Naturally, we sat on a bench in Dolores Park and admired the cityscape for a few hours — it was prime ice cream weather. Be prepared to wait in line; Bi-Rite Creamery is extremely popular. In fact, it is considered a culinary institution of The City. With inventive creations such as Salted Caramel, Black Sesame, and Honey Lavender, your taste buds will be in for a wild ride.
Tenderloin District – 441 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102
We stumbled upon Tradition as the result of unfortunate circumstances. The original plan was to check out Bourbon & Branch. However, the doorman explained that the bar was closed for a special event. Noticing our disappointment, he advised that we imbibe at their sister bar, Tradition. It was love at first sight with the prohibition-style interior and cocktails. Tradition entices guests to indulge and enjoy its intimate atmosphere.
Mission District – 2516 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
El Techo is a great rooftop bar to partake in Mexican tapas, street food, sangria, and beer. Their empanadas are to die for — I don’t care if it’s cliche. The lively atmosphere makes El Techo an excellent spot to people watch. Although, during peak hours, you may need to chase down a waiter or waitress. The open-air seating provides a beautiful view of the city; bring a sweater in case the fog bank rolls in.
Now that we have reviewed my favorite places to eat in San Francisco, what are some of your recommendations? Do you have a favorite restaurant, hole-in-the-wall spot, or mom-and-pop shop? I want to hear from you, leave a comment below!