From Mission-style burritos to soup dumplings to sourdough bread bowls the dimensions of a kiddie pool, there’s no scarcity of archetypal eating experiences available on this foggy metropolis by the bay. And even should you’re dedicated to the concept of tying on a plastic bib and digging right into a bowl of cioppino at one in all San Francisco’s over-the-top vacationer traps, we’ve received assets to assist. However for these discerning diners who need to discover the place locals actually eat, this information reveals the town’s true treasures.
The elegant purple strains of the Golden Gate Bridge have lengthy served to welcome newcomers to San Francisco and the West, the place myriad cultures commingle and coexist on this 7-by-7 metropolis. The end result? A culinary wonderland crammed right into a remarkably small house — a spot the place you possibly can marvel at La Taqueria’s iconic rice-free burritos within the Mission, and be no more than 4 miles from the oldest Chinatown in America and its century-old establishments. In North Seaside, family-run Liguria Bakery nonetheless serves large sheets of focaccia 106 years after it first opened its doorways, and simply a few miles away within the shadow of the Japantown’s Peace Pagoda, pristine sushi, chewy mochi doughnuts, and steaming bowls of ramen abound. It is a metropolis with vibrant Burmese eating choices, beautiful croissants, and Moroccan effective eating.
As you already know, Eater places out tons of maps detailing the very best locations, meals, and drink within the Bay Space. Beneath, we cherry-pick the highest one or two factors on our hottest maps to assist time-starved eaters prioritize which spots to go to.
Scorching Restaurant: Of all the brand new eating places to enter the San Francisco eating scene in current months, probably the most thrilling embrace Copra, a surprising new Fillmore District restaurant from well-loved Bay Space chef Srijith Gopinathan. Gopinathan and his companion Ayesha Thapar, additionally behind Ettan in Palo Alto, turned the previous Dosa house into a surprising tropical oasis with hanging vines and swinging macrame. The menu, in the meantime, focuses on the delicacies of the chef’s residence state of Kerala in southwest India. Hardly ever seen dishes embrace Konkan crab curry, a specialty of Southern India made with caramelized dried coconut, tamarind, and shallots.
For a extra upscale eating expertise, strive both Kiln, a brand new tasting menu restaurant from a duo of alumni from Michelin-starred Sons and Daughters, or Suragan, a fine-dining Korean restaurant the place chef Jongmoon Choi crafts tasting menus impressed by Korean recipe books relationship again to 1450. The restaurant, which opened in late 2022, already earned a nod from the Michelin Information in Might.
Important Restaurant: And if it’s essential slender down the Important 38, splurge on dinner at Nisei, the Michelin-starred Japanese American restaurant from chef David Yoshimura. In a sublime house, the kitchen staff fuses washoku eating traditions with luxe elements like American unagi and native anchovies. Out within the foggy avenues, Aziza shines extremely vivid; it’s a extra informal Moroccan restaurant from the chef behind effective eating staple Mourad in FiDi. For both brunch or dinner, the menu blends trendy methods and native elements with vibrant North African flavors. For an old-school expertise, head over to Home of Prime Rib, the place cooks in toques carve meat on carts that roam the eating room and martinis are the “specialty cocktail.” And don’t overlook to lunch at Zuni Cafe for the one most basic eating expertise on the town. The well-known roast rooster is a should.
Pizza: Pizzetta 211 is the gem of the pizza map. However there’s a complete slew of sizzling and recent newcomers that showcase the depth of the San Francisco pizza scene with a spread of kinds to strive. At Outta Sight, seize a floppy New York-style slice and preserve your eyes peeled for specials like vodka or al pastor pies. In the meantime, at Sq. Pie Guys in SoMa or at Ghirardelli Sq., it’s all concerning the crispy-edged Detroit-style pizzas. Don’t overlook to order the ranch trio and, in case you have room, the wonderful Szechuan wings. For a basic expertise, head to Golden Boy for a thick slab of Sicilian type that’s greatest loved at close by Washington Sq. Park.
Ice Cream: For those who should slender down the ice cream map, the professional transfer is to hit Bi-Ceremony Creamery for a scoop of one thing hand-made and seasonal after which take your deal with to Dolores Park. On the Ferry Constructing, Humphry Slocombe rocks the extra esoteric flavors, together with “secret breakfast,” made with bourbon and cornflakes. For a basic expertise, strive San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery, a candy store within the Inside Sundown — although you possibly can typically discover the truck posted up on Marina Inexperienced.
Sushi: Essentially the most important sushi spot on our sushi map is Akikos, which lately relocated to a smooth new house, ushering the longstanding restaurant into a sublime new period. (The group additionally added an much more costly 10-seat omakase counter, for these focused on an actual splurge.) For those who’re searching for a extra wallet-friendly possibility, strive Handroll Mission within the Mission. Temaki, or hand rolls, are taking on the Bay Space, however there’s maybe no higher place to get a style than at this counter spot from the staff behind Michelin-starred Ju-Ni. For a San Francisco tackle sushi, full with native fish and a hip inside, try Robin in Hayes Valley — and since, in fact, there are additionally a number of sushi choices for vegan and vegetarian diners together with standard-bearer Shizen and newcomer Chīsai Sushi Membership, which gives top-notch vegetarian omakase.
Beer: For those who solely go to 1 Bay Space brewery, know that Cellarmaker is the San Francisco microbrewery aficionados return to repeatedly. Throughout these fleeting sunny summer season days, there’s most likely nothing higher than grabbing a recent brew at Woods Cerveceria, simply throughout from Mission Dolores Park.
Bar: Head to rooftop bar Cavaña in Mission Bay if you wish to strive one in all San Francisco’s hottest bars — and a formidable choice of spirits made all through Latin American nations — or go for a extra basic expertise at Home of Shields, a greater than 100-year-old establishment. In search of one thing with extra type? Within the Mission, strive True Laurel for a world-class cocktail expertise (and a patty soften that may blow your thoughts), Buddy for pure wine and low-ABV cocktails, and the charming new tavern El Chato for Spanish wines and small plates.
Out of doors eating: Craving Chamorro delicacies on a full of life coated patio? How about burgers and fries on the literal dock of the Bay? We’ve received options for each the previous and the latter on the outside eating map. And since we’re now within the period of everlasting parklets in San Francisco, there’s a handful value going out of your technique to see. California-Italian restaurant Cotogna might need the swankiest outside eating setup on the town and Pink Window’s colourful outside eating arrange on Columbus wins factors for ambiance and views of the town lights at evening.
San Francisco Neighborhoods to Know
For a metropolis that’s solely seven miles by seven miles, San Francisco has so many superb neighborhoods, every with a barely completely different meals scene. However listed below are a number of notably tempting areas to start out — full with what to eat and drink in every.
Regardless of its well-deserved status as a historic “Italian immigrant” meals neighborhood, you’re not going to search out the town’s greatest pasta in North Seaside (hit up Flour + Water for that, although the restaurant will probably be opening its new pizzeria on Columbus in June). However North Seaside has nooks to discover and old-school allure to spare. Cease for a espresso at Caffe Trieste, a cannoli at Stella Pastry, and a beer on the Saloon, which claims to be the oldest bar within the metropolis. For those who come hungry for Italian-American fare, get the cioppino at Sotto Mare or the pizza from Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. For those who crave over-the-top steak with a aspect of ravioli and creamed spinach, Unique Joe’s is a assured good time. Additionally: you’ll not discover focaccia higher than the freshly baked slabs popping out of Liguria Bakery. Lastly, for a nightcap, you should head to Vesuvio, a Beatnik favourite.
Within the late Nineties, the Mission’s eating scene was simply getting onto the map. Now, the Mission’s exploding eating scene is residence to our metropolis’s most famed eating places: Locations like Lazy Bear, Prubechu, Overseas Cinema, and buzzy newcomer Good Good Tradition Membership. To not point out taquerias. Stroll down twenty fourth Avenue to get a style of the neighborhood’s Mexican basis. Stroll Valencia Avenue to delight in hip-yet-pricey chocolate bars, smoothies, and cocktails. The perfect day begins with a morning bun or some croissant variation at Tartine Bakery, continues on to an ideal smash burger at Wesburger or a top-notch sandwich from chef Charles Phan’s Chuck’s Takeaway, adopted with a pit cease on the El Gallo Giro taco truck. Seize drinks at a basic just like the award-winning Trick Canine or a newcomer like Casements, a contemporary tackle an Irish pub.
The oldest and largest Chinatown within the nation, San Francisco’s Chinatown attracts throngs of vacationers by means of the Dragon’s Gate, and it’s a real meals vacation spot. Grant Avenue is the primary pedestrian thoroughfare, and when you wander across the retailers, munch on barbecue pork buns from Washington Bakery or crackly-skinned roast pig from Hing Lung Firm. For traditional Chinese language American eating places with white tablecloths, lazy susans, and dim sum carts, strive Sam Wo, Z & Y, or Metropolis View. However there have additionally been a number of new-school eating places opened lately: Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s, large emporium China Stay, and the brand new Empress by Boon with an upscale tasting menu and sweeping views of the town.
The Richmond & the Sundown:
“The Avenues,” as locals seek advice from the Golden Gate Park sandwich made by these two adjoining hoods, are beloved holdouts from “previous San Francisco” — earlier than Sq., Fb, and Uber had been working everybody’s lives. You’ll discover one other wonderful enclave of Chinese language meals, together with pockets of basic Russian, Korean, and Japanese meals. It’d be straightforward to spend a complete day consuming your approach by means of the neighborhood like a neighborhood. For those who’ve received much less time than that: Within the Richmond, north of the park, followers of dim sum ought to troll Clement Avenue with a transportable dumpling from Good Luck Dim Sum in hand, hit Cinderella Bakery for meaty piroshki, or sit down for dinner at Pearl 6101 for cocktails and handkerchief pasta; no matter you do, don’t miss the enduring kaya toast and different lovely baked items at Breadbelly. Within the Sundown, south of the park, Fiorella’s Sundown outpost sports activities a secret rooftop patio excellent for having fun with pizza and pasta, Palm Metropolis is a Philly-style hoagie vacation spot, and Andytown is your cease for a sizzling espresso to deliver to the often-foggy seashore.
A flour tortilla wrapped round numerous and (typically) sundry mixtures of meat, cheese, beans, and rice. All the time wrapped in tin foil. Often a intestine bomb.
The primary San Francisco model to use French bread method to the area’s native sourdough yeast (c. 1849), Boudin now makes loaves within the shapes of lobsters and crabs for San Francisco inexperienced persons to ogle on Fisherman’s Wharf. Largely in malls, airports, and different touristy locations, they make a imply soup bread bowl too.
Hometown hero and winner of the 2022 James Beard Award for Finest Chef: California Brandon Jew is, in fact, the identify behind Chinatown effective eating vacation spot Mister Jiu’s however he additionally gives up Mamahuhu, a counter service spot the place he offers Cantonese-American classics like sweet-and-sour rooster and beef and broccoli the care and high quality elements they deserve. To dine at Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s is to fall in love with America’s oldest Chinatown.
Since opening her three-Michelin-starred namesake, Atelier Crenn, the French chef has shot to stardom. She has since filmed an episode of Chef’s Desk on Netflix, opened her informal restaurant Petit Crenn, and debuted Bar Crenn, an upscale wine bar serving the recipes of French masters subsequent door to Atelier Crenn. In the intervening time, Petit Crenn stays closed.
Little-known outdoors of Northern California, this can be a prized sandwich bread amongst locals. It’s dense and doughy with a crunchy, crackly high — the results of a coating of rice flour, butter, sugar, and yeast earlier than it’s baked. The result’s a semi-sweet, crisp exterior with a fluffy inside that’s excellent for any and all sandwich mixtures.
For those who’ve been right here for greater than a minute you’ve most likely seen one in all these buildings sitting in a car parking zone or spilling out from the sidewalk and into the road. These outside eating and consuming areas began as an emergency measure in the course of the pandemic however at the moment are allowed to exist completely because of Mayor London Breed’s Shared Areas program.
The girl behind Michelin-starred Kin Khao and the bigger modern Thai restaurant Nari got here to stardom in a roundabout approach. Techamuanvivit attended grad faculty on the College of California, San Diego; labored in company America; and authored a e-book earlier than turning her consideration to cooking and leaning on recipes she realized from her household in Thailand.
Sure, Pink Bay began in an Oakland storage. However today Keba Konte’s deliberately approachable espresso firm has 5 areas together with one on the tourist-friendly Ferry Constructing. For those who’ve ever felt intimidated by craft espresso, then Pink Bay is for you. Konte constructed the corporate to marry the beliefs of sustainability and inclusivity in what the corporate calls the “fourth wave” of espresso.
Beginning with the unique Tartine Bakery on Guerrero Avenue, co-founders Chad Robertson and Liz Prueitt are increasing their empire within the Bay Space and past (a bakery in Seoul now serves morning buns in Korea). Tartine Manufactory is the largest and brightest to date, with lovely breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and bread, pastries, and low all day.
Xiao Lengthy Bao:
These little dumplings, also referred to as soup dumplings, are thin-skinned darlings crammed with meat and broth. Most ceaselessly served at dim sum eating places, they’re a Bay Space favourite from Chinatown to the Inside Richmond and past. One of many metropolis’s favorites is Yank Sing, although many argue that China Stay is the brand new XLB sizzling spot. Right here’s a listing of dumpling locations round city.
Californios, Chez Panisse, Home of Prime Rib, Lazy Bear, Good Good Tradition Membership, Mourad, Nari, Nopa (brunch), Wealthy Desk, San Ho Wan, Zuni Cafe
Comply with the Stars
Although Michelin stars aren’t at all times the end-all, be-all of restaurant rankings, they’re nonetheless a great indication of what’s sizzling and high-quality. Northern California at the moment boasts a formidable 89 Michelin-starred eating places from Mendocino’s Harbor Home Inn to Aubergine the restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel. For those who’re seeking to discover a extra inexpensive however nonetheless Michelin-approved meal, strive one of many 141 — sure, you learn that proper — Michelin Bib Gourmands, which incorporates choices as far east because the Sacramento suburbs.
Head Out of City
If San Francisco is just one cease in your itinerary, listed below are some guides that will help you discover gems in Half Moon Bay, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel. After all, wine nation can be only a brief drive away and whether or not you’re seeking to tour a one-of-a-kind wine cave or for a wine tasting that comes with a superb eating expertise, we’ve received you coated. Don’t miss Napa Valley’s spectacular restaurant scene, the drive-worth eating in Sonoma, or the backroad wineries of the Russian River Valley. For a extra surprising journey head east to California Gold Nation to search out epic roadside pies, groundbreaking rural breweries, and the house of a few of the oldest grapes within the nation.
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