What to Eat in San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, and most people know it for its Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars. However, it is also famous for its fabulous restaurants and food trends that make foodies from all over the world fall in love with the charming Californian city.
San Francisco is a port city, and its culinary scene was and still is influenced by the impressive number of immigrants who made the city not only their home but also a world-savvy destination for millions of travelers.
With so many restaurants and such a fantastic number of mouth-watering dishes, it might be hard to decide where and what to eat even if you are an absolute foodie. So, if you are planning to visit this fantastic city and taste your way around it, here are few dishes that should definitely be on your culinary bucket list.
Indulge in a Tasty Morning Bun at Tartine Bakery
Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day while others prefer sipping a cup of coffee at least an hour before eating anything. But if you want to have enough energy to visit the big, busy San Francisco, you should definitely begin your day with something delicious. The city is filled with lovely, welcoming bakeries and coffee shops but one of the locals’ favorite morning spots in Tartine Bakery.
Prepare yourself to wait in a long line but be patient because after tasting Tartine’s morning buns you won’t regret waiting. Nothing goes better with a strong coffee than this bun which buttery but a little bit denser than a croissant. The orange flavor will give you the freshness you need to properly begin exploring the city. The truth is that nobody leaves Tartine Bakery unhappy. So, wake up, grab your map and the most comfortable shoes you have and head to 18th Street where you can have breakfast with the locals of San Francisco.
Address: Eve Batey 600 Guerrero Street (at 18th Street)
Cioppino- The Best Italian-American Fish Stew in SF at Cioppino’s
Cioppino is a fantastic dish especially if you love eating fish. The recipe was inspired by the famous ciuppin of Genoa and was firstly created in the late 1800s from leftover seafood. The tasty stew is usually made of squid, scallops, fish, shrimp, clams and Dungeness crab combined with tomato sauce and wine. If you are both a foodie and a history lover, this is the first dish you should try when visiting San Franciso. You can find it in many restaurants, but many locals recommend Cioppinos. Not only is this place famous for the quality of the dishes served, but the atmosphere is authentic and the service flawless. There is no better place to indulge in this mouthwatering historical dish.
Address: 400 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
Have a Hearty Soup: Chowder in a Bread Bowl at Boudin Bakery
Even though people of San Francisco don’t seem to adventure themselves into overeating chowder in a bread bowl, and clam chowder is actually “coming” from the East Coast, if you ask Americans from every state, they will say that this is one of the dishes that loudly “screams San Francisco.” Chowder in a Bread Bowl is served in many restaurants, but everybody seems to fall for the one at Boudin Bakery, a charming place that warms visitors’ heart almost as much as the hearty soup.
Everybody knows that summer in SF is quite chilly, so no matter when you plan to visit the city, warm soup is always a great idea, especially if we are talking about one that makes your tasting buds go wild.
Address: 399 10th Ave., Boudin Bakery 10th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118, United States
Nobody Says “No” to the Mission-Style Burritos
Whether you call it the Mission-Style Burrito or the San Francisco burrito this is something you can’t miss when visiting this lovely city. The burrito was created in the 1960s in The City’s Mission District and rapidly became one of the most loved authentic food in San Francisco. If you are wondering what makes this such a special burrito, the answer is simple: it has extra vegetables, rice, sour cream, and cheese inside. Since it is such a favorite dish, you can find it in every neighborhood, and you will see many people eating it while sitting at a table or just walking down the streets of SF.
However, if you want to taste the “first Mission-Style Burrito” go to El Faro or La Cumbre, the places that claim they served it first. You can try both restaurants and if you do, let everybody know which one you prefer.
Address El Faro: 2399 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Address La Cumbre: 515 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
The Best Seafood at Swan Oyster Depot
Swan Oyster Depot is one of those rare places where you can order whatever you want from their menu and you can’t fail because everything is absolutely delicious. It is tough for locals to recommend a dish because everything is recommendable. Whether you want to have the Dungeness crab salad, oysters or clam chowder this place will amaze you, and you will end up wanting to order more from their menu, but remember that SF is filled with great restaurants so leave some space for other authentic dishes.
Since Swan Oyster Depot is very famous, you will probably have to wait in line. However, if you want to avoid a long wait, don’t go going during the weekend. The best way to try this place is by going on a weekday before it opens. Just don’t imagine you will be the only one waiting for Swan Oyster Depot to open its doors because everybody wants a taste of the best seafood in town.
Address: 1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
A Taste of Asia: Xiao Long Bao at Yank Sing
SF is filled with Asian restaurants and locals, as well as visitors love them. Yank Sing is one of the best and if you don’t mind paying a little bit more than you would in other restaurants, you should definitely make a reservation and indulge in their famous Xiao Long Bao. The dish has such an extraordinary fresh flavor that it makes people from all over California travel to SF to have it. In addition to the rich, delicious Xiao Long Bao, there are plenty other interesting dishes on their menu, and if you ask the locals, they will recommend all of them. However, keep in mind that this is not the cheapest restaurant in SF but if you want to offer yourself a little treat or you are celebrating something special Yank Sing is a fantastic choice.
Address: 49 Stevenson St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
The Best Dish after a Long Night Out: Caldo Verde at Grubstake
Even if New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, San Francisco is also part of this family. People of SF love to party just as much as they enjoy eating good food. And after a long night out nothing is better than a bowl of Caldo Verde, the Portuguese magic dish that saves many locals and travelers from annoying hangovers. Made with kale, potatoes, and zippy linguica sausage, Caldo Verde is what you should eat at 3 am after leaving the clubs of SF and Grubstake is the best place to do it. Not only is the food delicious but Grubstake is a lovely converted cable car that creates the perfect atmosphere for eating Caldo Verde.
Address: 1525 Pine St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
A Light, Delicious Lunch: Crab Louie at Scoma’s
The truth is that Crab Louie is originally from Spokane, Seattle, or Portland but there is a well-known theory saying it was actually created in SF in 1908 and it quickly became loved by locals and visitors. Who would say “no” to a delicious salad made of crab meat (preferably Dungeness), hard boiled eggs, tomato, asparagus, Iceberg lettuce and, of course, dressing (including Louis)? After eating so many hearty dishes during your holiday, a salad is definitely what you need. But don’t have any salad! Go for Crab Louie at Scoma’s, a charming restaurant with a flawless service!
Address: 1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Offer Yourself a Special Treat: Lobster Risotto at Gary Danko
Gary Danko is a famous restaurant among both locals and visitors. It is known not only for their high prices but also for the incredible food they serve. Lobster is pricey in most places, but expect to pay a little bit more than usual. At the same time, expect to fall in love with the taste of the perfectly cooked Lobster Risotto at Gary Danko.
If you are in the mood for a fancy dinner, this is definitely the place you should choose because not only the food but the whole experience will amaze you.
Address: Jack Morse 800 North Point Street at Hyde
Taste the Best Indian Pizza in San Francisco
If you love both Indian food and pizza, you should not miss eating at Zante Pizza & Indian Cuisine. I know that this combination might sound scary or even impossible but it definitely exists, and it is better than anyone expects. Made with Indian naan bread, chicken, tandoori lamb, eggplant, cauliflower and prawns with spinach this pizza will definitely make everybody, even the most skeptical ones fall in love with it. So, if you feel adventurous while exploring the beautifully arranged streets of SF, check out Zante Pizza & Indian Cuisine and dare to order the best Indian pizza in the city.
Address: 3489 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Indulge in the Famous Garlic Fries at AT&T Park
Though many might say there is nothing special about French fries, most people change their minds when they eat the super garlicky fries at AT&T Park. There is definitely no better street food you can have when taking a break from exploring the city. Although they can be a little bit greasy, the taste of perfectly cooked French fries with garlic and parsley will put a smile on your face and prepare you for more walking and visit.
Address: Jack Morse 24 Willie Mays Plaza
Something Sweet to Boost Your Energy: Ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery
No matter how cold it is, the locals of San Francisco never refuse a delicious ice cream, and the best place to indulge in a tasty, sugary treat is Bi-Rite Creamery. Whether you choose to order the classic flavors or you feel adventurous and ask for the experimental ones you will leave this place happier than you got there.
Also, since we are talking about ice cream, you should know that you can get a real taste of San Francisco from It’s-It, the chocolate covered ice cream sandwich that has been around since 1928. You can find it in most stores and if you see it get it without thinking about your hips. You are on vacation and what matters are your lips.
Address: 3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Begin Your Day with a Great Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Café
No real traveler who visits San Francisco leaves the city without having an Irish Coffee at least once. Some might say this is a tourist obsession, but locals are also passionate about this morning, or afternoon treat. The best one is at Buena Vista Café, and you can always pair it with something sweet if you want to satisfy your sweet desires.
Address: 2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
Martini at Aub Zam Zam
As mentioned above people of San Francisco like parties a lot so this means they also indulge in alcoholic beverages. One of their favorite drink is Martini and if you want to get a bit boozy, go to Aub Zam Zam and order a correctly made Martini. This is probably not something invented here, and we all know it, but right now, it is one of the drinks that defines the city so you must try it at least once.
Address: 1633 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
An SF Must: Anchor Steam Beer at Anchor Brewing Company
Dating since the 1800s but revived by Fritz Maytag in the’60s, the Anchor is one of the first American craft breweries post-Prohibition, and the Anchor Steam Beer is a must drink for both people who usually love beer and those who typically prefer wine. It is a perfect treat for a summer day even if we all know that summer in San Francisco is somewhat chilly and warm.
Address: 1705 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
Even though this list might seem long, there are plenty of other dishes that deserve to be tried when traveling to San Francisco because this is one of those fantastic cities that make foodies from all over the world feel like they are in heaven.