Read my guide to choosing restaurant in unfamiliar places: How to Find a Better Restaurant.
The following are some casual eateries and bars that I enjoy the most when in San Francisco. It strikes me as more or less easy to find information on fine dining, but finding places like these takes a bit more dedication. Enjoy!
Have a question? Ask me anything!
Description: Casual Japanese ramen shop that also serves other assorted small plates.
Address: 174 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 431-3971
Muracci’s Japanese Curry & Grill
Description: Japanese fast food restaurant specializing in katsu curry, lightly breaded and deep fried pork cutlets, called tonkatsu, and served with a Japanese take on flavorful South Asian curry.
Address: 307 Kearny Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 773-1101
Description: Modern Japanese ramen and noodle bar.
Address: 202 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
Telephone: (650) 375-1005
Description: Korean-style Japanese comfort foods.
Address: 499 Dolores Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 431-6268
Nihon Whisky Lounge
Description: Japanese small plates, sushi to pair perfectly with the selection of over 500 whiskies.
Address: 1779 Folsom Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 552-4400
NEW – Izakaya Rintaro
Description: Fine dining Japanese izakaya with exceptional small plates (especially the yakitori), cocktails and sake but avoid having a full dinner here as the entrees consistently disappoint.
Address: 82 14th St, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 589-7022
NEW – Healthy Food
NEW – Souvla
Description: Amazingly fresh, light and delicious Greek quick food and desserts in a casual, hip setting.
Address: 517 Hayes Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 400-5458
NEW – Jougert Bar
Description: Light, fresh and simple Greek yogurt based food in a friendly, cafe setting.
Address: 1115 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame
Telephone: (650) 343-1110
Description: Everything is made from scratch from the pasta to the pizza dough to the sausage at this rustic Italian restaurant. Pizza is made in a wood-fired oven imported from Tuscany.
Address: 490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 775-8508
Tony’s Pizza Nepolitana
Description: Casual Roman-style pizza made in a coal-fired oven.
Address: 1570 Stockton Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 835-9888
Description: Nautical-themed Italian seafood restaurant.
Address: 552 Green Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 398-3181
Swan Oyster Depot
Description: Casual fish market and raw seafood counter.
Address: 1517 Polk Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 673-2757
NEW – Other Ethnic Foods
NEW – Happy Myanmar Cafe
Description: A rare Western-style Burmese restaurant (most Burmese food in the Bay Area tends to be Eastern-style) at very reasonable prices.
Address: 2025 Gellert Boulevard, Suite 200, Daly City
Telephone: (650) 449-1378
NEW – Skyview Noodle & Tea
Description: Traditional Northern Chinese handmade noodles with delicately spiced broths and dumplings for good measure. Served in historic and quaint Old Town Pittsburg in East Bay.
Address: 200 East 3rd Street, Pittsburg, California
Telephone: (925) 318-4580
NEW – DaNang Tourane Vietnamese Restaurant
Description: Flawlessly executed traditional Vietnamese dishes in a casual diner atmosphere. Worth the hike all the way to East Bay.
Address: 4393 Hillcrest Avenue, Antioch, California
Telephone: (925) 206-4412
NEW – Las Brumas Salvadorian Food
Description: Made from scratch traditional Salvadorian restaurant in a casual, family oriented setting.
Address: 913 West 10th Street, Antioch, California
Telephone: (925) 732-3625
NEW – La Taqueria
Description: Outrageously delicious and meat heavy traditional tacos and burritos served in a no frills, communal dining hall.
Address: 2889 Mission Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 285-7117
Bars (and Barfood)
Description: Pirate-themed tiki bar with exceptional rum selection and craft cocktails.
Address: 650 Gough Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 869-1900
NEW – Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
Description: Extremely overpriced, but exceptionally fun tiki bar at the Fairmont Hotel with relaxing live music Wednesday through Sunday nights.
Address: Fairmont San Francisco (Floor “T”), 950 Mason Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 772-5278
Description: Innovative craft cocktail bar with fun, inspired bar bites.
Address: 3174 16th Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 400-4748
Description: Craft cocktail bar for the happy hour professional crowd.
Address: 246 Kearny Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 398-2827
Description: Bar site dates back to 1858 and offers an excellent selection of whiskey in an unpretentious setting.
Address: 3200 16th Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 552-1633
Description: Craft cocktail and brandy bar serving top-tier charcuterie and small plates.
Address: 140 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 975-0876
NEW – Pagan Idols
Description: Gorgeously decorated and subtle tiki lounge, serving up traditional and modern tikis playing an exotic, tiki-inspired ’50s era jazz score. Don’t miss the erupting volcano in back.
Address: 375 Bush Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 985-6375
Pastries and Sweets
Tous les Jours
Description: Korean-style French pastry shop with an incredible spread of treats with a seasonal focus.
Address: 3535 Homestead Road, Santa Clara
Telephone: (408) 985-1852
Description: Homemade organic ice creams in innovative, seasonal flavors.
Address: 3692 18th Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 626-5600
Description: Modern storefront offering traditional Japanese pastries, all imported directly from Japan.
Address: 648 Market Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 989-1645