What To Eat & Drink In San Francisco

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!

Japanese Food

Orenchi Beyond
Description: Casual Japanese ramen shop that also serves other assorted small plates.
Address: 174 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 431-3971

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Yuzu ramen bowl
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Nankotsu karaage

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

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Katsu curry

Himawari-Tei
Description: Modern Japanese ramen and noodle bar.
Address: 202 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
Telephone: (650) 375-1005

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Jar jar men

Namu Gaji
Description
: Korean-style Japanese comfort foods.
Address: 499 Dolores Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 431-6268

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Okonomiyaki

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

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Uni shots with quail egg yolk and tobiko

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

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House made silken tofu.
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Chicken heart yakitori.
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Broiled whole rainbow trout.

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

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Spit-roasted lamb leg pita wrap.
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Lightly sweetened Greek frozen yogurt topped with olive oil and honey.

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

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Yogurt-based egg salad sandwich.

 Italian Food

Cotogna
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

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Spicy sausage, broccoli rabe and egg pizza
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Orecchiette and clam pasta

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

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Coal-fired margherita pizza made with the restaurant’s decades old mother dough

Sotto Mare
Description: Nautical-themed Italian seafood restaurant.
Address: 552 Green Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 398-3181

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Mixed seafood cioppino

Swan Oyster Depot
Description: Casual fish market and raw seafood counter.
Address: 1517 Polk Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 673-2757

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Halibut crudo
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Steamed, cracked crab
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Assorted raw clams

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

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Moh-hingar, a catfish and vegetable based chowder with thin rice noodles.
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Pork and pumpkin curry.

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

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Spicy Anhui-style beef noodle soup.

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

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Exceptionally fresh softshell crab, fried to perfection.
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Sweet and spicy green papaya salad with steamed shrimp.
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Ba la lot (beef sausage wrapped in la lot leaves) with fried spring rolls and fried egg topped rice.

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

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Rich and deeply flavored beef foot and tripe soup.

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

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Assorted giant tacos.

Bars (and Barfood)

Smuggler’s Cove
Description: Pirate-themed tiki bar with exceptional rum selection and craft cocktails.
Address: 650 Gough Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 869-1900

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House blend of Plantation rum
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Pirate-themed tiki decor

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

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Tikis galore.
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Live band on a floating stage.

ABV
Description: Innovative craft cocktail bar with fun, inspired bar bites.
Address: 3174 16th Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 400-4748

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Mezonte mezcal selection
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Innovative craft cocktails
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Broiled octopus and potatoes
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Peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwiches

Rickhouse
Description: Craft cocktail bar for the happy hour professional crowd.
Address: 246 Kearny Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 398-2827

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White martinez

Elixir
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

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Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey

Trou Normand
Description: Craft cocktail and brandy bar serving top-tier charcuterie and small plates.
Address: 140 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 975-0876

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Assorted charcuterie board
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Fried smelt
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Lightly fried calamari.

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

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Elegant tikis in elegant surroundings.

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

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Assorted pastries

Bi-Rite Creamery
Description: Homemade organic ice creams in innovative, seasonal flavors.
Address: 3692 18th Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 626-5600

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Ice cream!

Minamoto Kitchoan
Description: Modern storefront offering traditional Japanese pastries, all imported directly from Japan.
Address: 648 Market Street, San Francisco
Telephone: (415) 989-1645

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Assorted traditional Japanese pastries

 

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Lina says:

    Can’t wait to go again this December!

    1. Let me know what you think! Enjoy!

      1. I liked it 🙂 sadly, fog town dinner has closed down. It would be awesome here

  2. Dr B says:

    What an absolutely brilliant and useful post, you must have put so much effort into it. We are flying to SF from UK mid April to begin a 3 weeks Trans USA Rail journey and this will be so useful for our first three days ……. 70th birthday celebrations! Need a beer guide too!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m also very pleased to hear that you’d choose to celebrate such a momentous birthday in the States. Given the noteworthiness of such a celebration, I’d be happy to make an inquiry among friends for some beer bars, if you’d like. Please let me know!

      1. Dr B says:

        A fantastic offer Sanjay, not one to refuse! I’ll be blogging most days too, apart from outdoors attractions like Grand Canyon Yosemite Niagara the main cities we visit are SF, Denver, Chicago, NY. We have previously visited Memphis and New Orleans for music so are especially looking forward to visiting Chicago and finding a good bar for traditional blues music, real old fashioned, so ….. beer and blues in your hometown! Just followed you too so browsing around later today. You’re up early/late!

      2. Late indeed. Nights are all the time I can find to get writing done, unfortunately. To add to your Chicago list, Rosa’s is by far the best traditional blues bar in Chicago. You’ll find Chicago legends playing there every weekend. Concerning San Francisco beer bars, I’ll send a note to friends and get back to you shortly. No doubt we’d be happy to play our small part in the festivities!

      3. Dr B says:

        Brilliant, thank you so much …. choose the bar, bring a friend, drinks on us!

      4. That’s very kind and I’ll gladly join you plus one. No need to buy us drinks though! Looking forward to meeting!

      5. Dr B says:

        We fly and arrive on April 19th, classic tours on 20th, free day on 21st, depart 22nd. Staying in Union Sq, will send more when I get details. My email is [DELETED] better for communicating I think. 👍👫

      6. Dr B says:

        Did I just mess up ….. you in SF or Chicago?

      7. Sometimes I get confused myself with my travel schedule, but I’m in Chicago. I was previously giving a blues bar recommendation for Chicago.

      8. Dr B says:

        Oh hell, my fault. I gave you the SF schedule. It looks like just one night in Chicago on May 2nd but final confirmation will come to us in about 10 days time.

      9. Splendid. I also emailed you and deleted your email address from your prior message to help keep your account free from spammers. I should be in Chicago in early May, so that will work out. Looking forward to further correspondence!

  3. drinkinginsa says:

    Great to keep in mind when visiting San Fran!

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