Best Places to Eat & Drink in San Francisco

Our Recommendations

Restaurants

Taqueria Cancun

($) Mexican

Open until 1.30am, reliable and cheap Mexican fare.

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Brenda’s French Soul Food

($) Cajun

Lines can be really long, aim to get there early (before 10 am for breakfast) as no reservations. Open 8am-8pm. The neighborhood can seem a bit sketchy. Try the beignets and grits.

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Sam Wo

($) Chinese

Oldest Chinese restaurant – over 100 years old. Don’t expect to be speaking much English.

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In-N-Out Burger

($) Fast Food, Burgers

Famous fast food chain found mostly on the West Coast.

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Burma Superstar

($$) Burmese

Try the tea leaf salad. No reservations so get there early – this place has a line every night.

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Dottie’s True Blue Cafe

($$) American (Breakfast, Brunch)

Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Open 7.30am. The line is really long – aim to get there before it opens.

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Great Eastern Restaurant

($$) Chinese (Dim Sum)

Good value Chinese restaurant in Chinatown for dim sum. Obama and other celebrities have eaten here.

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Off the Grid

($$) Food Trucks (multiple cuisines)

Friday evening at Fort Mason and Sunday afternoon in the Presidio. If you are around on these days this is a must-try!

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Ideale

($$) Italian

Our favorite family-run Italian restaurant in North Beach.

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Akiko’s Restaurant

($$) Japanese

Great value sushi bar in the Financial District. Make reservations. The menu changes daily.

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Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya

($$) Japanese, Vegan

One of the best vegetarian/vegan options in the city, incredible flavors.

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Velvet Cantina

($$) Mexican

More upmarket Mexican compared to the taquerias – good for sit down dinner and drinks. Try the mole.

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Fresca

($$) Peruvian

They do brunch as well. There are other branches but the one on Fillmore is best. Try the sampler.

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Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

($$) Pizza, Italian

World-famous pizzeria in North Beach. Expect a one-hour or more wait but worth it if you’re craving pizza.

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Hog Island Oyster Co.

($$) Seafood, Oyster Bar

Can get $1 oysters for happy hour on weekdays (5-6.30pm), and good for clam chowders. Good view of the water.

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Kin Khao

($$) Thai

Try the spicy chicken wings. Inside Parc 55 Hotel. Affordable for a 1 Michelin star restaurant.

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Gracias Madre

($$) Mexican, Vegan

An excellent vegan option if you’re wanting Mexican. Try the pozole.

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Ananda Fuara

($$) Vegetarian, Vegan

Closed Mondays. Close early for dinner (8pm). Spiritually-centric vibe.

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State Bird Provisions

($$$) American

Extremely small number of reservations available. Be prepared to wait for a long time (1 hour+) if you don’t have a booking – get there before it opens.

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Cockscomb

($$$) Burgers, American, Seafood

Try the meatless Impossible Burger. Closed Sundays.

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Tosca Cafe

($$$) Itlian

Great ambiance for dinner. If you’re feeling adventurous try the pig ears/pig tails. Solid selection of wines.

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Kokkari Estiatorio

($$$) Greek, Mediterranean

Lunch only on weekdays. Make sure to get a reservation. Classy vibe. The private rooms downstairs are nice. Try the lamb chops.

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Tadich Grill

($$$) Modern American, Steak & Seafood

Old school – been around for over 165 years. California’s oldest restaurant.

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House of Prime Rib

($$$) Steakhouse, American

If you’re craving a juicy steak this is your place. Make a reservation – they are busy all the time!

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Saison

($$$) Modern American

Califonia’s most expensive restaurant – $398pp. 3 Michelin stars. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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Lazy Bear

($$$) Modern American

2 Michelin Stars. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Casual ambiance, hipster vibe.

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Benu

($$$) Modern American, Asian Fusion

Award-winning 3-star Michelin star restaurant.

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Gary Danko

($$$$) Modern American, French

1 Michelin Star. Can choose to eat 3, 4, or 5 courses. The menu changes seasonally.

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Mister Jiu’s

($$$$) Chinese

A modern twist on Chinese and excellent drinks to match. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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La Folie

($$$$) French

A mix of traditional and contemporary French cuisine featuring locally-sourced produce.

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Atelier Crenn

($$$$) French

2 Michelin star French restaurant. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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Quince

($$$$) French, Italian

3 Michelin star restaurant. Degustation style menu that changes seasonally.

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Sweets & Desserts

Bi-Rite Creamery

Ice Cream & Frozen Yoghurt

Delicious ice creams in the Mission. Our favorites are the honey lavender and salted caramel. Prepare for a long line even on a cold day.

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Craftsman & Wolves

Bakery, Patisserie

Quaint little bakery in the Mission with a hipster ambiance and delicious pastries.

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Tartine Bakery & Cafe

Bakery, Desserts

A San Francisco institution. Always long lines – expect a 20-30 min wait at least to get inside.

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Sixth Course

Desserts, Chocolatier, Gelato

Possibly the best desserts in the city!

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Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace

Chocolatier, Desserts, Ice Cream

Widely popular historic chocolatier near Fisherman’s Wharf. Free samples!

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Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

Relatively new ice creamery with unusual flavors. Our favorite is the secret breakfast.

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Coffee & Tea

Cafe Trieste

Historic cafe in North Beach and the first espresso bar in the city.

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Blue Bottle

Incredible coffee but service can be a bit slow when it’s busy.

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Sightglass Coffee

A really fun environment in SoMa to sit in for a coffee. You’ll hear plenty of startup pitches.

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Réveille Coffee Co.

Hipster cafe in North Beach with excellent coffee.

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Samovar Tea Lounge

Great selection of teas and tea sets (tea pairing with wholesome food ranging from England, Russia, Morocco, India, and Asia).

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Andytown Coffee Roasters

Try their famous snowy plover (espresso, brown sugar syrup, soda water, topped with homemade whipped cream).

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T-We Tea

Cute tea shop in the Financial District.

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Lovejoy’s Tea Room

Renowned for their high tea service, located in Noe Valley.

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Bars & Lounges

Vesuvio Cafe

Bars & Lounges

Be transported back to the 50’s at this historic bar that played host to Jack Kerouac and the Beatniks.

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Top of the Mark

Cocktail Bar

Located on the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel with 360-degree views of the city. Get there early for sunset if you want a window seat.

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Press Club

Wine Bar

Mon-Fri, $3 off wines by the glass and draft beers; Sat-Sun, half-off bottles over $70. No hard liquor.

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The Hidden Vine

Wine Bar

Cozy bar, good wine selections, have a bocce ball area outside.

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Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

Tiki Bar

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Great cocktails and fun atmosphere. A live band plays on a floating stage, complete with rain and thunder.

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Novela

Cocktail Bar, Oysters

Happy hour: $1 shucked-to-order oysters and 20% off bottles of wine.

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Bar Agricole

Cocktail Bar

It has been named one of the best bars in the country! Great mixology and vibrant atmosphere in this sprawling venue.

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