San Francisco Favorites Recipe

People ask me where I like to eat in San Francisco quite a lot, so I thought I'd start compiling a list of some of my everyday favorites. I've organized them roughly by neighborhood, and hope that some of you can add to my list with some San Francisco favorites of your own.

San Francisco Favorites

Update: 4/2/12 I'm consolidating my San Francisco information onto a more regularly-updated page. It includes a map, a long list of places I enjoy in San Francisco, and links to other San Francisco references. Here's the link: San Francisco: Places I love.

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What a beautiful photo. I have a good friend moving to SF next week--I'll forward her this post.

The Leftoverist

I love this post - thank you! I'm going to NY for Labor Day weekend and would love to hear your (and others) favorite spots there!!


so funny, another sociologist here on my first trip to san francisco for a conference. thanks for the recommendations; this is great!


I agree with so many things you've listed! I'll add just one more... I've always been a big fan of the 5th floor of SFMOMA, but now that they've added the Rooftop Coffee Bar I'm even happier. Look out at the sculptures in SFMOMA's Rooftop Garden while enjoying Blue Bottle Coffee and a slice of Wayne Thiebaud inspired cake, a Katharina Fritsch ice cream sandwich, or go really wild and indulge in an affogato with Humphry Slocombe Secret Breakfast ice cream and a double shot of espresso.

denise (chez danisse)

omg i was just there! i wish i had had more time to visit more vegan & vegetarian eateries, but i only had three days. i will definitely use this as a reference for my next trip!


Marina area, across the street from Papyrus stationery store, there's a little cafe with the best cream cheese stuffed french toast I've ever had. Maybe I was just over hungry, but I've never had anything so delicious. Chestnut St., as far as I can tell from Papyrus' website.


Great post! I always recommend that folks brave the "Little Saigon" area of the Tenderloin and check out the great (and inexpensive) Vietnamese, Thai, and Burmese restaurants. Many vegetarian and vegan dishes at these places too. And I don't think one should visit this city and not try a local San Francisco-style taqueria. The Mission neighborhood is full of them, but there are a few well-loved places like El Farolito, La Taqueria, and Papalote. Also in the Mission is Bombay Ice Cream, they make a really great cardamom rose ice cream (more like kulfi really), though it's not organic like the ice cream at Bi-Rite.


A few that come to mind: bread and breakfast treats at Arizmendi's in the Inner Sunset Mexican lunch at Papalote near USF Espresso at Caffe Trieste - Market St. location is closest to me. wine at Que Syrah in West Portal. lovely neighborhood dinner spot at The Richmond on Balboa.

Mary Kate

This couldnt have more perfect timing. I have decended on San Francisco along with hundreds of other sociologists for our annual conference, and we were just debating where to go for dinner. Although I admit I am also looking forward to fish tacos at Pacific Catch for lunch one day. Have you tried them? I love the blend of fresh and light. They have single-handedly converted me to a fish taco lover.

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

lovelovelove the chilaquiles at the Primavera food stand at the Ferry building farmer's market! Couldn't agree with you more.


Ghirardelli sundaes ...yum :)


Also in The Haight: - The Alembic bar and gastropub, serving seasonal, local fare (spiced duck hearts, fried green tomatoes, bone marrow with capers and roasted garlic, duck confit with peaches and maitake mushrooms, deep fried ricotta with balsamic sauce - not typical bar food!). Check out one of their many complex cocktails or their extensive beer list.


The Haight: - Buy the most delicious sausage you will ever eat from Rosamund Sausage Grill. Take it next door into Toronado Bar (the ultimate destination for SF craft beer enthusiasts) and pair it with any of dozens of wonderful beers they will have on tap.


SOMA: - Taste a rare beer on tap at City Beer (on Folsom St between 7th and 8th) while browsing the expansive worldwide beer bottle selection for sale. Chat with Beth and Craig, the always friendly proprietors. - For a real boozy, lazy day, walk half a block to Terroir, a lovely wine bar/shop. Sip a glass of exquisite wine while munching on a plate of cheese and charcuterie.


beautiful photo. I love SF

LINA@ my lifeisyummy

so i KNOW that pier 39 is a tourist trap, but the Rodney Lough gallery is worth checking out. he is an awesome landscape photographer who seems to favor tiny apertures and very long exposures. i had never heard of him before but my husband and i wondered into the gallery and really enjoyed looking at his work. plus, it's a rather large gallery, so even if you're not on the market for something to hang on your wall, you could still spend a while just exploring.


When I finally visit SF, I will be sure to consult your list for some recommendations! That photo by Wayne is stunning, just stunning.


You'll have to hit your favorite spots in the east bay sometime too. The Orange caramel bread pudding at Cesar is amazing, and every spring they have deep fried fresh chick peas still in the pod with cumin which make me want to run back to Berkeley daily.


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