San Francisco is a great travel destination for many reasons. It has a mild climate, which makes it a pleasant place to visit at any time. The city is also home to various cultural attractions, including world-class museums, performing arts venues, and galleries. In addition, San Francisco is known for its beautiful parks and outdoor spaces which offer a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
San Francisco also has a vibrant and diverse restaurant scene, with a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. The city is known for its seafood, as it is located near the Pacific Ocean and has a long fishing history. As a result, many seafood restaurants in San Francisco serve fresh, locally-caught fish and shellfish.
In addition, San Francisco is home to a large number of restaurants that serve Asian cuisine, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese food. The city is also known for its farm-to-table movement, with many restaurants sourcing their ingredients from local farms and producers.
Our Local Spotters have scoured the city to find the best places to eat, and they have come back with a list of top-notch restaurants that are sure to satisfy any appetite.
Whether you’re looking for a fancy fine dining experience or a casual bite to eat, our local Spotters have you covered. So if you’re planning a trip to San Francisco and want to experience the best that the city has to offer, be sure to check out these recommendations:
San Francisco Brewing Co.
“After a long day of walking around Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and the surrounding areas, there’s nothing better than a cold beer and great food.
San Francisco Brewing Company. Good beer, starters, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts. Where do I start? After a gander at the menu, I decided on Cauliflower Bites – fried crisp and served with yoghurt sauce, a house salad, and the Hippie Pie because, you know, I used to be one.
The Hippie Pie was topped with pesto, mozzarella, seasonal veggies, and Laura Chenel chèvre. I opted for the Grapefruit by the Bay IPA to accompany all that deliciousness. I was not disappointed.
For dessert, I opted for the Brownie Sundae. This may sound boring and predictable, but it wasn’t. This one was topped with vanilla bean ice cream, Ghirardelli chocolate sauce, and whipped cream! I wanted to pretend I was Ann-Margret in “Tommy” and dive into a vat of Ghirardelli chocolate sauce wearing all white and frolic. But I digress…
San Francisco Brewing Company is the place to relax after a long day. You’ll love the food and the ambience, I promise. Go. You know you want to.”- Kathleen Messmer
Yellow Submarine Sandwiches – Beatles-themed sub
“Yellow Submarine, though considered one of the lesser-known Beatles albums, the sandwich shop of the same name is by far one of the more well-known and iconic in San Francisco.
Decked out with the original submarine illustrations, undoubtedly drawn by someone equally enthusiastic about classic rock and sandwiches, the store certainly does stand out. For that reason, curiosity is a more than valid reason to stop by; it’s why I did so for the first time.
The food definitely lives up to the allure. If the album was considered a step below the others (though I personally disagree), the sandwiches more than make up for it. Each is its own experience with a generous array of toppings, including their homemade hot sauce.”- Marcus D’avignon
Golden Boy Pizza – A gold rush
“Claiming for somewhere to be the best pizza place in San Francisco is bold, but with Golden Boy I can safely say, in my opinion, it is far and away the best pizza in the city.
Everything about this place is perfection. From the sticker-covered walls to the tongue-in-cheek menu board to the pizza itself, Golden Boy sets itself apart from every other pizza place.
They conveniently located themselves in the heart of North Beach, setting up one of the best afternoon combinations in the city: a slice of Golden Boy pizza in the park. This one’s hard to beat. Good pizza in one of the city’s signature neighborhoods is a guaranteed winner.
Golden Boy is pretty funky itself, but to complete the vibe check out the “music” store across the street. As great as North Beach is, the main strip often overshadows the gems hidden on the side. But if you’re willing to walk a block or two off Columbus, you won’t be disappointed.”- Marcus D’avignon
Tony’s Pizza Napolitana
“Tony’s Pizza Napolitana, Oh man, what a great place – great food. Tony came to our table personally, and since I didn’t know what to order, I asked for a suggestion. Little did I know what was in store for me. He said, “let me bring you something special”, so while I waited, I salivated about what decadent treasure he might bring.
Upon his return, I asked what it was. He told me it was his speciality, “Honey Pie”. I was thinking to myself that it didn’t sound appealing at all and frankly, having my pizza drizzled with honey wasn’t my idea of a good time. I was so wrong.
The combination of sweet and savory was like heaven wrapped in pizza dough. And yes, I ate the whole thing myself. I told my son not to even think about touching my pizza! He didn’t.
Now, if you happen to go to Tony’s Pizza Napolitana, order whatever strikes your fancy because it’s all beyond good. You’ll be so spoiled, you won’t be able to eat pizza anywhere else. And by the way, he also has a cookbook out called The Pizza Bible. Yum!”- Kathleen Messmer
Zazie – A bit of French dining all day long
“Zazie is my perfect local French bistro whether I am up at 8 am, peckish at lunch or in the mood for the greatest pork chop San Francisco has to offer.
In the interest of truth in advertising, Zazie is more of a French-inspired San Francisco dining experience. Starting at the coffee end of the day, Zazie offers a series of diverse and delightful Eggs Benedicts – and the best coffee cake I have ever tasted.
Lunch offers a perfect burger with brie or a Croque Madam, but dinner is the star; honestly, if you eat meat, just order the pork chop and stare in wonder at the seasonal preparation. They have a well-chosen and well-priced wine list and a reasonable corkage fee.”- Byron Beach
“San Francisco has many fine neighborhoods, all very different from one another. There is one, though, that always maintains its identity. It seems untouched by time, and you can just feel the layers of history piled on one another here. I’m talking about the North Beach District.
Being a film nerd, I’ve come to love the film history trivia associated with this building. Film director and vintner, Francis Ford Coppola bought the building in 1972, and made the Sentinel his headquarters for his film company, American Zoetrope.
It blows my mind that such movies as The Godfather, Apocolypse Now, The Outsiders, and the Conversation were written, edited, and sound mixed here. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during any of those productions.
On the street level is his restaurant, Café Zoetrope. It’s a fun place to dine. On the walls, you can enjoy the mementos from Coppola’s film career. There’s nothing like indulging in delicious Italian food and dissecting his movies. You gotta go!”- Brooke Ekdahl
Devil’s Teeth Bakery Company
“In life, I think it’s safe to say that we enjoy the simple pleasures. Maybe it’s sleeping in, getting a parking spot outside your apartment building, or knowing you don’t have any obligations on your weekend.
I find that over the years, along with discovering notable coffee shops, I have also been on the hunt for the best breakfast sandwich. To be honest, I didn’t have to hunt very long at all in this case. The magic that is created in these four walls is going to knock your socks off! The place is called Devil’s Teeth Bakery.
I love waking up on a weekend morning and instantly getting a craving for their special breakfast sandwich.
You know the scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when Charlie slowly peels back the wrapper to the chocolate bar, anticipating that he may discover the winning ticket? I feel like that every time I peel back the tin foil of one of these breakfast sandwiches. I feel like a winner.
I’m talking about two scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, and their famous lemon garlic aioli on a warm homemade buttermilk biscuit. Is your mouth watering yet?”- Brooke Ekdah
Radhaus – German eats
“Ever just want a beer? Let’s say it’s been a killer week at work, and you need something to take off the edge. Maybe you want to indulge in something fatty and wonderful, as well.
Look no further, folks! Anyone can go home and have a beer, but if you want a truly indulgent experience, you should go to Radhaus.
The first time I discovered Radhaus was by complete accident. I was at a limited roller-skating event in the parking lot and had worked up an appetite. Luckily, Radhaus was in the vicinity and helped a girl out.
The inside is super inviting, everything white, with some sexy wood décor. The warm natural light beams in and offers a lovely ambiance. Not only that, but the restaurant faces the marina, so you’ll be sure to enjoy gorgeous views of the boats in the harbor and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.”- Brooke Ekdahl
“I discovered Cafe Reverie by complete accident one day when the restaurant I was intending to go to for brunch was full. I walked in expecting to settle for an uninspiring bagel or some such, but ended up finding probably my favorite cafe in the city. Situated in Cole Valley, the San Francisco’s brunch mecca, it’s definitely an overlooked gem.
On the outside it looks like pretty much every other cafe. I don’t care too much for coffee so my hopes weren’t high, but I was pleasantly surprised. What they don’t tell you is that they boast a full brunch menu and a beautiful outdoor garden patio.
It’s a much more relaxed vibe inside than most of the other go-to brunch hotspots; I, for one, prefer to eat outside under a tree rather than crammed in a noisy restaurant. The people working there are friendly and the crowd tends to be families and regulars rather than noisy groups of techies.”-Marcus D’avignon
Frances – Table wine is a must
“Frances is my go-to restaurant for out of town guests or a nice night out. Located in the Castro, it is a stone’s throw from bars, coffee shops, and the Castro Theater.
In addition to being a local favorite, it made the Eater 38 SF list!
Frances is the epitome of a San Francisco restaurant. Great locally-sourced food, excellent wine, comfortable atmosphere, and it won’t break the bank. Reservations can be hard to get on a weekend night. The secret trick is to walk in and grab some seats at the countertop, which offers a full menu and most importantly: you can still get the wine.
Instead of buying table wine by the glass or bottle, you buy it by the ounce. Ounces are $ 1.50. It ends up being around the same price as table wine at similar restaurants, but the unique concept makes it all the more fun. Frances does have an extensive wine list that can be purchased by the glass or bottle along with some excellent cocktails.”- Stefanie Boltz