The Top 10 Foods You Have to Eat in San Francisco
Published by Josh Hirsch.
Are you planning a trip to the Bay Area? Whether you’re a native or a tourist, we all have to eat. San Francisco isn’t just known for the Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars; it’s also a foodie’s paradise. With an abundance of delicious foods to try, how do you know where to start? We have created a list of the top ten best food finds in San Fran. From spicy to sweet, there are delicacies from all around the world located in The Golden City. Don’t leave San Francisco without trying these top ten tasty foods found at the best restaurants, bakeries, and cafes!
When you need something sweet in the morning what’s better than a big ole’ stack of pancakes? Whether you’re eating them for breakfast, brunch, or even lunch, be sure to get a stack while you’re in San Francisco.
Zazie – While you’re there be sure to try their gingerbread pancakes or the lemon ricotta. Breakfast or brunch at Zazie will fuel you for the rest of the day. This place is a family favorite on holidays and weekends as well.
Plow– Their homemade pancakes are to die for, along with all of their other brunch and breakfast goodies. Plus, they gave a gluten-free almond flour version for anyone staying away from grains. You may want to call ahead though, word is out how fabulous this place is, and the lines can be quite long.
- Fried Chicken
A tasty fried treat every once in a while, never hurt anyone. Sometimes we need to fill that deep-fried craving and dive into a pile of fried chicken. Great for a quick lunch or an easy on the go dinner, these fried chicken joints are some of the best the city has to offer.
The Front Porch – For some comfort food in the Bay Area head over to The Front Porch. Southern home cooking right in the heart of the Mission, what can be better? Be sure to get a bucket of their famous fried chicken and sample of the classic sides to go along with it.
The Bird – The name says it all. Dive into one of their fried chicken sandwiches for a quick lunch at this family-friendly dive. With so many styles to choose from, this fried chicken sandwich stop is a crowd favorite.
- Mission Burrito
Arguably one of the most famous SF foods, the mission-style burrito or San Francisco burrito first became popular in the 1960s. Filled with extra rice and extra toppings, these huge burritos will leave you feeling full for hours. Jump from spot to spot to sample the best of the Mission District!
La Taqueria – La Taqueria in the Mission has some of the best Mexican food you’ll find this side of the border. The no-frills family-style restaurant promises to serve up some of the best tacos and burritos in the Mission District.
Taqueria La Cumbre – Taqueria La Cumbre is said to be the birthplace of the mission-style burrito, and this 50-year-old restaurant is still a crowd favorite. For all of your late-night burrito cravings head over here, on Friday and Saturday, they stay open until 2:30 am.
- Ice Cream
In the hot San Fran heat you may want to take a quick break from sightseeing for a nice cold refreshing scoop. Ice cream is one of America’s favorite sweet treats, and in San Francisco, you can find classic to crazy flavors.
The Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain – Transport back to the 1930s and try a classic hot fudge sundae or banana split from this retro-inspired soda fountain shop. From boozy milkshakes to ice cream sodas, this unique spot has something for everyone.
Milkbomb Ice Cream– Ice cream gets a new twist at Milkbomb. Do you want your scoop served inside a warm glazed donut instead of a cone? That’s no problem at Milkbomb. They are known to offer a wide selection of toppings and out-there flavors like Mexican mango, Hot Cheeto, and Tajin spice. These Instagram worthy treats do draw a long line, though, so it’s best to come early.
- Clam Chowder
In a city known for its seafood, there is no doubt you’ll find some of the best hearty bowls of clam chowder in the country. Whether you like New England (white) or Manhattan (red) San Fran has you covered.
Sabella & La Torre – As of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco, they have had years to perfect their chowder recipe, and boy did they perfect it. Try a cup of their ultra-fresh clam chowder in Boston style, Manhattan style, or try the Sabella & La Torre traditional recipe.
Fog Harbor Fish House – Winners of the Wharf Fest 2018 People’s Choice Award for the best clam chowder. They serve up their award-winning chowder in freshly baked sourdough bread, baked fresh every hour.
- Dim Sum
For delicious dumplings and bums be sure to head over to Chinatown. From quick take out joints to dine in restaurants, if you like dim sum, San Fran has plenty to choose from.
Great Eastern – This restaurant is a Chinatown institution, drawing in celebrities, tourists, SF natives, and even presidents. Locals and visitors swear by this place to fill their old school style dim sum cravings.
Good Luck Dim Sum – Located in Richmond, this shop serves up authentic dim sum. They only have six tables in the restaurant, though, so most opt to get take-out. One of the best perks about Good Luck Dim Sum is their very fair prices. Most sets of three cost only $2.
Crab season runs from November until June in San Francisco, and you won’t want to miss it. Get your crab fix from either of these top-rated restaurants below.
Scomas – The crab as Scomas will leave you full but always coming back for more! The pier to plate restaurant has become a favorite for locals and tourists in the Bay Area. From crab salads to bisque this local eatery has been serving up fisherman’s fare since 1065.
Overlooking the historic fishing fleet and the Golden Gate Bridge, Alioto’s serves up some of the best Italian-American seafood in the area. The family-run joint is located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, so you know the crab will be fresh.
If your sweet tooth is creeping up on you, head over to one of the best bakeries in town to sample delectable homemade delicacies. From croissants, tarts, and cinnamon buns San Fran bakeries will be sure to full your sweet craving.
Bread Belly – Did you ever hear of a purple sweet potato tart? They blend traditional Asian sweet treats with American classics, making a match made in heaven for our pallets. You don’t want to miss this Ube tart with a flaky buttery crust to die for.
Arsicault Bakery – It was declared as home to the “best croissant in America” by Bon Appetit, and ever since the lines for these famous French pastries have been out the door. They also have some of the best morning buns, and tarts the city has to offer.
While it may not be a food per se, we could all use a little pick me up during a long day of sightseeing and eating through San Francisco. For a freshly brewed cup of jo’ head over to one of these famous coffee shops.
While their inspiration may have come from a library in Paris, Mazarine serves the Bay Area locals classic hot and cold brews.
Dubbed as a hipster’s paradise by some, this coffee shop in Haight-Ashbury roasts every bean to perfection. The unique look, strong exotic coffees, and minimalistic industrial setting have made this shop a local favorite.
Usually a family favorite, pizza is loved by millions of people around the world. San Fran has a few top contenders for pizza shops that can hold their own again New York, and dare we say it, Italy. With so many pizza places to choose from in The Golden City, it was hard to narrow it down, check out the top two below.
From thin crust to Chicago deep dish, whatever pizza style your prefer, The Little Star will have it. Using only the freshest ingredients, their pizza comes out piping hot, and they have over a dozen specialty pizzas to choose from.
The contemporary pizza place offers fine Italian cuisine. They have thirteen specialty pizzas and killer pasta dishes to go along with it. The Pink Onion is the perfect spot to fill your Italian cravings. A few carbs never hurt anyone right?