San Francisco Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Foodie Cities in the U.S.
Credit

Courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood/Getty Images

What to Eat in San Francisco

San Francisco's dining scene is diverse in its culinary offerings, featuring both casual and upscale establishments as well as cuisine from around the world, helping it earn the distinction of one of the best foodie cities in the USA. Here you can find a bevy of Michelin-star establishments (it is one of only four cities in the U.S. to have a Michelin guide), coffee cafes (San Francisco has the most coffee shops per capita than any other U.S. city), as well as neighborhoods made famous for their international offerings, including North Beach (Italian), The Mission (Mexican) and Chinatown (Chinese), among others. But what makes San Francisco particularly stand out is commitment to utilizing what's available, instead of what they can get. Here the option to source ingredients locally is not so much a question but rather an expectation among the culinary community. 
San Franciscans are crazy about their local bounty and you should be too. In fact, stopping at a farmers market is a cultural experience here. There are more than 50 available in the Bay Area alone. The farmers market at the Ferry Building Marketplace acts as a microcosm of the city's culinary identity. The market works to showcase small, regional producers only and is frequented by more than 200 of the city's chefs, including Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement. 
You could spend days trying to navigate San Francisco's vast dining scene, but it moves pretty fast. The next big place to eat may not be the same a couple weeks later (in 2014, there was a new restaurant opening every week). That said, there are some establishments that have stood the test of time. You may want to opt for a classic bread bowl with clam chowder at Boudin's (the original creator of SF's famous sourdough), or visit the heavily lauded Tartine Bakery for this Bay Area classic. Speaking of desserts, Bi-Rite Creamery's ice cream and Golden Gate Bakery's egg tarts are said to be some of the city's best desserts. 
For coffee, Peets Coffee & Tea started in the Bay Area, though Philz Coffee gets much more love from locals. If you're more into beer, a visit at the Anchor Brewing Company is a must. There's Chinatown, but there's also Japantown in the Western Addition (one of three remaining in the continental USA). The Richmond is also said to be a top spot for Asian cuisine while the Mission is renowned for its Mexican food, specifically its burritos. Depending on who you ask, La Taqueria is said to have San Francisco's best burrito, though if you're cruising 24th street, you're likely to run into numerous neighborhood gems.  

San Francisco's dining scene is diverse in its culinary offerings, featuring both casual and upscale establishments as well as cuisine from around the world, helping it earn the distinction of one of the best foodie cities in the USA. Here you can find a bevy of Michelin-star establishments (it is one of only four cities in the U.S. to have a Michelin guide), coffee shops, as well as neighborhoods made famous for their international offerings, including North Beach (Italian), The Mission (Mexican) and Chinatown (Chinese), among others. But what makes San Francisco particularly stand out is commitment to utilizing what's available, instead of what they can get. Here, the option to source ingredients locally is not so much a question but rather an expectation among the culinary community. 

San Franciscans are crazy about their local bounty and you should be too. In fact, stopping at a farmers market is a cultural experience here. There are more than 50 available in the Bay Area alone. The farmers market at the Ferry Building Marketplace acts as a microcosm of the city's culinary identity. The market works to showcase only small, regional producers and is frequented by more than 200 of the city's chefs, including Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement. 

You could spend days trying to navigate San Francisco's vast dining scene, but it moves pretty fast. The next big place to eat may not be the same a couple weeks later (in 2014, there was a new restaurant opening every week). That said, there are some establishments that have stood the test of time. You may want to opt for a classic bread bowl with clam chowder at Boudin's (the original creator of SF's famous sourdough), or visit the heavily lauded Tartine Bakery for this Bay Area classic. Speaking of sweet treats, Bi-Rite Creamery's ice cream and Golden Gate Bakery's egg tarts are said to be some of the city's best desserts. 

For coffee, Peets Coffee & Tea started in the Bay Area, though Philz Coffee gets much more love from locals. If you're more into beer, a visit to the Anchor Brewing Company is a must. There's Chinatown, but there's also Japantown in the Western Addition (one of three remaining in the continental United States). The Richmond is also said to be a top spot for Asian cuisine while the Mission is renowned for its Mexican food, specifically its burritos. Depending on who you ask, La Taqueria is said to have San Francisco's best burrito, though if you're cruising 24th street, you're likely to run into numerous neighborhood gems. For an overview of they city's ever-evolving dining scene (and the chance to sample some delicious eats along the way), sign up for a guided tour.

Find the Best Restaurants in San Francisco

  • #1
    Mersea Restaurant
    #1 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 224 reviewsTripAdvisor (224)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    699 Avenue of the Palms Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA 94130
    Read More »
  • #2
    Geoff of Ichido
    #2 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 144 reviewsTripAdvisor (144)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Seafood, Asian
    50 Apparel Way Inside Sequoia Sake, San Francisco, CA 94124
    Read More »
  • #3
    Mitchell's Ice Cream
    #3 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 489 reviewsTripAdvisor (489)
    $ | American
    688 San Jose Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110-4925
    Read More »
  • #4
    Don of The Bimini Twist
    #4 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 273 reviewsTripAdvisor (273)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, American, Seafood
    SOMA Neighborhood, San Francisco, CA 94107
    Read More »
  • #5
    Acme Bread
    #5 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 301 reviewsTripAdvisor (301)
    $ |
    1 Ferry Plz, San Francisco, CA 94111-4212
    Read More »
  • #6
    Eight Am
    #6 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1156 reviewsTripAdvisor (1156)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    1323 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133-1330
    Read More »
  • #7
    Cafe De Casa
    #7 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 152 reviewsTripAdvisor (152)
    $ | Brazilian, Cafe
    2701 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94133-1309
    Read More »
  • #8
    Quince
    #8 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 545 reviewsTripAdvisor (545)
    $$ | French
    470 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133-4610
    Read More »
  • #9
    Kokkari Estiatorio
    #9 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2603 reviewsTripAdvisor (2603)
    $$ | Mediterranean, Greek
    200 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94111-1806
    Read More »
  • #10
    B. Patisserie
    #10 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 260 reviewsTripAdvisor (260)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    2821 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115-2515
    Read More »
  • #11
    Molinari Delicatessen
    #11 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 829 reviewsTripAdvisor (829)
    $ | Italian, Deli
    373 Columbus Ave North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-3907
    Read More »
  • #12
    Chapeau!
    #12 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 298 reviewsTripAdvisor (298)
    $$ | French, European
    126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118-2420
    Read More »
  • #13
    Pacific Cafe
    #13 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 241 reviewsTripAdvisor (241)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood
    7000 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121-1623
    Read More »
  • #14
    Lapisara Eatery
    #14 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 173 reviewsTripAdvisor (173)
    $ - $$ | Asian, Thai
    698 Post St Post St. & Jones St., San Francisco, CA 94109-8232
    Read More »
  • #15
    Tacorea
    #15 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 150 reviewsTripAdvisor (150)
    $ | Mexican
    809 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108-3312
    Read More »
  • #16
    The Baked Bear - Custom Ice Cream Sandwiches
    #16 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 223 reviewsTripAdvisor (223)
    $ | American
    2824 Jones St off of Jefferson Street and Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133-1110
    Read More »
  • #17
    Dandelion Chocolate
    #17 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 270 reviewsTripAdvisor (270)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    740 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110-1735
    Read More »
  • #18
    Norman's Ice Cream and Freezes
    #18 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 311 reviewsTripAdvisor (311)
    $ |
    2801 Leavenworth St Ste 40, San Francisco, CA 94133-1129
    Read More »
  • #19
    L'ardoise Bistro
    #19 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 237 reviewsTripAdvisor (237)
    $ - $$ | French, European
    151 Noe St, San Francisco, CA 94114-1245
    Read More »
  • #20
    Seven Hills
    #20 of 6,733 Places to Eat in San Francisco
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 922 reviewsTripAdvisor (922)
    $$ | Seafood, Italian
    1896 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109-3114
    Read More »

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