Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Where to eat in San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its food. I might have made that fact up. But if that's not true, it should be. The food here is amazing. Each section of town is totally different. Mission restaurants are either famous for their burritos or trendy in some farm-to-table, unique combination of ingredients type of way. Bernal Hill is my personal favorite right now, as it's less cool and more delicious. FiDi boasts a lot of amazing lunch spots that I have barely tapped into yet. The rest of the city is just an unexplored goldmine of delicious foods. I can't provide an expansive list as I am pretty sure that's impossible in this city, but here are the restaurants I have tried. Stay tuned for updates. And sorry, no photos. I'm just not that much of a hipster.

The Mission:
Trendy restaurants everyone has heard about. Usually overpriced. Often delicious.

Mission Chinese Food
  • Hard to find... unless you spot the 30 people waiting outside. 
  • Don't try to go in to talk to a hostess unless you want to prove you're a tourist. They will simply point you to the long wait list posted right outside of the main entrance. 
  • Just as spicy as it is overrated. I say go to Big Lantern 2 blocks away. Unless of course, you'd rather be seen than have a great meal.
Big Lantern
  • I'm generally not a tofu person, but Big Lantern's vegetarian chicken balls are better than chicken. I'd eat Big Lantern any day.
El Farolito
  • My former roommate exclusively ate dinner at this taqueria until he exhausted the menu. It's good. It's probably not that good. 
El Metate
  • My favorite taqueria. The outside area is great and they just recently ramped up their salsa selection with fresh fruit varieties.
  • Delicious $3 veggie taco was big enough to be a meal.
  • Their home fries are the best. 
  • I'm partial because I have been to the farm in Sonoma and watered the farm-to-table ingredients myself. I know it's fresh.
Wise Sons Deli
  • Thought I would love this Jewish deli, but didn't. 
  • The challah french toast was nothing special and over priced.
  • Great atmosphere.
We Be Sushi
  • I'm not a huge sushi lover and really only like vegetarian options, but I would go here any day. 
  • Super intimate space makes for a great date spot.
Flour + Water
  • Incredibly pricey.
  • Walk-in was a surprisingly short 2 hour wait.
  • Walk-in seating is at the bar, which is actually the best seat in the house. You can see into the kitchen. 
Bi-Rite Creamery
  • Yes, that is a red carpet rope outside. 
  • Yes, that rope is to control the 20 people waiting in like to order ice cream. 
  •  Yes, the ice cream is worth it. 
Sunrise Cafe
  • Finally, a brunch spot without a 2 hour wait. 
  • Delicious food. Great chai. 
Curry Up Now
  • Oh god, their Indian fries! What is on them that makes them so good? 
  • I actually want those fries right now. Yum. 
The All American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
  • They put mac and cheese on a grilled cheese. Now if that's not genius, I don't know what is. 
  • Don't get me wrong, it was pretty delicious. But it can't measure up to Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry building. 
  • The tomato soup was just meh. 
  • Too spicy. Way too spicy. What were they thinking spicy. 
  • Lots of people like this place. It was seriously packed.
  • Two words - bacon beignets. Think bacon doughnut, but way better. 
  • We were intimidated by the 4 month waiting list to get a table, but found the walk-in situation to be pretty easy. 
  • I wasn't big into the dessert, but the dinner was outstanding. Just give me more of those little bacon doughnuts.
Local Mission Eatery
  • All of the food is locally sourced from Farmer's Markets around the city. The menu changes based on whatever looks good at the markets. 
  • I saw the chefs cook my dinner right in front of me. 
  • Worth forking over a little extra for this super delicious dinner. 
Bernal Hill 
There's no "scene" in Bernal, but the food is delicious. 

Little Nepal Restaurant
  • Yum. So good. I have had many a curry, and this one is at the top. 
  • Definitely a hole in the wall. 
Zante Pizza
  • Biggest mistake was only ordering one slice. 
 Emmy's Spaghetti Shack
  • Limited menu. They are serious about their spaghetti. 
  • Delicious. One of the better Italian restaurants I have been to in SF. 
  • Didn't kill the bank. 
Here's where you go on your lunch break when you run out of food. It's a good thing you have a job, because these lunches could run you broke.

  • This place is amazing. For around $3, you can have a healthy brown rice thing stuffed with deliciousness and wrapped in seaweed. Buy two. Or three. 
  • Try the spicy bacon. 
  • Just when you thought it couldn't get better, you realize... free tea. 
  • The made-to-order, over-baked agave-soy king salmon burrito with tempura asparagus, cucumber, butter lettuce, avocado, pepitas, and wasabi dust was the best thing I have eaten in months.
  • Fail. 
  • Sandwiches don't belong on waffles. The end.
La Pasilla
  • Great salsas. Free chips. 
  • Chipolte-style salads, but this is the real deal.
El Faro
  • Don't go here. It's trying to be El Farolito, but it's not. It's a trap.
Banana House
  • This is one of my favorite lunch spots in the Financial District. 
Galette 88
  • Great atmosphere. Offers a much needed break from office lighting. 
  • Like the other Kearny Street restaurants, you have to go early or you'll regret it. 
  • The food is OK. It's gluten-free and offers lots of healthy options. 
Boxed Foods Company
  • I can make a better salad. 

Still on the to do soon list:
State Bird Provisions
Bar Tartine

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