For decades, San Francisco has been famous for many things including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and definitely its food trends. From as far back as the Gold Rush, you can smell roasting coffee infusing the air. In fact, three of the biggest coffee companies in the USA started in San Francisco; Folgers, M.J.B and Hills Bros.
People flock to this popular city to enjoy all of the art galleries, museums and beautiful parks but with over 3400 different places to eat, it is no wonder that San Francisco’s restaurants are listed as one of the top reasons people visit the city. Some of the regional favorites you can enjoy include Bay shrimp, Dungeness crab,and delicious, crusty sourdough French bread that will make your mouth water, and that is just the beginning.
This charming hot spot provides local chefs with plenty of inspiration by providing them with fresh, local ingredients with a lot of variety. There are nine farmer’s markets that operate in the famous Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. It’s a common sight to see the Executive Chefs themselves walking the Farmer’s Market on Tuesday and Saturday mornings to pick items that will become the night’s specials along with fresh produce to add to those exquisite dishes.
With so many restaurants to choose from you may be wondering where to start. We have provided you with 10 of the best places to eat in San Francisco that will give you a mix of Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese and just good old fashioned Diner food that will make your San Francisco experience one to remember.
Anchor Oyster Bar & Seafood Market
This small, locally owned fish market and seafood restaurant is the perfect place to go when you are looking for delicious, fresh seafood. The restaurant has been owned by the same owner since the 70s and holds the distinction of being San Francisco’s only Anchor Oyster Bar. Two of their ‘claims to fame’ are their delicious clam chowder that has been listed as the Bay Area’s favorite by the San Francisco Chronicle and the oysters they serve, so yummy the Coastal Living Magazine wrote about them. The décor is laid back and relaxed; with a long marble counter and stainless steel tables. The oysters that Anchor Oyster Bar serves come from all over North America so you are always offered a varied choice of oysters to try. Owner/Executive Chef Roseann Grimm provides guests with plenty of delicious seafood to enjoy including their signature crab burger and cioppino. They also offer beer and wine and have vegetarian selections as well.
Fog Harbor Fish House
Visit: Fog Harbor Fish House
At local Pier 39 you will find the wonderful Fog Harbor Fish House that offers guests the perfect San Francisco dining experience right on the waterfront. Enjoy stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay right from your table while you dine on some of the freshest sustainable meats and seafood available. Once you’re seated, you will get to sample some delicious, complimentary, fresh-baked sourdough bread that is baked every hour. Fog Harbor Fish House was created by the family who was responsible for the development of PIER 39. This is a history that included three generations and spans more than three decades. You are sure to meet some of the Simmons family at Fog Harbor while you dine. Fog Harbor is the Fisherman’s Wharf’s first restaurant to serve 100% sustainable food. It is a dining experience you will never forget and surely want to repeat again.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
Visit: Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
Welcome to San Francisco’s Little Italy where you can sit down and enjoy some of the most delicious pizza you could imagine having. Tony’s Pizza Napoletena is located in the heart of Little Italy and is known for their authentic ingredients that are imported from Napoli, the Pizza Capital of the World. Tony has a passion for his pizza that he brings to his guests in a pizza experience you will never forget and likely never top. In addition to Tony’s unmatched pizza selections, you can choose from delicious homemade pasta and Italian dinners that are so genuine you will feel like you are in Italy. Signature dishes include the Cal Italia, a savory dish that will thrill your taste buds, or the famous Pizza Margherita. In addition to their delicious dishes, they offer an extensive Domestic and Imported wine list to choose from and specialty cocktails like their signature Negroni that will provide the finishing touches on a dining experience you’ll be talking about and longing for any time you have pizza again.
Fino’s Ristorante & Bar
Visit: Fino’s Ristorante & Bar
In the beautiful Andrews Hotel, adjacent to their lobby is Fino’s Ristorante and Bar. This high-ceilinged, elegant restaurant features beautiful, arched windows, a mahogany bar, open kitchen and cozy fireplace that will delight, creating the kind of unforgettable, romantic experience. The fine Italian cuisine served at Fino’s has been prepared skillfully using fresh ingredients from California. The menu is packed with incredible Italian dishes that will give you a genuine taste of Italy in a way you have only dreamed about. Try the delectable Capesante Piccante that features pan seared scallops that are served over bell peppers, sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, white wine, jalapenos and a bit of tomato sauce that is tossed with fresh-made linguine. Whatever Italian dish you have a craving for, this menu is sure to offer, prepared by their incredible chef and brought to you by their service staff that is second to none. There are many vegetarian dishes offered and a full bar is available as well.
Visit: ROKA AKOR
Come enjoy some of the area’s best Japanese cuisine in a place that has artfully combined beautiful design with delicious, contemporary Robata Japanese cuisine. The name of the restaurant comes from two Japanese words RO and KA which mean hearth and a burning fire. ROKA AKOR is definitely a wonderful place to gather with family and friends while enjoying the stunning décor and centrally located Robata grill. There is also a private dining room and a ROKA Bar as well. The menu changes to reflect seasonally available offerings and offers a full menu of seafood, prime cuts of steak, sushi, tempura, and mouth-watering desserts that will make this a wonderful experience for your eyes and taste buds too. At ROKA AKOR, the guests are encouraged to speak with the different chefs about the food they have ordered which creates a memorable interactive dining experience.
Colibri Mexican Bistro
Visit: Colibri Mexican Bistro
Colibri’s owners, Eduardo and Sylvia Rallo are originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico. They wanted to find authentic Central Mexican dishes like the ones they grew up with but couldn’t find what they were looking for. They created Colibri Mexican Bistro which features the classic Mexican cuisine they were longing for. Included are delicious, rich-flavored dishes that are derived from Mayan and Aztec foods like chiles. While you are there, consider trying the outstanding Filete Mignon that has been stuffed with seasoned goat cheese and ancho chile and served with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach and chipotle chile sauce. The combination of the Rustic Mexican dishes found on the menu with delicious, fresh California ingredients that have been prepared with a lot of passion and skill provides guests with an authentic Mexican food dining experience that will be unlike anything you have experienced.
House of Prime Rib
Visit: House of Prime Rib
Step into the House of Prime Rib and you will be greeted with a warm, cozy atmosphere that is enhanced even more with the fireplaces that are in the restaurant. The well-marbled Prime Rib is served in the English Tradition and is carved right at your table, according to your specifications. House of Prime Rib only serves the top 2% of all beef that is marketed so you can rest assured that you’re getting the freshest, tastiest Prime Rib on the market. This 21 day aged, corn-fed, Mid-Western beef is flavorful, tender and juicy and is sure to please even the toughest Prime Rib lover. You can choose from several cuts of this delicious Prime Rib and they even offer a child’s Prime Rib dinner for children 8 and under that is served with milk to drink and ice cream for dessert. Choose from a variety of side dishes to complement your Prime Rib including steaming mashed potatoes and gravy or Yorkshire Pudding that is so authentic tasting it will feel like you stepped right into England. If you love Prime Rib you owe it to yourself to come to the House of Prime Rib where they will provide you with an experience that you will treasure.
Visit: Lori’s Diner
The first Lori’s Diner was opened in San Francisco in 1986. The décor featured bright, sparkling booths in red, counter service, rock n roll, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and Coca Cola. It was open 24 hours a day and provided guests with a treat for the eyes, ears and taste buds too. Lori’s Diner was so popular that they had to open a bigger location that could serve more people. In 1993 this came to pass with the opening of Lori’s Diner 500 Sutter. This location featured everything that people loved about the first location and added to it a larger menu and more space. At Lori’s you can get breakfast all day long as well as classic dinners like juicy Southern Fried Chicken or Spaghetti and Meatballs. They also serve mouth-watering burgers that will take you back to the 50s and delicious milk shakes too. They pride themselves on delicious food and customer service that is friendly, knowledgeable and professional. The generous portions they serve will guarantee you will never leave Lori’s Diner hungry. If you are in the San Francisco area visiting, you have to make sure that you stop by and experience the atmosphere, décor, and delicious food Lori’s Diner has to offer.
City View Restaurant
Visit: City View Restaurant
City View Restaurant specializes in delicious Dim Sum that will please your palate. There are numerous varieties of bite size Dim Sum delicacies that will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. You can choose steamed, deep fried, or baked Dim Sum including such tasty choices as Pork Potstickers, Pan Fried Chicken Buns, or delicious glazed Walnut Prawns. There are also rice plates and noodle dishes to add to your Dim Sum selections. Finish your meal with a selection of desserts like the yummy coconut custard roll and you will leave satisfied and very full. The décor of City View Restaurant is elegantly simple, with white linen on the tables and classic center pieces along with gorgeous glass divider screens. If you love Dim Sum, come to City View where you can feast on tons of selections that will satisfy every craving.
Hakkasan San Francisco
Visit: Hakkasan San Francisco
Hakkasan features 10,000 square feet of stunning restaurant that can seat up to 170 guests. This popular Chinese restaurant overlooks the hustle and bustle of Geary and Market Streets, enjoying natural light by day and ambient, softly-lit pendants at night that are made from hand-blown glass. The beautiful V-shaped bar is the feature of the restaurant and located right in the center. The menu will delight you with its variety of selections including such delicious dishes as Roasted Silver Cod with Chinese Honey Sauce and Champagne or Black Truffle Roasted Duck. There are two private dining rooms in Hakkasan as well as an extensive tea menu and delicious cocktails that are made from hand pressed juices. Dining at Hakkasan will be an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.