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  • "Best food in the city while eating solo at the bar?"

Jillian Geer

Los Angeles, California

Best food in the city while eating solo at the bar?

Heading to San Francisco on business for a few days, and need some places for solo eats. Meetings are all over town, so I'm open to most areas.

Ideally, I'm looking for:

  • Bar seating (eating solo at the bar)
  • Best food in the city (menu favorites?)
  • Good wine and cocktail list
  • Trendy vibe always a plus


Thanks!


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17 Answers

Most Mentioned Places for this Question

  • Swan Oyster Depot (restaurant)

    1517 Polk Street San Francisco CA 94109 (415) 673-2757

    3 mentions

  • Bar Agricole (attraction)

    355 11th St San Francisco CA 94103

    3 mentions

  • Nopa (restaurant)

    560 Divisadero St San Francisco California 94117 (415) 864-8643

    2 mentions

  • Michael Kwok

    top answer by

    If you're in SF for business, I'm going to guess you're going to be in the Downtown / Financial district. In that area, (places with bar seating) I would suggest.

    • Sens Restaurant in the Embarcadero. Mediterranean food. The bartender, Matt, is a great guy, and the view of the Embarcadero is fantastic.
    • Ozumo just south of Market. Japanese food. Nice bar area with happy hour specials on their grilled skewers.
    • Barbacco @ 220 California St. Italian food, always a popular lunch and happy hour spot.
    • Waterbar is trendy happy hour favorite, with $1 oyster specials from lunch until 530. Great views of the bay.

    Another suggestion (not in the Financial district) that is what I consider the ultimate bar style eating, would be State Bird Provisions . Reservations take forever for this Michelin starred joint, but since you're visiting, and I assume your schedule is flexible, get there on a non-weekend night, around 430, wait in line for about 30 mintues, get a seat at the chef's counter, or put your name down and come back at a later time. The menu is constantly changing, and everything is good. Make friends along the counter and share your food.

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Michael! State Bird looks insane. I really appreciate your tips to get in - can't wait to try this place! · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Ozumo (restaurant)
    3. Barbacco (restaurant)
    4. Waterbar (restaurant)
    5. State Bird Provisions (restaurant)

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  • Jeff Mills

    answered by

    Check out the following

    State Bird Provisions - very difficult to get a seat but amazing food

    Hakkasan - Trendy Chinese food and they have great cocktails. Crispy duck salad is awesome.

    Coqueta - on The Embarcadero a few blocks north of the Ferry Building . This is a Michael Chiarello restaurant. The food and drinks really are great.

    La Mar - Peruvian mainly seafood. Right near there is a bar called Hard Water which is a nice little trendy place

    SPQR - Italian and great wine selection

    RN74 - it is nice. I know they have a lounge, but not sure about a bar nice wine selection and great variety of food.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Great to see you here again and great suggestions, Jeff! I've been to all but State Bird Provisions, so I'll have to check that out. By the way, I've helped you highlight the places in your answer on a map! In the future, you can do this yourself as you answer a question by simply typing the @-symbol followed by the name of the place. Take a look at the cool map next to your answer! :) · (1 likelikes)

    • Jeff M.

      Jeff M.

      Thanks Debbie. I normally do that, but the answer editor was causing issues so I had to write this in a different program and paste it in. Thanks for fixing that! · (0 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Jeff! The pancakes at State Bird look really good. It all does! Will definitely check these places out. · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. State Bird Provisions (restaurant)
    2. Hakkasan (restaurant)
    3. Coqueta (restaurant)
    4. The Embarcadero (attraction)
    5. Ferry Building (attraction)
    6. La Mar (attraction)
    7. Hard Water (attraction)
    8. SPQR (restaurant)
    9. RN74 (restaurant)

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  • Anthony Bourdain

    answered by

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Anthony! I just so happen to LOVE seafood, so will definitely check this out. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Miles McCrocklin

    answered by


    There are more options but Ed has a great list on there.

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Miles. Trick Dog honestly looks perfect for me. I mean, drinks made for your astrological sign, YES please! · (1 likelikes)

    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      I love that you included Trick Dog- this is one of my favorites! · (1 likelikes)

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    2. Trick Dog (attraction)
    3. Rosamunde Sausage Grill (restaurant)
    4. Toronado (restaurant)

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  • Ed Gutman

    answered first by

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    • Chris K.

      Chris K.

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/chubby-noodle-san-francisco-2 i see more solo travelers eating at this place than anywhere else. It's a fantastic pop up restaurant that caters to solo orders. And, it's in a killer bar as well. · (0 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Ed! Thanks for sharing your favs! Looking forward to checking these out . :) · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Umi (attraction)
    2. Suppenküche (restaurant)
    3. Bourbon and Branch (restaurant)
    4. Roam Artisan Burgers (restaurant)
    5. Sweet Woodruff (restaurant)
    6. Bourbon Steak (attraction)
    7. Presidio Social Club (attraction)
    8. Lers Ros Thai (restaurant)
    9. Absinthe (restaurant)
    10. Bar Agricole (attraction)
    11. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana (restaurant)
    12. Umami (restaurant)
    13. Yank Sing Restaurant (restaurant)

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  • Matthew Angrist

    answered by

    I go to SF for work and I just sat at the bar of Bar Crudo and had an amazing meal. If you like oysters, mussels, and amazingly fresh sashimi, this is a great spot. They have happy hour specials that start at 5 and it's pretty busy by 6 so try and get there early. Swan Oyster Depot is great too but it's only open until around 4:30 so it's not really a dinner spot. Lastly, Tadich Grill has been around forever, isn't far from the Financial District and is known for their Cioppino. All have good bar areas for the solo diner.

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Bar Crudo sounds perfect. Will check it out on my next business trip! · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Swan Oyster Depot (restaurant)
    3. Tadich Grill (restaurant)

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  • Kenneth Berger

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    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      Coqueta really is a good one- I feel like a lot of people miss it because it's so tiny, but that's part of what makes it charming! · (1 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Kenneth! These all look amazing. If you have any insider tips about what to try or best times to go, I'd love to hear them! Really appreciate your help - I'm going to be happily dining solo on this trip. :) · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Nopa (restaurant)
    2. Bar Tartine (restaurant)
    3. Marlowe (restaurant)
    4. Nojo Restaurant (restaurant)
    5. Bar Agricole (attraction)
    6. Coqueta (restaurant)

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  • Eric Boromisa

    answered by

    Chaya (Japanese) and Hard Water (whiskey bar) by The Embarcadero are easy to get to, have great atmosphere, small plates and drinks

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Eric! The Hard Water bar is exactly what I'm looking for. I also love Whiskey, so right on. Will check this for sure. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Daniella Marie

    answered by

    Everything that's been mentioned are great, since you're from LA and looking for a trendier vibe I would definitely say to check out:

    Mas Sake Freestyle Sushi

    The Brixton

    Sabrosa

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Awesome. Going to try as many of these as I can. Love the local/organic vibe to Sabrosa and the Brixton bar looks perfect for a lively, trendy spot for solo eats. Always in for recommended sushi too. Thanks! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Jonathan Goldman

    answered by

    Check out Beretta in the Mission which has both a bar and a communal table, which is great for socializing while solo, and has some of the best food and cocktails in town.

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Jonathan! This is exactly what I'm looking for, and I've really enjoyed the Mission when in town, so can't wait to check this out! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Jarrod Daughtry

    answered by

    Based on what you're looking for in San Francisco, check out Alta CA and Wayfare Tavern. Two solid spots with excellent food and service with plenty of seats at the bar. Enjoy!

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Jarrod! These both look seriously good. Exactly what I'm looking for. Appreciate it! · (1 likelikes)

    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      I haven't been to Alta, but I LOVE Wayfare's fried chicken! · (1 likelikes)

    • Jarrod D.

      Jarrod D.

      Welcome! If you get to them, let me know what you think. SF has so many options to choose from, but I frequented both of these spots the last time I was there (looking for something similar) and had great experiences at both places. Safe journeys! · (1 likelikes)

    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Will do, Jarrod! :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Christina Jacobson

    answered by

    Swan Oyster Depot for lunch!

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Christina. This seems to be a must-try place for solo eats. Any thoughts on what to order?Can't wait! · (0 likelikes)

    • Christina J.

      Christina J.

      Definitely go, try to get there early as a line forms. Everything is great but you can't go wrong w/ the crab salad. · (1 likelikes)

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  • Adam Mendelson

    answered by

    You should check out Bar Agricole or Nopa, both great choices!!

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Adam! Both of these places look delicious and perfect for what I'm looking for on my trip - appreciate the help! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Jesse Newcomb

    answered by

    Alioto's Restaurant off Embarcadero

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  • Fred Leach

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    Spruce in Presdio Heights

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Fred! That lobster ravioli looks insane. Appreciate the recommendation! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Adam Wyles

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    Lou's Fish Shack At Pier 47 - http://www.lousfishshacksf.com/

    300 Jefferson St. San Francisco, CA 94133

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks Adam! I'll be sure to check it out. I bet their bread bowls are so good! · (0 likelikes)

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