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San Francisco

Must-try restaurants

My trips to SF mostly end up in me consuming burritos.  While burritos are delicious (especially in the city), I'd like to branch out and try the restaurants that make the city such a popular food destination.  Any suggestions?

9 Answers

answered first by
Andrew from Minneapolis

These are the places that you have to go:

  • Benu: This restaurant needs to be on everyone’s go-to list. Advice for anyone headed to Benu: order the tasting menu you can avoid the decision making pressure. Oh, and make your reservation well in advance.
  • Incanto: Incanto is one of my favorite places to eat in the country, not just in SF. Chris and Mark run a tight ship, and even if you don’t like snout to tail eating, this restaurant never fails to thrill. Pine broth with matsutake and shaved abalone are my favorites.
  • To Hyang: It's korean grandmother food heaven. Yes, pork ribs are in heavy rotation.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. To Hyang (restaurant)
  2. Benu (restaurant)
  3. Incanto (restaurant)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Randi from Palo Alto

This isn't so much a restaurant, as a tea house, but it's a must -- Samovar Tea Lounge. This is one of my favorite "meet-up" spots in San Francisco. Great place to relax with friends/family after a long day of touring. The Genmaicha green tea (brewed from corn) is my absolute favorites. Yum.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Samovar Tea Lounge (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
Tim from San Francisco

Here are some great San Francisco restaurants, straight out of the cheat day section of my book, The 4-Hour Chef :)

Savory foods:

Sweet Tooth:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gialina Pizzeria (restaurant)
  2. La Cicca (restaurant)
  3. Udupi Palace (restaurant)
  4. Caffé BaoNecci (restaurant)
  5. Saigon Sandwich Shop (restaurant)
  6. Liguria Bakery (restaurant)
  7. Mission Pie (restaurant)
  8. Anthony's Cookies (restaurant)
  9. Dynamo Donut & Coffee (restaurant)
  10. Humphry Slocombe (restaurant)
  11. Sidewalk Juice (restaurant)
  12. Tartine Bakery & Cafe (restaurant)
  13. Bi-Rite Creamery (attraction)
  14. M & L Market (restaurant)
5 thanks

answered by
Anthony from New York City

You should check out these places:

  • House of Prime Rib: for an irony free hunk of meat and a big martini or two
  • Red's Java House: A great greasy spoon on the waterfront
  • Incanto: Awesome restaurant from chef Chris Cosentino
  • Mission Chinese Food: Great restaurant
  • La Folie: Another Great restaurant
  • Swan Oyster Depot: for the oysters (of course), for the crab back fat with sourdough bread), the sea urchin. Hell--whatever they got is good! Be prepared to wait on line.

If you need a place to stay, go to Hotel Monaco San Francisco.  Nice hotel.  Good lobby.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. House of Prime Rib (restaurant)
  2. Red's Java House (restaurant)
  3. Incanto (restaurant)
  4. Mission Chinese Food (restaurant)
  5. La Folie (restaurant)
  6. Swan Oyster Depot (restaurant)
  7. Hotel Monaco San Francisco (hotel)
4 thanks

answered by
TJ from Marina Del Rey

I went to Ike's Place and had the Menage a Trois sandwich.  It was awesome!  I definitely recommend.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ike's Place (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Robert from San Francisco

Have to go to House of Prime Rib. Come hungry. The steak and potatoes are massive!

Sushi Ran isn't exactly in San Francisco, but they're by far the best sushi I've ever had. Pricy and you need a reservation.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. House of Prime Rib (restaurant)
  2. Sushi Ran (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Soraya from New York City

I love Samovar Tea Lounge and Tartine Bakery & Cafe.  The Jasmine Lemonade at Somovar is wonderful and it's impossible to go to Tartine without leaving with the cookbook in hand. Must visits.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Samovar Tea Lounge (attraction)
  2. Tartine Bakery & Cafe (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Veronica from San Francisco

I'll just list off a few of my favorite places...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Emmy's Spaghetti Shack (restaurant)
  2. Puerto Alegre (restaurant)
  3. Bi-Rite Creamery (attraction)
  4. Farmer Brown (restaurant)
  5. Una Pizza Napoletana (restaurant)
  6. Wise Sons Delicatessen (restaurant)
  7. Smitten Ice Cream (attraction)
  8. Zachary's Chicago Pizza (restaurant)
  9. Ike's Place (restaurant)
  10. House of Prime Rib (restaurant)
  11. Little Star Pizza (restaurant)
  12. Foreign Cinema (restaurant)
  13. Samovar Tea Lounge (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by

Samovar Tea Lounge. Love this place. Was introduced to it by Kevin & Darya. So yummy! I am craving it right now.

I love Ike's Place and Dottie's True Blue Cafe. My favorite breakfast spot in SF. It's got long lines - but absolutely delicious and pancakes are mouthwatering.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Samovar Tea Lounge (attraction)
  2. Ike's Place (restaurant)
  3. Dottie's True Blue Cafe (restaurant)
1 thanks

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