Best foods in San Francisco

30 Best Places to Eat In San Francisco

Are you looking for the best places to eat in San Francisco?

I love trying new places when I travel.  It may be my favorite part of any trip.

I surveyed a lot of my readers, Instagram, and Facebook followers to gather the Best Places to Eat in San Francisco!  I have been to a lot of them but not all.  The ones I included were repeated numerous times from different people recommending their favorites.

If you are planning a trip in the future and need more ideas for your San Francisco Trip, check out my other post Top Things To Do In San FranciscoTop Things To Do In San Francisco With Kids, and my San Francisco Girls Trip.

Let’s explore all the best places to eat in San Francisco! 

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The Best Bakeries in San Francisco

Tartine Bakery

Tartine Bakery in San Francisco

This should be your number one choice when choosing which bakery to eat at in San Francisco.  It is worth all the hype and you will not be disappointed.  My favorite thing about any bakery is walking along the display case and deciding what I want to try!  I love that you can always come back and try something new every time too!

When I went I was able to share a few items with my sister and mom.  We ate every last bit and loved doing it!  Put this on your list.

There will probably be a line but it is worth the wait! It is one of the best places to eat in San Francisco! 

Tartine Bakery in San Francisco

Craftsman and Wolves Bakery

Craftsman and Wolves
Photo courtesy of LA Times

The “Rebel Within” is a soft-boiled egg cooked within a ham and cheese muffin.  I have not had the opportunity to try this one but I think I will have to put it on my list!  Craftsman and Wolves comes highly recommended from readers of this very blog.

One person said this bakery has a very masculine feel.

B Patisserie Bakery

B Patisserie Bakery San Francisco
Image Courtesy of bpatisserie.com

B. Patisserie is another bakery on my list for my next trip to San Francisco.   It is located in the mission district.  A few readers suggest trying the Chocolate Banana Croissant.   I am a huge fan of yummy treats, I’m excited to try it when we go back!

La Boulangerie

La Boulange

This bakery is more of a chain bakery in San Francisco but we stopped and got some macaroons.  They were really really good!  We sampled quite a few and this gets my stamp of approval!

Arsicault Bakery

Arsicault Bakery San Francisco
Photo Courtesy of Thrillist.com

The croissants are supposed to be just as good as a true French bakery in Paris.  There are lots of reviews that this may very well ruin croissants for you because it is so good you will never be able to compare it except in France.  This is one I haven’t tried yet but you can bet I will be there on my next trip!

Boudin Bakery

Bread at Boudin
Photo Courtesy of By Edward Z. Yang – Wikipedia

I have to include Boudin’s in this list because it is famous!  It is not your typical bakery.  Sourdough bread creations are what it is most known for.  I personally thought it was okay.  I wasn’t a fan of the clam chowder.  But I do think that if you are in San Francisco you need to go!

Best Breakfast in San Francisco

Mama’s on Washington Square

Mama's on Washington Square

If you want a hardy breakfast compared to a simple bakery item then Mama’s on Washington Square is a great place.

I did get to try this last time!  Be ready to wake up super early to stand in a line! It is over an hour wait before the restaurant even opens! 

We had a fun time waiting in line!  Mama’s has a variety of homemade bread that can be made into French toast.  It is very feeling and comes with very large portions.

It is one of the best places to eat in San Francisco!

Best Mexican Food In San Francisco

I have asked lots of readers, Instagram followers, and Facebook groups what the best places to eat in San Francisco are.  The recommendations came flooding in! These are the top ones that have been recommend over and over again.  I have not tried all of them but will let you know which ones I have.

La Taqueria

La Taqueria San Francisco
Image courtesy of Timeout San Francisco

This may be the number one recommendation for Mexican food in San Francisco!  Located in the Mission area it is a place you must try!

This is not a fancy place and there are many other locations around that serve similar items but this is a local favorite.

Expect to get a foil-wrapped burrito for under $10, and be blown away by the taste.

Mission District Food Tour

best food in San Francisco

This is a secret food tour of San Francisco’s Mission DistrictIn this tour, you get a highly rated personal tour guide that will lead you to the best foods in the mission district as well as share more about the neighborhood and the historical background of the area.  

Best American Restaurants in San Francisco

House of Prime Rib Steak House

House of Prime Rib in San Francisco
Image courtesy of House of Prime Rib

Out of all the surveys I did amongst readers this was recommended over and over again.  If you want to try the best steak in the city this is where you will want to go.  This is would be a nice sit-down dinner especially if you are celebrating something special.  I don’t think you can go wrong here if you love steak.

Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of Foreign Cinema.com

I had a lot of people tell me this place is amazing!  The Foreign Cinema serves a California Mediterranean style of food as you watch independent films.  If you are looking for a great atmosphere and amazing food defiantly consider this place.  Be sure to book your reservation ahead of time.

Wayfare Tavern

Way Fare Restaurant in San Francisco
Image courtesy of Yelp.com

Another top restaurant choice in San Francisco is Wayfare Tavern.  It is located at the bottom of Knob Hill very close to the financial district.  This restaurant serves all American fried chicken in a chic and stylish atmosphere.  It ranks in San Francisco’s best restaurants.

Best Chinese Food in San Francisco

The Slanted Door

Slanted Door in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of Yelp.com

This is Vietnamese cooking at its best. I had several people recommend this restaurant.  It is located in the Ferry Building with a beautiful overlook of the water.  Making a reservation is highly recommended. (temporarily closed as of March 2021)

Chubby Noodle 

Image Courtesy of Chubby Noodle

This is a lighter meal.  If you are ready for some great food and a variety of dishes to choose from this is the place.  Go ahead and check it out!

Mensho Tokyo 

Mensho Tokyo in San Francisco
Image courtesy of Yelp.com

I thought I needed to mention one more Japanese restaurant.  The food looks amazing and if you love this style of food you need to go!

China Town Food Tour

Chine Town in San Francisco Food Tour

San Francisco’s Chinatown Food Tour is a must! This is a great food-tasting tour of this amazing area.

Best Italian Restaurants in San Francisco

The Stinking Rose

The Stinking Rose in San Francisco

Image courtesy of The Stinking Rose

This place is adorable!  The atmosphere will lift your spirits!  If you love garlic this is your place, they use over 3,000 pounds of garlic in a month! (temporarily closed as of March 2021)

54 Mint

54 Mint San Francisco

Image Courtesy of Kayak.com

I love finding a great Italian restaurant that reminds me of my time I spent in Italy.  This one fits that category.  This small restaurant serves up elevated Roman dishes that are to die for! 

The Italian Homemade Company

The Italian Homemade Company in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of Yelp.com

Homemade is the keyword here.  Highly recommended if you are in the mood for more authentic cuisine!

Little Italy and North Beach Walking Food Tour

Little Italy San Francisco Tour

The Little Italy and North Beach Walking and Food Tour is a highly recommended adventure.  You will get to eat a lot! The best Italian food in San Francisco! 

Best Seafood Restaurants in San Francisco

Swan Oyster Depot

Swan Oyster Bar San Francisco

Image courtesy of SF Chronicles

As a city located on the Pacific Ocean, of course, seafood should be on the top of any foodie’s mind!  I have to confess that I’m not a huge seafood fan (my husband is more of one). But I have heard fantastic reviews about the Swan Oyster Depot and it’s now on my list of places to go.

It’s a fresh seafood bar full of a never-ending supply of oysters, crab, and fish.  There will be a wait, but most people say it is well worth it.

Scoma’s Restaurant

scomas_sausalito_at_sunset
Image Courtesy of Scoma’s at Sausalito

First things first. There is a Scoma’s Restaurant located on Pier 47, Fisherman’s Wharf, and then there’s Scoma’s Sausalito.

I’ve heard good things about all three places, but today, I’m talking about Scoma’s Sausalito. The location of this seafood restaurant is out of this world.

Located across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, it is not to be forgotten.  It is worth the drive to enjoy the atmosphere of the oceanfront property.

Or if you’d like, you can take the Blue and Gold Ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 41. It’s about a four-minute walk from the terminal.

Seafood entrées will be about $30 to $50. There is outdoor seating available.  Looks to be a great place for a romantic evening, but if you have kids, we had trouble finding kid items on the menu. (In that case, you may want to instead try Scoma’s Restaurant instead on Pier 47, which has a $9 children’s menu that has fish, as well as the staples of burgers and chicken tenders

Best Indian Food in San Francisco

Burma Superstar

Burma Superstar San Francisco
Image courtesy of Burma Superstar

This is the only restaurant I have in the Indian food category because it was recommended over and over again by many readers.  If you love Indian food I have been told this will blow you away!

The location is in San Francisco 309 Clement Street, which is about four miles from Fisherman’s Wharf. So if you are staying near Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s probably best to drive or take a Lyft or Uber.

And from what I can tell, there are not many touristy options in the vicinity, so you’ll be going specifically to eat at this location.

The prices here are reasonable, with most plates currently at $15 or under.

Fast Food In San Francisco

When I say fast food I do not mean McDonald’s!  I’m talking about true to San Francisco area counter service.  A place where you can walk in order your food and walk out!   These recommendations were repeated many times by multiple people!

Golden Boy Pizza

Golden Boy Pizza San Francisco
Image courtesy of William Sonoma

Located near Washington Square, Golden Boy Pizza is about one mile from Fisherman’s Wharf.  This is a local favorite.

Golden boy is known for its delicious crust and shape of its pizza — its slogan is, “Where it’s hip to be
square!” Well, it looks more rectangular, but I get the point.

There are six menu choices. The standards (cheese, pepperoni, sausage), along with one with a seafood spin — clam and garlic!  The combo is interesting in that it adds zucchini instead of green peppers. And there’s also a pesto veggie.

If you live by the standard of “eat where the locals eat” this is your one-stop, pizza spot!

Roli Roti

Roli Roti San Francisco
Image Courtesy of Roli Roti

Rotisserie chicken at its best.  It is located in the Ferry Building in a high tourist spot. This will be a quick stop for some fresh and delicious chicken. The porchetta sandwich is a must try the reviews are outstanding.

Super-Duper Burger

Super Duper Burger in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of Yelp

Super-Duper Burgers have six locations throughout the San Francisco Bay area.  If you are in the mood for a good burger stop in and fulfill those cravings with the fast service and delicious food!

Vegan Burg

Vegan Burg in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of VegNews.com

The meatless bleeding burger is now available in San Francisco.  This top vegan burger joint is highly popular.  If this is your style of eating then check this place out for the best vegan burger in San Francisco!

The Melt

The Melt San Francisco

The Melt is a chain in the San Francisco Bay area.  Specializing in grill cheese. I have been to this one and loved it. Try a few different sandwiches and see what you like best!

Best Ice Cream In San Francisco

Ghiradelli Square

Top Things to do in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Square is a shopping center and home to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream store.  This is my most favorite place to visit when I am in San Francisco.  Not for the shopping (there’s not much in the square itself), but for the ice cream!

As a warning, the line to get in may wave outside of the store. Don’t be deterred, as the line moves fairly quickly.

One thing I love is that as you walk in you are given a free piece of candy.  We also love looking at the gift shop as we wait in line to enter the ice cream parlor.  For some reason, it reminds me of Sussigkeiten (the candy shop) in the German Pavilion at Epcot. There’s nothing German about Ghirardelli, but it might be the chocolates and the lighting. Or it might be that I just have fond memories of great trips!

Once you get into the ice cream parlor, there is a main floor and an upstairs. This is a sit-down establishment; not counter service. I really enjoyed the environment as you can see machinery used to make chocolate, which is set up to be visually appealing, rather than a distraction.

Keep in mind that this is a place for sweets, and not for eats. The menu provides options, but the categories generally fall into ice cream, sundaes, shakes, and chocolate treats.

I recommend the sundaes! But family members with me also enjoyed the shakes.  This is one of the best places to eat in San Francisco!

Bi-Rite

Bi-Rite Creamery San Francisco

Bi-Rite Creamery is a very popular ice cream store among locals.  I made sure to make a stop to test this ice cream out! After all, I love ice cream.

We thought it was very good!  Bi-Rite changes its flavors daily so you will be able to have a new experience every time you go in.  The ice cream is organic.

There are a number of Bi-Rite locations located throughout the city. You may want to try out the market food as well. Bi-Rite takes pride in locally sourcing its products.

Best Places to Eat In San Francisco

Top things to do in San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

Hopefully, this list will help you choose the best place to eat in San Francisco and help you plan a great night out.  Remember, there are so many things to do in San Francisco that you are sure to have an amazing time!  Happy Eating!

If you have any questions comment below!

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Also, join my Planningaway Travel Community on Facebook.  This is a place where I post travel deals, and you can ask any questions about your San Francisco trip or any other upcoming trips!

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85 Comments

  1. oh boy, getting my credit card ready – so many great places to add to my list for SF must eats! Pinned for safe keeping too!

  2. gotta admit Lisa, this is a dangerous article for me… i literally have a San Fran trip planner sitting on my table next to me….

  3. OMG, YUM!! I love how you broke this up into easily searchable categories. I am always looking for delicious bakeries and B Patisserie Bakery looks INCREDIBLE!

  4. Oh my goodness your pictures have my mouth watering! Those pastries look amazing! Thanks for this valuable information on what to eat!

  5. I have not been to San Francisco in a while, but have only eaten at one of these places. I will have to make a trip back soon as this looks delicious!!!

  6. You ever read something with such amazing pics that you gotta hit the kitchen right after?

    But then you know you shouldn’t because you know you won’t find anything as appetizing as the pics you just saw?

    Well that’s me right now. LOL! Such great pics…

  7. Planning a trip to San Francisco in the spring. Pinning for later for my trip planning, your photos are great!

  8. What a comprehesive list LIsa! Two things I would pick; I love pastries, cakes and any types of desserts so I’m definitely going to visit those bakery shops and I love seafood so I’m definitely visiting the Scomas resto. The location is perfect as well!

  9. I always plan my trips around food. I wish I’d had more time to eat out when I was in SF last. Next time, I’ll be saving this list!

  10. That’s an impressive list of places to eat! I saw the one vegan burger cafe on your list. Are there other vegan/plant based options in San Francisco?

  11. Oh, dear! This is the greatest list EVER! I only know The Stinking Rose, since I am a garlic fanatic…:) I am definitely saving this post! Excellent work! 🙂

  12. I have only tried a couple of places on this list. Next time I go I will have to choose some more of them to try! I love seafood, so Scomas will certainly be on my list.

  13. I enjoy Foodie guides. When I am visiting a new place there are so many choices and learning from those who have experienced amazing foods.

  14. Well, I’m officially hungry now after looking at all this food. There are several restaurants I would love to try on this list. Especially an Italian restaurant that used 3,000 pounds of garlic in a month!!!

  15. Well I sit here drinking my coffee and am very hungry and now.. I must cook myself breakfast. Wow.. I am a bread girl (I know, bad bad) and that bread looks so cute, and yummy.

  16. Food is top priority when we travel so I know we would love San Francisco based on these places. The pastries look amazing. Our daughter would go crazy over the macaroon pictured in the post. Great round up.

  17. All of this looks so good. Going to book a foodie tour to SF to experience all of this…and a mac and cheese sandwich? Brilliant!

  18. AHHH! I love the foodie list for San Fran! Makes me want to go back right now!
    I’ve eaten at the Slanted Door and I have to agree, one of the best spots for Chinese in the SF Bay Area!

  19. Oh my goodness, all of this looks so good! Thanks for sharing such a great list of the best places to eat in San Francisco. We are hoping to visit next spring!

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  22. I don’t know where I’d want to start with all these delicious places. Time to go to San Francisco!

  23. Hmmm… so many great places to Eat in San Francisco yet all I focused on were the macarons! LOL. They are definitely a weakness of mine!

  24. Finding the best places to eat when traveling is a quest for my hubby. San Francisco needs to be on my list to visit.

  25. San Francisco is a foodie dream destination! My mouth is watering now. I really want to go to that House of Prime Rib Steak House!

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