Places to eat in San Francisco

  • Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food
    Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food
    by atufft
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    Alioto's Number 8
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Most Viewed Restaurants in San Francisco

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    Pasta Pomodoro: California-Italian in Noe Valley

    by atufft Written Feb 10, 2014

    This restaurant on 24th Street, near the corner of Noe, is a pleasant sidewalk cafe and wine bar. Part of a chain of 19 restaurant locations in Northern California, this is an excellent stop in Noe Valley for lunch. We needed sidewalk dining because the dog was with us. Noe Valley, fortunately, is very dog friendly.

    Anyway, I had a tortellini soup, while my wife had a salad. This was served with Italian bread and pesto sauce. The fresh lemonade was a nice surprise. The restaurant website emphasizes getting natural ingredients from local producers.

    Pasta Pomodoro in Noe Valley Pasta Pomodoro in Noe Valley Pasta Pomodoro in Noe Valley
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    Precita Park Cafe: Neighborhood Breakfast or Lunch at Its Best

    by atufft Written Feb 10, 2014

    This is one of the best breakfast houses in San Francisco, but few tourists ever find it. Located at one end of Precita Park, at the corner of Alabama and Precita, it's a couple of blocks east of Mission Street, couple of blocks south of Cesar Chavez Blvd (Army Street), at the bottom end of the Outer Mission District area, this is well south of where most tourists go. The setting is a local favorite though, as quaint Precita Park lies just below the Bernal Height Summit, another one of San Francisco's mountain top parks.

    Anyway, coffee and other drinks are generous and good, pastries outstanding, and egg omelet breakfasts huge. I like the vegetarian or lox scramble. Scones are huge and fresh! Pricing is an excellent value.

    7 AM – 10 PM MONDAY TO SATURDAY / 8 AM – 8 PM SUNDAY

    Precita Park Cafe Precita Park Cafe Precita Park Cafe Precita Park Cafe
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    Zazie's: Cole Valley California-French

    by atufft Updated Feb 10, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Famous among SFGate fans as a great breakfast stop, folks wait outside the door when the restaurant opens for dinner at 5:30 on X-mas eve, or any other day. This place is definitely popular, particularly for the garden patio dining in the back (you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the patio). Since we were dining on a winter night, one might think the patio too cool for comfort, but Zazie has an ample supply of overhead patio burners, and even blankets to put over the legs--a charming service. The wine list is extensive enough, including a good selection of both California and French wines. The menu has a fine French collection of starting plates to share, as well as finely crafted main dishes. Service is outstanding. Reservations recommended, but then our group of 5 were able to get a table without reservations. Zazie's saves about 2/3 of it's tables for FCFS, rest are by reservation.

    We have since eaten here several times for dinner, and find Monday night's particularly interesting because this is "dog night". Pet owners are permitted to bring their dog(s) on leash into the restaurant for the patio dining. Zazies is also a good place for dining inside during stormy weather. The only draw back for me is that wine is served in glass bowls, not stemware. This complaint is only a technical one for a serious wine fan who would rather not cup the warmth of his hand around the glass of wine. Sometimes, during busy nights, food service can be overly rushed, in MHO.

    Favorite Dish: I had the mushroom ravioli's with mussels. See the photos, and just take my word for this place. You won't be disappointed. Zazie is off the beaten path for most tourists, and yet it is easy to get to. See my notes on Cole Valley for more information about the location. Another favorite is the steelhead trout filet (salmon is often substituted in the menu) on atop a puree of cauliflower and turnip, with asparagus spears (or brussel sprouts) on the side. Zazie's has excellent service and uses fresh vegetables very well in it's dishes. This place is NOT over priced. Considering the quality if food, it's a real bargain IMHO.

    Zazie in Cole Valley, SF Toasting X-mas Eve on Zazie Patio Dimly lit shot of Zazie Food Dog Night at Zazie's Zazie's Plates Inside
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    Tanuki: Great Japanese Restaurant

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Jan 18, 2014

    This is a great little, and not overpriced, Japanese restaurant in a city that has a plethora of them, ranging from dirt cheap to extremely expensive and exclusive, from terrible to great. It is just normal, excellent, well-run place, friendly service, nice ambience, great food prepared nicely.

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    Market Bar: Nice place for a beer and a snack

    by leics Written Aug 18, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I knew that if you went into the huge 'farmer's market' in the Ferry Building there were lots of free samples available, but as I didn't get there until nearly closing time my plans for a freebie evening meal were foiled (though I didn't really mind).

    Instead, a strong desire for a beer and a snack RIGHT NOW sent me to the Market Bar at the corner of the building. It stays open after the 'stalls' inside have closed, until 9pm during the week and until 8pm at weekends.

    It was pretty busy in the early evening (around 7pm), mostly with locals enjoying an after-work drink and, in some cases, snack. That was cheering. I liked the food choice (ingredients are sourced from the market itself) and the prices were reasonable enough for such a prime spot in SF.

    I decided to sit outside, despite the chilly wind...there are quite a few tables on the sidewalk and it's an excellent spot for people-watching (lots of dog-walkers, joggers, cyclists and skateboarders at that time of day). Staff were pleasant and friendly. My beer was good and my flatbread (with summer squash, aged jack cheese, pistachios, red onions and chilly flakes) was very good indeed.

    They have breakfast, lunch and dinner menus which reflect seasonal changes (I like that). You can make reservations (though only for inside seating) and I suspect that might be a good idea if there are a large-ish group of you, especially at lunchtimes because it's so easy to access from the financial district).

    It's not a particularly cheap place to eat but certainly one where you can be sure of high-quality ingredients and, if the weather allows, an enjoyable bit of people-watching. :-)

    The flatbread The menus The exterior The patio
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    Johnny Foley's Irish pub & restaurant: 'Irish' pub food

    by leics Written Aug 15, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I don't usually visit 'Irish' pubs in countries other than Ireland but seem to do so when I visit the US. I value their 'pub' feel, with a more relaxed approach than a proper restaurant. They just feel more comfortable for me, a solo middle-aged female used to eating (and drinking) in pubs.

    Foley's was just a couple of blocks from my hotel near Union square and seemed the obvious choice for a pint of decent draught beer and something to eat. It had been a particularly chilly day and I wanted comfort food, so the sight of cottage pie on the menu made the decision for me.

    The interior is properly pub-like..lots of wooden panelling and partitions, people sitting at the bar, tables dotted about. It was busy and noisy both times I visited (once just for a pint) although I managed to miss the live music which happens every night. I can't say I was bothered: when eating I prefer my pubs to be quieter rather than noisier.

    The menu isn't particularly extensive but it does contain a variety of dishes including salads, soups and sandwiches. There's a range of draught beers including several from the UK (Bass, Boddingtons, Newcastle Brown etc) and Ireland (Smithwick's, Harp,Murphy's and the obvious Guinness). My beer (Smithwick's) was well-kept.

    The cottage pie wasn't bad at all. It wasn't like my version but was obviously home-made...though carrots in cottage pies really, really should not be crunchy! It went well with my pint and was most definitely comfort food, despite the frippery of a few salad leaves on the side.

    Prices are pretty much what you'd expect for somewhere near Union Square i.e. somewhat over-priced for what you get. But it's a comfortable place and one which is clearly popular with locals as well as visitors.

    Open every day from 11.30am to 1.30am. Food served until 10pm.

    The cottage pie Interior
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    Yummy Dim Sum and Fast Food: Ultra Cheap Chinese in Chinatown

    by atufft Written May 1, 2013

    Food's not great, but it's real cheap. For $4- you can get a plate full of food. This isn't the only place of its kind. To find these places, you have to get off the main drag of Grant a couple of blocks, and away from Plymouth Square. In this case, I walked up Nob Hill a couple of blocks, to the south off Grant Avenue to the corner of Stockton and Clay, just one block west of the Stockton tunnel. Check out these low prices. Again, don't expect high quality, just basic Chinese at very low prices. Also, help won't know any English, so you have to study the menu and point to what you want. You can easily get an order to go, but this side of Chinatown doesn't have too many places to hang out and eat on the street. Better to get the order and head up hill to the top of Nob Hill...

    Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food Menu at Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food Yummy Dim Sum & Fast Food
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    Enjoy Vegetarian: Vegetarian Chinese

    by Arianedreams Written Apr 25, 2013

    In China town (close to the Hilton Hotel and tour bus stop) I found Enjoy Vegetarian restaurant. It was close to the end of the serving period but the staff made me feel very welcome and not at all rushed. The meal came with a pot of free herbal tea, lovely and refreshing when it's so hot outside. The whole meal with tax was less than nine dollars and I took a big box of leftovers with me to eat later. Great value, very nice staff and relaxed atmosphere.

    Favorite Dish: Sweet and Sour (soya) chicken. Huge portion made up of fresh tasting vegetables and generous chunks of soya chicken. Really lovely, I so wish this restaurant was in my hometown.

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    Cafe Greco: North Beach's Sweet Secret

    by Court94403 Written Mar 24, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    So after a nice meal and plenty of drinks at Calzone's you can cross the street and go right into Cafe Greco, this is our favorite place to sober up in....Lol! The staff inside is friendly and welcoming, they even have fun taking photos with us when we are here. This is a very large cafe but it never seems to not have enough space even when its busy. You will see lots of locals here hanging out enjoying the people and the neighborhood. This cafe has a nice vibe.

    Favorite Dish: Cafe Greco has sandwiches, paninis coffee, espressos, capuccinos, lattes, gelatos, and baked goods. Try the cannolis or the Pear Tart, or my favorite, the Chocolate Macaroon with its dark chocolate shell, when you break into it you will get that perfect balance of salty and sweet! Its so large that I have to share it! A neighborhood favorite is the Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding, I hear that it is AMAZING!!!! However, I have never tasted it because they only make 1 or 2 pans daily and when its gone, its gone! Apparently this bread pudding is the stuff that urban legends are made of. I have heard the stories even from the staff.

    If you are ever near Cafe Greco, go in and experience it. Nice place!

    Welcome to Cafe Greco! My Chocolate Macaroon Inside Cafe Greco

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    Calzones: A Little Italy IN Little Italy

    by Court94403 Updated Mar 24, 2013

    For me a visit to San Francisco is not complete without a stop in North Beach, and a stop in North Beach is not complete without having a meal at Calzone's. Located on Columbus St., Calzone's is a cafe/bistro restaurant with seating indoors and outdoors. The restaurant is split with the bar on one side and the dining area on the other side. The dining area is reminiscent of an Old-World Itallian gramdmother's kitcken with boxes of pasta, cans of olive oil and bulbs of garlic hanging from the walls.The windows get great light during the day, because they are literally open and almost floor-to-ceiling. Calzone's can get a bit noisy during it's busiest time, but for me, it just adds to the charm of the place.

    Favorite Dish: The menu is going to make it very hard to choose, it offers over 10 different pastas (Fettuccine, Orzo, Gnocchi, and Angel Hair). Six different Calzones, 12 different types of Pizzas. They also have have Veal and Pork on their menu.
    My usual and favorite is the Margherita Pizza ( thin crust with the right amount of Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil and Garlic) with a Caesar Salad and a French Lemonade (Vodka, Raspberry Lemonade and Chambord)

    They also have an excellent red/white wine list.

    Calzone's in North Beach Inside Calzones Margherita Pizza Chicken and Asparagus Fettuccine
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    Caffe Macaroni Sciue' Sciue': Small Local Italian

    by riorich55 Updated Mar 13, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our last night of our vacation we met our friends Barbara and Jim from Dublin, California at a North Beach restaurant that Barbara had been to a couple of times. We were looking for someplace Italian and small enough so that we could enjoy a nice semi-quiet dinner and she hit the "nail on the head" with this one. While Barbara and Jim had to drive into town for dinner. All we had to do was walk down California Street and take a left to get to Columbus from our Hotel on top of Nob Hill.

    We arrived a little bit before our friends and set up inside by the window. The place is relatively small, having only about a 1/2 dozen tables inside and the like number outside, but they do have a private room available somewhere for up to 99 people (that's what it says on the receipt I have).

    This is a genuine small Italian Restaurant in what I consider the best Italian neighborhood in the United States outside of Italy itself. We have now been to Italy since I wrote this tip and can now say that this little restaurant captures the true spirit of those restaurants in Italy itself. Not to belabor the point, but when we placed our order we had the waiter break out into a little song which I captured on video camera. Also we heard some loud voices coming from the kitchen in Italian which added to the flavor of the evening.

    Favorite Dish: We started out with a $35 bottle of wine that the waiter recommended (It was good, probably from Italy) and then ordered our dishes for the evening. From the receipt, which I still have fortunately, we ordered the Orecch Brocch, Tot Carbon, Spag Polpet and Pesce Giorno. Those are the abbreviations anyway from the ticket. Mine was the Spaghetti Polpetta and Sue's was the Pesce Giorno which I do have pictures of here. They were just the right portions and very tasty.

    We opted not to have dessert as I wanted to take Sue on a Cable Car ride over to my favorite late night spot, The Buena Vista Cafe to close out our evening.

    All 4 of the meals mentioned above ranged from $13.95 to $17.95 a real bargain for a city like San Francisco.

    Outside Seating View From Across the Street Spaghetti with Meatballs Pesce Giorno
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    El Farolito: Best Burrito in San Francisco?

    by alexchip Written Feb 24, 2013

    Best burrito in San Francisco? I am not sure; however, they are darn
    good!! This is not the burrito to get if you are on a diet because you
    have to go super or go home. The super carne asada burrito is my guiltiest pleasure.
    It consists of huge chunks of meat, cheese that melts with the
    heat of the refried beans, avocado jalapeños mexican rice and then
    to top it off salsa and sour cream. They have a salsa bar for those who want salsa on their salsa (me!). It is also worth mentioning that this is somewhat of a dive and when I first came here, and again when I had to use the restroom, I worried about the food quality. This is about the food and the food only. After consumption, plan to spend the rest of your day in a food coma. A delicious food coma.

    Favorite Dish: The burrito--hot, gooey, tender meat, right amount of spice.

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    Pho Golden Flower: Great place for a bowl of soup!

    by bpwarne Updated Jan 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We dined at this restaurant in January, 2013 for lunch. This is a small Vietnamese restaurant located in the heart of Chinatown. Prices were ridiculously cheap and Pho was excellent. Why go to a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown? I don't know, our Chinese friends from Beijing took us there! So...that must say something about Pho Golden Flower!

    Favorite Dish: Pho, of course!

    Pho Golden Flower Restaurant, Chinatown, SF
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    Chowder Hut: Chowder Hut

    by joiwatani Written Jan 12, 2013

    We had our lunch here and we enjoyed our fish and chips. Although the line was long, it was okay.

    The food was an average one, nothing special but we get to sit down on an umbrella table to watch all the different tourists passing by.

    We could have chosen a different restaurant but we didn't like to wait longer.

    Favorite Dish: We ordered 1/2 a pound of shrimps, burgers, fish and chips, coffee and soda.

    The restaurant charges $1 for the cheddar on the burger, the drinnks are $2.49 and the coffee is $1.99. It's a little bit pricy, I thought.

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    Hang Ah Tea Room & Pagoda Alley

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Dec 13, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Established in 1920 in a side alley about a block from Grant Street, Hang Ah Tea House claims to be the oldest dim sum shop in Chinatown. After reading a few good reviews about the place, we decided to check it out for a late breakfast one Sunday morning. Despite being partway down a narrow and quiet alley, it was easy to find. From the outside it is not much to look at, but once inside it all but glows with its 1970s lemon and lime color theme. The restaurant was pretty quiet upon our arrival, and we were immediately greeted and seated... we chose a place in the back corner so we could keep our packs out of the way of other diners.

    We were at first somewhat disappointed because this isn't your standard dim sum restaurant with steaming carts of fresh goodness constantly rolling past. No, this dim sum was all al a cart, meaning it is fresh, but you also have to wait a little longer for you food to be prepared. We ordered some bbq pork buns, pot stickers, shrimp balls, and the waitress recommended turnip cakes. She wanted us to eat a few more things, but we thought this would be enough. The bbq pork buns were gigantic and very tasty. The pot stickers were about normal in taste and texture, but like the buns were huge. The shrimp balls were a little oily and very tasty. Our most surprising dish was the turnip cakes, which I had never imagined eating let along tried. They were a little gummy, but fried to a crispiness on the outside and slightly sweet and tasty. Each of our four dishes was under $3 so our total bill for two people was about $10.50 including tea. Very good meal a superb price.

    Pagoda Alley, also known as Hang Ah Alley, runs in front of this small restaurant, a neighborhood playground, and a few hidden Chinese Majong rooms. It was named "Hang Ah" by local Chinese residents in the 1840s after a German perfume merchant opened shop in the area. Hang Ah means fragrant in Chinese. The alley contains numerous old signs and plaques describing the history and naming of the location.

    Pagoda Alley next to Hang Ah Pagoda Alley next to Hang Ah

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San Francisco is easily the most savy food oriented city in North America (with the possible exception of New Orleans).  While first time visitors might find themselves mired by overpriced...

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