Best San Francisco Restaurants

A Guide to Find the Best Food in the City

What are the best San Francisco restaurants? This can be a tough question to answer since there are more than 3,500 restaurants in SF.

This section is designed as a guide to help you narrow down your options. Here you can choose a list of the top ones by neighborhood or budget.

You will also find some of the top steakhouses, the best sushi restaurants and a list of other top options by cuisine.

Breakfast at Buena Vista

I've also included a list of my favorites throughout the city. In addition, you will find my San Francisco restaurant reviews for some of the most popular places in the city such as the nationally famous Buena Vista Cafe (the picture above is from my last visit there for brunch), House of Nanking and the Stinking Rose Restaurant in North Beach.

Disclaimer: I recieve a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Recommendations by Neighborhood

Each neighborhood has a number of great restaurants. Here are a few of my favorites in the following neighborhoods:

Union Square | North Beach | Mission District

Alamo Square & NOPA | Fisherman's Wharf | Nob Hill

Best Options by Types of Cuisine

Are you looking for a specific type of restaurant? The recommendations below are for popular types of San Francisco restaurants:

Brunch | Burgers | Chinese | Clam Chowder | Dim Sum | French

Ice Cream | Irish Food | Italian | Mediterranean | Mexican | Pizza

Seafood | Steakhouses | Sushi | Thai | Vegetarian | Vegan | Waffles

Gourmet Food Trucks

sourdough clam chowder
One of the best ways to warm up on a chilly SF day is with a bowl of clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Boudin Bakery.

Deals at SF Restaurants

It can get pricey to eat out for each meal while you are here. This is why I recommend checking out some of the great deals around town. You will find some discount options on Restaurants.com, LivingSocial, and, my favorite, Groupon. Here is just a sample of the types of deals you will find at our best San Francisco restaurants.

*All deals are for a limited time only and can change at anytime.

Other SF Restaurants

Here are a few other categories that might be helpful as you look for one of the best San Francisco restaurants.

Fine Dining | Beach Chalet | Boudin Bakery | Boulette's Larder

Buena Vista Cafe | Presidio Social Club | Stinking Rose

Off the Grid: Gourmet Food Truck Dining

Food trucks are becoming more and more popular in SF and around the US. They are no longer the hot dog stands that used to be everywhere. Many of these trucks now offer gourmet delicacies from Indian Cuisine to some of the best burgers in town.

How do you find them? It's easy with Off the Grid.

Every day, Off the Grid works with local food trucks and the city to set up multi-food truck lunches and dinners. In one location, they often have anywhere from five to ten different trucks to choose from.

Most events also include live music and a few places to sit. In some locations, you can also grab a beer to enjoy with your dinner.

It's a fun way to sample some of the best food in SF and meet some locals.

Here are their current locations in SF:

  • Monday
    • Lunch from 11am to 3pm: Financial District at Vallejo and Front Streets
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: SOMA at Fifth and Townsend

  • Tuesday
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: UN Plaza off Market near the Asian Art Museum
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: South Park at 340 Brannan Street

  • Wednesday
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: Fifth and Minna in SOMA
    • Lunch from 11am to 3pm: Vallejo and Front in the Financial District
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: SOMA at Fifth and Townsend

  • Thursday
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: UN Plaza off Market Street near City Hall and the Asian Art Museum
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: South Park at 340 Brannan Street
    • Dinner from 5pm to 8pm: Upper Haight off Stanyan and Haight Street on the eastern end of Golden Gate Park

  • Friday
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: Fifth and Minna in SOMA
    • Lunch from 11am to 2pm: Civic Center Plaza
    • Dinner from 5pm to 10pm: Fort Mason Center near Fisherman's Wharf

  • Sunday
    • Lunch from 11am to 4pm in the Presidio (seasonal)

My 10 Favorite Restaurants in San Francisco

If you are looking for a list of what I would consider the best San Francisco restaurants, here are my "go to" top 10. New places are opening up all the time, but these are a few places that I frequent. I love them because they have great service, amazing food and I can depend on having a great experience.

My list includes high-end spots as well as casual places for brunch, lunch and dinner.

1. Dottie's True Blue Cafe

The thing I love about Dottie's True Blue Cafe is they consistently serve up one of the best breakfasts in San Francisco. The problem is, almost everyone knows about them now and the lines can be quite long. However, I still recommend them often because their food is so yummy.

Make sure to get there early or you'll have to wait! They serve up traditional American breakfast food, as well as, some great vegetarian options.

Average Price: Most dishes are around $12 to $15
Address:
28 6th Street
District:
South of Market (SOMA)
Best For:
Brunch, Breakfast

2. Gary Danko

My favorite top-of-the-line restaurant in San Francisco is Gary Danko. I've only had the chance to eat here a couple of times, yet they do everything they can to make the occasion unforgettable. They use fresh, local ingredients and change their menu frequently. They offer several wonderful fish dishes as well as meat and game birds.

They also have an amazing selection of cheeses and some of the best desserts in the city. Make sure to check out their wine list too. The downside to Gary Danko is that you do need to call several weeks in advance to book your table. However, it's still one of the best San Francisco restaurants.

Average Price: Usually a minimum of around $75 to $100 per person
Address:
800 North Point Street
District:
Fisherman's Wharf
Best For:
Special Occasion Dinners

3. Kokkari Estiatorio

Kokkari is a high-end restaurant in San Francisco's Financial District. This upscale restaurant offers mostly Mediterranean dishes. Their lamb chops are amazing and I love their Spanakotiropita (filo pie with spinach, feta, leeks, and dill). Other popular main dishes include the Pacific Halibut, the Lamb Burgers, and Moussaka.

They also offer a lunch special every weekday.

Average Price: For lunch, it's around $25 to $30 a person. For dinner, it will be around $35 to $55 per person
Address: 200 Jackson Street
District:
Financial District
Best For:
Dinner

4. Little Star Pizza

If you love pizza, you are going to drool over the pizzas at Little Star. Their menu features both deep dish and thin crust options. You can either order one of their pre-planned pizzas or create your own. While their deep dish is AMAZING, I often order their Pesto Chicken or White Pie thin crust pizzas. Unlike most pizza crusts, theirs is made with cornmeal that has a totally different taste and texture, which I love and why it's one of the best San Francisco restaurants.

They have two locations in San Francisco. I frequent both locations.

Average Price: Pizzas range from around $13 to $26 each
Best For: Dinner

Western Addition/NOPA Location
Address:
846 Divisadero Street

Mission District
Address: 400 Valencia

5. Rosamunde Sausage Grill

One of my favorite budget friendly options is Rosamunde Sausage Grill. They offer an interesting selection of sausages, as well as, some tasty side dishes. My favs include their chicken habanero and the cheddar brat. In addition to their basic sausages, they also offer specialty options including wild boar, duck, and lamb.

The lower Haight location only has a couple of seats, so it's perfect if you want to grab and go. If you want to sit down for a meal, I recommend heading to their Mission Street location. The Mission Street location is also an amazing place for happy hour on any sunny, warm SF evening.

Average Price: Sausages are $7 each
Best For: Casual lunch or a late afternoon snack

Lower Haight
Address:
545 Haight Street

Mission (this location also has a great beer selection with great happy hour specials)
Address:
2832 Mission Street

6. Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar and Izakaya

This fully vegan sushi bar is perfect for those who love the taste of sushi, but don't want to break their commitment to being vegan. This unique restaurant uses mountain yams, konjac (a root vegetable), soybean curd, and other vegan ingredients to make their vegan sushi delicacies. Some of my top picks for rolls include the Boddy & Soul, the Candlestick, and the Proud Peacock.

It's also fun to order their Surprise Ending dish which includes small servings and you never know which ones are spicy and which ones are cool and mild. The prices, location, and tasty dishes are what make it one of the best San Francisco restaurants.

Average Price: Rolls are around $10 - 12 each
Address:
370 14th Street
District:
Mission District
Best For:
Dinner

7. State Bird Provisions

State Bird Provisions opened in 2011, and from the minute they opened their doors, it's been one of the hottest restaurants in town. Their menu changes constantly, so you can always try something different and exciting. They serve a large variety of small plates as well as their specialty: CA State Bird with Provisions.

Some of my favorites include their Hog Island oysters, the pork belly citrus salad, and the grilled beef with maitake. If you plan to eat here, make sure you call well in advance to book your table.

Average Price: Tapas range from $3 to $12, Main dishes are around $9 to $22
Address:
1529 Fillmore Street
District:
Western Addition
Best For:
Dinner for two

8. The Codmother Fish & Chips

The Codmother Fish & Chips is an inexpensive permanent food truck that serves up traditional British Fish and Chips. The fish and chips are tasty and the prices are very reasonable (especially for San Francisco). I also love their Baja Fish Tacos. They are only around $6 for two hearty tacos.

It's also a great place to take the kids for lunch or an afternoon snack. It's also nicely located in Fisherman's Wharf next to many of SF's top attractions.

Average Price: $9.95 for the fish and chips, $5.95 for the Baja Tacos
Address:
2824 Jones Street
District:
Fisherman's Wharf
Best For:
Lunch on a Sunny Afternoon (Outdoor Seating Only)

9. The House

The House is a small Asian Fusion restaurant tucked away in the North Beach District. The food here is amazing and the portion sizes are great for the price. Some of my favorite dishes are their rib-eye and the pork chop.

Everything I've tried here has been amazing, so don't hesitate to try something different. Also, make sure to check out their desserts before you leave. I have to admit that my fav is the creme brulee!

Average Price: Total price per person ends up around $30 to $50 (without drinks)
Address:
1230 Grant Avenue
District:
North Beach
Best For:
Romantic Dinners

10. The Italian Homemade Company

This cute place is the perfect spot for casual lunches or early dinners. It's another one of those real hidden gems in the North Beach District. The pasta here is fresh, since nothing is out of a box from these real Italians, and the service is always wonderful. I dream about their fresh ravioli with Bolognese sauce. I've had their lasagna and it's just as tasty.

The only thing I don't like is they serve their food on paper plates. I would prefer real plates, but I'll sacrifice that for this authentic Italian cuisine.

Average Price: Dishes are around $12 to $14 each
Address:
716 Columbus Avenue
District:
North Beach
Best For:
Lunch or an early dinner (they close at 9pm)

Other Pages to Explore

Food Festivals: If you love food, then you must check out one of the annual food festivals. At each one, you will find delicious gourmet goodies from top San Francisco and Bay Area Chefs. In addition to food, most offer live entertainment, beverages, and the chance to mingle with other foodies.

Music Festivals: Another fun way to enjoy your time in San Francisco is at one of our yearly music festivals. You will find one-day, two-day, and three-day festivals with live music all day long. In addition, they offer yummy food from local chefs, a variety of beverages, and a day of fun with other music lovers.

Beer Festivals: You can also enjoy both beer and food at these annual beer festivals. You can sample craft beers from around the world or enjoy some of the top local favorites. It's a great way to find a few favorite brew.

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Hi there! I'm Jill and I love writing about San Francisco travel as much as I love exploring my amazing city. Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.

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