San Francisco Food & Drink Travel Guide

San Francisco Food and Drink Travel Guide

Virginia Woolf once wrote “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” She also wrote, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

I’ve lived in San Francisco for the past two years. It’s too expensive for me to afford my own room and write fiction, so all’s left for me to write are facts on the best restaurants for you to eat and love as you visit this fantastic city.

San Francisco is as diverse as city in as compact a place as you’ll ever find. Culinary pockets speckle the town and they’re all tied together by a shared thread of delicious.


To start off your day with an old-fashioned Southern-tinged breakfast, check out Kate’s Kitchen in the Lower Haight neighbourhood. The hash browns folded with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese are bound to hit the spot and fuel your day.

Feeling more adventurous? Go for Dim Sum in the Outer Richmond area at Hong Kong Lounge. Order the best baked pork buns in the city if you want to answer the ever lingering question of “I wonder what a barbecue pork-doughnut would taste like?”

Other recommendations include Plow (get the lemon ricotta pancakes or the breakfast sandwich) and Zazie. Get there early to avoid the full SF experience of waiting in line for over an hour.


Walk up and down the city’s steep and scenic hills after breakfast and your appetite will return soon enough. So let’s start talking about lunch. Don’t leave San Francisco without taking a trip down to the Mission area and eating tacos or a mission-style burrito. Go to La Taqueria and order their succulent carnitas in taco or burrito form. The carnitas burrito was recently Voted #1 in America.

Other classic Mission joints are El Farolito and La Corneta Taqueria.

In the mood for soup? If you’re around Union Square, stop by Katana-Ya – a hole in the wall ramen joint blasting 90s pop that’ll warm the stomach and soul of any traveler on a foggy day.

Walking in Golden Gate Park? Get the pho dac biet at Kevin’s Noodle House. Comforting and delicious, you’ll feel like your Vietnamese mammy has been making it for you your entire life.


Consider keeping the lunch light so you can feast at dinner. For some quintessential, innovative farm-to-table California cuisine, go to NOPA. Everything on the menu is delicious and they have some of the best cocktails in the city.

To satisfy your Thai cravings, you must go to any of the three Lers Ros locations. I’ve dreamt about bathing in their coconut red curry. The crispy basil pork belly is a can’t miss for the pork-lovers out there.

If you’re downtown, you cannot go wrong ordering the Cioppino, a fish stew originating in San Francisco, at either Tadich Grill or Sotto Mare, over in North Beach – both San Francisco staples.


To keep your buzz going after dinner, get a craft cocktail at the secretive speakeasy Bourbon and Branch in the Tenderloin neighbourhood,  or Trick Dog in the Mission.

Or, if you just want ice cream, swing by Smitten (it’s made in front of your eyes with liquid nitrogen), Bi-Rite (gourmet grocery with an ice cream bar), or CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me– ice cream sandwiches in the Mission).

After this, get some sleep – gotta do this all again tomorrow!


Ellen BarrettBorn and raised in Ireland, I studied and worked as a dietitian before following my heart to San Francisco. When not at work in a foodie start-up, I am usually found (with a coffee in hand) with my partner in crime/co-writer Scott Sigman exploring the different neighborhoods and eating our way through the city.

Ellen Barrett Ellen Barrett



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