With dozens of influences from around the world, a steady stream of fresh seafood, innovative chefs, and long-running establishments, San Francisco has one of the most diverse culinary scenes in the world.
Boasting more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country, the Golden City has flavors and unique menu items you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re just visiting or looking to expand your tastes, discover everything a foodie loves about San Francisco.
Swan Oyster Depot
For over 100 years, Swan Oyster Depot has served up the freshest and tastiest seafood to tourists and locals. With only 18 seats, you’re almost guaranteed an hour-long wait unless you’re one of the first people in the door, but the wait is well worth it. Crab Louis, fresh oysters, seafood cocktails, and clam chowder are the stars of the menu, although you can follow the lead of locals to find off-menu delicacies.
While seafood restaurants are a dime a dozen in the San Francisco, the freshness of the food and the unbeatable hospitality make Swan the best of the bunch. If you’re planning a San Francisco itinerary, make sure to throw this establishment on the list.
City View Restaurant
Chinatown has plenty of restaurants that offer a taste of the Far East, including traditional Chinese-American staples and other menu items that you can’t pronounce. However, you shouldn’t stroll through this area without a visit to City View Restaurant. Located just off Kearney Street in the heart of Chinatown, City View is the quintessential spot for dim sum.
If you’ve never had dim sum, imagine steam carts piloted by waitresses. As they patrol the dining room, they stop at your table and show you dumplings, rolls, potstickers, and more. These small plates are ideal for sharing, but you can also fill up with a buffet that comes to you. City View’s just happens to be the best of the bunch, catering more to locals than any other clientele.
Located just north of Union Square and the often-sketchy Tenderloin neighborhood, Bite is perhaps the best-kept secret in the city. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., this sandwich shop is perfect for lunch, dinner, or the closing-time snack, offering fresh rotisserie chickens and the finest cuts of Boar’s Head meats. In total, Bite offers nearly two dozen sandwiches for every palate.
Off the Grid
Food truck enthusiasts rejoice! Off the Grid is one of the biggest food truck gatherings in the Bay Area, inviting over 50 food trucks to the Fort Mason Center every Friday between March and October. Here you can find just about any type of food to quell your hunger, ranging from Filipino fusion food to a San Francisco take on poutine. Grab a local beer to wash down your meal, and stay late to watch live music from some of the area’s top local bands.
When you want to stuff your face, San Francisco has some of the best offerings anywhere. Don’t worry about overindulging. If you walk the giant hills of San Francisco, you should escape without putting on a pound.