I’m proud to claim that I am a San Franciscan foodie. There are some paychecks that I will gladly spend half of on the tastiest dishes that I know of in San Francisco. The beauty of San Francisco is that it was designed with the foodie in mind. Whether it is a little hole in the wall Chinese place with the best Kung Pao Shrimp or the five star waterfront eatery with hoisin glazed scallops, San Francisco knows that the foodie’s heart lives in his/her stomach.
These five restaurant are a myriad of cuisines that I consider the elite of the city. Some are well-known, while others are hidden gems of the city. If you are a self-proclaimed foodie like myself, then you must go out and spend well earned money on one of these amazing places:
The Slanted Door
The Slanted Door is a play on Vietnamese culture both in the title and the cuisine. It is a modern spin on classic Vietnamese food that excites the taste buds and warms the tummy, while showcasing the abundance of organic produce grown in the SF Bay Area.
Executive Chef Charles Phan broke the mold when he designed the fare for the Slanted Door’s menu. From hard-to-find teas to organic juices, and tantalizing noodle dishes, Phan puts a smile on my face on every journey into his creative food art. My favorite dishes are cellophane noodles with Dungeness crab, vegetarian spring rolls, and wood oven roasted manila clams.
373 Broadway Ave
The four star restaurant sits along lonely strand of Broadway, but mastermind Daniel Patterson brings flocks of customers to the spot with local produce and innovative menus. COI offers a variety of dishes with the main focus on quirky Northern California cuisine. This isn’t a walk in sort of place either- reservations are required to sample the ever-changing eleven course meal. Some nights will be focused on seafood featuring Monterrey Bay abalone, while another evening features Grass fed beef from Salinas. The cornerstone of COI Restaurant is that there is no thinking required- Patterson works with a skilled sommelier to pair each menu with the perfect glasses of wine.
1658 Market St
When I think Zuni Cafe, I think about oysters, thin crust pizza, and Balsamic Bloody Marys.Oh and I think about rustically sophisticated fare. The Zuni Cafe co-owned and cheffed by Judy Rodgers and Gilbert Pilgram cook fresh Italian and French inspired dishes that do more that satisfy the palate- the food satisfies the soul.
The Little Skillet
360 Ritch Street at Townsend
Southerners know home-cooking. In the city it can be hard to find down home cooking that makes you feel like you are back in Louisiana. The Little Skillet does Southern cooking as perfect as it gets. The little eatery features dishes like waffles, chicken boxes with amazing fried chicken and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. This is the soul food that speaks to the heart of my soul.
2889 Mission St
In the heart of the Mission District lies the cutest, freshest, and the most authentic Mexican food in all of San Francisco. La Taqueria looks meager from the outside, but there is nothing meager about this restaurant! Choose any plate on the menu and your taste buds will go wild for more. My favorites are the Shrimp tacos, the watermelon agua fresca, and the guacamole. Everything is made fresh over an open flame…so this isn’t your Americanized Mexican food…this is Mexico right in the center of the city. Delicious.
All foodies thrive in San Francisco with the plethora of existing eateries and the new innovations that pop up throughout the local neighborhoods. These restaurants are must-dos for any foodie living in San Francisco, and I hope to see you there!