back to top

35 Delicious Things To Eat In San Francisco That Aren't Burritos

Because every now and then, you need a vacation from all that sour cream and guac.

Posted on

1. Cioppino from Woodhouse Fish Co. (1914 Fillmore St.)

Cioppino is an Italian fish stew created by Italian fisherman who resided in North Beach. It typically includes Dungeness crab, squid, shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and pretty much anything you like that comes from the sea. There are several excellent places to score cioppino in the city, but Woodhouse is a little off the beaten path in Lower Pac Heights. (There's also a second location in Duboce.)

2. Tea Leaf Salad at Burma Superstar (309 Clement St.)

With locations in Oakland and Alameda, Burma Superstar has been featured on the Food Network and draws in plentiful crowds for its famous tea leaf salad, which comes with romaine lettuce, fried yellow beans, fried garlic, sesame seeds, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, and dried shrimp. (It can also be made vegetarian.)

3. Maccaronara Ragu with Ricotta at A16 (2355 Chestnut St.)

Brave the Marina bros to try this inventive Italian restaurant that features handmade pasta and a 500+ bottle wine list. If you're not in a red sauce mood, the trout and wood-fired pizzas.

4. All-you-can-eat hotpot at Shabu House (5158 Geary Blvd.)

For $32 per person ($22 if you want an all-veggie menu), Shabu House will deliver unlimited shabu-shabu to your table, which is pretty fucking fantastic. In addition to their Richmond location, check out the ones on Ocean Ave. and Clement St.

5. Tahiti French Toast at Zazie (941 Cole St.)

In case you haven't heard, San Franciscans love to wait in line for brunch. French cafe Zazie, located in Cole Valley, offers dinner, too, but they're known for their tantalizing weekend morning menu. The Tahiti French Toast, stuffed with walnuts and caramelized bananas, will transport you to a tropical island (at least until you have to get onto a crowded Muni ride home.)

6. Curry at Pakwan (501 O'Farrell St.)

Pakistani-Indian restaurant offers delicious meat and vegetarian biryanis and curries that make for a totally filling lunch (and you'll usually have some to take home for dinner). Check out their Mission and East Bay locations, too.

7. Mochi at Benkyodo (1747 Buchanan St.)

At this landmark Japantown bakery, manju and mochi come in flavors like peanut butter, blueberry and green tea red bean paste.

8. Roast chicken with bread salad at Zuni Café (1658 Market St.)

Chef Judy Rodgers' now-famous combination of roasted chicken paired with a warm bread salad with scallions, garlic, mustard greens, dried currants, and pine nuts is a must-try at this Hayes Valley outpost. (Here's the recipe if you don't feel like trekking to Market.)

9. Deep dish pizza at Little Star (846 Divisadero St.)

So SF isn't exactly known for its pizza, but that does NOT mean we don't actually have really, really good pizza. At Little Star, you can opt for thin crust, but the deep dish is a doughy, cheesy behemoth that'll make you feel transplanted to Chicago. (Check out the Mission location, too.)

10. Crawfish beignets at Brenda's French Soul Food (652 Polk St.)

The brunch wait at this Tenderloin joint can get a little out of control, but it's worth it for the perfectly seasoned savory beignets. If you also want to sample the sweet beignets — GRANNY SMITH APPLE! CHOCOLATE! — opt for the $10 beignet flight.

11. Dry fried wings at San Tung (1031 Irving St.)

Crowds constantly swarm San Tung (and its new sister restaurant next door, which is actually called San Tung #2) to chow down on the Chinese restaurant's famous chicken wings. Voted one of the best chicken wings in the U.S. by Food and Wine, San Tung's variety are just the right amount of sweet, spicy and (deliciously) greasy.

12. The special breakfast sandwich at Devil's Teeth Baking Co. (3876 Noriega St.)

Tucked out near the ocean, Devil's Teeth offers a paleo diet-ruining array of morning buns, pastries, biscuits, and any other delicious thing you can create with flour and a lot of tasty, tasty sugar. Grab any one of their famous breakfast sandwiches, but especially try the "special": two eggs scrambled, with pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, avocado and lemon-garlic aioli on homemade buttermilk biscuit.

13. Injera combo at New Eritrea (907 Irving St.)

Roll up your sleeves and dig in injera-first to this Inner Sunset spot's hefty combo platter. Bonus level: wash it all down with some seriously-sweet honey wine.

14. Garlic noodles at Perilla (836 Irving St.)

This tiny Inner Sunset restaurant makes up for lack of space with some of the tastiest Vietnamese food you'll get in the city. Their pho is spectacular, but if you're on the hunt for some less healthy comfort food, the garlic noodles are like pasta from butter heaven.

15. Pizza at Arizmendi Bakery (1331 9th Ave.)

A worker-owned bakery co-op, Arizmendi stocks a number of delicious breads, but you'll want to check out their famous pizza, which changes daily and causes quite the out-the-door line. If the Sunset location doesn't work for you, head to their Mission location at 1268 Valencia.

16. Cinnamon toast from Trouble Coffee (4033 Judah St.)

Trendy toast is the Bay Area's latest headline-maker, and though The Mill's cinnamon bread is probably the toast de résistance, you should venture out to Ocean Beach, score a dazzingly thick slab of Trouble's offering, and take it down to the Pacific.

17. Sashimi at Swan Oyster Depot (1517 Polk St.)

Named one of the best oyster bars in America and beloved by Anthony Bourdain, Swan's oysters and Crab Louie are impossibly delicious and fresh, but we especially thumbs-up the ice-cold sashimi. And since it's in Nob Hill, you won't have to elbow the crowds at the Wharf.

18. Green garlic pierogi with fried spinach at Alta (1420 Market St.)

Alta, located near the San Francisco symphony, combines delicious upscale food with a non-snooty environment (and modest prices). Chef Daniel Patterson changes the Mid-Market restaurant's American seasonal menu regularly, but you can't go wrong with garlic pierogis, can you?

19. Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Café (2765 Hyde St.)

Yes, it's touristy, but you're going to want to savor a boozy coffee at the place that introduced it to America, right? The cocktail — a splash of hot water, two sugar cubes, coffee, a jigger of Irish whiskey and a frothy topping of whipped cream — is the perfect after-dinner apertif.

20. Any sandwich at Ike's Place (3489 16th St.)

With a menu that will delight carnivores and veggies alike, Ike's offers a staggering number of sandwiches, which you should order on its famous Dutch Crunch bread. Check out the "That's Hella True" (artichoke hearts, provolone, roast beef). Note to winery fans: their Sonoma location makes the perfect lunch spot in between getting your tasting flights on.

21. Papua New Guinea S'more at Dandelion Chocolate (740 Valencia St.)

Artisanal chocolate. Valencia Street. $6 hot cocoa. Dandelion has all the trappings of a hipster place you'd hate, but the chocolate is actually. That. Good. Try the Papua New Guinea S'more, which stars homemade graham crackers, marshmallow and cocoa nibs from the titular country, blowtorched to sweet perfection.

22. Sweet pea custard at Lazy Bear (3416 19th St.)

San Francisco's underground restaurant might sound like something out of a Stefon skit on SNL, but if you're willing to buy tickets to their weekly parties and eat communally with a bunch of strangers, Lazy Bear is worth the experience. Chef David Barzelay changes the 15-course menu regularly, but one of the typical spring dishes is this savory pea custard, which comes with steelhead roe and looks like something out of a goddamn art gallery.

23. Lemon cream tart at Tartine (600 Guerrero St.)

Tartine frequently draws 30-minute plus lines just for its to-go pastries, but everything you'll try is phenomenal and spectacular and sublime. The bread is famous, the morning buns are famous, the pain au chocolat is life-changing, but if you want the perfect combination of aesthetic cuteness and something fresh and tart.... let us suggest: the lemon cream tart.

24. Blue Bottle Coffee ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery (3692 18th St.)

Do NOT come to SF's famous bakery and ice cream mecca on a diet. Instead: get two scoops.

25. "The Nebulous Potato Thing" at St. Francis Fountain (2801 24th St.)

The Mission diner will veganize all of its creative breakfast dishes for you, but if you are of the dairy-eating variety, order an egg to go with your NPT, which features a "pile of spuds" topped with jack cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onions.

26. Pupusas at La Santaneca (3781 Mission St.)

86 the nearby burritos and scope out this Salvadorean pupusa outpost in the Mission instead. (Also delish: fried plantains and tamales.)

27. Tacos at El Gallo Giro (23rd St., Mission)

Even if you want to give burritos a pass, the tacos from this small, authentic Mission food truck are a must-eat. Try the lengua, carnitas and carne asada tacos, served up fast and hot with pickled jalapeños.

28. Amatriciana Pizza at Gialina (2842 Diamond St.)

It's worth a trek to Diamond Heights to score one of Gialina's droolworthy pizzas. We love the Amatriciana, which stars a cast of tomato, pancetta, chilies, a farm egg and pecorino cheese, because egg pizza is truly no yolk.

29. Shawarma at Truly Mediterranean (3109 16th St.)

Amidst the Mission's phalanx of burrito joints, Truly Med is serving us some damn good Middle Easter food. Try the falafel, or treat yourself to lamb or chicken shawarma, and you won't be missing all that sour cream and guac.

30. Weed Truffles at Dolores Park

If you want a truly San Francisco treat, head to hipster haven Dolores Park and track down the guy swinging these bronze kettles, which are full of homemade, uh, herb-infused chocolates. The truffle man, who has his own Yelp page, offers you three for $10, though one should be enough to make your sunny park day quite interesting.

31. Secret Breakfast ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe (1 Ferry Building)

It's worth battling the tourists at HS's Ferry Building shop (and less so at their Mission location) for ice cream this wildly inventive. Flavors like white chocolate lavender and black sesame will tingle your tongue, but you should first try the company's famous Secret Breakfast flavor, a bourbon-based vanilla ice cream with clusters of cornflakes. Even better: get it in a Bourbon Cola float, where it mingles with Coke and bourbon-infused caramel.

32. Any sandwich at Deli Board (1058 Folsom St.)

I mean.... LOOK AT THAT.

33. Mac 'n Cheese Grilled Cheese at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen (1 S Park St.)

If you need more convincing to check out the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen's two locations (one in South Park and one in the Mission), consider this:

1. BREAKFAST grilled cheeses.

2. Gluten-free bread choices.


34. Mongolian cheesesteak from HRD Coffee Shop (521A 3rd St.)

This hip fusion food outpost in Soma blends Korean and Mexican cuisine to some fantastic results. (Guy Fieri agrees.) Kimchi burritos and oyster curry platters are on the menu, but try the Mongolian beef cheesesteak for a fun twist on a Philly classic.

35. Daikon puffs at Hakkasan (1 Kearny St.)

Tucked conveniently on the second floor of the 1 Kearny building near the Montgomery BART and MUNI stops, Hakkasan's Cantonese cuisine is a downtown must. It's a wee bit pricey, but the dim sum (including a vegetarian option) and crispy duck salad are worth the G's, as are their cute savory daikon pastries designed to look like tiny carrots.

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right
The best things at three price points