The “Must Eats” in San Francisco

  Posted by - October 1, 2014 - CynEats Foodie Guide, Daytime, NightTime, Restaurants, San Francisco, Travel

I love San Francisco. It’s one of the best culinary cities in the world.

This city is just so chic, timeless, and has a whirlwind of good food on practically every corner.

Like, you know when you Google “What to Eat in SF” and a TONNNN of lists show up?

I mean, clearly there’s so many foodie options.

It’s almost to the point where it can get kinda overwhelming. (Agree?)

Well, have no fear because I figured I would share my “Must Eats” in SF with you all.

Basically it’s all the foodie spots I’m constantly lusting/drooling/yearning over.

And to be honest, everything is so FN-amazing that you just can’t go wrong with any of these options. Truussst me.

Here they are in no particular order. Enjoy!

A sandwich at Wise Sons (NOM)

Why? Do you love pastrami? Reubens? If you answered “yes” to either, then you love Wise Sons.

They were featured on Business Insider for “Top 10 best sandwich spots in America” because they’re that damn good. It has the perfect amount of fat, salt, spice and texture.

Tip: They’re located at the Ferry Building Farmer’s market on Tuesday and Thursdays. If you want more variety and options, go to their Mission location.

Millionaire's BaconMillionaires Bacon at Kitchen Story or Sweet Maple (same thing)

Why? My God. It’s like the best bacon on the planet. It’s the thickest, sweetest, crunchiest piece of bacon you’ll ever have. 

Tip: Eat the bacon with a bite of everything else, you’ll thank me later. Oh, they also have bottomless mimosas. You can thank me now.

Humphry’s Slocombre Ice Cream ( face –> plant)

Why: Uhm, have you SEEN anything more beautiful? (Anyone!?) They have THE most interesting flavors that totally work. Get the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee ice cream with nuts (pic above) or the “Secret Breakfast” AKA bourbon + corn flakes, with bourbon caramel. It’s life changing.

Tip: Get your ice cream on a cone, but also ask for a bowl. It’s waaayyyy easier to eat, plus it doesn’t melt all over your hands when you take #foodpics

A sushi buritto at Sushiritto (whoa.)

Why? This is what happens when Mexican meets Japanese = life changing. If you haven’t tried it, you should at least try it once in your life. At least for picture’s sake.

Tip: Get the Geisha’s Kiss. Don’t be scared if you see long lines, they move fast (think: Chipotle)

Pastries at Tartine Bakery and Café (to die for.)

Why? This bakery rocks my world. Get the morning bun, lemon tart, banana tart, almond croissant, bread pudding… gahh I could go on forever. 

Anyway, they use organic produce as much as possible and use organic flour, sugar, and local eggs. Sooo… it’s sorta like eating healthy. lol.

Tip: The lines get really long, but don’t worry, it moves fast!

PS: Tartine has over 5,000 Yelp reviews and has been featured on NY Times, SF Gate, Wall St. Journal, Oprah Magazine, etc. 

Lobster rollLobster Roll from New England Lobster Market & Eatery. (Holy Sh*t)

Why? Because. Do you SEE that? Their lobster roll is no joke. But what makes this lobster roll even more delicious is the buttery bread which is lightly toasted on the outside while remaining soft and flavorful with each bite of lobster meat.

Tip: You can choose between naked or dressed. On weekends, they have a “special” where you can add avo and bacon! It’s heaven.

Omakase at Ino Sushi ( I waaant.)

Why? Chef Ino just kills it in every possible way. He’s a perfectionist and only serves the best quality fish to all his customers.

Tip 1: Ino is notoriously known for being a grumpy old man. But as long as you remember your table manners and abide by his unspoken traditional rules, you’ll have one of the best sushi experiences of your life. You might even learn a thing or two about how to eat real sushi!

Tip 2: THINK of dining at Ino, like going to your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s parents house for the first time. Be courteous, polite, and limit your cell phone usage. 

PS: Try to snag a seat at the bar. To avoid a wait time, come at 8 pm or make a ressie.

Clam Chowder at Hog Island. (uhm yes please.)

Why? Because it’s REAL clam chowder. None of that fake sh*t. Real clams. Real chowder.

Tip: The lines are usually super long, so I’d recommend going during off hours to avoid the typical 1+ wait time (late lunch 3-4pm, late dinner 8pm). But the wait is worth it. TRUST me.

PS: They also have the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. Get both and dip it into the chowder.

Kokkari Lamb ChopsLamb Chops at Kokkari Estiatorio (mind = blown)

Why? Best lamb chop’s EVER. The tenderness of the meat is unbeatable and the way they grill the chops melts with each bite you take. It’s also the best Greek restaurant in San Francisco.

Tip: Since you need to make your ressies at least 1.5 weeks in advance, you can try to snag a seat at the bar (serves full menu).

PS: Also rated #1 restaurant on Trip Advisor and on Yelp’s Top 100 restaurants in the U.S.

Tony’s Pizza Napolenta (whoa)

Why: They’re seriously the best. No, really tho.

Tip: You can’t order anything by the slice, so I’d recommend coming here with a group of hungry, starving friends.

PS: Tony’s is voted BEST Pizzeria by Forbes, they won “Best Pizza Margherita” at the World Pizza Cup in Italy, and won “Best Pizza Romana” at the World Championship of Pizza Makers in 2011. 

Ice Cream from Bi-rite (those flavors tho.)

Why? Because it’s like ice cream on crack. I mean, do you SEE the people waiting in that LINE??

Tip: There’s a line. So be prepared to wait.

Peking Roasted Duck at Great China (omg.)

Why? They have the BEST peking duck and it’s like 90% stripped of fat. Not sure how they do it, but you gotta try it. Great China is also the best Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area.

Tip: It’s actually located in Berkeley (not SF), but close enough. They don’t take reservations unless it’s a party of 6 or more. Get there before everyone else.

Grilled sea bassSeabass garlic noodles at The House. (I can’t even. It’s soooo good.)

Why? The texture of the fish is perfect: soft, moist and- oh so buttery. The outside is lightly crisped, while it melts in your mouth on the inside. (<– Like. Did I even chew?)

Tip: The House is best Asian fusion restaurant in SF. Make a ressie or go right when they open (5:30 pm) to avoid a wait.

So. If you’re ever in SF, you (have to, have to) try some of these out. I know I’ve talked about some of these places before, because it’s THAT good.

PS: Do you guys have any other places that are a “must try”?? Tell me below so I can enhance my list for next time!

The only requirement is that it has to be FN-ing amazing.






Share it--->Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someoneGoogle+


  • Leanne January 21, 2018 - 10:04 am Reply

    Where in SF have you found the freshest, best seared scallops or deep fried scallops that don’t cost $35 per order?!

  • Rad November 2, 2015 - 10:45 am Reply

    Yay – there are some places I haven’t been in here that I can add to my SF tour when people come to visit! Tartine & Humphery are fantastic!

  • Thielson July 22, 2015 - 1:10 pm Reply

    Great guide! saving this for when family comes into town. Never heard of The House, but definitely going to give it a try for those garlic noodles..

    • CynEats July 22, 2015 - 11:06 pm Reply

      Thank you! Hope you and your family love it! :)

  • Sarah Prat April 30, 2015 - 10:13 am Reply

    Oh my gosh all of these sound and look absolutely amazing!!! I’d love to travel to San Fran just to try some of these places one day. That pizza and clam chowder is calling my name!

    • CynEats May 2, 2015 - 11:12 pm Reply

      It’s a must! Hope you get to visit soon :)

  • Brenda SF February 19, 2015 - 4:27 pm Reply

    Do you have any recs for Asian food? Vietnamese for Thai?

    • CynEats February 22, 2015 - 12:30 pm Reply

      Go to Turtle Tower for the best Pho (It’s northern Vietnamese style, and they use fresh noodles and the broth is amaz)

      Check out Burma Superstar for some bomb Burmese food (they’ve also been featured on the food network)

      Go to Lers Ros Thai for some decent Thai food.

      Hope this helps!

  • Marcus K. January 24, 2015 - 6:23 am Reply

    Tony’s Pizza was amazing! My brother and I were both very pleased with our meal. Thank you for the recommendation!

    • CynEats January 27, 2015 - 6:30 am Reply

      You’re welcome! Glad you both enjoyed it :)

  • Alexander December 12, 2014 - 8:34 am Reply

    Great list! We have similar tastes, I also enjoy a majority of places you’ve mentioned!

  • Rachel October 22, 2014 - 12:21 pm Reply

    This is why I love your blog! It’s such a great resource for my BF and I whenever we want to pig out!

    • CynEats October 27, 2014 - 5:29 am Reply

      Glad I could help you guys out! lol

  • Monica October 4, 2014 - 5:51 pm Reply

    WOW. I gotta try some of these places out. Kokkari Estiatorio is my favorite restaurant in SF. Your pictures are fantastic, I can never get a good shot in there!

    • CynEats October 5, 2014 - 7:30 am Reply

      Yeah, it’s usually pretty dark… so I got really that time around!

  • Audrey October 3, 2014 - 12:02 pm Reply

    Just wondering if you’ve ever tried the “best burrito” in America? We went last week and my co-workers and I agree that it wasn’t worth it and very underwhelming. Do you have a favorite mexican spot in the city?

    • CynEats October 4, 2014 - 6:16 pm Reply

      Yes, I actually tried it last week… and it totally sucked! El Farolito down the street is way better, they give you more meat, and it’s cheaper!

  • Hank October 2, 2014 - 6:51 pm Reply

    Awesome list! That lobster roll looks delicious!

    • CynEats October 3, 2014 - 8:15 am Reply

      It’s theeee best!

  • Calvin October 2, 2014 - 1:05 pm Reply

    You just made me so hungry! I think I have a few things to try out now!

  • Kendall October 1, 2014 - 12:56 pm Reply

    My favorites are the morning bun at tartine bakery and the millionaires bacon at kitchen story! Have you been to Craftsman and Wolves? They have the Rebel Within. It’s a savory muffin with bacon and scallions, and a runny egg inside. It’s amazing and a must try!

    • CynEats October 2, 2014 - 1:58 am Reply

      I haven’t been. But they’re on the top of my list! Thanks for the rec, sounds amaz! :)

    Leave a reply