How to Eat Well in San Francisco

It's hardly a surprise that San Francisco offers delightful culinary experiences around every corner. The tough job might be actually choosing from the long list of great restaurants! 

Nibbles 

 Hog Island Oyster Co.

Hog Island Oyster Co.

The Ferry Building was built to be touristy - and that's perfectly fine - but it has some delightful things within its walls. One of the first things I do every single time I'm in San Francisco is walk to the Ferry Building to find a seat at Hog Island Oyster Co.'s oyster bar. The view + the fresh oysters + the slight chill from all the ice behind the bar is sort of meditative. When you're done, go walk around. Have some organic soft-serve from Strauss Family Creamery (how often can you find organic soft-serve? Answer: almost never.), order coffee from the secret counter at Blue Bottle Coffee and then simultaneously eat your soft-serve and drink your coffee while you wander. If you need something a bit more savory, head over to Chris Cosentino's Boccalone for a meat cone (if you appreciate the use of the whole animal, be sure to get some fresh local lard soap from Boccalone as well) and then grab some local cheese from Cowgirl Creamery

 Fresh local lard soap, Boccalone

Fresh local lard soap, Boccalone

 Ferry Building Goodies

Ferry Building Goodies

 Dried shellfish in Chinatown

Dried shellfish in Chinatown

Chinatown is also touristy, but there are some hidden gems. It's absolutely worth the time to stick your head into a few shops, smell all the dried seafood, and pick up a steamed pork bun when you get hungry. 

 A cheesy tartine from Tartine Bakery

A cheesy tartine from Tartine Bakery

Tartine Bakery has an excellent reputation for good reason - their tartine (open-faced sandwiches) are delicious and their breads are phenomenal. In fact, their bread book is my bible. Do not go here on a Saturday or a Sunday unless you want to wait in an obnoxious line. The obnoxious line wouldn't be so bad if you could hold your place and run across the street to the city's best knife shop and sharpeners at Bernal Cutlery.

Bar Tartine, a formal restaurant instead of just a bakery, is one of my favorite spots for snacks and a glass of wine...my only complaint is that they aren't open for lunch. 

If you have any desire to visit one of the best cookbook stores in the world, be sure to stop by Omnivore Books on Food

The Restaurants

 Avocado Toast, Foreign Cinema

Avocado Toast, Foreign Cinema

Nopa is very recognized as one of the best brunches in town. If, like me, you don't plan brunch dates decades in advance, you might have to forego snagging a reservation at Nopa and settle for Foreign Cinema. Their avocado toast is one of my favorites, but it's hard to go wrong with most of their options.

For dinner, check out the brand spanking new Cockscomb, which is Chris Cosentino's latest project. The food here is simple, unpretentious, and mostly wonderful. I would eat the Celery Victor everyday, if I could! Other favorite dinner spots are State Bird Provisions and Commonwealth for consistently delicious food. I do love A 16 for their pizza and appetizers - not even their inattentive service or snooty hostess(es) make their food taste any less delicious!

 Try to snag seats at Cockscomb's kitchen counter

Try to snag seats at Cockscomb's kitchen counter

 Celery Victor, Cockscomb

Celery Victor, Cockscomb

 Eggs Eggs Eggs, Cockscomb

Eggs Eggs Eggs, Cockscomb

If you're celebrating and want to go somewhere special (read: fancy), Quince is still at the top of the list, as far as I am concerned. 

My last dinner recommendation is a hipster sushi joint on Mission Street. I can't say that I even had an interest in hipster sushi, but I went here on a whim and didn't regret it. Ichi Sushi and Ni Bar takes sushi to another level. Allow the chef to take you on a journey - order omakase and enjoy!

Cocktails

San Francisco knows how to do cocktails. Bourbon & Branch is the perfect place for a mustachioed cocktail, but do yourself a favor and book a reservation at Wilson & Wilson instead - it's a speakeasy within a speakeasy! (Wilson & Wilson is located within Bourbon & Branch). Local Edition and Rye are equally boozy options that will not disappoint.

Don't forget to drink plenty of water and take an aspirin. Then you can wake up and clear your mind with a beautiful view... 

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