San Francisco is a foodie paradise, and there are countless incredible restaurants to choose from. Plus, the city is home to some of the country's most celebrated restaurants.
From award-winning restaurants such as State Bird Provisions to world-renowned Italian import Montesacro SF, there are plenty of great places to eat in San Francisco.
With so many options, it can be tough to know where to start. That's why we've compiled this list of some of the best restaurants in San Francisco, so you can narrow down your choices and enjoy some of the city's finest cuisine. From Michelin-starred eateries to more casual dining spots, there's something for everyone on this list.
1. State Bird Provisions
Founded by a husband and wife team, State Bird Provisions has become one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Since its December 2011 opening, it has become so popular that it is nearly impossible to get a reservation. This restaurant serves delicious, small plates from a tiny open kitchen, and has received rave reviews from critics and diners alike. It has even won the James Beard Award.
State Bird Provisions is a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves a unique menu divided into sections called Provisions, Toast and Pancakes, and Commandables. The menu features a signature crispy California State Bird, as well as fried quail with lemon and onions. The restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m., so be sure to get there early enough to get a prime spot.
The menu rotates frequently, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Recent highlights include guanciale chawanmushi and hog island oysters. You'll also find smoked almonds, sweet corn polenta 'elote', and charred octopus with kampot peppercorn sauce.
2. Mersea Restaurant & Bar
Mersea is a beautiful restaurant with an outstanding view of the bay. It is located in the heart of Chinatown, and its rooftop is a great place to enjoy the city. Mersea is a great place to try a full Chinese meal while taking in the view of the Bay. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. Owner Mee Sun and her team ensure that the diners enjoy their visit.
There are a number of great restaurants in San Francisco with stunning views. If you're a foodie, you'll find that Mersea is one of the most unique and delicious restaurants in the city. The 30-dollar lunch menu is a great deal, and you'll be able to enjoy the city's sights while eating.
For those who want to get creative, you can choose from a menu with a wide selection of salad add-ons. For example, the "Make Your Own Salad" offers four greens, four dressings, and a variety of add-ons, including chickpeas, radish, apple, chicken, and six types of nuts.
3. Acme Bread
If you're looking for a great sandwich in the city, Acme Bread is one of the best places to go. A counter-serve outpost of a local institution, this place offers a wide variety of breads, from sourdough to sweet. They also have a full bar and serve coffee. The prices are affordable and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
Acme Bread Company has a long history in the Bay Area. It has consistently made good bread and baked goods. Over the years, they have refined their product. For example, they were one of the first bakeries in the Bay Area to use 100 percent organic flour, partnering with multi-generational farmer Ken Guisto. The breads are flavorful and tangy with a thick crisp crust. They go well with soups and hearty meals, like those served at Chez Panisse.
The Acme Bread Company is located next to the statue of Mohandas K. Gandhi, and you'll be able to get there on your way to work. You can pick up a loaf of perfectly cooked cheese bread there, or order a sandwich to go. There are also a variety of other breads available for purchase at the store.
4. Cafe De Casa
Cafe De Casa has been one of San Francisco's most popular restaurants for over a decade. Its unique location in the Castro neighborhood makes it a great choice for any occasion. The food and service are both excellent, and its fast service has earned the restaurant a 4.7 Google review. The restaurant also offers takeaway options.
The restaurant is owned by Lucimar Canedo and his two daughters, Thais and Amanda Moreira. The family-run business is known for its inviting atmosphere. It's located at 3985 17th St., a space that was formerly home to Hearth Coffee Roasters.
For decades, Cafe de Casa has been a favorite among the Brazilian community in the Bay Area. In recent years, the restaurant has opened more locations in the city. The Brazilian-inspired menu features everything from smoky feijoada to coconut bread and salads. It has two locations in Fisherman's Wharf and the Castro, as well as a sister brand that spins acai bowls.
5. B. Patisserie
In the year 2013, B. Patisserie opened its doors in Lower Pacific Heights. Its menu is full of modern French pastries infused with American flavors and influences. The owners of B. Patisserie, Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, collaborated to bring their vision of an American patisserie to life. Michel is the founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute, and Belinda started her career as a pastry chef at Restaurant Gary Danko. She later staged in Europe and worked at the renowned Manresa Restaurant, before opening b. Patisserie in San Francisco.
While full-size cakes must be ordered ahead of time, the bakery offers small versions throughout the day. One such option is the gluten-free chocolate caramel toffee mousse, which layers chocolate mousse and ganache on a flourless chocolate biscuit. Other options include the vanilla cake and the 10-hour apple tart with almond streusel.
Michel and Belinda Leong were childhood friends and began their careers in pastry making, with a stint at Gary Danko. Leong cites Danko as one of her greatest culinary influences, and she moved on to work at some of the best French restaurants in Europe before opening B. Patisserie in San Francisco. Eventually, she took over the pastry chef position at Gary Danko.
6. Eight Am
Eight AM is a fantastic spot for breakfast or lunch. The cafe serves breakfast favorites like avocado toast, eggs and bacon, and you can even get savory crepes or belgian waffles. They also serve a wide selection of coffees and beverages, including cordials, bitters and wines.
Eight AM is a favorite among working professionals and a popular food chain. They have amazing service and a modern cafe atmosphere. The menu features a large selection of savory and sweet dishes, including avocado toast and blueberry shortcakes. They also serve great coffee and smoothies. Their service is fast and their breakfast dishes are delicious.
7. Pacific Cafe
With over 4,000 dining options, San Francisco is one of the best places to experience authentic American cooking. The city's restaurants span the gamut from the trendy to the traditional. From tacos to pizza to oysters, you'll find something to suit your palate.
This restaurant in the Mission District is the perfect place for a romantic dinner. The bistro features outdoor seating and a wooden parklet. It is one of the most romantic dining spots in the city. In addition to great food, you can try some of the best wines and local seafood.
The Beach Chalet is a San Francisco restaurant with a view of the Pacific Ocean. It occupies the second floor of a 1925 historic landmark building. Its walls are covered with Depression-era fresco murals. The staircase to the restaurant is lined with fanciful carvings of mythical creatures.
8. Monsieur Benjamin
Monsieur Benjamin is located in Hayes Valley and serves nice food. It offers a relaxing atmosphere to dine after a long walk in the city. The restaurant offers dishes like salmon tartare, oysters, and steak frites, as well as sweets like caramel ice cream, lemon pie, and brioche toast. It also offers good rose wine and coffee.
The restaurant opened in July 2014. The menu features French cuisine inspired by Parisian bistro culture. The cooking is meticulous and precise, and the flavors are delicate.
9. Tosca Café
The Tosca Café is a classic San Francisco institution. It is famous for its living roof, where vines and flowers hang above tables. Its quaint ambiance is romantic at night. The restaurant originally operated underground but was reopened as a large outdoor space in 2014. Seating is limited, so you should make a reservation ahead of time.
Tosca closed for about two years following a sex scandal involving the two owners. However, the team tried to stay open by offering take-out meals. It also tried to reopen as an outdoor pop-up in SoMa during the summer and for outdoor dining in the fall. However, this was not to be. The restaurant has since reopened as a full-service restaurant, albeit in an indoor location.
10. La Ciccia
If you are looking for a good Italian restaurant in San Francisco, consider La Ciccia. The owners, Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan, hail from Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea with a rich history and culture. At La Ciccia, you can enjoy authentic Sardinian dishes, like seared lamb. The staff treats you like family and even checks in on you from time to time.
Located in Noe Valley, La Ciccia is a beloved neighborhood Italian restaurant with an authentic Sardinian menu. The owners are husband and wife, and their dishes were featured on the popular cooking show Check please in 2008. The menu is affordable, and they have a small bar area on the side. There are many locals and visitors alike who come here for the excellent Italian food.
11. Molinari Delicatessen
This Italian-style deli opened in 1896 and has been owned by the same family for generations. The founder, P.G. Molinari, emigrated to San Francisco from Piemonte, Italy, at age 14. He found employment as a butcher and opened his own delicatessen within five years. Unfortunately, the 1906 fire destroyed much of Molinari's inventory. The store is now cash only and has a limited menu.
The Italian delicacies at Molinari Delicatessen can make your mouth water. Whether you're craving a savory sandwich or a hearty Italian entree, the menu is packed with delicious options. This deli is located at 373 Columbus Ave, near Washington Square Park.
12. Mitchell's Ice Cream
Mitchell's Ice Cream Restaurant in San Francisco is one of the city's best-known ice cream shops. This family-run business scoops classic and innovative flavors from small batches on the premises. The ice cream is made with all-natural ingredients and is deliciously smooth and creamy.
Founded in 1953, Mitchell's Ice Cream is a local favorite. It was the first to introduce mango ice cream to the Bay Area. This dessert is made with 16% butterfat and is a favorite among San Franciscans. It has 40 flavors available daily.
Mitchell's was the first ice cream shop to offer flavors from the Philippines and other Southeast Asia to San Francisco. During the 1970s, the influx of Filipino immigrants made it possible to bring Filipino and Southeast Asian flavors to the city. Today, the company continues to be popular with a dedicated customer base.
The restaurant was founded in 1953 and has become a San Francisco staple. This family-run business continues to make its 16-percent butterfat ice cream every day. You can try a variety of flavors at Mitchell's, including mango, pistachio, and apricot. The store is open for walk-ins as well as takeout. In addition to their ice cream, Mitchell's has pies, cakes, and shakes.
13. Norman's Ice Cream and Freezes
If you're in the mood for a sweet treat, Norman's Ice Cream and Freezes can help. This popular ice cream and dessert spot serves up super-premium ice cream in a variety of flavors. Whether you're craving banana, chocolate, coconut, or espresso cheese, you're sure to find something you love here. You can dine in the restaurant or order takeout. Outdoor seating is available as well.
While the city's food scene is filled with trendy new spots, old standbys also pack the city's streets. To be considered one of the best restaurants in San Francisco, the establishment must have been open for at least a decade, have a diverse menu, and offer something special. The city is filled with everything from taquerias and seafood joints to diners and clubby wood-panel rooms.
14. Montesacro SoMa
Montesacro SoMa has two levels of dining space, and each level has its own charms. The interior is dark, with soaring ceilings and murals. There is a jazz piano playing under the famous "Butler Is in Love" painting, and the jazz trio plays on the weekends.
The cuisine at this restaurant is inspired by the Mediterranean region. The kitchen emphasizes seasonality and local products. There are two tasting menus, one of which is seafood-only. This option suits those who are trying to be environmentally conscious. The seafood dishes are reminiscent of the chef's native Brittany.
The interior is contemporary, and the interior was nominated for the 2019 James Beard Award for outstanding restaurant design. The space, which opened this year, was designed by San Francisco architects Schwartz and Architecture. The interior features sleek angles, recessed lighting, and a muted color scheme. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday and accepts credit cards.
The restaurant is a great spot for families with children. There is an outdoor patio and the view of the harbor is unbeatable. You can also try some of the specials made by chef Douglas Bernstein. Fish bits are a special menu item, and are prepared using fleshy bones and soy-ginger sauce. Street tacos are also available and come with your choice of seasonal fish. Clam dip costs $11 and oysters are available on the half shell.
Another highlight of the restaurant is its extensive wine list. Owner James Yu has put together an impressive wine list. The restaurant is also known for its inexpensive food. You can get a good bottle of Burgundy for less than half the price of other San Francisco restaurants.