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Travel tips

Where to eat in San Francisco, California

Dec 20, 2015 by Jamie Gallerani

California is a must-visit spot for sunshine seekers, Atlantic-coast adventurers and Napa vineyard visitors, but the Golden State also boasts an impressive restaurant scene. Churning out varied culinary gems and fresh local fare, foodies can’t go wrong with a stop in San Francisco to try some of the state’s most noteworthy meals. We reached out to our network of world travelers and Cali lovers to discover the best places to eat during a visit to San Francisco.


For eggs benny and other brunch bites

Mama’s on Washington Square:

Mama’s is a fantastic, must-do brunch spot—there is always a line out the door. I got their crab cake eggs Benedict and it was to die for.” — Christine, Sales Associate

Griddle Fresh

“My friend suggested that I try this place in Noe Valley for brunch. It did not disappoint! I ordered the “Parma Flavor” eggs Benedict, which was served with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, and it was the best I have ever eaten. Also, no need to elaborate on the banana mascarpone soufflé pancakes. The name says it all; it was heaven on a plate. The street the restaurant was located on was also nice to walk around while we waited for our table.” — Jess, Evaluation & Quality Specialist


“This is one of San Francisco’s best restaurants and a personal favorite of mine. Go to Nopa for the weekend brunch and try the seasonal custard French toast, or visit later in the day to enjoy creative cocktails and locally sourced, organic cuisine for dinner—you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu! Make a reservation in advance to ensure yourself a seat, or put your name down on the waiting list and indulge in Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream next door while you wait.” — Danielle, Groups Marketing Manager


For lunch or lighter fare

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Hog Island Oyster Co. has an amazing oyster bar. Get there early because the line curls out the door and down the wharf. The menu changes daily and seasonally but the grilled oysters and small plates are great for sharing. The last time I was there, they had a grilled oyster sriracha special and it was the best I have ever had! The fries with old bay seasoning are amazing too.” — Rose, Assistant Manager of Individual Sales

Greens Restaurant

“This is the place to go to be on the water, take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance and enjoy great food! I love eating at Greens Restaurant when I’m in San Francisco.” — Sam, Tour Consultant

Off the Grid

“Go to the Fort Mason Center on a Friday night to listen to live music and order good food and drinks from the nearby food trucks. My friends and I tried five different food trucks during our visit and loved them all, but Off the Grid was especially good.” — Jess, Evaluation & Quality Specialist


“This restaurant has multiple locations and is an institution in San Fran—all their tacos and cocktails are amazing. Go to Tacolicious for Taco Tuesday and take advantage of discounted prices.” — Danielle, Groups Marketing Manager


For an evening out

El Mansour Restaurant

“I used to go to this restaurant all the time as a kid because my parents LOVE San Francisco—as do I! El Mansour Restaurant serves traditional Moroccan fare and they have nightly belly dancing, which is always really fun. The food is fantastic and very authentic, and it’s a fun place to visit with a group.” — Alex, Senior Customized Tour Specialist

Club Deluxe

“If you’re looking for a cool atmosphere and affordable, straight-forward food, you’ll want to head to Club Deluxe. It is a revered restaurant for locals because of the free jazz bands that play, and it provides a hip, fun spin on the California beach pizza parlor. Foodies and picky eaters alike will love the creative drink menu and pizza options, and a visit guarantees a memorable meal alongside quality, lively entertainment!” — Dana, Customer Relations Representative

Seven Hills

“This is an absolutely delicious, farm-to-table, authentic Italian restaurant. We ordered the tomato-braised polpette, riccota gnocchi and pappardelle. They also have a great wine selection. I loved everything—even the service was fantastic. It’s worth noting that it’s best to make reservations at Seven Hills as they have few tables.” — Jess, Evaluation & Quality Specialist

Tosca Cafe

Tosca Cafe is one of my top picks in San Fran. It’s right across the street from the City Lights Bookstore, which is another favorite spot of mine.” — CJ, Events & Communication Manager

flour + water

Flour + water has a casual Californian style and serves absolutely delish Italian food, including homemade pasta and pizza.” — Robin, Director of Group Sales & Marketing


For a sweet treat or refreshing brew

Bi-Rite Creamery

Bi-Rite Creamery was a total out of body experience after an exciting day of touring. Their unusual flavor options, such as honey lavender, were what made me an instant fan. Plus, their old-timey set up and enthusiastic staff made this shop a great way to wind down after a day of walking San Fran’s windy, hilly streets.” — Dana, Customer Relations Representative

The Buena Vista Cafe

The Buena Vista Cafe is famous as the home of the Irish Coffee, a cocktail made with hot coffee, Irish Whiskey and sugar, topped with whipped cream. If you’re lucky, you can get a seat in the front, which offers a great view of the water.” — Melissa, Social Media Marketing Manager

Mikkeller Bar

“This is an awesome brewery to hit. Mikkeller Bar has a cool space in the middle of downtown San Fran and serve tons of specialized beers. They also have great, high-end bar food. Beer lovers, this spot is definitely worth checking out!” — Suzanne, Travel Operations Coordinator

Blue Bottle Coffee

“This is just really good coffee. Pay a visit to the Ferry Building Marketplace along the Embarcadero to try Blue Bottle Coffee while you step into some of the building’s other culinary shops.” — Angus, Senior Customer Relations Representative

What are some of your favorite restaurants to eat at when you visit San Francisco? Tell us on Facebook!

Dining tips
About the author | Jamie Gallerani
It was Jamie’s homestay in Germany that made her fall in love with travel (and her studies in Florence that really sealed the deal). When she’s not writing and sharing the magic of seeing the world with others, she’s usually on the lookout for her new favorite memoir, testing out recipes at home, or visiting her family on Cape Cod.

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