How can you travel without eating your way through the destination? This is especially true for San Francisco. The Californian city is known for great restaurants and coffee shops and I was all too eager to try as many as I could physically manage. From juicy artisan burgers to sweet, decadent crepes, we have got a phenomenal list of places to eat while visiting San Francisco.
Brenda's French Soul Food (652 Polk Street)
For an innovative flare on traditional soul food, Brenda's is the spot. I didn't realize exactly how popular this restaurant was until a few days ago watching an episode of Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel. I stopped into Brenda's my first full day in San Francisco for a casual lunch. The place was crammed with locals and tourists. The atmosphere was inviting, fun and relaxed. You could tell that this was the type of place people came because they loved the food that much. I ordered the Croque Monsieur, a favorite. It might not look spectacular but what it lacked in looks it made up for in flavor. I only wish I was able to go back for brunch. They have beignets that plague my dreams.
Chambers Eat + Drink (601 Eddy Street)
Chambers is located at Hotel Phoenix, a fantastic, edgy, 50's-inspired hotel with a personality all its own. Chambers is sophisticated with a menu featuring everything from Mediterranean dishes to traditional American fare and Japanese cuisine. I sat on the patio next to a fire, ordered a glass of Malbec and enjoyed the beautiful night. One of the two dishes I ordered were Baked Pork Buns (they are no longer listed on the menu). Inside a pretzel-like roll was delicious, melt-in-your-mouth tender pulled pork. I wish I could have ordered these in bulk to ship home. The second dish, which I highly recommend ordering, was the Creamy Polenta with whipped Burrata and Chanterelle Mushrooms. Rich, comforting and flavorful, this was the perfect dish for a cooler night.
Jane on Larkin (925 Larkin Street)
For a casual breakfast and killer cappuccino, Jane on Larkin is the spot. This small, quaint coffee shop has a friendly staff and delicious baked goods. I ordered the quiche of the day and a cappuccino (my staple coffee order) loving every sip and bite. This would be a regular visit for me if I ever lived in San Francisco.
ROAM Artisan Burgers (1923 Fillmore Street)
I seem to always find the best burger places. I did in Dallas on my last visit. I was craving a burger bad one night in San Francisco and found this place within walking distance. Little did I know it would be one of the best burgers I ever tasted. I ordered a cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, nothing extravagant, and a side of sweet potato fries. I could have died from the amount of flavor that burst out of that patty. The meat is so obviously fresh that you'll never want a burger from anywhere else again. ROAM has two other locations so if you're able to visit this place while in SF, definitely do so.
Sophie's Crepes (1581 Webster Street)
If there is ever an opportunity to eat crepes, all other food should be forgotten. Crepes are the best food invention (thank you, France!). Sophie's is located in the Japan Center Mall. They have a huge list of sweet and savory crepes. I challenge you to make a decision in less than two minutes. If I didn't have a mind for a Strawberry Nutella Crepe, I would have been there for days.
Sweet Maple (2101 Sutter Street)
Sweet Maple has one of the largest menus I have ever experienced in my life. For a final breakfast in San Francisco, I happened upon this corner restaurant on en route to see the Painted Ladies. Unlimited coffee refills are always a great start to the day and how could I leave San Francisco without eating crepes one last time? I ordered yet another Strawberry Nutella Crepe and I do not regret the decision one bit. I mean, do you see this photo below! It came with eggs and chicken apple sausage links which are always a good decision. Sweet Maple is a fantastic restaurant. You must visit and you must order breakfast.
The Grove (2016 Fillmore Street)
I have to say, one of my favorite things about San Francisco was the consistently beautiful weather. It made eating outside an obvious decision where it was available. The final restaurant that I strongly recommend is The Grove. There are two other locations than the one on Fillmore so please try and visit at least one the next time you're in SF. I ordered the Bacon and Cheddar Scramble that came with rosemary hashbrowns and Oh. My. God. I need to replicate this dish. Everything is fresh and flavorful but most impressive, it's affordable.
Do you have a favorite spot to visit in San Francisco for a bite to eat? Share your recommendations in the comments below.