One of the first things people ask about when they are planning to visit a new place is for suggestions where to go for good food. We thought to help you along the way and suggest our top 5 pick of places to eat in SF. They are not in any particular order and we enjoyed all of them for various reasons.
#1 – Del Popolo
We were looking for dinner one evening and came across this place on Foodsquare. It was as good as the reviews suggested. They mainly serve wood fire pizza that makes you want to lick the plate clean when it finishes. Don’t worry, we didn’t do it, but that’s mainly because we were sitting at the bar and amazed by the making of the pizzas. If you’re just the two of you, try to get a spot at the bar. We promise it won’t disappoint when you see the love and care that goes into making your pizza. It makes the food even more delicious!
#2 – Ferry Building
This is a tip that we received from two different people who both promised that it’s good. We heeded their advice and went although without much expectations, because what can be so good at a farmers market, right? We were more than pleasantly surprised. The whole place was bustling with happy people, families having a day out with kids, couples strolling around enjoying each other. It instantly put both of us in a good mood, even more so when we saw the food choices around us.
We did a quick round to check out our options, but knew from the get go that we will at least have the empanadas at El Porteño. This, THIS, is a must try when you’re at the ferry building. They were so good and quite filling. We wanted to go back for more and make a dinner out of it instead of lunch, but decided against to keep some space for other food that picked our interest. We also had a hot dog at American Eatery at the Prather Ranch, because what’s a trip to the US without eating hot dogs? After eating the hot dogs we were eyeing the menu at Mijita real bad, but already had Mexican food the day before and decided to skip it this time and go straight for dessert: Humphry Slocombe! We kid you not, the line was long. We stood around 20 min in line and didn’t even know what flavours they served until we were almost at the counter. Our first thought were: we don’t recognise any of these flavours and they all seem like some weird combinations. Eventually we both settled on the flavours that seemed more normal than the rest and the ice-cream was worth every minute we waited. We could’ve easily gone for a more adventurous and unusual flavour! We’re sure it would’ve tasted as good as it looked.
#3 – Serpentine
For Emely’s birthday she wanted to do the traditional SF Sunday brunch with mimosas on the menu. We consulted google this time for best brunch places in SF and this place popped up multiple times. Hint, hint.. it must be good. Reserving a table in advance is a must! and can be done through OpenTable. We booked our reservation for 10am when they opened and a line was already forming outside prior to this. It quickly became busy, but the staff handled it efficiently. The mimosas were great and the items on the menu even better. From pancakes, to huevos rancheros, to frittata or a salad.. the choice was difficult to make because everything looked delicious. We left Serpentine feeling full and satisfied, two happy campers.
#4 – Lolinda
Even though Serpentine had us feeling full for the majority of the day, we still went out to dinner to end Emely’s birthday with a bang at a restaurant she found online weeks before we even went to SF. They actually have two restaurants: El Techo, which serves Latin American Street Food, and Lolinda, which is a Argentinian Steakhouse. The place is really nice and we were seated upstairs where it’s a bit darker and intimate compared to downstairs. If you’re looking for a romantic date or want to celebrate something special, we recommend Lolinda! And try their flan dessert, literally melts-in-your-mouth-delicious. Bonus tip: if it’s your birthday make sure to mention this when making the reservation or when you enter as you get a complementary chocolate cake as dessert. Since Emely doesn’t like chocolate, Rayni had to eat it for her :).
#5 – Brenda’s
Tip numero 1: wear loose clothing. We’re not kidding! The food is sooo much, but oh so good! You just want to keep stuffing yourself until you literally can’t put anything more in your mouth. Tip numero 2: have patience, lots and lots of patience. We had a wait time of about 30-45 minutes. The moment you arrive walk inside, write your name & party number with chalk on the board and go back outside for the wait. Hopefully it’s nice weather! The food smells will trickle your nostrils and make you get hungrier by the minute, but we promise it’s worth the wait. Tip numero 3: share a dish! Or share 2 dishes if you’re really hungry and can’t choose. We made the mistake of ordering 2 dishes per person because we couldn’t choose and it was wayyy to much. We could’ve easily share 1 dish between the two us. Service is fast and staff is friendly. In all the hectic pace, they will stop and make small talk with you. Which we appreciated. This is what soul food is about.
We’re getting hungry just thinking back on all of this yummy good we had. If you’re ever in San Francisco we hope you try one of our top 5 places to eat and if you do let us know what you think!