From traditional American to seafood, Italian, and California-style cuisine, San Francisco has something for everyone. Take your pick with this dining guide.
Market St., 415-777-5577
This elegant restaurant features classic American cuisine like Yankee Pot Roast and roasted chicken with mashed potatoes. Fish is purchased directly from local anglers, and local ranchers raise cattle, lamb, and quail to the restaurant’s specifications. The dining room has high ceilings with local art on the walls, plus a view of the exhibition kitchen, where diner’s can reserve a seat at the Chef’s Table. One Market Restaurant also features live jazz every evening.
439 Powell St., 415-986-0700
Step back in time at this classic San Francisco spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sears has been around since 1938 and still offers some of the classic touches of yesteryear, including nightly Blue Plate Specials like Della’s Fried Chicken, meat loaf, and slow-braised pork shoulder. Breakfast is served until 3 p.m. and features Sears’ world famous Swedish pancakes. If you like the pancakes, you can buy the mix to take home.
1 Kearney St., 415-829-8148
Next to Union Square in the classic One Kearney Building, Hakkasan offers upscale Chinese food close to the Moscone Center. The restaurant, which overlooks Market and Geary streets, offers a deep menu of signature dishes and an extensive tea menu. You also can enjoy inventive cocktails made with hand-pressed juices.
919 Kearney St., 415-421-1429
You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the line extending out the door. The line usually moves quickly because the service is fast despite the cozy quarters inside this bustling Chinatown mainstay. House of Nanking is best known for its sesame chicken, but also offers an extensive menu of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian options. Takeout is available.
661 Howard St., 415-974-0905
Just a half block from the convention center, ThirstyBear offers hand-crafted beers served on tap alongside rustic, regional Spanish food with an emphasis on tapas, paella, and seafood. The restaurant has a trendy warehouse ambience and draws a big after-work crowd.
783 Mission St., 415-882-1750
721 Market St., 415-538-3437
346 Kearney St., 415-677-9936
This Bay Area chain goes the extra mile by sourcing its products locally to live up to its promise of “creating fast food burgers using slow food values.” The burgers, garlic French fries, house-made pickles, and organic shakes are menu highlights, but chicken sandwiches and veggie burgers also are available. Some locations offer breakfast sandwiches and donuts on weekday mornings.
916 Kearny St. at Columbus Ave., 415-291-1700
Part wine bar, part café, and part retail store, Café Zoetrope serves up authentic Italian cuisine in the atmosphere of a European café. Owned by Francis Ford Coppola, the retail store sells the filmmaker’s movies as well as his wines. Film buffs will love the movie memorabilia throughout the restaurant.
325 Columbus Ave., 415-781-7673
This California institution is an all-garlic feast. The restaurant’s signature dish is the 40-clove garlic chicken. Another popular item is The Slab, a garlic-roasted prime rib. A total of 2,635 garlic bulbs festoon the restaurant, and an estimated 3,000 mints are handed out each week. Some items can be prepared in a vampire-friendly style with no garlic.
501 Post St., 415-885-8850
One block from Union Square in the heart of the city’s theater district, Zingari dishes up Northern Italian cuisine and seafood with a contemporary flair. Entertainment is provided by gypsy violinists (zingari means gypsy in Italian), and live jazz is played seven nights a week in the restaurant’s piano bar.
1658 Market St., 415-552-2522
Growing from humble beginnings in 1979, Zuni features a menu that changes daily and is inspired by seasonal organic ingredients and incorporates traditional French and Italian cuisine. Nearly all of the produce, meat, and fish is farmed or harvested in a sustainable manner. A longtime classic is the whole roasted chicken with bread salad—cooked in Zuni’s famous brick oven.
83 Minna St., 415-501-9100
Diners will get the sense of an old-style East Coast fish house and oyster bar combined with San Francisco’s urban charm at this restaurant, located just two blocks from Moscone Center. Once inside the lofty, open design of the dining room, enjoy the seafood-focused menu and raw bar, along with many specialty cocktails and a full list of quality wines. Anchor & Hope also features a happy hour and serves lunch.
1517 Polk St., 415-673-1101
For more than a century, this has been the quintessential Bay Area spot for seafood. Be warned: You’ll have to wait in line, it’s not fancy once you get inside, and it closes at 5:30 p.m. every day. But for many, the quality of the seafood makes all that worth it. The Dungeness crab stars, but the scallop sashimi is also loved by many. True to the name, there’s a rotating selection of the finest oysters from both coasts.
1725 Alameda St., 415-255-8800
The husband-and-wife teams of Toshihoro and Hiroko Nagano and Andy and Olia Mirabell focus on seafood with a Japanese flair, sourcing sustainable and local ingredients. If the weather cooperates, enjoy one of San Francisco’s best patio experiences while dining or enjoying a cocktail, beer, or wine. Skool also serves lunch and a weekend brunch, plus happy hour most nights.