Like so many things in this city, choosing what cuisine you desire depends on what district you decide to dine in. For instance, North Beach, the centre of everything Italian in San Francisco, you will stumble upon restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. Thankfully, they’re not all that expensive. Take a stroll up Columbus Avenue to see what we mean.
For Asian cuisine the obvious choice is Chinatown, the largest of its kind in North America. The neighbourhood, much of which is centred around Grant Ave between Sacramento and Washington. Here the choice of Chinese restaurants could make one dizzy. For the best food, do yourself a favour and steer clear of those without hawkers outside trying to coax you in with their specials.
Another part of the city worth noting is the Mission. One cuisine which seems to feature here more than any other is Mexican. You’ll have no problem feeding yourself on next to nothing here. And if you don’t fancy an enchilada, tortilla or other variation of Mexican food, you’ll find a load more other restaurants also.
3355 Geary Boulevard, 2165 Lombard Street, San Francisco, USA
Situated in three different San Francisco locations, Mel’s Drive-In is best known as the home to the cult film “American Graffiti”. Although the original diner where the film was filmed has since been knocked down, they chain has opened up another 5 since. If you want to experience authentic American diner atmosphere make sure to pay one of San Francisco’s three Mel’s branches a visit.
576 Haight, between Steiner and Fillmore, San Francisco, USA
This restaurant in San Francisco’s Haight suburb serves barbequed food which, in some cases, has been marinated for hours. Get ready for a taste overload! Along with ‘real meat’, choose from chicken and turkey. This ‘joynt’ has one of the best reputations in the city for quality food guaranteed to fill.
599 Post Street, San Francisco, USA
Located just two minutes from Union Square, there are no prizes for guessing what this airy San Francisco favourite specialises in. Choose from a wide range of crepes from $5.65 up. It’s also the perfect place for breakfast with toasted bagels costing just $1.50.
Open daily from 7.30am to 10pm.
3182 16th St, Mission District, San Francisco, USA
This Pakistani/Indian eatery on the Mission District's restaurant-soaked 16th Street is always buzzing. There’s no table service here, so pick what you want from the menu, take a seat, wait for your number to be called and enjoy.
Open daily from 12 noon to 11pm.
839 Clay St, Chinatown, San Francisco, USA
There are literally hundreds of restaurants in the largest Chinatown in America. Try to steer clear of those with hawkers luring you in. This particular one on Clay St didn’t which is only a good sign. Appetisers start at $3.95 while second courses don’t cost a whole lot more.
Open daily from 8am-10pm.
303 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, USA
Giardino Bros is a bar in North Beach that specialises in the ‘all-in-one’ sandwich. This, my friends, is a sandwich served on two pieces of fresh Italian bread with meat, coleslaw and fries packed in between. And considering one of these jam-packed sandwiches costs as little as $6.25, it’s hard to think of a better deal in San Fran.
Open daily from 10am-11pm/1am.
1556 Stockton Street, North Beach, San Francisco, USA
After putting yourself through the pain of walking up to Telegraph Hill, treat yourself to a hearty sandwich from this deli on Washington Square. They've a huge selection from $5.75.
Open Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun from 9am-7pm/6pm/5pm.
561 Valencia Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, San Francisco, USA
The Lunch Club is a great place for either breakfast, lunch or an early evening meal and is one of the most popular restaurants in the Mission District. Calling their particular type of food ‘Californian Comfort Food’, all ingredients used are from the Bay Area.
Open daily from 7.30am-9pm, and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.