So I actually couldn’t remember the last time I wrote a Foodie Friday episode. And then I went back through my post history and found out why…it’s legit been over a year. Episode 11 was from February 2016. Not quite sure what happened to be honest. I guess when I started PIIT28 in March I stopped thinking about food. Just kidding. But anyway, here’s a long overdue episode 12, featuring an updated list of 10 must-try food places in San Francisco. Most of these places are quick lunch spots. I work in the city so the lunch hour is usually super rushed and I don’t have time to go to a sit-down restaurant. Not complaining at all, though…the food is amazing and less time waiting for food = more time spent eating.
But let’s start off with the two sit-down restaurants that I do have on this list. They’re both brunch places, cause you know SF people and their brunch 🙂
1. Surisan: This place is amazing. You’ll hear that a lot over the course of this post. They do a Korean-fusion style of brunch. So you’ll find the classic seafood pancake on their menu, along with bibimbap, bulgogi, Korean tacos, etc. Their dishes definitely all have an American flare to them. Presentation is amazing and serving sizes are quite large haha. Highly recommend coming with a group so ya’ll can order a bunch of different things and try them all. We went a little overboard with 6 dishes for 4 people. But it was so worth. And you can always take leftovers to go. My friends and I came here on a Sunday around 10am and there were plenty of open tables. If you want to be safe, definitely make a reservation ahead of time. Or just get there earlier. They open at 8am after all 🙂
2. Kitchen Story: I swear it’s just pure coincidence that the two brunch places that I happened to pick for this post are both Korean-fusion. But hey, nothing wrong with that. The food here is delicious as well. And serving sizes are even heftier than Surisansf. The wait here can get a bit long, and I’m not sure if they take reservations. I came here for brunch (more like lunch actually) around 1pm and tables were starting to open up. As for food, I highly recommend getting the Omurice dish (rice wrapped with egg, pictured above). So so good, holy. And the sides add a nice touch as well.
Ok. Now for my go-to lunch spots, and a couple of dessert spots. Some of these places might be closed on the weekends, so make sure to double check before you go!
3. The Grubbies: Alright, so this place is amazing, but SUPER expensive (relatively compared to other lunch options in the city), and portion sizes aren’t that generous. But I don’t know where you’d find better sushi in FiDi for lunch. They have a $15 mini-omakase option, and a $30 full-size one. Honestly, I recommend splurging and going with the $30 one. The one you see pictured above is the mini. The fish is amazing, but the mini barely comes with that much. So you’re going to be left wanting more. I’m definitely getting the $30 option next time. The fish here is extremely high-quality. Literally melts in your mouth. They change up their fish selection too so you’ll still get some variety if you come here often. But at this price point, though, not sure if you would.
4. Working Girls Cafe: If you want a good sandwich, come here! They have so many options on their menu that you’re bound to find something you’ll like. Their dutch crunch bread is fantastic, and the toppings that they use are fresh and in the perfect ratio 🙂 Service is quite fast and the sandwiches are pretty big. You could get away with eating half for lunch and saving the other half for a snack later in the afternoon.
5. Bini’s Kitchen: This is a small little stand in Post Plaza on Market Street. I came here for lunch on a weekday (around peak hour) and there was no line at all. I was surprised! I highly recommend getting the combo (Momo’s and Chicken Curry, for just $10). The momo’s are like dumplings…they’re actually shaped very much like xiao long baos, except they don’t have soup in them. The meat is also made with spices that give it a slightly different flavor than the meat in traditional Shanghainese soup dumplings. Still good, though! The chicken curry that took up the other half of the box was so good! So much flavor, and the chicken was super tender. And there was so much of it too! They give you just the right amount of rice to balance it out. This place is a hidden gem.
6. Aria Korean Tapas: We ordered way too much for two people when we came here. An order of kimbap comes with TWO rolls, which I guess explains why it costs $11. But yeah. Lots of food here. Lots of delicious food. The meat is great (loved the bulgogi), and I love their fried chicken. The bento boxes are a great option if you want to get a little bit of everything. Prices are reasonable and the food comes out pretty fast. There’s just not a whole lot of seating, so your best option is to probably take it to-go.
7. Coast Poke Counter: Alright, so I know the reviews for this place on Yelp aren’t particularly great, and the poke here honestly isn’t amazing, but it really is the best that I’ve come across in FiDi. So if you’re craving poke while working in the city, this is probably your best bet. Although if you know of a better place, PLEASE LET ME KNOW, haha. I’m always on the hunt for poke. The poke mixes are good here, but you only get to pick a single mix for a regular size bowl. A large size gets you two. But this place is pretty expensive too. Compared to the poke in South Bay, I’d say this place is mediocre. But hey, if you want poke and gotta have poke in the city, at least you have Coast as an option 🙂
8. ShakeDown Ice Cream: The milkshakes here are next on my list. I came here after dinner at Aria, actually, so I was already pretty full. So my boyfriend and I split a double scoop of Jacker Crack ice cream. It was heavenly. When I first saw the description of the flavor, I was a little bit skeptical: popcorn ice cream with dulce de leche and crushed peanut brittle? Sounds like a lot to handle. And popcorn ice cream…didn’t really appeal to me. But this magical combination works!! Definitely one of the best ice cream flavors I’ve tried, outside of pistachio, of course. And I highly recommend getting it in a cone. Their waffle cones are bomb.
9. Coletta Gelato: Another ice cream place, what do you know. But to be fair, this place specializes in gelato, which is different, right? 🙂 This place is pretty close to CalTrain so I sometimes come here after work. And guess what flavor I always opt for? PISTACHIO. But all of their flavors are good. Don’t be afraid to sample! The prices are on the higher side here, but hey, the quality of the gelato is amazing. The pistachio flavor is perfectly nutty and not overly sweet. Super rich and creamy without being heavy. It’s quite impressive. Highly recommend!!
10. Coqueta: Last but not least, Coqueta. This place is actually a sit-down restaurant too, but I’ve only come here after work for happy hour. They have a gorgeous seating area outside that overlooks the water. This place has the best gin & tonics (pictured above). I mean seriously, have you seen a prettier drink? The drinks are pricey, no doubt, but 100% worth. Maybe more for the photo, but still! I hear their food is quite good too so I’ll definitely be back someday, maybe for lunch. They take reservations too so if you want to avoid the wait, call ahead.
Hope you guys enjoyed this list! If ya’ll have any recommendations for food places in the city, please do share! 🙂