The Best Food in San Francisco (In 24 Hours)
San Francisco. The city of the Golden Gate bridge, a colorful variety of humans, and an astounding number of cultures. Oh, and did we mention a food mecca? This jam packed city hosts a mind blowing number of food establishments, many of which will blow your tastebuds all the way to Alcatraz and back. But what’s a person to do with only 24 hours in this glorious foodie paradise? Have no fear my foodie friends, we’ve hand picked some of the best food in San Francisco to satisfy your cravings. You may be spending a solid amount on Ubers while hitting all of these spots in one day, but trust us, you won’t be sorry.
Image courtesy of tartinebakery.com
Breakfast – Tartine Bakery
This little bakery boasts a James Beard Award winning pastry chef that whips up mouth watering delicacies on a daily basis. Their seasonal menu promises fresh and delicious highlights, and they only use high quality ingredients. If starting off sweet is your jam, then swoop up one of their morning buns, or their to die for brioche bread pudding. If savory is calling your name, they bake up insane quiches (both ham and veggie), and savory scones.
Don’t forget to ask for some of their infamous cookies and tarts to go. You’ve gotta keep that blood sugar up throughout the day. And because… Carbs. Due to their consistent high quality and reliably knock out pastries, Tartine bakery will forever hold a top spot for some of the best food in San Francisco.
Snacks – Ferry Building Market
After you’ve walked off some of your bakery delights, head down to the Ferry Building Market. Inside, you’ll find a bonanza of locally owned businesses selling everything from ridiculously fresh fish and chips, to bright fresh local salads (and the olive oil to go with it). Give yourself a couple of hours to explore and taste all of the delicious and unique offerings housed in this building.
If you hit the market on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, you’ll also get to browse the selection of fresh farmers market produce outside the building. Considered one of the top farmers markets in the country, you’ll quickly see why this reputation is well earned.
Image courtesy of Anna Maria Barry-Jester
Lunch – La Taqueria
For lunch, hit up La Taqueria in The Mission. Not only will you be able to check out some incredible street art while also soaking up a serious dose of culture, but you’ll also be diving face first into some of the best Mexican food you’ve ever had in your life.
While you’ll probably have to fight the line to get in, once you’re holding a steamy delicious burrito in your hands, you probably won’t care anymore. This place serves legit burritos and tacos that will make you dream about coming back for more. Who cares about the best food in San Francisco, this places gives us the best damn burritos in the country.
Image courtesy of John Storey
Dinner – Cotogna/Quince/Turtle Tower
Okay, so we cheated a little and gave you a few options for dinner (don’t act like you’re mad). Since this is your last meal of the day in San Fran, you should choose something that fits your fancy. Choose wisely. Or be a champ and figure out how to fit all three locations in one night. And please call to tell us how you did it.
If you’re looking for some of the best food in San Francisco, then you need to experience Cotogna. Self described as ‘rustic Italian’, this is about as close to true Italy as you can get without stepping on Italian soil. Not only will you be treated to incredible dishes like luxurious raviolo with brown butter sauce, and pizza topped with wild nettle, housemade ricotta, and lemon, but you’ll also enjoy a second to none experience with ambiance and service.
If you’re REALLY looking to ball out, then go to Cotogna’s big sister location Quince. A Michelin star restaurant, their food is basically art. Plus, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more memorable dining experience than what they offer. You’ll leave with a considerably lighter wallet, but you’ll also just have eaten one of the best meals of your life. Can’t be mad about that.
If you’re not feeling quite so buttoned up, then opt for Northern Vietnamese cuisine at Turtle Tower. Their reputation for insane pho proceeds them, and freshly made noodles take the soup over the top every time. While they’re known for killer pho, they also offer a variety of rice dishes (hello tofu fried rice), and delicious bahn mi sandwiches. Carnivores and leaf lovers alike will feel right at home here.
While 24 hours in this glorious city seems limited, it’s still plenty of time to experience some of the best food in San Francisco. This list will get you a little taste of everything and then some.
Oh, and we apologize in advance for the return plane ticket you’ll be booking as soon as you get home.
Dream on foodies.