The Best Restaurants in San Francisco

If there’s one thing the chilly city of San Francisco is known for, it has to be the food. And we just couldn’t get enough of it. Trust us, a weekend in San Fran means you’ll need and want to squeeze in as many restaurants as possible. But here are five of our favourites to get you started.

Fresh tomato, basil and egg pizza at the Plant Cafe Organic. Photo by Justin Harrington.

The Plant Café Organic
One thing that is a must in San Francisco is dining by the water. And we found the perfect spot for lunch on the patio of The Plant Café Organic. It can be a bit chilly, so be sure to bring a scarf or light sweater, but the cool air is refreshing as you sip on sweet iced tea and a chilled beer. The daily specials are the best to test out – on our sunny day, a fresh tomato, egg and basil pizza, and a crispy, fresh organic chicken salad with cabbage, lettuce and a tangy dressing were on the menu. And they were just the right size for sharing for a light lunch. If you need an extra oomph to walk up the hills, the fresh, vegan desserts will fill that sweet tooth craving and give a boost of energy.

Where to Find:
The Plant Café Organic
Pier 3 Suite # 108 The Embarcader
San Francisco, CA 94111
theplantcafe.com

We could sit in Credo all day reading the quotes and eating rustic Italian food. Image courtesy of Credo.

We could sit in Credo all day reading the quotes and eating rustic Italian food. Image courtesy of Credo.

Credo
Credo, a Latin word for “I believe”, is one of San Francisco’s true gems. Its interior is fantastic, with famous quotes covering every wall and free space. It’s casual, laid back vibe mixes perfectly with the homey, soulful comfort food whipped up by Executive Chef Gustavo Romero in the open-concept kitchen. Italian is the name of the game here and it’s such good, heart-warming food we still dream about it. We started with a super rich and creamy wild mushroom fondue with crunchy tortilla chips, then some fresh tomato and mozzarella salad. But then came the prize of the meal. Sedanini alla Credo — mezzi rigatoni, calabrese sausage, pancetta, sage, pecorino, and tomato topped with pizza dough and oven baked. It looks huge when it comes to the table, but break through the pizza dough top and a steamy pile of saucy rigatoni. It was one of the best pasta dishes we’ve ever had, and thankfully we had a few hills to walk up to burn off the calories. Another reason to love Credo? They partner up with local charities, with proceeds from special drinks and dishes going to San Francisco causes.

Where to Find:
Credo
360 Pine Street (at Montgomery)
San Francisco, CA 94104
credosf.com

An insalate starter at Delrosa on Chestnut Street.

An starter at Delrosa on Chestnut Street. Photo by Kyle Edward Wilson.

Delrosa
We came upon this Italian restaurant on Chestnut Street by chance, but we’re very happy we did. A busy lunch destination, we took a seat outside under a toasty heat lamp (a must for outdoor dining in San Fran) and could hardly decide what to order — although considering every other table had a pizza, we figured that must be a house specialty. We started with a wonderfully fresh insalate made with carrots, turnips, fennel, cucumber and beets, then moved onto a piping hot Roman-style Margherita pizza. Luckily we shared because the pizza is definitely big enough for two, especially if you’re having a starter. Although we didn’t indulge in a drink, the cocktail menu is huge, as well as the beer list, with plenty on draft. Next time we’d go for dinner and plan to have a cocktail (or two).

Where to Find:
Delarosa
2175 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
delarosasf.com

Fresh strawberries on top of mascarpone cheese and a multigrain loaf.

Fresh strawberries on top of mascarpone cheese and a multigrain loaf. Photo by Kyle Edward Wilson.

Farm:Table
There is no other restaurant we’ve been to that has left us wishing we could find something similar in our own neighbourhood. We had high expectations for this highly rated breakfast spot and were more than pleasantly surprised. The restaurant itself is very small, with one communal table inside, two small tables outside that sit two each, plus a ledge you can stand while sipping your coffee or waiting for a table to open up (which we did). The menu changes daily and is written on a chalkboard by the cash register. We opted to try a multigrain loaf topped with mascarpone cheese and fresh strawberries, after the other dish we wanted was erased off the board as we waited. But the taste outweighed our disappointment. It was amazing. Our breakfast was paired with a coffee and an Americano — and both of us agreed it was the best we’d ever had — fresh, creamy and smooth. Accepting cash only, as long as you’re not in a rush and comfortable knowing you may not get exactly what you want, it may just be the best breakfast you’ll have in San Francisco.

Where to Find:
Farm:Table
754 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
farmtablesf.com

Dining outside at Foreign Cinema.

Dining outside at Foreign Cinema. Photo by Kyle Edward Wilson.

Foreign Cinema
Where else can you enjoy dinner and a movie under the stars? When we heard about the concept of this dining destination, we knew we had to experience it for ourselves. Located in San Francisco’s Mission district, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the restaurant’s exterior that films are on the menu too. Serving up California-style cuisine, the table you want to reserve is the open-air outdoor patio, heat-lamps included. When the sun goes down the movie starts and between courses, you can watch the monthly pick that could be anything from a classic to indie flick. The food is just as good as the ambiance and if you’re looking for a special evening out, this is the place to go.

Where to Find:
Foreign Cinema
2534 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
foreigncinema.com