The Local’s Guide to San Francisco Food

A popular destination for tourists seeking a California experience, San Francisco is well-known for its eclectic architecture, interesting culture, and, of course, its red cable cars. However, the incredible cuisine is what really captures the hearts of those who visit the city. San Francisco is renowned for its iconic culinary works, but you can easily become overwhelmed with the different food offerings and restaurants targeting the many tourists who visit. Below is an inside look at where the true locals of San Francisco are getting their favourite dishes in the City by the Bay.

(Heading elsewhere in the States? Check out this post, too.)

Popular Eats

If you’re interested in being a part of true San Francisco hipster culture, Nopalito is a local favourite place to eat and be seen. Nopalito is a vibrant Mexican kitchen priding itself in its organic and sustainable menu items. Even with two separate locations, these restaurants are always packed with hungry customers anticipating the chef’s next creations (as the menu changes with the chef’s mood). Described as a bright and casual atmosphere, Nopalito can’t be missed if you want to eat among true San Franciscans.

Without the Restaurant

Off the Grid is a local icon and a famous part of San Francisco food culture. This weekly gathering of gourmet food trucks can satisfy your taste buds in ways you never thought possible. The mobile food market is brimming with energy, often paired with local music and crafts. A few favourites include the Pork Belly in Baked Bun at The Chairman Truck, the Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls at Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, and the Maui Fish Taco at The Taco Guys.

Eating Green

San Francisco is known for its thriving health culture and large vegetarian and vegan communities. To truly experience “eating green,” you must visit Millennium in Oakland. Described as “rustic-modern,” you can enjoy gourmet vegan cuisine in this gorgeous restaurant’s interior or outside on the beautiful patio. Favorite dishes include the Sesame & Arborio Crusted King Trumpet Mushrooms and the Coconut Curry.

Meat Eaters

While Van Ness Avenue is popular for its offerings from popular steak houses visited by celebrities and tourist alike, skipping over to the Marina can afford you a tasty meal at local gem Izzy’s. Izzy’s Steaks and Chops is known for its choice cuts of beef and delicious side dishes sure to overflow on your plate. It’s locally owned and is described as having a small town feel, despite its big city location and even bigger portions.

Cheap Eats

If you haven’t heard of San Francisco’s incredible food scene, you have surely heard of its outrageous prices. High priced restaurants are in no short demand, but if you are looking to eat at an affordable price, you should head to Manora’s Thai Cuisine. Manora’s has been around since 1987 and has a cosy atmosphere with a large menu of Thai food offerings. Customer favourites include the Thom Ka Soup, Pad Thai and of course the Mango Sticky Rice.

You can find many different styles of food in the beautiful city of San Francisco. The city’s cuisine culture is brimming with new restaurants and eateries claiming to be the best. Because eating out is a part of typical San Francisco life, you won’t find yourself disappointed with these local favourites.


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The Local's Guide to San Francisco Food #travel #travelblog #sanfrancisco #food #usa


  • Debbie
    Posted March 1, 2018

    Fab post with great photos! I love the look of the stack of Chinese crepes!

  • Cherie
    Posted March 1, 2018

    San Francisco has been on my travel bucket list for years. Looking forward to making it there someday to try out all of this great food.

    • Amelia
      Posted March 2, 2018

      Definitely Cherie! My fave destinations are ones with a big food scene.

  • Josy A
    Posted March 2, 2018

    Oh my goodness this all looks soooo tasty!

    I have some foodie friends in SF, and this really shows why they chose to move there!!

    • Amelia
      Posted March 2, 2018

      Yep! There’s so much to cover, I could only do a snippet. I’d be there for a year otherwise trying everything I wanted to try.

    Posted June 1, 2018

    In my wish list. Nice read, informative. Have noted all.

  • Bree
    Posted June 25, 2018

    Great post! I love the variety in foods here. Also, I didn’t know about all of the different food scenes SF.

    San Fran seems to only have the “major” food places and not so much the small, cute, and eclectic food choices, so I’m happy to check this out since I’ll be here in mid-July.


    • Amelia
      Posted June 25, 2018

      Thanks so much Bree! How exciting, can’t wait to hear all about your SF experience!

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