The food scene in San Francisco blew me away when I visited! My favorite food to get in SF is Chinese food specifically because the city has one of the oldest and most established China Town in the United States. Now with that being said, the city is known for their sourdough bread and clam chowder and it’s some of the best I’ve had yet.
I encourage you to test your pallet while in San Francisco and try everything. There is so much yummy food this city has to offer, you won’t want to miss it.
Also if you’re looking for things to do in San Francisco checkout my full guide, “A Guide To San Francisco.“
My Favorite Food Spots
This is a post airport MUST. They seriously have one directly next to the San Francisco International airport (SFO). so it’s a perfect pickup on your way to your hotel. I know some people love or hate In-N-Out but if you haven’t tried it you must!
Nearest Location from airport: 11 Rollins Rd, Millbrae, CA 94030
Boudin is located in Fisherman’s Wharf and is an extremely popular spot with a lot of history. They are famously known for their clam chowder served in a bread bowl. I had this and the tomato soup here twice, and it is some of the best soup I’ve had. You will not be disappointed!
The line gets crazy long here so try to come at an odd time.
Location: Pier 39, Space 5-Q Pier 39, San Francisco, CA 94133
The Codmothers Fish & Chips
This place is super small and cooked out of a permanent food truck. They have a few picnic tables spread out in front, and overall, pretty fast service. This fish fry was extremely tasty and enjoyed in a casual setting located by Fisherman’s Wharf.
Location: 496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133
The Pastaria & Market
If you’re open to taking a little trip to Los Gatos I highly recommend stopping here. The setting and decor of the little pasta shop perfectly matched the small town of Los Gatos that it was located in. The quality of the pasta and delicious sauces blew me away. Fun fact, this was one of the first fresh, homemade pastas I ever tried before! Before this I was used to eating just regular boxed pastas. Let’s just say after this trip and experience my life was changed lol. The pasta they have here is incredibly fresh, homemade and very tasty. They also serve it with a sort of “cloud” bread which was amazing. It was light and fluffy, and somewhat hollow inside. So good.
Location: 27 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Cauldron Ice Cream
This ice cream is really COOL. Before this trip I had never heard of “liquid nitrogen” ice cream before until my boyfriend, Tim, told me about it. I didn’t even understand at first what he was describing until I went to the ice cream shop and saw them make it. The entire counter top was filled with a grey fog of liquid nitrogen, spilling over the counter top and onto the floor until it reached my feet in line. I was in shock. They made the ice cream in seconds, served in a large, fluffy waffle cone – I was hooked. The liquid nitrogen really did give it a different consistency and texture to the ice cream that made me wanting more and more.
Their signature, and most popular flavor they have is amazing. It was an Oreo Cinnamon flavor – which I know sounds weird – but it was so good. I will never forget that flavor. Formally named, The Cauldron.
Location: 1088 E Brokaw Rd #60, San Jose, CA 95131
Great Eastern Garden
A great spot for authentic Chinese food in China Town. I’ve been here twice and it was always a great meal. Yummy pork dumplings, fried rice and sesame chicken.
Location: 649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hands down, the best Mac and Cheese I have ever had in my life. The best. This place was insane. Seriously, it blew my boyfriend and I away. We are both huge mac and cheese lovers and this was the best we’ve ever had.
First, the environment was so quaint and intimate. It’s a tiny shop with only bar seating directly in front of the stove that they cook your mac and cheese on, with one table for seating in the far corner. Such a casual and cozy setting. The customer service there was great. We talked to the staff for most of the time and they gave us a free little sample of their popular mac and cheese to try too. Then, the mac. Although the place was a little pricey, (if you’re one to order a lot of toppings) it was high quality and incredible flavor. This place has the best concoctions for mac and cheese that just go so well together, such as pizza, BBQ, spicy, garlic, pesto, truffle, etc. The one I got was, “South of the Border” and it was incredible, topped with Fritos and avocado! Overall, their mac has super creamy sauce, cavatappi noodles (which are the best), and fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Most mac and cheeses aren’t saucy or creamy enough but this place made the sauce on a pan in front of us and then poured it on the noodles. That is when we realized that that’s how mac and cheese should really be made.
Tim and I went here twice and it’s our favorite spot in San Fran!
Location: 1453 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Ft. South of the Border mac
This place is home to the “king” dumpling. Technically called the, “King Dum,” and it’s super popular here. This dumpling is about the size of a closed fist and so big that it’s served with a straw so you can suck the soup out on the inside. Be warned, it will be very hot and a bit hard to eat at first but it’s really fun to try!
They have a window to the kitchen where you can watch the chefs hand make the dumplings right in front of you while you wait for your table. It was very cool to see them so carefully and artistically fill the dumplings and press them shut, over and over again to hundreds of dumplings. This made me appreciate the dumplings I was eating once ordered. With all honesty, I tried a bunch of dumplings in San Fran and these were the most authentic and tasted the freshest.
Location: 11 Division Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103
Taco Bell at Pacifica Beach
This is the coolest, nicest Taco Bell I’ve ever been to. It’s super popular since it’s located directly on Pacifica beach. You can lay out and relax, surf a bit and then walk right over to grab some Taco Bell afterwards while surrounded by spectacular coastline views. Sounds like a perfect day to me.
This Taco Bell comes with a “walk-up window” instead of a drive through. Sheer genius.
Location: 5200 CA-1, Pacifica, CA 94044