Where to Eat in the Bay Area
Looking for cool new places to eat in NorCal? Well, you guys are in luck because I’m going to tell you about 6 must try restaurants in San Francisco. I’ve been here several times already so I’m getting to know the area pretty well.
It’s a huge city though so there’s always more to see, but here are a few of my current favorite places. Note: I have WAY more than 6 so let me know if you want more! I’m planning on doing more of these food roundups in the future so keep an eye out, friends.
1. SPRO Coffee Lab
Their name’s SPRO Coffee Lab, but don’t be fooled, their food is just as good as their coffee, if not better. Located on 601 Mission Bay Blvd North (in Spark Social SF), they’re open Monday-Friday 7a-8p, Saturday from 8a-8p and Sunday from 8a-5p.
Street food isn’t typically known for presentation, but SPRO isn’t a typical food truck. They defy expectations by offering beautifully plated dishes that will bring utter joy to your taste buds.
I got their new Mash Up toast ($9), and it was absolutely delicious. 2 hour sous-vide eggs, creamy truffle-parmesan potato purée and togarashi on buttered sourdough toast? So much yum. Add bacon or sausage for an extra $3! I highly recommend going with the latter because they make their own sausage, and it’s super flavorful with a great snap to it.
Other recommendations are as follows: Hokkaido Crepe Cake ($11), Black Sesame Crepe Cake ($11), Croque Madam ($10), Umami Bomb ($7.50), Geisha ($5), and “V” for Velvet ($5).
As a proud Korean-American woman, I am SUPER picky when it comes to Korean food. My mom’s an amazing cook so my standards are unfairly high. When my boyfriend told me about Aria, I was skeptical because I rarely go to a Korean place and say, “wow, that was good,” and I wasn’t wrong…because the food wasn’t good, it was fantastic! [insert cheesy grin here]
Located at 932 Larkin St, this shop’s been open since the 1970s. However, up until 2012, it was a fish and chips joint. I’m so, SO glad they decided to do Korean street food because they do it so damn well. I got their combo #2 ($42) and their bulgogi fries ($9.50), and serious foodgasms ensued.
The combo I got was basically heaven on a tray. It came with spicy ramen (with a perfectly fried egg on top), sweet & spicy Korean fried chicken, regular fried chicken, and bulgogi kimbap. They only use organic boneless and skinless chicken thigh so you know you’re getting quality in each and every bite. My favorite was the spicy KFC, but you can’t go wrong with anything you get here so go crazy!
Pro tip: take an uber here! Aria’s located in the Tenderloin so it can be a little shady, but don’t let that dissuade you from coming. The food’s totally worth it so grab a couple of your friends and split a ride!
Every time I visit SF, I make sure to grab a pie from Giorgio’s because their pizza is THAT good! Giorgio’s Special is my go-to, and it’s topped with pepperoni, salami, mushroom, and sausage. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I usually get a large ($27.60) and split it with 3-5 people – yeah, their slices are huge! They have two locations in SF, but I always go to the one on 151 Clement Street. PS. For those of you wondering, I’ve ONLY ever gotten pizza there so I have no idea what their other dishes are like.
4. Enter the Cafe
Located on 1401 Powell Street (on the edge of Chinatown), Enter the Cafe’s open from 7a-6p on Mondays-Fridays and 9a-6p on the weekend. They serve everything from artisan coffee to nomtastic sandwiches, but must-tries are their pastries. So, set your alarm and make sure you get there bright and early on Saturday because that’s the only day you can get Baker Doe’s creations.
Hands down, THE best (and most creative) croissants I’ve had in years, and apparently, they rarely make the same thing twice. I got to try ube horchata (purple filling) and coconut pandan (green filling) and both were unbelievably tasty. The croissants were cooked to crisp, buttery perfection, and the ratio of filling to pastry was on point.
I also got to try their chocolate moffle (mochi + waffle mix), and it was solid. If you’re looking for a unique dessert in the area, definitely give this a try. You HAVE to get it with ice cream though!
For those of you interested, they have three different moffle flavors available daily: churro, chocolate and matcha. What I liked best was the texture – it was nice and chewy – and who can resist warm desserts with cold ice cream? That juxtaposition tho.
5. Kagawa-ya Udon
I know ramen’s all the rage, but honestly, I’ve been more into udon as of late. Lucky for me, I’ve discovered Kagawa-ya Udon, and now it’s all I want. Located on 1455 Market Street, it’s quick but super tasty. They have a cafeteria style line where you can customize your bowl however you please.
Their noodz are made fresh in house (a 2-day aging process), and they have a nice assortment of tempura + other delicious toppings. My favorite was the Niku Udon, and it had soy braised beef, sweet, onions, green onions, ginger and toasted sesame seeds. The broth was perfectly balanced, and the beef was nice and tender.
They also have rotating menu options so make sure to check back often – they offer all kinds of unique flavor combinations like spicy tomato udon, creamy kabocha, and cream of clam and leeks.
6. Ton Kiang
There are SO many amazing dimsum places in San Francisco, but Ton Kiang is my personal favorite. It’s one of the more “upscale” dimsum restaurants in the area, but that’s not really saying much. The waitstaff isn’t particularly nice, but I go for the food, not the service or the ambiance.
They also don’t wheel around carts here so if that’s a dealbreaker for you, go elsewhere. They have people carry around 10 or so plates at a time and offer them to individual tables – you can make requests and place orders as well, but you do have to wait a bit. I actually prefer that because it allows my tummy to digest, but that’s just me.
Must-try plates as as follows: pork siu-mai, har gow, baked pork bun (so much better than the steamed pork buns IMHO), egg tarts (they’re smaller than other places but oh so good – buttery and flaky goodness at its best), baked custard buns (again, go for the baked buns, not the steamed buns), and mushroom and chicken dumplings.
Anddd that’s it for today, friends! I hope you enjoyed reading about these 6 must try restaurants in San Francisco. Definitely let me know if you guys go or have gone – I’d love to hear your thoughts! And on that note, have you visited NorCal? If yes, comment with some of your favorite restaurants below. For more food posts, click here. To browse travel content, make sure to check this tab out!