Hi to all!
We are often asked to share our favorite San Francisco restaurants and we finally stopped long enough to formalize a list.
One can always search the internet for the top 10 or 20 restaurants and that list will be sure to please, along with a hefty check.
We decided to share our “go to” places that are “Jim and John approved” without a painful withdrawal from your pocketbook. That said, bear in mind San Francisco has become one of the most expensive cities in the country.
Below are tried and true restaurant recommendations. We have been to all of them, mostly for lunch. And can highly recommend them all. Most are inexpensive by SF standards, but probably expensive by Omaha and Des Moines standards. 😎
San Tung. Chinese. 1031 Irving Street. Local place with the best Chinese chicken wings in the city. Near Golden Gate Park so lots of college kids go there for take out and then a picnic in the park. We eat in.
Marnee Thai. 1243 9th Avenue near Irving. Very good Thai. Near GG Park.
Naan and Curry. 642 Irving. Very good Indian has been around for years. Very local.
Nopalito. Mexican. 1224 9th Street. Across the street from Marnee Thai. Very gourmet, artisan Mexican. Very good. Not expensive.
(The above four restaurants can be easily reached by the N Judah Muni subway. Get off the train at 9th Avenue.)
Ton Kiang. 5821 Geary Blvd. Our favorite dim sum place and very good Hakka Chinese cuisine. Hakka is a region of China cuisine with very few US restaurants. We go Sunday mornings. But they are open all week all day.
Dragon Beaux. 5700 Geary Blvd. The current hot spot for Chinese, Mongolian BBQ and hot pot dishes. Also excellent dim sum. Popular with twenty-somethings. We are usually the oldest two in the place.
Hong Kong Lounge. 5322 Geary Blvd. Great dim sum and Chinese specialties. Like being in Hong Kong. Very popular and we are sometimes the only two non Asians in a very large place. Especially on weekends.
Akira Japanese Restaurant. 1634 Bush Street. One block from our house and we love it for lunch. Super sushi and teriyaki dishes. Very, very good.
Burma Super Star. 309 Clement Street. Excellent Burmese food. Do not miss the tea leaf salad. Literally the best outside Burma. Open for lunch at 11:30.
Tia Margarita. 300 19th Avenue corner of Clement. Excellent Mexican. Old stand by for us been around years.
La Taqueria. 2889 Mission Street. Local place with excellent Mexican food. Consistently rated best burritos in the country and always a top 100 Bay Area restaurant. Very inexpensive. $15 for two. Lots of Central American clientele and menu items.
Old Jerusalem. 2966 Mission. We love this hole in the wall Palestinian place. Humus, kebabs, salads are excellent. Very inexpensive. $22 for two.
OTD (Out the Door). 2232 Bush Street. Vietnamese. Open Table reservation recommended. We love this place. An easy 15 minute walk from our house. The best won ton noodle soup, steamed buns, chicken salad. Lots of other things. Really good. Their main restaurant, Slanted Door, has a Michelin Star and is in the ferry terminal. OTD is their much less expensive neighborhood joint.
Brenda’s French Soul Food. 652 Polk Street. Just past City Hall. Excellent soul food and very popular. They also have a less crowded place on Divisidero Street.
De Afhganan Kebob House. 1035 Geary Street between Van Ness and Polk. Afghanistan food. Great kebabs and salads and Afghan bread. We go there for lunch before a movie at the nearby AMC. Very inexpensive. $30 for two.
Bun Mee. 2015 Fillmore Street. Great Vietnamese sandwiches. On Fillmore Street which is a very nice upscale shopping/restaurant Street.
WoodHouse Fish Co. 1914 Fillmore. Very good clam chowder, fish and chips, shrimp filled steamed artichoke, etc.
La Mediterranee. 288 Noe at Market Street. Very good and inexpensive Lebanese food. They also have a location on Fillmore Street just past Sacramento Street.
Rose’s Cafe. 2298 Union Street at Steiner. In Cow Hollow neighborhood. Like walking into a Paris cafe. We go for breakfast, but open all day.
Chloe’s. 1399 Church Street. Our favorite breakfast place. Open only for breakfast and lunch. 8:00 to 3:00. The J Church streetcar stops in front. If you go tell TJ that Jim and John and say hello.
Delfina’s. 2406 California Street at Fillmore. Great pizza and other Italian specialties. We really enjoy this place.
Tony’s. 1570 Stockton Street at Washington Square in North Beach. Food Channel says this is the best pizza on the West Coast. Very, very good. In a fun neighborhood.
Near AT&T Ballpark:
21st Amendment. 563 2nd Street. Very good brew pub food and atmosphere. Three blocks from the ballpark. We recommend this place before or after a game.
Mo Mo’s. 760 2nd Street. Very popular and crowded on game days. Super California cuisine but not cheap. Bar area spills out onto the street on game days.
Mission Rock. 817 Terry A. Francois Blvd. south of the ballpark across the street from the under construction Warriors Stadium. Very popular outdoor deck over the bay with great views. Probably best to eat here for lunch on a non game day.
Two Highly Recommended Things to do:
If you go to Alcatraz book on line early and try for an evening tour.
Beach Blanket Babylon. A San Francisco institution and the longest running musical play in the country. This is a must! In North Beach on Green Street. Really not to be missed. They have a ticket office or book online. When the Queen of England was in town she went there! Very political and irreverent. Love it!