Our favourite eats in San Fran­cisco

The City by the Bay draws on Cal­i­for­nia’s DPSOH IDUPODQG WKH ZDWHUV RI WKH 3DFLÀF and food tra­di­tions from all com­pass points. We’ve picked the best and most up-to-date places to eat out, from ca­sual pit-stops to des­ti­na­tion din­ing, with a spe­cial sec­tion

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CHEAP EATS City View DIM SUM £ (cityviewdim­sum.com; 662 Com­mer­cial St) Take a seat in the sunny din­ing room and make way for carts loaded w ith del­i­cate shrimp and leek dumplings, gar­licky Chi­nese broc­coli, tang y spareribs, co­conut-dusted cus­tard tar ts and other tan­ta­lis­ing dim sum. Come be­fore the mid­day rush to nab seats in the up­stairs room. Golden Boy PIZZA £ (gold­en­boyp­izza.com; 542 Green St) Look­ing for the ul­ti­mate post­bar-crawl or morn­ing-af­ter slice? Here you’re golden. Since 1978, the So­dini fam­ily piz­zaioli (pizza mak­ers) have per­fected Gen­ovese-style fo­cac­cia-crust pizza, achiev­ing that mys­ti­cal mean be­tween chew y and crunchy with the ideal amount of olive oil. Go for Gen­ovese top­pings like clam and gar­lic or pesto, and bliss out with hot slices and draft beer at the tin-shed counter. La Palma Mex­i­catessen MEX­I­CAN (la­pal­masf.com; 2884 24th St) Fol­low the ap­plause: that’s the sound of or­ganic tor­tilla-mak­ing in progress. La Palma is the Mis­sion mother lode of hand­made tamales, pu­pusas (tor­tilla pock­ets) with potato and chicharones (pork crack­ling), car­ni­tas (slow-roasted pork), cotija (Oaxacan cheese) and tang y tomatillo sauce. Get take­out, or bring a VPDOO DUP\ WR ÀQLVK WKDW PDVVLYH meal at sunny side­walk tables. (00La Ta­que­ria1 415 285 7117;2889 MEXICANMis­sion St) £ 6) VDՖURQ·V GHÀQLWLYHULFH VSLQDFK EXUULWR WRU KDV WLOOD QRRU man­gomeats, salsa slow-cooked– just per­fectly beans grilled and tomatillo or mesquite salsa all ZUDSSHG LQ D ÁRXU WRU WLOOD They’re purists at James Beard Award-win­ning La Taque­ria – you’ll pay ex­tra to go with­out beans, be­cause they add more meat, but spicy pick­les and crema (sour cream) bring bur­rito bliss. Worth the wait, al­ways. Re­venge Pies DESSERTS £ (re­vengepies.com; 1248 9th Ave) Liv­ing well is only the sec­ondbest re­venge – a face full of pecan Re­venge Pie is far more sat­isf ying. Here is the com­pen­sa­tion for ev­ery skimpy à la mode pie VHUYLQJ \RX·YH VXՖHUHG WKURXJK pice­cream (home­made frozen FXVWDUG HPEHGGHG ZLWK ÁDNHV RI but­tery pie crust). The choco­lateDOPRQG 5HYHQJH SLH LV D VXUHÀUH crowd-pleaser – but the key-lime pice­cream could make, break and re­make friend­ships. Tout Sweet BAK­ERY £ (toutsweetsf.com; Macy’s, 3rd fl, cnr Geary & Stock­ton Sts) Mango with Thai chili or peanut but­ter and jelly? Choos­ing your fa­vorite Cal­i­for­nia-French mac­aron isn’t easy at Tout Sweet, where Top Chef Just Desserts cham­pion Yigit Pura keeps out­do­ing his own in­ven­tions – he’s like the love child of Ju­lia Child and Steve Jobs. Chef Pura’s sweet re­treat on 0DF\·V UG ÁRRU RՖHUV XQEHDWDEOH views over­look­ing Union Square, H[FHOOHQW WHDV DQG IUHH ZL À MID-RANGE MEALS Al’s Place CAL­I­FOR­NIAN ££ (al­splacesf.com; 1499 Va­len­cia St) £ T he Golden State daz­zles on A l’s plates, fea­tur­ing home­grown heir­loom ingredients, pris­tine 3DFLÀF VHDIRRG DQG JUDVV IHG meat on the side. Painstak­ing prepa­ra­tion y ields sun-drenched ÁDYRUV DQG H[TXLVLWH WH[ WXUHV crispy-skin cod w ith frothy preser ved-lime dip, grilled peach melt­ing into vel­vet y foie gras. Dishes are half the size but WKULFH WKH ÁDYRXU RI PDLQV HOVHwhere – get two or three, and you’ll be Cal­i­for­nia dream­ing. Co­togna ITAL­IAN ££ (co­tog­nasf.com; 490 Pa­cific Ave) Chef-owner Michael Tusk racks up James Beard Awards for a quintessen­tially Ital­ian culi­nar y bal­anc­ing act: he strikes ideal pro­por­tions among a few pris­tine ÁDYRUV LQ UXVWLF SDVWDV ZRRGÀUHG SL]]DV DQG VDOW FUXVWHG branzino. Reser ve, es­pe­cially for four-course Sun­day sup­pers with wine pair­ings – or plan a walk-in late lunch/early din­ner. There’s also a top-value Ital­ian wine list Li­holiho Yacht Club HAWAI­IAN ££ (lycsf.com; 871 Sut­ter St) W ho needs yachts to be happy? A loha abounds over Li­holiho’s pucker-up-tar t cock­tails and glee­fully cre­ative Cal­wai­ian/ Hawafor­nian dishes – fool­proof­mood-en­hancers in­clude spicy beef-tongue bao buns, duck-liver mousse w ith pick­led pineap­ple on brioche, and Viet­namese slaw

with ten­der squid and crispy tripe. Reser­va­tions open 30 days prior; al­ter­na­tively, ar­rive early or late for bar din­ing, or head down stairs to Louie’ s Gen-Gen Room speakeasy for shame­lessly WDVW\ ERQH PDUURZ EXWWHU ZD HV Mis­ter Jiu’s CHI­NESE ££ (mis­ter­jius.com; 28 Waverly Pl) Ever since the Gold Rush of 1848–1855 turbo-charged the city, San Fran­cisco has craved Chi­nese food, pow­er­ful cock­tails and hy­per-lo­cal spe­cial­i­ties–and 0LVWHU -LX·V VDWLVÀHV RQ DOO WKHVH counts. Build your own ban­quet made of Chi­nese clas­sics with Cal­i­for­nia twists: chanter el le chow mein, Dun­geness crab rice QRRGOHV TXDLO DQG 0LVVLRQ ÀJ sticky rice. Cocktail pair­ings are equally in­spired–try jas­mine­in­fused-gin Hap­pi­ness with teaVPRNHG 6 R QR PDGXFNFRQÀW Ser­pen­tine CAL­I­FOR­NIAN ££ (ser­pen­ti­nesf.com; 2495 3rd St) The best brunch you’ll ever have in­side an old fac­tory boiler room – or, re­ally, any where in San Fran­cisco – is the Dun­geness crab Bene­dict at Ser­pen­tine, with ex­tra-frothy hol­landaise sauce and au­da­ciously fried lemon and capers, served in a lofty con­verted tin-can fac­tory. Chef Deepak Kaul ditched med­i­cal school to mas­ter pre­ci­sion spic­ing; now his an­cho-chile osso bucco will cure what­ever ails you. FINE DIN­ING Benu FU­SION £££ (be­nusf.com; 22 Hawthorne St) SF has pi­o­neered Asian fu­sion cui­sine for 150 years, but the SDQ 3DFLÀF LQQRYDWLRQ FKHI owner Corey Lee brings to the plate is gasp-in­duc­ing: foie-gras soup dumplings – what?! DungeQHVV FUDE DQG WUX H FXVWDUG SDFN VXFK RXWVL]H ÁDYRXU LQWR /HH·V IDX[²VKDUN·V ÀQ VRXS \RX·OO swear Jaws is in there. Benu din­ners are in­vest­ments, but don’t miss star som­me­lier Yoon Ha’s in­ge­nious pair­ings. Cala MEX­I­CAN £££ (calarestau­rant.com; 149 Fell St) Like dis­cov­er­ing a long-lost twin, Cala’s Mex­ico Norte cui­sine is a rev­e­la­tion. T he Mex­i­can­rancher roots of San Fran­cisco are deeply hon­oured here: silky bone-mar­row salsa and fra­grant her­itage-corn tor tillas grace a sweet potato slow-cooked in ashes. Brace your­self with a few mez­cal mar­gar­i­tas for the ul­ti­mate Cal­i­for­nia surf and turf: sea urchin with beef tongue. Orig­i­nal and un­for­get­table, even be­fore Mayan-choco­late gelato w ith ama­ranth brit­tle. In Situ IN­TER­NA­TIONAL £££ (in­situ.sf­moma.org; SF­MOMA, 151 3rd St) T he land­mark galler y of mod­ern cui­sine at­tached to SF­MOMA also show­cases avant-garde mas­ter­pieces – but th­ese ones you can lick clean. Chef Corey Lee col­lab­o­rates w ith star chefs worldw ide, scrupu­lously recre­at­ing their sig­na­ture dishes w ith Cal­i­for­nia-grow n ingredients so that you can en­joy Har­ald Wohlfahr t’s im­pec­ca­ble anise­mar­i­nated salmon, Hiroshi Sasaki’s deca­dent chicken thighs and A lber t Adrìa’s grav it ydef y ing co­coa-bub­ble cake all in one un­for­get­table sit­ting. Rich Ta­ble CAL­I­FOR­NIAN £££ (richta­blesf.com; 199 Gough St) Im­pos­si­ble crav ings be­gin at R ich Ta­ble, the launch­pad for porcini dough­nuts, miso-mar­rowVWXՖHG SDVWD DQG IULHG FKLFNHQ madeleines w ith cav iar. Mar­ried co-chefs and own­ers Sarah DQG (YDQ 5LFK SOD\ IXOO\ ULՖ RQ sea­sonal lo­cal pro­duce, freeVW\OLQJ Z LWK ZKLPVLFDO RՖ PHQX amuse-bouches like trippy beet marsh­mal­lows or the Dir ty Hip­pie: nutty hemp atop silky goat-but­ter­milk pan­na­cotta, as RՖ EHDW DQG HQWUDQFLQJ DV +LSSLH Hill drum cir­cles. Wako SUSHI £££ (sushi­wakosf.com; 211 Cle­ment St) Tiny yet mighty in fas­ci­na­tion, this drif twood-pan­elled bistro from chef To­mo­haru Naka­mura is as quirk­ily San Fran­cis­can as the bon­sai grove at the nearby Ja­panese Tea Gar­den. Each omakase (chef ’s choice) dish is a miniature mar vel of Ja­panese seafood w ith a Cal­i­for­nia ac­cent – Santa Cruz abalone ni­giri, seared tuna belly w ith Cal­i­for­nia cav iar, crab mushi­mono w ith y uzu grown by a neigh­bour. MAR­KETS AND MORE Ferry Plaza Farm­ers Mar­ket MAR­KET £ (cuesa.org; cnr Mar­ket St & the Em­bar­cadero) T he pride and joy of SF, the Ferr y Build­ing mar­ket show­cases 50 to 100 prime pur vey­ors of or­ganic Cal­i­for­nian pro­duce, pas­tur­eraised meat and gourmet pre­pared foods at ac­ces­si­ble prices. On Satur­days, join top chefs early for prime brows­ing, and stay for eclec­tic Bay-side pic­nics of Namu Korean tacos, RoliRoti porchetta, Dir ty Girl toma­toes, Ni­ca­sio cheese sam­ples, and Frog Hol­low fruit turnovers. Mis­sion Com­mu­nity Mar­ket MAR­KET £ (mis­sion­com­mu­ni­ty­mar­ket.org; Bartlett St, btwn 21st & 22nd Sts) Back-al­ley bounty brings ravenRXV FURZGV WR WKLV QRQSURÀW neigh­bor­hood-run mar­ket on T hurs­days, come rain or shine. More than 30 lo­cal farm­ers and IRRG DU WLVDQV RՖHU &DOLIRUQLD pro­duce and in­spired SF street food – look for Coast­side Farms’ smoked al­ba­core, To­matero Farms’ heir­loom green-ze­bra toma­toes, F lour Chylde pas­tries and Chaac Mool’s co­chinita pi­bil (slow-roasted pork). En­joy shade, seat­ing and mari­achis at mu­rallined La Placita. Out­stand­ing in the Field POP-UP £££ (out­standinginthe­field.com) Din­ners w ith guest-star chefs like A lice Wa­ters and this Bay A rea-based crew pop up in the un­like­li­est of places – straw­berr y ÀHOGV VHD FDYHV VDQGEDUV ² WR bring diners to the source of their food. SoMa StrEat Food Park FOOD TRUCKS £ (so­mas­treat­food­park.com; 428 11th St) Your posse is hungr y, but one of you is ve­gan, an­other de­mands tacos w ith beer, and an­other craves Korean fried chicken. So what do you do? First: recog­nise that you and your friends be­long in San Fran­cisco. Sec­ond: head to this SoMa park­ing lot, where gourmet food trucks w ill sat­isf y your ever y whim. T he area gets sketchy – mind your wal­let.

home­made), succulent cheeses, com­posed sal­ads and knock­out sand­wiches, plus 50 wines by the glass. Seat­ing at shared tables and the bar. No reser­va­tions. Ven­ti­cello (ven­ti­cello.com; 1257 Tay­lor St) To en­ter Ven­ti­cello’s two-storey­high din­ing room, you de­scend via a stair­case – which may be why so many of the Nob Hill reg­u­lars dress up for this oth­er­wise ca­sual neigh­bour­hood Ital­ian bistro: ev­ery­one sees you ar­rive. Stand­out menu items in­clude spaghetti car­bonara, risotto and piz­zas from the wood-fired oven. Per­fect for date night. Za (za­piz­zasf.com; 1919 Hyde St) You don’t get gourmet, corn­meal-dusted, thin-crust slices like this ev­ery day. Pizza-lovers brave uphill climbs for pizza piled with fresh top­pings, a pint of An­chor Steam and a cozy bar set­ting – all for un­der $10.

Zarzuela (00 1 415 346 0800; 2000 Hyde St) One of Rus­sian Hill’s long­time stars, Zarzuela’s real Span­ish tapas in­clude ter­rific paella and gar­lic prawns, plus un­usual dishes like braised quail and Madrid­style tripe. Ochre-washed walls and ter­ra­cotta tiles set a sim­ple back­drop for the dy­namic cook­ing. No reser­va­tions: come early or put your name on the list and wan­der lovely Hyde St.

Co­togna gives Ital­ian flavours a Cal­i­for­nian spin

Take in street views at Union Larder Burger time at Stones Throw A vin­tage cable-car as­cends Nob Hill

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