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Where to Eat in San Francisco – a food and dining guide

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It almost goes without saying that San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods have created a melting pot of gastronomic wonders. They range from strong Latin influences to rustic Neapolitan cooking, and everything in between. With a strong focus on locally produced organic fruits and vegetables, there’s plenty of good eats for the eco-savvy vegetarian. But San Francisco isn’t afraid to cook old school, and there’s plenty of classic American diners to enjoy.
Typical dishes

 

 

A slice of Neapolitan pizza wouldn’t go amiss in San Francisco, but the city’s main culinary focus has to be seafood. Try the local Dungeness crab or a bread-bowl of creamy clam chowder.

The Mission

 

The Mission is San Francisco’s ultra-cool neighborhood, where hip cafés, trendy record stores, and multi-colored murals give it a unique identity. Food in the Mission varies widely, but Mission Beach Cafe is the best place to start. Stop by this delectable neighborhood eatery for brunch and enjoy decadent pancakes with bourbon syrup, or try tamarind-glazed fish for dinner. Alternatively, for other-worldly oysters with an unforgettable restaurant-come-movie theater setting, head to Foreign Cinema.

 

• Mission Beach Cafe, 98 Guerrero Street, San Francisco; +1 415 8610 198

Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco; Tel: +1 415 6487 600

 

North Beach

 

North Beach is perched on the city’s northeastern peak, overlooking the shimmering San Francisco Bay waters and legendary island of Alcatraz. The area is also known as Little Italy, due to its strong Italian population, heritage, and - you guessed it - restaurants. Enjoy the old fashioned home cooking of the Albona Restaurant, which focuses on Istrian cuisine. Fettuccine arrabbiata and mouthwatering pan-fried gnocchi are among the staples. However, if you’re just in the mood for a slice of fine, handmade, oregano-infused pizza, head to Capo’s.

 

• Albona Ristorante, 545 Francisco Street, San Francisco; Tel: +1 415 4411 040

Capo’s, 641 Vallejo Street, San Francisco; Tel: +1 415 9868 998

 

The Haight

 

The Haight was once the hub of an iconic counter-culture movement, where long-haired hipsters, artists, and writers filled the streets. While a few of the old hippy hangouts still thrive, the Haight is now full of edgy boutiques, cool cafés, and a strong youthful atmosphere. Like everywhere in the city, the food is diverse here. For a funky coffee house scene with a strong vegetarian menu, head to the laid-back and inexpensive Cafe International. If you’re in the mood for some artisan beer while you dine, try Magnolia Pub and Brewery, a stripped-back pig-out spot where you tuck into cured meats and cask ales on tap.

 

• Cafe International, 508 Haight Street, San Francisco; Tel: +1 415 5527 390

Magnolia Pub and Brewery, 1398 Haight street, San Francisco; Tel: +1 4158 647 468

 

Marina

 

The Marina district of San Francisco is an affluent, youthful area overlooking the copper-colored Golden Gate bridge. Full of top-rated restaurants and up-market boutiques, this is an area to spend big. Head to the sleek Blue Barn Gourmet, a flashy delicatessen, and sample the hearty sandwiches made with lavender-infused bread and local Californian vegetables. If you haven’t tried San Francisco’s unique spin on Mexican cuisine, get yourself over to the upscale Mamacita, where the rustic candle-lit interior creates the perfect setting for some carefully crafted, delicately seasoned tacos - don’t forget the tall margarita.

 

• Blue Barn Gourmet, 2105 Chestnut Street, San Francisco;Tel: +1 415 4413 232

Mamacita, 2317 Chestnut Street, San Francisco; Tel: +1 415 3468 494