Gaby's Guide to San Francisco, CA

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Ah! San Francisco is my home away from home. Well, actually, it was home for 4 years during college but I'm still there every few weeks and I can never get enough. The food is next freaking level so let's get right into my guide to San Francisco!

SF is small - it's only 7x7 miles and it packs A LOT of food into such a small space. There are def pockets of the city that are churning out the most incredible food as you can see from the map above. Below you'll find my tried and true favs plus a few from my favorite SF based humans that I know would never steer us wrong. Let's get right into it!

Nopalito - some of my favorite Mexican food in SF. Get every single salsa - they are incredible.


Pizzaria Delfina - you know I'll find pizza no matter where I go - and Delfina is some of the best!

Zuni Cafe - make a res and then go order the chicken, the fries and an aperol spritz. It's a right of passage.

Liholiho Yacht Club - imagine a fusion of Hawaiian, Indian & Chinese food with epic cocktails!! It's not to be missed

Tartine Bakery + Tartine Manufactory - 2 of my favorite places in the world. No explanation needed, just go and order all the things, especially the bread!

Mister Jiu's - California and Chinese fusion with the best dumplings ever and all the sauces!

Penny Roma - The most incredible Italian food. This is a restaurant not to be missed.

Marlowe - go for lunch or dinner, both are incredible and bring a friend who loves to eat. It's California style food that is meant to be shared so you need to order ALL THE THINGS.

Leo's Oyster Bar - the perfect place for happy hour and a dozen oysters! Also V instagram friendly with all their incredible wall paper!

A16 - pasta, pizza and Lambrusco - what more could you ask for in an Italian restaurant!

Rose's Cafe - an all day cafe that in my opinion is best before 2pm! The breakfast pizza is life altering. Go early, grab a table outside if it's nice and relax!

Flour + Water - more pasta. always and forever.

Tacolicious - one of my favorites from back in the day! Guacamole and margs for an afternoon snack are the way to go!

Nopa - California eats in a V busy setting with lots of vibes! It's also one of the only restaurants open until 1am so it's great for a late night bite!

Hog Island - more oysters and champagne!! On brand.

The Mill - Thomas' fav coffee shop with the most glorious toast of all times!

Kokkari Estiatorio - best Greek food in the city. HANDS DOWN.

Bi-Rite - ugh. This place has the BEST ice cream ever! Go on a hot/sunny day so you can grab 2 scoops and walk the neighborhood!

Souvla - the most incredible fast casual Greek. There are a few locations, each is amazing and absolutely get the frozen Greek yogurt for dessert!

Che Fico - more pasta, more pizza and great wine with a California vibe! V into this place but snag a res early - it's tough to get into!<

Sorrel - more incredible Italian / California inspired food. The pasta + octopus are out of this world!!

Outerlands - brunch has a cast-iron grilled cheese sandwich and we all need that in our lives

Kin Khao - I haven't been here yet but Kendall Coleman who is one of my favorite people on earth and is VERY in the know about SF food says this is the place for Thai!! So clearly we all know where I'll be stopping the next time I land in SF!

Mr. Holmes - one word... croissants!

Californios - a rotating seasonal Mexican food menu that is seriously outstanding! I can't even tell you what to order as the menu changes so frequently but it's never going to be anything less than stellar!

Cala - Dungeness crab tostadas, Sopes with black beans and Pork tamal... ugh! It's fancy-ish Mexican food that you'll obsess over for weeks!

State Bird Provisions - it's a self proclaimed adventurous, inventive, delicious, thoughtful contemporary American restaurant that I can honestly say lives up to everything! Plus it's owned by the same folks as The Progress which is incredible for many things but I love the large plates to eat with a big group and ALL THE VEGETABLES!

B Patisserie - a little slice of Paris in the heart of SF! Go for coffee and pastries!

Ferry Building / Farmers Market - BEST farmers market in all of the Bay Area! Plus incredible vendors inside the building as well! Def worth spending a morning there!

AND - let's not forget about hotels! Here are a few of my favorites:

Palace - if you want something chic and right in the middle of down, The Palace is your best bet!!

Hotel Vitale - is another one of my favs right on the water! Walking distance to the Ferry Building and the farmers market!

And Hotel Kabuki is another super cute and more reasonably priced hotel that we love!


  1. Updates:
    Hotel Vitale will reopen on May 16, 2022 as 1 Hotel San Francisco (it has been closed since April 2020)
    Cala closed during lockdown and I don't believe it will reopen.

    1. Restaurants:
      El Molino Central - hands down the best Mexican food in Wine Country - Sonoma, Boyes Hot Springs area
      Barndiva - Healdsburg
      Single Thread - Healdsburg (if you're feeling fancy)
      Chalkboard - Healdsburg
      Valette - Healdsburg
      The Girl & The Fig - Sonoma (in the square)
      Wit & Wisdom - Sonoma
      Stockhome - Petaluma

      The Lodge at Sonoma - Sonoma
      Montage - Healdsburg
      Fairmont - Sonoma

  2. As a local I would also add these to your list (my favs)! Reservations ahead of time needed.
    Slanted Door in the Ferry building
    Frances restaurant
    Rich Table

  3. Flour + Water for the win!!!!!!!!!! Seriously so good
    Also Kin Khao was amazing and the pork belly was the best thing ever.

    Basically this list matches my last trip to San Francisco (with so many good things to check out next time)

  4. Great list - I have to get to work! It looks like the map linked to Marlowe the clothing store, rather than Marlowe the restaurant...

  5. We live in SF. You nailed it! Tips for readers: Ferry building on Saturdays before 10 is a must. Far outside left corner is Primavera. Look for the loooong line. In fact take a friend to wait in line at Blue Bottle for a pour over and you can wait in a line at Primavera, another friend to look for a spot to sit; make sure to get the Chiliquilles!!! OOh and try sushi at Tazaki in the sunset and scotch egg at craftsman and wolves in the mission.

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