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Foodie Adventure

The insider’s guide to San Francisco: A foodie’s paradise

 By Rebecca Barnes

With world-class culture, historical landmarks, outdoor adventures and award-winning dining a-plenty, San Francisco has so much to offer for foodies hungry to explore the Californian city.

 From neighborhoods such as Haight-Ashbury, The Mission and SoMa to popular destinations including Fisherman’s Wharf, The Embarcadero Centre and Hyde Street Pier, there’s countless attractions to explore and discover.

Take a cable car over swanky Nob Hill, jump on a Big Bus tour from Pier 41, or jump on a ferry to Sausalito across the bay. 

And when you’ve exhausted the sightseeing, you’ll no doubt be hungry. San Fran is a foodie paradise and has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any destination in the Americas. You’ll find the freshest ingredients harvested from nearby fertile fields, and cuisine from all corners of the planet on offer.

Here’s where to head when the hunger pangs kick in…  

Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco

Epic SeafoodFisherman’s Wharf

This historic wharf is known for its epic seafood including the famous Dungeness crab, which is served steaming hot in both traditional and fine-dining restaurants. When you’re not checking out the fishing crafts, and fishermen making the catch of the day, you’ll find everything from full service restaurants to fish ’n’ chips, breakfast and brunch outlets as well as sweet treats. Get there via the cable car from Hallidie Plaza at Market Street.

Alfresco Space Foreign Cinema

No visit to the city would be complete without dining at this award-winning foodie destination which constantly makes it onto best restaurants lists – and rightly so as hip, hungry diners flock here to feast on Californian-Mediterranean influenced food including oysters on the half shell, in an expansive alfresco space showing films six days a week. There’s also an art gallery and shop selling cookbooks and gifts.

San Francisco has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in America
Ferry Plaza farmer's market in San Francisco

Waterfront MarketFerry Plaza Farmers Market

Situated on the waterfront, this thrice-weekly market (on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) is where shoppers, chefs and tourists alike flock for artisanal foods and produce from local farmers, bakers, cheesemakers and picklers. There are some great lunch options to be found at the food stands, while inside the food hall you’ll find cheese, meat, fish, sweets and wine and beer merchants.

Most of the momentThe Mission District

Said to be one of the city’s most of-the-moment neighborhoods, hunger pangs will most definitely be sated here. While you can take your pick from the trendy restaurants, cafes and bars, make like a local and opt for a burrito from one of the local eateries, or a stuffed pastry from Venga Empanadas. The brunch pop up at the colorful Thai restaurant Hawker Fare is also a must.

Mission District in San Francisco is foodie heaven
San Francisco has a huge foodie scene

A wall of windowsThe Slanted Door

This acclaimed restaurant is all about the views as well as the stunning Vietnamese food: a wall of windows overlooks the shimmering Bay. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu spans street food to more complex dishes, and organic ingredients are used where possible, including sustainable fish, poultry and meat. There’s also a bar serving signature cocktails. Find it in the north-east corner of the Ferry Building Marketplace.

Published 03.22.22