When in San Francisco, it’s only appropriate to eat as the locals do. From tacos to French soul food, we’ve got you covered on the best local restaurants in the city.

Cover Image by Thomas Hawk: Flickr

El Farolito – Mexican

With an award like the “most life-changing burrito in America”, Farolito lives up to its name with some insanely good Mexican food. The menu consists of Mexican classics like carne asada, enchiladas, tortas, nachos, and chiles rellenos, but the super burrito is where all the hype is at. This restaurant is a low-cost option, and you can soak up your drinks after bar hopping with a super burrito since El Farolito is open until 2:30 a.m.

2779 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110


The Codmother Fish and Chips – Seafood

It would be improper to make your way to San Francisco and not try the seafood. The Codmother is the holy grail of fried fish. At first glance, the food truck and patio seating doesn’t look like much, but the colossal flavor of the food speaks for itself. The menu is simple with fish and chips (of course), tacos, shrimp and fries. Don’t miss out on the fully loaded fries, topped with cheese, baja sauce and garlic – and try to save room for dessert because who doesn’t like fried Oreos?!

Image by AJ Franklin: Flickr
496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133


Brenda’s French Soul Food – French/Soul Food

French and soul food aren’t something you normally hear together. Brenda’s French Soul Food offers a unique take on two classics, and the dishes are amazing. Some of the most popular options on the menu include the fried chicken benedict, crawfish beignets and shrimp and grits. Can’t decide on what to get? Try the beignet flight, which includes one of each flavor – plain, chocolate, granny smith apple, and crawfish. This place is small and can get pretty busy, so call ahead to check on the wait time if you are on a time crunch. The restaurant does not take reservations.

Image by Fumi Yamazaki: Flickr
652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102


Nopa – American

Nopa is one of San Francisco’s most popular hot spots, and it is well worth the wait. The menu is filled with American classics with a unique twist, such as the smoked brisket with applesauce, mustard greens and fried shallots and flatbread of tasso spiced ham, white nectarine, arugula, and gruyere. Not only is the food unique, but the drinks are rather exclusive as well. The Ramos Gin Fizz is a solid cocktail choice. Nopa does take reservations, so we recommend planning your visit rather than just swinging by due to the large crowd.

560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117


Swan Oyster Depot – Seafood

Swan Oyster Depot isn’t your typical sit-down restaurant. It’s one of those places you walk into and wonder if you’re in the right place. Yes, space is small, but the flavors are incredible! The menu lists simple options like crab, shrimp, oysters, clams and more, but there is more than what meets the eye. Local SF natives have created secret menu items that have become the most popular orders at the restaurant. We recommend trying the Sicilian Sashimi, which is made with raw salmon, tuna and scallops with a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, and capers. Don’t forget to add lemon and hot sauce if that’s your style! If you had a late Friday night, try the Red-eye (only served on Saturday mornings) which is made with Bud Light, cocktail sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire, pepper and oyster juice.

Image by Karen Neon: Flickr
1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109


San Francisco is full of flavors for any craving your stomach may have. From dive restaurants, you may have to eat standing to fancy restaurants with signature cocktails, you can have a great experience at any price point.

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