Eating Tour: San Francisco

As the saying goes, big things do come in small packages-and this is certainly true in regards to one of the densest of small cities. Made up of approximately 7 x 7 square miles, the city of San Francisco is home to a number of distinctively diverse districts, landmarks and some of California’s best real estate. If the vibrant Golden Gate doesn’t lure you in, then maybe its array of food and culture will, as we can all agree that San Francisco has some of the best food Northern California has to offer.

Repeated visits to San Francisco has enabled me to try new restaurants each visit.  Here are some of the top stops from the past few months.

Hog Island Oyster Bar
The Ferry Building Marketplace, One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111


Stopping for oysters is something I try to do on almost every visit to San Francisco. Located in the famous Ferry Building Marketplace, Hog Island Oyster Bar features local oysters and clams raised right here in San Francisco. With a menu full of fresh and savory seafood, and a location that’s hard to beat, this place is an oyster lover’s favorite. Service is fast but seating is limited so get there when they open or go for a late lunch because otherwise, you will wait in line for a while for a seat.

The Slanted Door
1 Sausalito – San Francisco Ferry Bldg #3, San Francisco, CA 94111

Just across the hallway from Hog Island Oyster Bar is another regular favorite that I frequent often. The Slanted Door offers traditional Vietnamese dishes with modern technique and Chef Charles Phan has transformed Vietnamese dining as we know it. All ingredients are local and fresh to ensure the end result is packed with a unique flavor experience. The Slanted Door offers lunch and dinner, as well as daily afternoon tea from 2:30-4:30pm but reservations are highly recommended (unless you can get there when they open and grab a seat at the bar which is first-come, first-served).


Mission Chinese Food
2234 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Located in the Mission District, Mission Chinese Food offers a modern and creative take on Chinese food. Chef Danny Bowien, recipient of Food & Wine’s 2013 Best New Chefs honor, is best known for dishes like char siu pig ear terrine and Sichaun pepper chicken with chili sediment. This local joint is great for eating in, taking out, and yes, they even deliver (if they feel like it)! Reservations are not accepted and it’s a great place for late night dining.

Salt House
545 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105

This local hotspot is a must try if you’re in the mood for some variety. Salt House is open for lunch and dinner and also has a full wine and bar menu. Their lunch menu has a number of light and tasty options like a watermelon salad, ceviche mixto, pan seared salmon and sautéed mussels. For dinner, a number of fresh fish options are available, as well as New York steak. Their unique salad starters are endless, combining fresh cheeses, veggies and fruit in a number of dishes.


Parallel 37
Ritz Carlton SF, 600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Hailing from Chicago, Chef Michael Rotondo is proud to welcome guests to join in on the journey that is Parallel 37. This restaurant features a modern dining room and bar that exudes relaxation and sophistication. His menu is inspired by a “think globally, prepare locally” mantra. Parallel 37 has a globally-inspired eating and drinking menu that uses locally sourced ingredients in order to produce flavor that is also sustainable. Their menu has a number of vegetable and seafood offerings, and a dessert menu that is to die for. If the sweets menu isn’t enough, they also offer a selection of ice cream and sorbet that are ever-changing and always scrumptious.