San Francisco Restaurants
3690 18th St., Mission
Don’t panic. While Nopalito’s Inner Sunset location has closed, Broderick is still very much open, as is this new and very timely takeout window in the Mission. While you’ll spot many of Nopalito’s greatest hits on the menu, there are some Mission-exclusive dishes (hello, totopos con carnitas) that entirely justify the trip. For a hearty, outrageously tasty lunch on-the-go, the plato completo con pollo might just be the best rice bowl ever: Tomato-y rice, pinquito beans, pickled onions, and chicken under a shower of cilantro and lime. Afterwards, walk it off around the neighborhood with a spiced coffee in hand. Images courtesy of Nopalito.
3859 24th St., Noe Valley
Billingsgate is all about championing local fishermen and showcasing their catch. Named after London’s most famous fish market, this is where you come to slurp oysters at the counter and pick up fresh sea bass or salmon from the accompanying market for dinner. The array of prepared bites (smoked salmon on brioche, assorted crudos) is delicious—and perfect for a quick lunch accompanied by a cold beer. The full roster of fresh and prepared goods, plus market produce, is all available for pickup and delivery.
252 Divisadero St., Lower Haight
San Francisco is notorious for its exorbitance. However, the sushi at Ken is more affordable than most and just as good. A former Kusakabe team member, Ken Ngai is behind this spot, which centers on omakase and is still in its soft opening phase. Keep tabs on their Instagram for menu updates and pickup instructions.
138 Church St., Mission
Beit Rima translates to “Rima’s house.” (The chef’s mother’s name is Rima.) Lunch here really does feel like a feast prepared by an accomplished home cook. In other words, the food is all comfort. The menu is an ode to Palestinian and Jordanian flavors: Expect simple, satisfying dishes like shakshuka; flatbreads scattered thick with za’atar; fresh, crunchy fattoush; and grilled kebabs. The restaurant has three locations, all with great outdoor seating and a solid takeout menu for pickup or delivery via Caviar.
2000 Union St., Cow Hollow
Wildseed feels very timely. The menu is entirely plant-based with hearty, tasty dishes that fill you up. Trumpet mushroom ceviche, a genuinely excellent veggie burger (the patty is a mushroom and spinach mash-up), curried cauliflower, and a full mezze plate replete with falafel and all the dips sounds like a stellar supper to us. Images courtesy of Audrey Pick.
517 Clement St., Inner Richmond
Mamahuhu is a newish spot from Brandon Jew (of Mister Jiu’s fame), where the food revolves around the Chinese American dishes we all grew up loving and still crave. Sweet-and-sour chicken sourced from local farms, cold sesame noodles, and silky, spicy mapo tofu are all standouts. Plus, a section of the menu is devoted to frozen items like potstickers and comforting hot-and-sour soup. The Mamahuhu gang is all about sustainability and transparency—even the takeout containers are fully reusable because they know you’ll come back for more.
Little Original Joe’s
393 W Portal Ave., West Portal
Sibling business to red sauce hit Original Joe’s, Little Original Joe’s is a to-go counter and food market focused on “pizza, pasta, and parmigiana.” This is the spot to run into when work is over and the fridge is empty, or when friends are popping by for a casual meal. Rotisserie chicken, trays of lasagna, pizza, crunchy salads, and generous tubs of pasta sauce fill the space, plus wine and condiments. We love Little Original Joe’s for the sheer convenience and excellent selection of prepared foods and top-of-the-line pantry items that make great gifts. Images courtesy of Emma Morris.
3410 Judah St., Outer Sunset
We ate a lot of pizza in 2020. If we weren’t dough experts before, we are now. DamnFine specializes in wood-fired crispy-crust pies, and our SF friends can’t get enough. What distinguishes DamnFine from other pizza joints are the pitch-perfect, market-fresh toppings—and you can go light or heavy, depending on what you’re into. Potato Pesto (purple potatoes, pancetta, woody herbs, and pesto), Mushroom Dream (all the mushrooms—enoki, king oyster, etc.—mozzarella, garlic butter), and Livin La Vida Verde (spring veggies, microgreens, mozzarella) are easy favorites. Images courtesy of Emily Billings.
1226 9th Ave., Inner Sunset
Going to San Francisco and not getting a buttery, cinnamon-scented morning bun at Tartine is like going to Venice and not seeing a canal. The lines at the original flagship are legendary, but thankfully a new SF location has just opened in the Inner Sunset neighborhood. Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson’s bread is iconic—and yes, we realize we just called bread iconic, but we stand by it. (The secret sauce is in the heritage grains and fermentation…we think.) And so breakfast of smoked salmon, pickled onions, and cream cheese smeared on a slice of crisp toast is only logical. Fill a paper bag with Tartine’s outrageously chewy chocolate cookies, flaky croissants, and light-as-air muffins for later. You won’t be sorry.
517 Hayes St.; Hayes Valley
Based on the quickie souvlaki restaurants all over Greece, Souvla is the easy, unfussy lunch place you go for a bright salad; warm, salty fries; or souvlaki.