Cruise 6 Great Food Streets of San Francisco

By Tamara Palmer  |  August 20, 2013
Credit: Tamara Palmer

There is much delight and pleasure to be found in grazing the way down the length of a long boulevard. Luckily, San Francisco has plenty such roads to traverse, and if you choose the right one, you can end up exploring a global route in just a few miles. Take a look at these great food streets of San Francisco, including some you may usually overlook if you live outside of the hood, and surprise us with a few of your own suggestions.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    California Street

    The perfect cruise: Start in Laurel Village at the French Rigolo Cafe and its new sister, the Latin comfort food restaurant Artesano before heading east to Pacific Heights for a kouign-amann at B. Patisserie, some sustainable fish at Tataki or wild game at Bistro SF Grill. Take a quick snack break at the Batter Bakery kiosk on the edge of the Financial District before sauntering down to the twin Italian showplaces known as Perbacco or barbacco for a bite, because you'll be hungry again by then.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    Mission Street

    The perfect cruise: Begin a journey on this long and winding road by the Embarcadero at Boulevard or RN74. Consider grabbing a sandwich to go from Wise Sons Deli's new outpost at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, but resist the temptation to fill up because you've got miles and miles to go. Some precious small plates at AQ won't take up much room. From there, your internal GPS stomach system might direct you to the vegan Mexican offerings at Gracias Madre or to some totally not vegan items at Mission Chinese Food. Cap this block with a frozen cocktail at Commonwealth and then stumble over a few blocks for a KronnerBurger or dinner number nine at Foreign Cinema. Finally, land over at ICHI Sushi for some fresh fish.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer


    The perfect cruise: This road begins in the Fishermen's Wharf area, but your concentrated eating is going to really start happening around Pier 29, home of the temporary New Zealand pop-up restaurant Waiheke Island Yacht Club. Strap on some rollerskates or hop on your bike for a few blocks, and you'll hit the density of food establishments leading up to the base of the Bay Bridge. We might do some tapas at Coqueta, veggie burgers at Plant Cafe and lomo saltado at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana before wheeling up to the infinite options of the Ferry Building Marketplace, but there should be some space reserved for a burger at Epic Roasthouse and maybe a New Zealand oyster flight at Waterbar. It's a rough life dining by the Bay, but someone's got to do it.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    24th Street

    The perfect cruise: Discover some artisanal cacao at Chocolate Covered and swirl up a cup of frozen custard or yogurt at Easy Breezy in Noe Valley before trooping down the hill to the land of all that is delicious and carbohydrate-laden. Grab a burrito at Papalote, or maybe take a pass at the original location of Wise Sons Deli and some more sweets at the Crème Brûlée Cart. Then it's a fiesta of more burritos at Taquerias El Farolito, tortas at La Palma and tamales at The Roosevelt, because destroying some Mexican food is what you came here to do.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    Fillmore Street

    The perfect cruise: Southern fare at Elite Cafe, Turkish dumplings at Troya, whatever chef Matt Accarrino wants to serve you at SPQR - and that's all in just two blocks and doesn't count the many other spots along the way. Head south through the noodle shop food court of the Japan Center area and make some time to wait in line at State Bird Provisions (although they won't be back open until mid-September). Take in some Ethiopian food and ivory tinkling by the fire at Sheba Piano Lounge to fuel up for that long five-minute journey into the lower Haight for curries at Indian Oven.

  • Credit: Tamara Palmer

    Valencia Street

    The perfect cruise: it seems like almost every new restaurant lands on Valencia, which has been dubbed "Valenciaga" by some to reflect the increased presence of gentrification. This street packs more food per capita than most. Still, it's hard to beat having Farina Pizza, Mission Cheese, Dandelion Chocolate and Craftsman + Wolves together in close quarters. Take comfort in the Indian food at Udupi Palace, Gajalee or Dosa (also on Fillmore), or the Italian notions of Locanda and Arinell Pizza, all located within a few-block radius.