1. Chicken for Two at Zuni Cafe
This classic Hayes Valley spot has been around since 1979, and people have traveled across the world just to order their famous whole roasted chicken for two.
It comes with a warm bread salad with scallions, garlic, mustard greens, dried currants, and pine nuts. The 60-minute wait for it is just all part of the experience.
2. Super Carnitas Burrito, Dorado Style at La Taqueria
One of San Francisco’s favorite Mexican joints, La Taqueria has been serving its acclaimed rice-less burritos since 1973.
Get the carnitas burrito, dorado style (it’s not explicitly on the menu), which means it’ll be tossed on the grill until both sides are browned and crisped to perfection.
3. Pho Ga at Turtle Tower
Great pho places are dotted throughout the city, though the strip of Larkin Street known as Little Saigon is a hot spot for the hot stuff. Around since 2000, Turtle Tower is a local favorite serves up authentic Hà Nội-style Vietnamese cuisine.
Their fresh flat rice noodles add almost a buttery texture to the dish. Get their pho ga (chicken noodle soup) and enjoy one of the best deals in town. Even The Slanted Door's executive chef Charles Phan has been seen slurping it up here.
4. Tea Leaf and/or Rainbow Salad at Burma Superstar
You’ll almost always face a line at San Francisco’s most beloved Burmese spot, and one reason is for their intensely vibrant salads.
Along with the Tea Leaf Salad, the Rainbow Salad is an absolute must-order that blends together 22 ingredients, including four different types of noodles, dried shrimp, green papaya, and loads of veggies.
5. Any Pizza at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
This North Beach favorite is the home of 12-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, so you know they mean serious business. The ingredients here are imported from none other than Napoli and the pizzas find their golden greatness at varying degrees and in various ovens (wood-burning, gas, and coal-fired—which reaches 1000 degrees!).
The menu is extensive and includes New York, Roma, California, Napoletana, and Sicilian styles among others. It’s just one excuse to keep going back.
6. Beignet Flight at Brenda’s French Soul Food
Sweet, traditional beignets are one thing, but New Orleans-inspired Brenda’s ups the ante by creating four different types of the fluffy fritters and then being kind enough to offer up a full flight of each.
You’ll get a Plain, Chocolate (with molten Ghirardelli), Granny Smith Apple (sweetened with cinnamon honey butter), and Crawfish (spiced with cayenne, scallions, and cheddar).
7. Any Sandwich at Molinari Delicatessen
This North Beach landmark has been serving up fat, juicy, Italian-inspired sandwiches since 1896! How can you question that?!
Grab a ticket and pick out your bread (the Dutch Crunch is a local fave) before you order. Or get the Renzo or Luciano Special and experience Italy in every unforgettable bite.
8. White Truffle Masala Dosa at DOSA
DOSA treats South Indian cuisine with all of the delicacy it deserves and offers wonderful versions of its namesake, dosa, a savory type of crepe made from rice and lentils and served with fresh coconut and tomato chutneys and sambar.
The White Truffle Masala Dosa puts a fine-dining spin on the classic Masala dosa, which blends spiced potatoes with onions and cashews, by drizzling Italian truffle oil on the top.
9. Cioppino at Cioppino’s
This seafood-tomato mélange was born right here in San Francisco by Italian immigrants in the late 1800s and continues to be a must-try dish.
And it probably makes most sense to get it at Cioppino’s itself, located on Fisherman’s Wharf.
10. Custard French Toast at Nopa
A foodie gem in the micro-‘hood it’s named after, Nopa is elegant yet cozy, a local favorite that consistently serves delicious organic, rustic, California comfort food.
The brunch here is an absolute must, most notably the Custard French Toast, which is perfectly crispy on the outside and sinfully creamy on the inside and topped with fruit and butter.