KOW Guide: Eat and Drink Your Way Through San Francisco


San Francisco, touchy subject over here. I have a love/hate relationship with this crazy city. I learned so much in my short five years there. Most of my knowledge will have to be told in another post, because this one is about dining, and dining very, very well.

I really don't know anyone that's visited San Francisco and didn't leave obsessed with the place! What a beautiful place to visit and most importantly ... to eat. 


According to Wikipedia, the city squeezes about 805,000 people in 46.9 square miles. That is CRAZY! In 2010, San Francisco came in NUMBER ONE with the most restaurants in the US per capita. New York didn't even make this list until number four. You see, San Fran is the place to eat. (Huffpo)

After living in San Fran for five years I have a ton of must-go restaurants that I frequented. These places were part of what we liked to call our "food tour" that we would take our visitors on. Since we've moved, we've had the opportunity to visit a few times and have since added to the list. 

I get asked all the time for restaurant recommendations and every single time I have to make this long list and describe each one. So here it is, once and for all. 



Some of our favorite restaurants include

Hog Island Oyster Bar - the best oysters and clam chowder HANDS DOWN. Don't go anywhere else for your SF chowder. Prepare for a line.

Hog Island Oyster Farm - obviously you want to travel out to where the magic happens - book in advance. 

Sushi Ran - this cute little place is in Sausalito. We've celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, etc. It's our go-to and the sushi rivals my trip to Japan. Chef Nori was formerly at Nobu in Tokyo and other locations. In 2006 & 2007, he brought Sushi Ran Michelin Stars. He has won a ton of awards since!  And the best part? The prices are lower than Nobu!

Hakassan - not your typical SF experience. Hakassan definitely has more of an LA vibe, but if you've never been to one, now's your chance. Wear your best Prada's.

Liho Liho - tasty new spot with delicious cocktails and a lively bar scene. You can get a modern take on traditional Hawaiian cuisine here. I highly recommend stopping in. 

Leo's Oyster Bar - new spot. MUST love seafood. Divine cocktails, fancy ambience, and amazing food.

Nopa - simple wood-fired food made with seasonal local ingredients. Go here for the true SF vibe and delicious food. Make a reservation in advance! Great for brunch or dinner.

B Star - burmese, simple, easy menu and delicious. 

Magic Flute - It's one delicious brunch spot you can actually make a reservation - and it's in the beautiful Presidio!

Blackwood - American Thai Fusion in the marina, stop in for brunch then shop on Chestnut.

Sweet Maple - great for breakfast and lunch, has delicious bacon and bottomless mimosas!

Yang Sing - go here for Dim Sum, the best soup dumplings you will ever eat.

Shabu House - the Bay Area's Top Shabu Restaurant - we went here at least once a week!

State Bird Provisions - dinner spot (if you can get a reservation) - trendy

Hops & Hominy - has delicious brunch and dinner, think amazing cocktails and fried chicken had a baby.

Chaya - the food here is subpar, however the bread pudding is OUTSTANDING. This place has great views of the water and the Bay Bridge. Go for wine and dessert. 

Tacolicious - go here to see some bros, have a marg and eat a marina girl salad. 

Tropisueno - our favorite mexican restaurant in the city.

Barbacco - a magical little spot in fidi, great drinks, pasta and cheese boards.

5a5 - this is not your typical SF experience, however, the wagyu cannot be left out. Prepare to spend some $$ as the wagyu is priced by the ounce. 

La Briciola - this is one of SF's hidden gems. It's in our old hood in SOMA. Traditional italian cuisine, DO NOT miss the lasagna. 

Kokkari - traditional Greek cuisine. The small plates are better than the entree. Don't miss the kolokithokeftethes. 

Cotogna - rustic Italian cuisine. Every Sunday they do a Sunday supper with a limited menu. The ingredients are fresh and farm-to-table. It's quaint and magical. 

Farmer Brown - cajun inspired menu, locally sourced seasonal ingredients, delicious outcome. Great for dinner.

Hard Water - small southern style menu - whiskey bar. GREAT whiskey cocktails. Bar style restaurant, good for one or two people. Not great for groups. Reserve seats ahead of time.

Range - if you find yourself in the Mission, don't miss this place. The food and drinks are outstanding. If the servers throw you some shade, don't worry, they're super hipster and mean no harm. 

Coqueta - I am OBSESSED with Coqueta. It's right on the water, has delicious Spanish food and outstanding cocktails. If you're visiting SF, you have to go here. Make your reservations in advance. 

Rolling Pin Donuts - this place has the best donuts in the Bay Area. It's closer to SFO, though, so make sure to schedule it into your trip when you arrive. The fresh donuts come out at 11pm every night. 

El Farolito - you can't go to SF and not eat a burrito in The Mission. 

Mission Chinese Food - open late. Great Chinese food!  Plan ahead for the line.

Dirty Habit - has the cutest roof top vibe. Great when the weather permits.

Mason Pacific - cute little spot with delicious fried chicken. Great for dinner.  

Stones Throw - the food here is simple and delicious - they also have an extensive beer menu.

Roses Cafe - super cute brunch spot. Make sure to try to salmon cozy.



Trendy Places 

Mr. Holmes Bakery - I've been here but never actually tried the pastries. Everyone raves over them though! Prepare for a long line. 

Foreign Cinema - check out the website to see what it's all about! Make sure to book your reservation FAR in advance if you want to dine here. 



There are so many great places to dine in San Francisco and this list in no way does it justice. I've had good experiences at these places and I wanted to share that with you. I plan to update this every time I travel to SF. 

If you have any recommendations on new spots in SF that I should try, please leave them in the comments below and I will be sure to do so when I visit again. 

Happy travels and eats, friends! Make sure to tag @kaleorwhale on Instagram in your food pics. 


All photos were taken by myself or by my husband