Modeled after traditional dim sum service, State Bird Provisions lets patrons use the sense of smell and sight to choose their dishes, with cuisine brought in on a trolly for viewing. Each item is creative and innovative, with dishes like sweet corn and chive pancakes, kimchi pork belly with tofu and duck liver mousse with almond biscuit. The space is rather small, yet cozy with an open concept kitchen, and friendly staff.
Got a craving for some authentic deep dish pizza? This hip, fresh joint has food of tantalizing tastes to satisfy even the most jaded pizza enthusiast. Try the Mediterranean chicken pizza, or try the vegetarian pizza, which will have you converted in no time. Little Star also offers thin crusts, which are, honestly, just as good as the incredibly taste-infused deep dishes for which they are famous. With minimalist decor and a blaring jukebox to boot, Little Star will have you hooked.
People watch and indulge in the fabulous dining at this San Francisco favorite. Known equally well for its affluent clientele and its oven-roasted chicken, this hot spot is worth the wait. Dinner entrees are nominally priced, though specials will cost you a bit more. If you are not enamored with the dinner scene, try visiting late mornings or early afternoons when you can sip on a latte (or scarf a Gorgonzola-topped burger) and watch the fog lift.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so then it is logical to do breakfast right. To experience this, the Pork Store Café is a place to be. Though small in dimension, the food here is huge. Every plate served is colossal, and, more importantly, delicious. It touts lots of meat on the menu (it's called the Pork Store, after all.) Ham, bacon, sausage, chops, all served with eggs, potatoes, toast and endless cups of strong coffee is served up by the friendly wait staff. If you are not feeling carnivorous, order a short stack of pancakes, omelet, French toast, or a veggie and tofu scramble. Sit at a window table or choose a stool at the counter, where you can watch all that fabulous food being prepared.
El Farolito is one of the Mission's most beloved dive taquerias. The lighting is alright, the decor is bargain-basement, but the burritos are huge and the filling is a delicious, slow-cooked Carne Asada, tender chicken, spicy pork, or veggies and guacamole. You will also find tacos and enchiladas. It is a popular place with locals and people looking for a quick meal, especially late at night when most other spots have closed down. The service is quick and efficient. Only cash accepted.
While the mythical and much-hyped liqueur after which this establishment is named is not served here, many equally potent concoctions are. Specialty drinks, such as the Perfect Pear and the Ginger Rogers, seem to contain pure alcohol, and even a standard margarita packs an unbelievable wallop. If you're looking for something to help mitigate the effects of a strong drink, then ditch the regular bar peanuts for Absinthe's bar snacks. This bar offers bread with a smooth fig spread, croque monsieur and more. The menu changes daily, but any antipasto platter of cured meats is sure to please, as will the particularly rich duck confit. You can enjoy your meal in the main room or at a cafe-style table on the sidewalk, but if you're looking for a quieter spot, book a table in the private dining room.
Patxi's (pronounced "Pah-cheese") is for those who love good old deep dish pizzas with gooey cheese, and a variety of toppings. Bill Freeman and Patxi Azpiroz have been serving up yummy pies since 2004 at this casual and stylish joint. Choose from a list of specialty- and stuffed Chicago-style pizzas topped with a special homemade tomato sauce. You can even create your own pizzas or opt for a crunchy salad. Wash your meal down with a cool beer or some smooth wine!
With a cult like following and lines wrapping around the block, Bi-Rite is a San Francisco staple. Offering a wide range of flavors, the Bi-Rite Creamery and Bake shop's menu uses only organic and local goods. Along with the staples like chocolate, vanilla and mint chip, Bi-Rite offers an eclectic mix of seasonal scoops like honey lavender, salted caramel, and tangerine. Whether seated at the wooden bar inside the tiny shop or lounging below the palm trees outside, this is a great place to taste a variety of sweets.
Bender's is a Mission District legend. Firebombed into oblivion in 2006, its valiant founders rallied the troops, and with a cavalcade of community support, reopened just a year and half later, bigger and better than ever. Some choice burnt-to-a-crisp fire wreckage are kept around as "trophies" of the place's victory over tragedy, you will love watching it. Comfy booths surround the pool table and the grill, which is operated by the folks at Weird Fish.