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 trolley 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All Star Cafe is a lively and friendly little cafe, located at the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness Street. Apart from fresh coffee and a host of other beverages, the cafe also offers diners a selection of donuts, pastries, hot sandwiches, salads and teriyaki dishes. Although their most poplar dishes are the BLT and Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, all their food is fresh, delicious and generously proportioned. Perfect for a quick donut on your way to work, or a hearty meal to satisfy raging apatites, All Star Cafe is popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
Cala brings a breezy Mexico taqueria to the neighborhood of Hayes Valley, with its upscale rustic-chic interiors, tall French windows and skylights. The menu curated by Chef Gabriela Camara focuses on seafood with Mexican highlights. With the menu offering changing constantly, no two visits will be the same - in the past, Cala has served delicacies such as Chilaquiles and Sopes Playeros Con Pescado, served with fish, black beans and ricotta salad. Sample some Mexican wines or native mezcals and tonics for effect.
Kagawa-Ya Udon is a sleek Japanese bistro dishing out Japanese and Hawaiian specialties. Fans of Japanese cuisines can relish Udon, Onigiri, Tempura, a variety of curries and much more. They are popular for their Udon dish, which is prepared by aging it for 19 hours, it is then pressed, rolled and sliced to perfection. Foodies can come in and enjoy a bowl of delicious Udon. Besides regular drinks they also serve Hawaiian beverages like Hawaiian sodas, coffee and tea.
If you love wine, then Hotel Biron is a place you should visit. The cozy, sophisticated interior houses a selection of wines that would please the pickiest of palates, and the friendly, humble staff can help budding wine connoisseurs find the perfect glass. An exquisite selection of international cheeses enhance the flavor experience, while the paintings on the walls by the artist of the month help those on a first date break the ice.