Travel Guide: San Francisco, Part II

The food journey through San Francisco continues. Part II of my SF food guides focuses on the southern areas of the city, south of Market Street to the east and below the Panhandle, and includes another round of delicious, delicious options. In case you missed it, check out Part I of my SF food guide here.

Check out my San Francisco photo diary at #caro_in_sf on my Instagram!


Beit Rima – This little Middle Eastern spot on Church Street provided me with one of my favorite SF meals of 2019. Everything is phenomenal, but the stand-outs are the fattoush salad with crispy bits of pita and sweet dates, the hand kneaded bread dipped in their lebna and hummus, the baked halloumi with fresh herbs, and chicken shish tawook plate.

Kantine – I’m a sucker for a Scandinavian breakfast, specifically by way of Copenhagen, and when I came across Kantine my heart skipped a beat. You can choose either five or seven small breakfast bites from a list that includes their sourdough porridge bread, sprouted rye bread, smoked trout, warm rye porridge, and other Scandi delights. Their pastry case is out of this world too.

Spin City Coffee – Officially my favorite new coffee spot in Noe Valley. It’s tucked away inside a laundromat on Sanchez, and has blissfully perfect flat whites.

Flour+Water – Known for its epic pasta tasting menu, I opted instead to walk in, sit at the bar, and eat a la carte. This little Mission spot features an Italian, minimal intervention wine list that was a true joy to pursue, and their salad entitled “Sidney’s lettuces” is truly one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten. The pizza is classically Neapolitan and am absolute joy as well.

Vive la Tarte – If you’re ever in Noe Valley and in search of a healthy-ish breakfast, this is your spot. From avocado toast to a really satisfying breakfast salad, this light and airy spot boasts a really lovely ambiance, neighborhood feel, and excellent coffee to boot.

Bi-Rite Creamery – An SF ice cream institution, Bi-Rite now has multiple locations, making it easier than ever to get your fix. Their salted caramel is the stuff of legends, but the malted vanilla with peanut brittle and milk chocolate pieces was divine as well.

Bi-Rite Market One and the same as Bi-Rite Creamery, the Bi-Rite Market has an incredible and well-edited selection of grocery goods, with an emphasis on the local and the more minimally processed options. The piece de resistance is their sandwich counter. – the breakfast sandwich with herb frittata, tomato, avo, arugula, and chipotle mayo is one of the best I’ve ever tried.

Tacolicious – The SF classic, this taco spot in the Mission is always good. Go for tacos guac, and double up on the baja-style fish.

Tartine Bakery  – The OG bakery in San Francisco, Tartine is as legendary now as when it opened. The breads are unreal, and the morning buns, classic croissant, and pain au chocolat for breakfast are divine. There is a line, so get ready to queue up, especially on the weekends.

Little Gem – If excellent bowls and salads with a healthy bent are the name of your game, then Little Gem is your spot. Post up at the window seat in the sunshine (and this place is excellent for solo dining too).

Cala – Part Mexican restaurant, part taco shop, Cala truly has the best of both worlds. I personally love “Tacos Cala,” which serves a very small selection of authentic tacos during the day out of the back entrance on Hickory Street. Don’t miss this spot.

Smitten Ice Cream – My fave SF ice cream, hands down. Churned to order in front of your eyes, you’ll have a hard time not drooling. I always get the cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips, and top it with their brown sugar caramel and chocolate crispies.

Blue Plate – This iconic SF dinner spot has “classic” written all over it. It specializes in comfort food with a gourmet twist, and the rosemary focaccia that they serve to start is the stuff of legends.

Piccino – This Dogpatch pizza spot is off the beaten path, but well worth the trek. Make an afternoon of gallery hopping at Dogpatch and stop by this spot for the perfect ‘za.

Humphrey Slocombe – Another amazing ice cream spot in a city of great ice cream spots. Slocombe features the most inventive flavors of the group, such as Secret Breakfast (get it topped with cornflake crunch) and Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee.

El Farolito – Right on Mission St, this no-frills spot is where you want to get the best quesadilla I’ve ever had the pleasure to sample. It’s name is the quesadilla “super suiza” and it is better than any burrito I’ve had in the Mission.

Tartine Manufactory – Go for breakfast, lunch, coffee and a treat, anything at all. Just don’t miss this light and airy emporium, which takes the original Tartine concept way beyond its bakery roots. The breakfast sandwiches, fresh salads, giant cookies, and frozen yogurt are reason enough for multiple visits. But my absolute favorite menu item is the coddled eggs with fresh herbs, roe, and za’atar-dusted Tartine bread. It’s on both the breakfast and lunch menus. 

La Ciccia – Sardinian food at its finest. This little spot in Noe Valley served some of the best grilled squid I’ve ever sampled, as well as an incredible seafood spaghetti with squid ink. The wine list should not be missed here.

Outerlands – This spot is a bit of a hike, but so worth it for weekend brunch. Their bloodies are some of the best I’ve had in SF, and the menu features really original takes on all of the things we want to be eating at brunch.

Sightglass Coffee – There is now more than one of these gorgeously designed coffee shops in the city, but my favorites are the locations in the Mission and on Divisadero. You’d want to stop by just to take photos for apartment inspiration, but their coffee also happens to be quite fantastic.

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