San Francisco Travel Guide

Food

San Francisco is a "foodie" city with a vast array of restaurants. In fact, San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any major city in North America, with 1 restaurant for every 250 residents (in comparison, New York City has 1 restaurant for every 940 residents). The price range is huge, of course, and you can spend anywhere from a small fortune to a couple bucks for every type of cuisine. In addition to the range of ethnic restaurants you'd expect to find, bay area food culture focuses on "artisinal" food (see the Ferry Building) and fresh fruits and vegetables (see Alice Waters), drawing from the nearby farms in California.

In San Francisco, you would be well-served by using an online restaurant rating website to find the best restaurants. Yelp.com, for example, is actively maintained by San Franciscans. All the best restaurants (and bars) are mobbed on the weekends, so you'll do well to check out the availability on opentable.com or similar websites.

Ethnic food and neighborhoods:

You can still find some ethnic food districts in San Francisco. Some of these, like North Beach, have become museums for tourists, while others, such as the (Inner) Mission and Chinatown, are still strongly ethnic neighborhoods which maintain their native food culture. In truth, the food culture in the city is oriented less around ethnic districts than restaurant areas. In the Mission, for example, you will find not just Mexican food but rather excellent options of many kinds (e.g., Sushi, Indian, Italian, Thai, etc.).
With the largest Chinatown in North America as well as one of the largest Chinese communities in the West, there are many exceptional restaurants serving dim sum and other Chinese delicacies found throughout the city. This localized Chinese cuisine has its feet in Hong Kong and America, and is different from what many visitors are accustomed to — it is common to hear complaints from Chinese visitors that Chinese food here is not like the food back home. There are several main types of Chinese restaurants in San Francisco: those primarily serving immigrants from Hong Kong ("Hong Kong style") which commonly have signs on the wall in Chinese characters, live fish and shellfish tanks and some exotic main ingredients, such as pig's blood or sea cucumber; those primarily serving San Franciscans who are not Asian immigrants ("California Chinese") which commonly have Westernized table service, low fat content and more emphasis on fresh vegetables; those primarily serving tourists or other people accustomed to Chinese food as it is commonly served in the United States ("Americanized Chinese"); and those primarily serving immigrants from other areas or a particular dietary need or interest (regional cuisines, vegetarian, Muslim). There may be some mixing between these various classifications and each category may influence the others, for instance, the Americanized dish known as Chop Suey is often not served even at Americanized Chinese restaurants in San Francisco, while Chinese vegetables such as bok choy and pea sprouts may turn up on your plate at California Cuisine style restaurants.
San Francisco is also one of the best places in the nation for other Asian cuisine: Korean, Thai, Indian, and Japanese. Sushi is a local obsession. Japantown and the Richmond district have more than their fair share of excellent sushi chefs.
Inexplicably to many locals, Fisherman's Wharf remains a popular place for tourists to find fresh but overpriced seafood, especially clam chowder and crabs cooked to order.
For tourists, North Beach is the place to go for Italian food. Beware that the restaurants along Colombus, which are oriented toward tourists, will be overpriced. You can, of course, find great Italian and pizza all over the city.
The Mission (birthplace of the mission style burrito) is great for Mexican and Latin American cuisine of all sorts.

San Francisco restaurants are also very corkage friendly. Average corkage fee appears to be in the $15 range, with some of the more pricey places charging $25–35.

Vegetarians and vegans will find SF a paradise, however contrary to popular belief the city has one of the lowest rates of vegetarian consumers in the nation.


source: Wikivoyage

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