The Best Things We Ate This Week guide image


The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.

Welcome to The Best Things We Ate This Week. This guide is filled with all the dishes you need to have on your table, whether you’re dining out at a new San Francisco hot spot or a tried-and-true gem. Go forth, scroll through, and use this for reference the next time you’re deciding where to eat next.


photo credit: Julia Chen

Parada 22 review image

Parada 22


1805 Haight St, San Francisco
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Dish: Sampler

The sampler plate from Parada 22 is a nice antidote to the spinning wheel of non-stop choices we call life. It showcases five heavy hitters off their menu: snappy tostones, sweet plantains, yuca al mojo, fall-apart pernil asado, and chicharrones de pollo. It’s the move at this Puerto Rican spot in the Haight, whether it’s your first time here or your 15th—that way, you can try everything without having to stare longingly at the last chicharron on someone else’s plate. Slathering the thick salsa rosa on everything is non-negotiable. 

photo credit: Ricky Rodriguez

Berliner Berliner imageoverride image

Berliner Berliner

Perfect For:Walk-Ins
Earn 3X Points

Dish: Berliner Currywurst

If you’ve ever traveled to the greatest European capital—also known as Berlin—you were probably coaxed into trying currywurst at some point before or after getting rejected from Berghain. And if that’s the case, you either love it or you hate it, there’s simply no in-between. For those uninitiated, currywurst is simply a sliced sausage smothered in a ketchup-curry seasoning with your choice of toppings—and at Berliner Berliner in the Lower Haight, we went with the pickled hot peppers and grilled onion. This currywurst was gone in 20 seconds flat and more than anything, it made us nostalgic for our golden days in dark warehouses, now if only we could find a späti and a place here that didn’t close at 2am.

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photo credit: Julia Chen

Popi's Oysterette imageoverride image

Popi's Oysterette

Earn 3X Points


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Dish: Clam chowder

One way to get us to brave the Chestnut Street scene saturated with reformer pilates-goers and their french bulldogs? The clam chowder from Popi’s Oysterette. The nautical-themed spot in the Marina is the neighborhood’s new standby for all things that come from the ocean, including this decadent soup. Grab a seat in the naturally lit space and slurp down the salty and briny dish, which has gigantic pieces of bacon that give it an extra oomph. You should also shake some of their chunky-ish housemade hot sauce all over everything and consider ordering another bowl to go.

Dish: Automat Breakfast Sandwich

We never fail to tell all of our friends about Automat—and the breakfast sandwich from this showstopping NoPa cafe is just another one of the infinite reasons why. The pimento cheese, breakfast sausage, and egg land perfectly on top of the cloud that is the golden-brown, pan-fried wondermat bread (basically, Automat’s much better version of Wonder Bread). Throw some house hot sauce on it and go to town on this saucy, delightful mess. By our calculations, it’s a 10/10—a.k.a. something we would devour again. 

Dish: BBQ pork shoulder fried rice

This casual Thai spot in the Tenderloin served up a surprise hit with the BBQ pork shoulder fried rice. The pork was thinly sliced and melted in our mouth, but had enough crisp for us to seriously wonder how they managed to find a perfect balance for each piece. But our love for this dish grew just like the Grinch’s heart when we poured the side of tart, tangy, and slightly spicy house BBQ sauce on top of the lightly fried rice. It took the dish from nondescript to something worth quickly devouring. We’ll be back soon.

Dish: Pork shoulder smørrebrød

A trip to this Lower Haight-ish, Scandinavian-inspired cafe is our favorite way to slow down a morning. You’ll want to spend serious quality time with their pork shoulder smørrebrød. The open-faced sandwich on dense rye bread is a gravity-defying stack of crispy pork shoulder, thinly sliced apples, and lacto-fermented cabbage for an acidic kick. It’s fantastic, and just what you’ll want to cut into as you sip on a latte and ignore the rest of your day’s responsibilities.

Dish: Roasted duck curry

The red curry from this casual Thai restaurant in the Richmond will propel you into another dimension. It’s loaded with chunks of pineapples and whole cherry tomatoes that burst in your mouth. The rich depth of flavor builds a heat that lingers. And strips of tender roasted duck soak up the curry flawlessly. Aside from this soul-curing curry, this flower-filled spot also serves stir-fried noodles, solid fried rice, and an excellent grilled prawn salad.

Dish: Jabchae

The jabchae from Manna occupies permanent real estate in our minds. The yam noodles are the ideal chewy, springy consistency. And tender beef, carrot, and onion make the dish a hearty knockout we’d eat to fuel up before a long day or after playing a game of kickball in Golden Gate Park. You might have to stand outside for a while to get your hands on this flawless dish—the casual Korean spot in the Sunset is walk-ins only, and tends to fill up quickly during prime times. But the delayed gratification is fully worth it, and waiting in lines is good character building, anyway.

Dish: Taco plate

A midday meal involving the taco plate from this counter-service Mexican spot in Bayview is one way to make any quick lunch about 75% more exciting. $13 gets you rice, beans, chips, and three tacos stacked high with the filling of your choice. Hone in on the slow-braised carnitas, which drip with meaty, salsa-y juices, or the coffee and ancho-chili-rubbed salmon punched up with chipotle aioli. You can easily be in and out of here within fifteen minutes flat—but if you want to spend quality time with your tacos and stay awhile, we fully endorse sitting out on their sun-soaked back patio.

Dish: Biscuit sandwich

Simplicity is the key to a successful biscuit sandwich (you can quote us on that). And the version coming out of Kahnfections in the Mission understands this perfectly. The bacon is thick, and balanced out by a swath of garlic aioli. Creamy avocado adds richness. And most importantly, the golden-brown biscuit is buttery without being so heavy you’ll want to send an apology text to your cardiologist. 

Dish: Lumpia

Breadbelly deserves all the praise for their sweet things, from the kaya toast and mac-nut croissant tarts to the Basque-style burnt cheesecake. But the Asian-inspired bakery in the Richmond also nails the savory dishes with ease. Like the lumpia, a special that’s not always on the menu. There’s a delicate crunch to every bite, and the pork and shrimp filling is tender. You might be compelled to throw back the sweet chili sauce like a shot—the dip is good enough to eat on its own. We won’t stop you. 

Dish: Panuchos

At this new-ish wine bar from the Taqueria Los Mayas team, you can pair Mexican wines with Yucatecan dishes like ceviche and chicken drenched in mole. The panuchos alone are reason enough to get to this Richmond spot. The black bean-filled tortilla is crispy and light. And while there are tons of topping options like turkey, carne asada, and nopales, getting yours with cochinita pibil is a requirement—the slow-roasted pork is a runaway hit balanced out with tangy pickled onions. Their panuchos are what you'll want to devour during your next first date or catch-up with a friend you haven’t seen in months. 

Dish: Tori paitan ramen

Mensho’s line is a permanent sidewalk fixture. But for next-level ramen, we’ll gladly wait. Their classic tori paitan will single-handedly send you to a dimension where everyone worships chickens. The noodles are thick and have the perfect amount of chew to them. Tender strips of chashu add another level of umami to every bite. And the whole thing gets a crunch from curled fried burdock root. The next time a flawless bowl of noodle soup calls to you, head over and get in line.

Dish: Veggie pizza

One reason to actually look forward to Mondays? It’s the only night of the week this coffee shop in NoPa serves phenomenal sourdough pies (5-8pm). On our latest visit to The Mill, we had a vegetable pizza topped with thick chunks of sweet potatoes and pumpkin and brown butter yogurt sauce swirls. Devouring it felt like the edible equivalent of jumping into a pile of crunchy autumn leaves. Whether you’re swinging by for a slice or going in on a whole pie (they’re nearly the size of a car tire), know that a trip here will quickly become your favorite way to make Mondays a little less worse.

Dish: Hakata tonkotsu

At Marufuku, rich ramen broth hits all your senses like an intensely porky flavor bomb. Combined with razor-thin noodles and chashu that practically dissolves in your mouth, these steaming bowls make it clear why the casual walk-in-only Japantown spot is always packed with people waiting for a turn to get one. A bowl to focus on (after you’ve braved the line), is their house hakata tonkotsu. It’s a simple, just-right bowl of ramen—there aren’t too many toppings to distract from the creamy soup, which always shines front and center.

Dish: Imperial rolls

Simply put, the imperial rolls from Tú Lan, the Mid-Market Vietnamese spot, are legendary. They’re always fried to a perfect golden brown, the pork filling is well-seasoned, and the audible crunch a roll makes when you bite into one is our preferred ASMR. We wouldn’t be surprised if we found out some kind of magic fairy dust was sprinkled into each one. Plus, at $3 each, they’re a pretty cost-efficient way to feel better about our adult acne, the coffee we just spilled on our white shirt (again), or whatever new dumpster fire has just been unleashed in the world. 

Dish: So-Cal breakfast burrito

The breakfast burrito from Bodega in North Beach is one of the city’s worst-kept secrets since they usually sell out within a couple of hours. But that’s all the more reason to get up before 9am on a Saturday and head over to this wine bar for the handheld stunner—it’s loaded with eggs, perfectly ripe slices of avocado, chorizo, and potatoes so crispy you can practically hear the crunch from a block away. Take your burrito and housemade salsa to Washington Square and enjoy it all in the sun as you contemplate becoming a morning person.    

Dish: Dropped a banh on mie

Stopping by Ham & Cheese Deli always puts us in a great mood. The outside is painted bright yellow and blue, arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are inside, and rainbow and Pac-Man decals cover the walls. But the real day-maker at this lunch spot is their creatively named (and super flavorful) sandwiches. We love the Dropped A Banh On Mie loaded with smoked chicken, rich pâté, and spicy pickled carrots. It’s pressed until toasty and oozing with creamy lemon pepper mayo. Grab an Arnold Palmer or fresh orange juice to go with it, and feel better about taking on the rest of your day from one of the sidewalk tables. 

Dish: Fettuccine all’amatriciana

Drinking wine and eating some pasta in the presence of your own company is one of life’s greatest pleasures. You don’t have to share your noodles with anyone, and can ponder all the ways you’ll furnish your imaginary villa in the countryside in peace. One great place for this carb-y solo date is Corks. The lowkey spot in the Richmond has shelves full of Italian wine, and house-made pasta, like the fettuccine all'amatriciana. It has caramelized guanciale chunks, slick red onions, and bell peppers for added sweetness, and is topped with fresh parmesan. And even though that villa might very much be an unattainable dream, the amatriciana will always be here for you.

Dish: Tan tan noodles

Rain, shine, muggy days that has everyone starting conversations with “how strange is this weather?”—you’ll want to get to this Chinese noodle house on Kearny Street for noodle options galore. We recently turned to the tan tan noodles in soup and never looked back. The broth is nutty and rich. Wheat noodles are abundant. And devouring this deep bowl of comfort will leave a tingly, numbing sensation in your mouth. Grab this dish whenever “quick and easy” is your day’s dining energy. 

Dish: Stir-fried rice cakes

This casual Shanghainese spot just opened a second outpost in Duboce Triangle, meaning there’s another place to get their fantastic stir-fried rice cakes—the standout of our recent meal. The dish is loaded up with tender chunks of pork, saucy cabbage, and rice cakes that have just the right chewy-to-crispy ratio. They flew off the plate so fast we highly considered ordering another round. Instead we settled on planning to come back for more next week. 

Dish: Diamond Hts sandwich

When our eyes start to glaze over in the middle of a workday, we fixate on getting a sandwich—specifically on dutch crunch, the best form of a pick-me-up. The pressing urge for one leads us to Rhea’s Market & Deli in the Mission, the corner store that sells hefty sandwiches on, you guessed it, pillowy soft dutch crunch rolls. One we love is the Diamond Hts loaded with turkey, bacon, and avocado, plus generous swaths of garlic aioli, barbecue sauce, and honey Dijon that adds the right amount of sweetness. Throw in a bag of chips and a cold drink from the fridge for an ideal midday boost. 

Dish: King shrimp wrapped with kadaif 

The butter-poached shrimp from Taksim, the high-end Turkish restaurant in SoMa by the Lokma people, is crunchy, creamy, sweet, sticky, and screams “get me in your mouth now” (figuratively, of course). For something deceptively simple, the two firm yet juicy king shrimps swaddled in finely shredded filo dough is an appetizer with many flavors and textures. They’re also just a ton of fun to eat. Hold the shrimp by the tail and sweep up the sweet sticky pomegranate molasses with your shellfish broom before diving the whole thing into the creamy, hot red muhammara.

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