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Guide

The 7 Best Dishes We Ate In May

Our favorite dishes from the month of May.

7 Spots
Launch Map
7 Spots
Launch Map
Updated June 7th, 2021

In May, our calendars started to fill up and we found ourselves having more and more of a love-hate relationship with the idea of socializing (we’ll get through this). We also ate a lot. From giant hoagies to Spanish tapas, here are the 7 best things we ate during the entire month.

THE DISHES

Lani Conway

Kantine

$$$$ 1906 Market St

Smoked chicken smørrebrød

Kantine is a Scandinavian cafe on Market Street that makes pastries, porridges, soups, and sandwiches. Stepping inside the well-lit, airy space will make you want to pull up a wooden chair, read a book over a latte or a cinnamon knot, and stay awhile (they’re open for outdoor dining). Get a smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich), which are a well-executed lesson in the art of layering. One version we got in May: A slice of hearty, house-made sprouted rye bread, a bed of greens, a creamy, smoked-chicken and crème fraîche salad packed with mushrooms and herbs, wafer-thin slices of radishes, and crunchy dehydrated chicken skin that shatters in your mouth with each bite.

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Andria Lo

Eastern Bakery

$$$$
$$$$ 720 Grant Ave

Coffee crunch cake & steamed custard buns

The longest operating bakery in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Eastern Bakery has graced the city since 1924. The cash-only spot is a local favorite, especially for its very popular signature coffee crunch cake: soft yellow sponge cake topped with toffee bits and mocha cream. During Mid-Autumn Festival (or any time of year, really), pick up a lotus-paste mooncake or three - while many bakeries import their mooncakes, Eastern makes them fresh in-house, and the sweet filling is gooey and thick. In fact, you can expect a generous amount of filling in most of the baked goods here, from the steamed custard buns to the winter melon cakes. The bakers do not skimp.

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Sarah Park

Ju-Ni

$$$$
JapaneseSushi  in  Nopa
$$$$ 1335 Fulton St

12-course omakase

This small, 12-seat sushi counter in NoPa is the epitome of somewhere you file away for a special occasion. And now, Ju-Ni is serving a 12-course omakase experience out on a newly built outdoor sushi bar and heated parklet. Every four people will have their own sushi chef, and still get course after course of handrolls, sushi, and soup, and optional add-ons like bafun uni. And while this place is expensive ($147 a person), it’s worth the trouble for some of the best sushi in San Francisco.

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Red Window

Red Window

$$$$
$$$$ 500 Columbus Ave

Patatas bravas, bacalao croquetas, crispy mushroom skewers

Red Window is a new Spanish restaurant in North Beach that recently made it onto our Hit List thanks to fantastic tapas and low-proof cocktails like spritzes and sangrias. It’s also the perfect spot to “Meet Up With People For Exactly 1 Hour So You Can Go Home & Be Alone Again.“ Grab a seat on their expansive outdoor parklet with a friend, and discuss the dogs they recently fostered over crispy patatas bravas, mushroom skewers, and jamón Ibérico.

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Krescent Carasso

Farmhouse Kitchen

$$$$
Thai  in  Mission
$$$$ 710 Florida St

Hat yai fried chicken

In May, we thought a lot about the return of in-person birthday celebrations. And one spot we love is Farmhouse Thai. It’s a celebration restaurant in every sense of the word. There are colorful streamers and floral motifs everywhere. But none of that takes away from the food, which is something to raise a glass to in itself. The hat yai fried chicken with roti, yellow curry, and blue rice are a trio of perfection, the panang neua short ribs fall off the bone, and the papaya salad has a nice kick. Long story short, this Mission spot is fantastic - and coming here if you want to have a great time is always a good idea.

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Jeremy Chen

Little Shanghai Restaurant

$$$$
$$$$ 17 E 25th Ave

All the cold appetizers

Last month, SF Staff Writer Julia Chen revisited her family-favorite restaurant Little Shanghai in San Mateo. “We always start our meal off with a few of these, like the smoked fish, drunken chicken, bean curd with ma lan tou, salted duck, and fried puff bean curd with black mushroom,” she wrote in her most recent feature. “They’re light and refreshing, and the perfect balance of salty and sweet.”

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Erin Ng

Palm City

$$$$
$$$$ 4055 Irving St

Italian American hoagie

The wine bar in the Outer Sunset is home to another one of our favorite new sandwiches in the city: the Italian American hoagie, an arm-length behemoth filled with mortadella, salami, mozzarella, onion, arugula, parmesan, and a swath of ’nduja mayo. It’s also a great one-stop shop if you’re trying to set up a picnic at Golden Gate Park for the day. While you’re there, pick up a bottle of wine, a side of spicy garlic cheese dip, and chocolate chip cookies.

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