The Best Late Night Restaurants In San Francisco guide image


The Best Late Night Restaurants In San Francisco

Yes, there are actually spots to get a meal after 11pm. Here’s where to find them.

SF isn’t a late-night dining town. That’s just a fact of life. But there are still great food options—even if those options are slim—for those who are working, drinking, dancing, or swan diving off a table while singing karaoke until late. So when you need something like pizza to offset the sweet margaritas or just want to inhale a burrito before knocking right out, head to one of these spots—they're open past 11pm.


photo credit: Julia Chen

Beep's Burgers review image

Beep's Burgers


1051 Ocean Ave, San Francisco
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Beep’s is a decades-old burger institution in Ingleside, so prepare to happily devour a fantastic burger and curly fries after coming up for air from an hours-long Love Island binge—this drive-in is open until 2am daily. We love the simple burgers: they’re cooked to a juicy medium, stacked with just lettuce and tomatoes, and have tangy mayo-based Beep’s sauce dripping out of the sides. Don’t leave without one of their root beer floats, which are creamy, perfect, and the best way to cap a night. 

Need some no-fuss french toast and chicken fried steak smothered in gravy at 1:30am? The two-level, retro-style diner is open 24 hours (Thursday to Sunday), and will draw you in with red swivel chairs, bright neon lights, and a menu of hearty breakfast classics that never fail to hit the spot. Orphan Andy’s has been a Castro staple since the 1970s, and based on the after-bar crowds, locals, and tourists who continuously pack this joint at the stumbly end of the day—this place will never go out of style.

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Operating for over three decades at 16th and Valencia, Panchita’s is where to go for some of the city’s best pupusas—and a filling meal for under $10 at 2am on a Friday. They’re packed with delicious meats and vegetables, and plenty of cheese that oozes out to form crispy edges around the griddled masa. When we head to this counter-service Mission spot, we inevitably end up with a couple of revueltas, a classic mix of chicharron, bean, and cheese, and make sure to add an extra serving of fresh curtido on top before heading out. 

The neon “pizza by the slice” sign glowing in the window of Primo Pizza is a beacon of all things cheesy and carb-filled. The NoPa spot, located on a sleepy stretch of Divisadero, has the exact pizzas you’ll want to stuff in your face at 2am, or at the end of the night when you’ve lost your voice to karaoke. They’re dripping with mozzarella, and loaded with meatballs, garlic and buffalo sauce, and other toppings that get messy in the best way. 

Who said donuts were only for breakfast and in-office team meetups? Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street is open 24-hours a day, every day—which comes in handy when you’re closing down Harper and Rye, or some other nearby bar at 2am and need to munch on something. Go plain glazed donut—they're puffy and amazing. But odds are the super dense maple buttermilk bar, or the sprinkled mega donut the size of your face will call to you.

The Detroit-style pizzas coming out of Joyride in the Mission are a sight to behold—they’re loaded with a mountain of toppings that could qualify as adult-sized entrées. Their pizzas are especially what you need when you’re trying to stave off the spins with a cheese-walled slice covered in sauce, cheese, and toppings like pepperoni, bacon, or brussels sprouts. The Mission location (there’s also a sit-down outpost in Yerba Buena) keeps the slice operation going until 12am, Thursday to Sunday.

photo credit: Julia Chen

Cocobang review image


Perfect For:Late Night Eats

This Korean restaurant in Lower Nob Hill is one of the more fun places on this guide (plus, they're open nightly until 2am). K-pop music videos are projected onto the wall, pitchers of soju and beer are everywhere, and you won’t even mind having to use your outside voice to be heard—this spot is loud. The food that comes out ranges from solid to great, whether you're sh*tfaced or not. Think sizzling plates of corn cheese, crunchy Korean fried chicken, and nose runningly spicy tteokbokki.

One episode of Love Is Blind turned into you finishing half the season, and now it’s 11pm and you unintentionally skipped dinner. Beeline to Uncle Boy’s. The Richmond counter-service place serves lots of fried things like chicken “fritters” and french fries, along with chicken, pork, and vegetable lumpia you’ll inexplicably crave at all hours. But you’re here for the standout burgers, which you can get decked out with everything from onion rings to deep-fried bacon to mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce—they hit the spot no matter the time of day. 

Brazen Head is probably the only place in town where you can roll in at 11pm, and gobble up perfectly charred NY pepper steak, some cheesy french onion soup, and marinara-drenched meatballs that are the comfort equivalent of Lenny Kravitz’s blanket-scarf. The Cow Hollow steakhouse has no signage out front and everything we want in a late-night spot that looks like an 1800s Scottish pub: paintings of bearded old men, velvet curtains, a dim red glow, sports bobbleheads for kitsch, and strong cocktails that pair well with stories that begin with, “Back in the day...” No wonder Brazen Head’s been firmly rooted here since 1980. 

Not all late-night spots in this guide rely heavily on a deep-fryer. Horsefeather focuses on lighter, shareable plates. The American-ish dishes at this cocktail bar in NoPa won’t make you fall asleep at the table, like the Moroccan spiced carrots and smoked tuna poke. If you’re after a cheeseburger and fries, they have that, too. Come with a date and admire the plant-filled space over wine or cocktails infused with hojicha. 

At Beretta, you can have a nice sit-down experience with wine, small plates, and desserts until midnight (on weekends only). The buzzy Italian restaurant in the Mission has plenty of thin-crust pizzas and a few solid pastas, and is always filled with a high percentage of couples on dates on any given night. Join them whenever you’re struck with the after-dark urge to decimate a plate of burrata and truffle honey.

Monk’s Kettle is a beer bar with an impressive beer list and one of the better burgers in town. Which is why you’ll find yourself here for first dates with someone who’s super passionate about homebrewing, group hangs in a booth, and times when you want to sit over a respectable fried chicken sandwich and debrief the night. On top of their onion jam-topped burger, this cozy spot also serves crowd-pleasers like pretzels and garlic parmesan fries. 

This is one of the few places in town where you can stagger in for a burrito at 2am. And El Farolito’s burritos just so happen to be the best in the city. All of the meats at this Mission taqueria, from the al pastor to the charred carne asada, are crisped perfectly on the plancha. Love to get messy? Go for the super quesadilla, overflowing with cheese, drippy meat, and all the standard fixings. 

Toyose is located inside a converted garage, but unlike our third-grade science projects, most of what comes out of this place is actually pretty good. It’s open until midnight daily (1:30am Saturdays), and late-night is when you should come here—both because that feels like the right time to eat out of a converted garage and the Korean food they serve is filling and perfect for after you’ve had a few drinks. We like the seafood pancake with shrimp, calamari, and vegetables, the kimchi fried rice, and the kimchi stew.

ABV is a great casual get-to-know-you bar—it’s moody, dimly lit, and will likely suck you in for more than a few hours. When you realize “a quick drink” turned into a late dinner, go for their excellent charcuterie board or the burger (it’s one of the best in the city) topped with secret sauce and white American cheddar. They also have other excellent small plates that sound like they were plucked off the menu from a fancy California cuisine restaurant, like squash blossom tacos and beet-cured salmon toast.

There are two locations of King’s Thai Cuisine—both are in the Richmond, and less than three blocks apart. The important distinction between them is that #2 is open until midnight. The menu of noodles, curries, and soups is pretty long, but that’s what makes this place so great. If tired eyes make zeroing in on your pick hard, know that the pad thai is our go-to.

Grubstake looks like either a streetcar or an old-school lunch wagon (depending on how hungry you are when you end up here at midnight), which is certainly one reason this American diner in Polk Gulch stands out. The other is that this spot, which has been going strong since the 1960s, caters to the red-eye crowd—serving straightforward burgers, tuna melts, breakfast plates, shakes, and fries until 4am. And since this is a late-night spot with greasy-spoon energy, you can slide into a red booth, admire the old mural and fake grapes hanging from the ceiling, and fill up on all things fried.

Yes, you’re at Trick Dog for the cocktails and constantly changing, themed drink menus. But you should also get to this multi-level Mission spot for the above-average bar food. Get the Mission Dog, a butterflied hot dog topped with bacon and jalapeño spread, or their creamy, cheesy “Famous Kale Salad” that we think should actually become a local celebrity. 

You’ll smell what’s cooking at Sam’s before you even step foot in the door—burgers are always sizzling away on the flat-top well into the night. The North Beach spot is a simple, almost-too-tight set-up, with a few bar stools down a skinny space. But you’re not here to stay long. Throw back a triple cheeseburger or other fried things like onion rings and corn dogs. Cash only.  

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