Sunny, charming, and spectacular views. Those are just a few words that come to mind when we think of this quaint residential neighborhood cutely perched on the hill. The other reason we love this area? There are many excellent places to eat and drink, from one of the most iconic breakfast places in the city to sushi spots to wine bars.
The casual spot with diner-style charm is breakfast royalty, and everybody knows it. Which is why there will be a line to get a seat inside the well-lit space. Do you know how crowded Warriors games are when LeBron is in town? Getting a table at Plow is like that. Everyone is here for the french toast, fried egg sandwiches, and scrambles with sides of bacon and crispy potatoes. But one of the best things you can get here is the lemon ricotta pancakes. They're light and fluffy, and the lemon curd on the side takes them over the top.
photo credit: Mary Lagier
Chez Maman East
We wish there was a Chez Maman on every corner. This French spot is always packed and with good reason—they serve French comfort food, like roast chicken, pork chops, paninis, salads, and crepes that are good for everything from weeknight dates and lowkey dinners to quiet Sundays when you just need to space out and dive head first into a bowl of French onion soup.
photo credit: Nicolette Bethea
The first thing you notice when you walk by Umi's sidewalk window are sushi chefs doing their thing in the kitchen—the view does a good job of drawing people inside this tiny Japanese place. On a nice night, sitting on the patio is the way to go, but the other 312 days a year, the small, dark dining room does the trick. We especially like the nigiri and sashimi, but if you’re in the mood for rolls, you can’t go wrong with the Golden Dragon roll with crab, avocado, salmon, and lemon.
Goat Hill Pizza
Goat Hill Pizza has been the go-to spot for brick-oven pies with crisp sourdough crusts since 1975. The counter-service restaurant—outfitted with red checkered tablecloths and goat-themed decor—is also a laidback place we come to after winning a game of kickball, or for weeknight dinners when cooking is absolutely out of the question. The pizza order should include the Porky Pie, loaded with tomatoes, bacon bits, and enough garlic to keep Altoids in business.
This coffee shop feels like it was ripped out of a Chuck Lorre script. It’s one of those places where you can always hang out, and there are people on their laptops waiting for a group of four unlikely friends to come in and drive the episode’s plot forward in some hilarious way. The staff is friendly, there are a lot of seats, and if you forgot your computer, there are a ton of magazines for sale in the back that you can pretend to read as the comic relief character bursts through the door to tell the others how a squirrel locked them out of their apartment.
If eating is less about having a religious experience at Plow and more about getting ready for the day, Cracked And Battered is a solid choice for breakfast. They have things like eggs, pancakes, and fried chicken. The buckwheat pancakes are also a solid option, especially if you’re looking to avoid gluten at all costs. Don't sleep on the fried chicken sandwich.
photo credit: Susie Lacocque
Anchor Brewing Company
This is San Francisco’s most famous brewery, i.e. you’re here to drink beer, but food trucks come here sometimes too. The taproom is in a large warehouse with sports projected on a huge screen in the back and a bunch of picnic tables to sit at—when you tell your friends you want to come here to hang out, drink beer, and watch sports, it’s a very accurate statement. They do beer flights if someone you’re with carries a notebook with “Cicerone” printed on the front, but for everyone else, they serve pints too. Besides the usual suspects, they also have some specialty beers that you can only get at the brewery, so maybe your beer nerd friend gets the last laugh after all.
Some bars are beyond gimmicks, and Bloom’s Saloon is one of them. It’s a little too clean to be called a dive, but anyone who frequents dark old bars and their requisite pool tables will feel right at home here. You’re not stopping in for fancy cocktails and a story about "this one bar we went to," you come here because you want to catch up with friends over a beer or a few well drinks.
photo credit: Joey Blacks
If you want to watch a game while snacking on chips and salsa or excellent short rib tacos, stop by Papito. The staff is friendly, there’s a TV set up above the bar, and portions are huge, so you’ll probably have leftovers. They also have tons of mezcal, tequila, and cocktails.
One great thing about Sunflower Vietnamese is that the portions are gigantic—if you walk in here and each person orders something off the menu, there won’t be any table left to put dishes down on. A lot of the food also has a build-it-yourself component, from the Vietnamese crepes you roll up in rice paper to our favorite, the flaming beef and prawns that you make lettuce wraps out of. This place gets packed with families and couples, but if you’re neither of those you won’t feel out of place here at all—it’s just that kind of spot where everyone shows up.
Ruby Wine is a tiny shop on 18th street that specializes in natural wines. It feels like you’re in your cool friend’s living room (you know the one), except instead of vintage records organized by year, it’s full of wine that the super friendly owners can tell you everything about as you’re drinking a glass. This spot also hosts special events and has a nice parklet.