Potrero Hill and Dogpatch have two very distinct feels to them. Dogpatch has more warehouses and Potrero is a mix of cottages, mansions, and Victorian houses. Dogpatch is mostly flat, and we wouldn’t be surprised if someone proposed a gondola system for Potrero Hill at some point in the past. Despite their differences, these places are neighbors, or even occupy the same space depending on who you ask, and they both have a lot of great places to eat and drink. These are our favorites.
Whenever we go to Long Bridge Pizza Co., we’re torn between getting their chicken parmesan sandwich and the pizza, so we usually get both. The sandwich has the perfect sauce to chicken to cheese ratio, and the sourdough pizza crust is thin and crisp - make sure to upgrade to the tangy, sweet Early Girl tomato sauce. We love coming here before a Warriors game, but if last-minute tickets are still priced only for people with Co-Founder Status, they have a bunch of TVs you can watch the game on too.
Just For You Cafe is one of the few greasy spoons in San Francisco, and it’s perfect when you wake up on a weekend in automatic recovery mode. If you need something to soak up what’s left over from last night, order the beignets covered in powdered sugar. But if you need a meal of actual substance to bring you back to life, they have good egg plates and omelets - we like the one with carnitas. Throw in some chicory coffee for extra energy, and you’ll be golden.
If there was a library that served bagels, it would probably look a lot like Daily Driver. This place has a massive first floor and multiple balconies where you can sit and get work done while you eat wood-fired everything bagels with gravlax and homemade cheese.
The Sea Star serves drinks from a leather-bound menu in a long, dark room with dim lighting and a pool table - in other words, it’s a cocktail bar disguised as a dive. Try the Let’s Get Weird with baijiu and rum (it kind of tastes like peach candy), or the Samson’s Delilah with mezcal. If those aren’t your style, their drink menu has seven sections organized by liquor varieties, boilermakers, and tasting flights, so you’ll definitely be able to find something you like.
Gilberth’s is a Latin restaurant on Third St. with a dark dining room that’s low-key enough for a midweek date or quiet birthday dinner. No matter what, make sure someone you’re with gets the puerco pibil - the pork is so tender you could eat it with a spoon.
If you’re still recovering from a stressful 5pm commute home on Muni, head to Dogpatch Saloon. Part relaxed neighborhood drinking spot, part gathering place for dogs, this bar has everything you need for a chill evening with good cocktails and beers - including noise levels that rival an early morning visit to the de Young.
You know Hermione’s bag in Harry Potter, the one that’s magically bottomless and holds clothes, a tent, and probably the Heart of the Ocean diamond? If we had that bag, we’d put places like Chez Maman in there just in case we ever needed them. This spot is always packed and with good reason - they serve French comfort food here that’s good for everything from weeknight dates and low-key dinners to quiet Sundays when you just need to space out and dive head first into a bowl of French onion soup.
When you walk by Umi, one of the first things you notice from the sidewalk window is the kitchen. Usually watching the chefs is reserved for people at the bar, but here the view does a good job of drawing people inside this tiny 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.
Plow is easily one of our favorite (if not our absolute favorite) breakfast places in SF. Unless you’re here before they open, there will be a line, but everything is good enough that you’ll forget about that time you said you’d never wait for eggs. Go for the plow plate with eggs, potatoes, pancakes, and your choice of meat - you’ll be set for a while after that.
If eating is less about having a religious experience at Plow and more about getting ready for the day, Cracked & Battered is a solid choice for breakfast. They have things like eggs, pancakes, and fried chicken, but if you’re really hungry, go for the cabbage fried rice that comes with two eggs and a piece of boneless fried chicken that’s really good. The buckwheat pancakes are also a solid option, especially if you’re with people who avoid gluten at all costs.
Farley’s is a coffee shop that 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 other three how a squirrel locked him out of his apartment.
Ruby Wine is a tiny shop on 18th St. 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. In case they don’t know something about a certain wine, you can come back on Fridays from 5-9pm when they do tastings with some of the winemakers who explain why wine is awesome, along with other mysteries of the universe.
Not every night is an occasion to hit up the best spot in town. We all have rent to pay, electricity to keep flowing, and work-appropriate athletic wear to get peer pressured into buying. Because of that, we all eat meals that aren’t going to win any awards, but are for sure better than what we can do at home. For this, we go to Piccino. The salads are good, the pizza is solid, and this place is large enough where you won’t have to fight someone for a table.
If it’s time for your bi-monthly office Happy Hour, heading to School Night with your coworkers is a fun option. This spot is inside the Pearl event space and is only open Monday through Friday. It’s first and foremost a bar, but they serve food you and your deskmate can split up while you discuss quitting your jobs to start your dream company making party confetti in the shape of emojis.
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.
No one’s hobbies on Hinge include “waiting in line for pastries,” so if you’re going to do it, they better be well worth it. The croissants at Neighbor Bakehouse aren’t enough on their own to merit listening to two episodes of Office Ladies in the rain (mostly because there are other places in SF with phenomenal croissants), but if you pair them with pretty much anything else here, it’s justified. From savory stuff like kimchi toast to sweet things like German coffee cake and the raspberry hazelnut twice-bakeds (our personal favorite), it’s hard to go wrong.
This place is Dogpatch’s answer to Southern Pacific Brewing. Aside from the main tap room, there’s a massive side room with bleacher seating and a kitchen turning out things like a breakfast sandwich perfect for early drinking. Magnolia is made for you to show up at with a crew, so go ahead and start a group message rounding people up. Maybe see if you can collectively try all the beers they have on tap.
Triple Voodoo is a small brewery and taproom with a bunch of interesting beers. This is the place to come if you want to try a lot of things, but don’t want to end up drinking in a building large enough to host a New Year’s Eve ball. Grab a few seats at the bar if you want the person behind the counter to talk you through what you’re ordering, and get to it. Try an Imperial Mocha Shake made with coffee and chocolate nibs or the Anxiety pilsner.
Besharam is an Indian restaurant with poppy, bright murals and cocktails with names like “Wake Me Up Before You Go Goa.” Beyond those things, the food here is really good, with dishes like blue cheese naan and mozzarella-stuffed rice balls. It’s a solid place to come with a few friends and try most of the menu, but if you’re one of those people who hates communal tables, maybe call ahead and ask for a reservation at one of their few four tops.
This Mexican place is owned by the same people as Chez Maman and they use the same giant whiteboard-by-the-door reservation system. We like the short rib tacos, but you can’t go wrong with classic al pastor either. No matter how much you told yourself you wouldn’t eat them, don’t skip out on chips here because their salsas are great.
When you dream about opening your own bar, you probably think about the specific personal details you’d include to make it different and, more importantly, yours. At Third Rail, that detail is their homemade jerky. There are plenty of flavors to choose from, but we like the red rye jerky with coffee and the candy version with brown sugar. If you just want something to snack on, they do shot, beer, and jerky combos for $10. Aside from the tasty meat taffy, the cocktails here are worth coming for on their own, like the Comeback with mezcal and poppy amaro.
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. Aside from that, a lot of the food 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 older 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.