It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are? Hopefully, they don’t exist yet, and you’re still out and about. And maybe you need something to eat. Joke's on you, because 90% of restaurants in San Francisco send their chefs home at 9. Gotta wake up early for a bike ride.
Thankfully, there are a ton of gems among the 10% that stay open late. Whether you want to inhale a burrito, grab bites at the bar, or sit down for a full-on dinner, here’s a guide to the best food you can get after-hours. Thank us in the morning.
OPEN UNTIL 11:30PM || Not the latest of late nights, but posting up at the bar at Maven and ordering a nightcap cocktail (the best one might be the Corpse Reviver) and the burger is a move we respect. Go alone, go with friends, just go.
OPEN UNTIL 1AM || One of the best restaurants in San Francisco and hands down the best place you can sit down and have a full meal until 1am. Flatbread, pasta, burger, pork chop, you can’t go wrong.
OPEN UNTIL 1AM || It’s dark, it’s loud, it’s a great place to order chicken for two and a tiramisu at midnight (they say the chicken takes an hour to make, so you’re really living on the edge) and revel in being alive. Negronis all around.
OPEN UNTIL 2AM || Skip the Manimal fries and practice some restraint with the namesake Trick Dog hot dog and a kale salad, which is surprisingly excellent here. Of course you’ve been here for drinks, but they do a decent food game too. Elbow your way into a space at the side bar and dig in.
OPEN UNTIL 1AM || Great location on a Mission corner, strong cocktails, and a serious scene make this an ideal late-night dinner location. We usually skip the pizzas due to their sub-par crusts and go with the small plates instead. Or four orders of the burrata with walnut bread and truffle-honey.
OPEN UNTIL 1AM || Stuck near Mid-Market and need to eat non-burrito things? Hit Alta for the late night menu (11pm - 1am), one of the more upscale options on this list. We’d recommend the olives, deviled eggs, and burger. And a cocktail to wash it down. Take note: this is more of a place for small groups looking to be adult-ish in their post-11pm dining choices.
OPEN UNTIL 2AM || Rough night? Lurk into the unmarked corner den of decadence that is Brazen Head in Cow Hollow. Order up some escargot and steak. Rub yourself with butter, eat all the rolls, it’s your night.
OPEN UNTIL 12AM || If you’re near Union Square and need some late night sustenance, we’d steer you directly into Lers Ros. It’s our favorite Thai in the city and great for groups looking for serious food. You can only blame yourself (or your strict adherence to a kosher diet) if you don’t order the fried pork ribs.
OPEN UNTIL 2AM || Entering a stranger’s garage after dark seems like something we’d generally advise against. But when you’re being lured in with fried rice, chicken wings, and hot pots, it seems like a safe choice. At least you’ll die full.
OPEN UNTIL 12AM WED/THURS, 2AM FRI/SAT, 10PM MON-WED || New York style pizza. By the slice. In the Mission. Three magical phrases. It’s not quite up to par with the finest NYC has to offer, but in a pinch it’s a damn good slice.
OPEN UNTIL 3AM || Perhaps you’ve seen The Layover when Anthony Bourdain gets tanked at the Tonga Room and literally stumbles into Sam’s with Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien. If you need a better endorsement than that, we can’t help you. Get the double cheeseburger, make fun of the old pizza in the window, call it a night.
OPEN UNTIL 1 AM || Happy hour went a little long (5 hours too long) and it’s time to eat? The downtown Delarosa is open until midnight, and if you’re headed home to the Marina, that location is open until 1. Get some meatballs, get a pizza, get to it.
OPEN UNTIL 3:30AM FRI/SAT, 2:30AM SUN-THURS || This place has been called the best burrito in America, and we say that’s a stretch. But if you’re hammered, you might call it the best burrito in the world. The tacos are good too, and only $2.50 a piece. If you’re feeling especially sloppy-bold, they also have nachos.
OPEN UNTIL 1AM || Noodles are a messy move late-night, especially if you’re a few drinks in. Don’t care. King of Thai does an absurdly cheap and very solid pad thai, pad see yew, and sleeper hit pumpkin curry. Wear a bib.
OPEN UNTIL 12:30AM FRI/SAT, 11:30PM SUN-THURS || Burritos are the most classic San Francisco food, and they are especially good late night. It’s science. Other tidbits we can share with you on El Castillito are: 1)the al pastor is fantastic and 2) they melt the cheese on the inside of the tortilla. OK, now we’re talking rocket science.
OPEN UNTIL 1 AM || One of the best bars serving food around, Monk’s Kettle has a strong Belgian beer list and follows it up with some excellent food. The burger, veggie burger, and pretty much any entree are worth your time. Or if you’re just in a desperate hunt for carbs, the pretzel is bomb and has the circumference of a small side table.
OPEN UNTIL 2 AM FRI/SAT, 1AM SAT-THURS || More burritos, less problems. TC will never let you down, although if you order a burrito mojado you might feasibly die, so don’t do that. Quesadillas and tacos are on point as well. Get napkins.
OPEN UNTIL 12AM TUES - SAT, 11PM SUN/MON || The fancier version of street meat, Rosamunde has sausages with ingredients they actually name, multiple mustards and ketchups, and lots of good beers on tap. We love it.
OPEN UNTIL 12AM TUES - SAT, 10PM SUN/MON || Go directly to the carnitas street tacos. Do not waver from that quest, with the exception of a side of chips and guacamole detour.
OPEN UNTIL 2:30AM FRI/SAT, 11:30PM SUN-THURS || Golden Boy is a San Francisco institution, and with good reason. The Sicilian-style pizza is superb, and especially good at soaking up alcohol in the wee hours of the morning. As weird as it sounds, the garlic and clam option is actually pretty tasty.
OPEN UNTIL 1AM FRI/SAT, 11PM SUN-THURS || What’s better than ice cream? Cookies AND ice cream. Cream has you covered with late hours, tons of flavors and cookie combos, and a choose your own adventure setup. All paths lead to sugar highs and happiness.
OPEN UNTIL 12AM FRI/SAT, 11PM WED, THURS, SUN || Use your own judgement when wandering the TL after dark. If your judgement says, ‘I want the most epicly good milkshake of all time, f*ck consequences’, then go immediately to Shakedown and order the Derby Pie milkshake. It changed our lives.