Those savvy real estate agents can keep calling the area below Nob Hill and above the Tenderloin "Lower Nob Hill" as long as they want, but let's be real - it's really the Tendernob.
Silly name aside, this part of town has also over the past few years become full of good eating. Here are the best places to eat around the Tendernob.
Vietnam is far away. And it costs a lot to get there. Saigon Sandwich, less so. You can score an incredible sandwich here for less than $4, i.e. less than your Sightglass latte. Go all out and order the combo, packed with pâté, pork, pickled veggies, jalapenos, and Viet mayo on crispy baguette, for the most legit experience.
For adventurous eaters, this Thai spot serves bowls of off menu boat noodles, complete with chicharrónes, beef balls, pork, liver, and a broth made from pigs blood. There are also plenty of awesome and slightly more tame (AKA non blood-filled) items on the menu.
The Nopa/Nopalito team are now bringing island-themed excellence to the ‘Nob, with Liholiho Yacht Club, and we’ve quickly made this a go-to for group dinners. Pretty much everything on the menu is stellar – from tuna on nori crackers to a beef tongue bun. Order yourself a tiki-esque cocktail and post up for the night. This is an A+ place to hang out.
Get on the waffle boat. There’s now a tropical cocktail bar in the basement of Liholiho Yacht Club that serves interesting and tasty waffles along with a few other small plates. Make a reservation, hang out for two hours, see how many cocktails you can try and waffles you can eat. If you have a hard time with that many waffles, just pretend you’re Eleven from Stranger Things.
Calling all VCs, here’s where you want to come to spend some serious money. Sons & Daughters serves one of the Bay area’s best tasting options, and for $115 for food (with no a la carte options available) and an additional $79 for wine pairings, this is the kind of spot we’d reserve for a celebratory dinner or "Damn, I got that new promotion" style evening. That said, they really know how to wow you, and we say it’s worth it.
This is the least crowded of the three Lers Ros in town, which makes it a great chance to try some of the best Thai food in the city. The Thai plates, especially the more traditional ones, are fantastic and the basics like pad see ew do the trick as well. Best to hit up with a group, because then you get to order way more things.
Some of the best pizza in town and a pleasant space to eat it in. We love the big green oven behind the bar and we really love the pizza. A lot. The wine list is good too and has some totally affordable options - a thing we can always get down with.
Cheap, efficient, and all-around delicious Indian-Pakistani food is the name of the game at Pakwan. There’s beer, there’s biryani, and you better believe you’re getting at least one order of the garlic naan. Kick your gluten-free friend out of the trust tree if they protest that one.
Elephant Sushi has super-fresh fish and very good sushi and small plates, all in a sleek space. The restaurant is small, but service is quick and tables turn over quickly. We tend to eat a lot of sashimi here, but the White Out roll is pretty bomb too.
Not the hippest spot around (yep it’s attached to a hotel - and not in a cool way) but a solid option for pizza, pasta and very safe Italian food. If you have kids in tow, go here. There’s lots of space, spaghetti with meat sauce, and cheap jugs of wine for the parents. Throw in some of the housemade foccacia on your order, it’s pretty damn great.
Bringing the fancy taco thing to the neighborhood is Matador. The drinks are tasty, the tacos are good (but not out of this world), and there are a bunch of seats around the bar that seem made for casual weeknight hangs. There’s also a busy takeout operation here, which sometimes means the food can be a bit slow to come out.
Aliment on Bush Street specializes in craft beer and all the modern classics you want from a great neighborhood restaurant – kale salad, fried brussels sprouts, a fresh roasted halibut, etc. The homestyle bolognese is a particular standout.
Located on the corner of Geary and Mason and technically as close to the edge of Union Square as you can get, 398 is a brasserie with French dishes that would do Julia Child proud. Recommended: charcuterie and cheese, sardines with salted butter on toast, steaks to share, and best of all: a Caesar salad that comes standard with a grilled half lobster. Boom.
Smack dab on the border of the ‘Loin and ‘Nob is a hotel bar we’re not ashamed to hang out in. They’ve got serious mixology, as well as a solid bar menu. Crab macaroons, please.
Hogwash has 30 craft beers on tap to get you going. Throw in an array of German-style sausage sandwiches and more sauce varieties than we can count, and you’ve got a surefire Tendernob winner. Order a beer in one of the fishbowl size glasses as well as a massive platter of fries topped with curry, pork sausage, and a fried duck egg. Das ist SUPER.