Life can be tough sometimes. Your roommate has decided after a particularly enlightening ayahuasca trip that she’s moving into a commune with her trustafarian friends from Burning Man, and your phone was stolen at one of the many crowded SF bars that undoubtedly doubles as a crime ring but also has a great dance floor. When sh*t hits the fan, you need comfort food spots that can reliably turn your week around. This list is your lifeline when you need good food to happen to a bad week.
Zuni is an institution in San Francisco. The chicken for two should be appointed the state bird of California and the fries are insanely good. Make a reservation at Zuni when you’ve been trolling Craigslist looking for a new apartment for weeks and your most promising lead is a studio in SOMA that comes with a 42-year-old club promoter who’s looking for a female roommate “in the market for a father figure.” Go to Zuni, let it restore your faith in San Francisco, and switch to Zillow.
Your grandpa just figured out iCloud, but in the process accidentally shared photos of something he meant to send to his gastroenterologist. Go to Trick Dog when you need to reset your life and trigger some form of retrograde amnesia with a strong cocktail and some chicken fingers.
Your boss just told you that Braedyn is getting a promotion that should have been yours. Bite your tongue and don’t tell him that “Braedyn” isn’t actually a name. Go to Finn Town. Sit at the bar. Order a burger or the lamb meatloaf and remember that you don’t actually give a sh*t about that job and that Finn Town makes a delicious brunch so you can keep the comfort food hits coming on the weekend too.
The pancakes at Zazie can move mountains, save kittens from burning buildings, and get you out of street cleaning parking tickets. Ok, maybe not that last one - but they’ll at least make you feel better about them. Zazie is also the perfect destination for any day you decide to play hooky. The brunch line on weekends is absurd, so treat yourself to a San Francisco delicacy without the wait when your boss changes their mind on strategy again and you just need a personal day.
After a crap week, sometimes you just need to lean in very deeply to sugar. Baked Bear lets you customize an ice cream sandwich with cookies and toppings, or if you don’t want to have to immediately change your shirt, you can get your cookie and ice cream in bowl form. There’s also a North Beach location, but the Fisherman’s Wharf one is close to the water, so you can sit, stare at the bay, and make the fact that your car got broken into for the third time this week feel insignificant.
It’s been weeks, but you’re still dealing with your Fyre Festival PTSD. And while you’ll never look at caution tape, white plastic tarps, or American cheese the same way again, life goes on. Go to Monsieur Benjamin to throw down and order short rib or steak. You deserve it, you’re a survivor.
It’s been a long week. The city decided that your street is due for some construction and surprise, it’s perfectly acceptable to jackhammer the sidewalk at 6am Monday through Friday. You are tired and cranky and need something nice. Here’s where the Riddler comes in. Try to get there early in the evening, post up with a lot of champagne, some potato chips and caviar and maybe a charcuterie plate, and let it all go.
When you lose your faith in humanity and need to believe in something, believe in the kouign amann at B. Patisserie. They taste like the test tube baby a flaky croissant and moist cookie would produce, and instantly make your day better. B. Pat is the perfect stop for breakfast any day of the week if you’re a normal human being that doesn’t make brunch reservations three months in advance, but also cannot stomach the idea of cooking for yourself.
This Pac Heights Trattoria’s catchphrase could be “When You’re Here, You’re Family” if a certain breadstick-filled chain hadn’t trademarked and bastardized the sentiment. The pasta dishes at Jackson are simple and straightforward, but taste like they are made with love (and by love, we mean unreasonable portions of cream and cheese).
There are few better ways to get over a trainwreck of a week than drowning yourself in a mountain of naan and curry and washing it all down with weird but excellent cocktails. Get some people together and make a booking for the tasting menu at Babu Ji. It’s a lot of food, all of it really good, and you don’t have to make any decisions. Which is probably just what you need.
Your boyfriend of almost a year decided to pursue his dreams and move to the Dominican Republic to open a surf shop. Or was it a farm? Somehow he forgot to invite you and is already subletting his apartment to a guy named Jim, and you are now single. Dinner at A 16 will make this sting a little less than the sunburn your idiot boyfriend hopefully gets the instant he arrives. It’s ideal for solo eating at the bar, and the pasta and pizza solve pretty much all problems.
Union Larder is the perfect spot when you need cured meats to cure a bad week. There’s nothing like borrowing your crush’s computer to find “how to delete your Ashley Madison account” in their Google search history. Order a cheese plate, get creative with your charcuterie board, and delete his number.
Your shower is inexplicably unable to drain and you found a mouse building itself a villa and cabana in your pantry. Time to eat like a knight in a place that could pass for the VIP section of Medieval Times. Cockscomb’s vaulted ceilings, stone floor, and chandeliers make the space feel like a castle’s dining hall and the meat-heavy menu - from the bacon chop to the burger to the steak to feed an army - is excellent. They serve a grilled cheese as a “starter,” which we fully respect.
If you can’t remember much of the night, but woke up to texts from the bouncer at Bootie asking if you still want to hike Alamere Falls in the morning, it’s Devil’s Teeth time. Delete the texts (you don’t hike), drive straight to the Sunset, and eat their breakfast sandwich on Ocean Beach. Make like Hillary Duff and let the ocean wash away your sins while devouring the egg-bacon-biscuit creation that’s covered in avocado and aioli.