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SF

Guide

Where To Eat Near Golden Gate Park

Our 20 favorite places to grab a meal nearby.

Written by
20 Spots
Launch Map
20 Spots
Launch Map
Updated October 27th, 2021

San Francisco is full of excellent parks. But the shining star of them all is Golden Gate Park, with its expansive green areas, serene lakes, art and science museums, and even a gigantic Ferris wheel. So the next time you’re heading over for a picnic, a day of sightseeing, or if you just happen to be hungry and in the area, use this guide. It has 20 fantastic restaurants serving everything from sandwiches to dim sum to everything in between.

THE SPOTS

Erin Ng

Palm City

$$$$
$$$$ 4055 Irving St

This little wine shop in the Sunset has a dining room that looks like someone’s modern, well-designed kitchen, complete with big round tables and shelves stocked with bottles of wine. It’s also home to one of the best sandwiches in the city: the Italian American hoagie, a behemoth stuffed with mortadella, onion, arugula, ’nduja aioli, and freshly-shaved parmesan. Grab a seat at one of the tables or at the bar, and enjoy your sandwich with a glass of wine and some spicy garlic cheese spread.

Julia Chen

Arsicault Bakery

$$$$
$$$$ 397 Arguello Blvd

If croissant-making was an Olympic event, this Richmond bakery would never stop collecting gold medals. Everything from their short menu of pastries is great (we especially love the kouign amann with its crunchy, caramelized bottom), but leaving without one of their phenomenal croissants would be a terrible mistake. The flaky, buttery masterpieces are filled with gooey chocolate, ham and cheese, or almond - and they’re some of the best in SF. You’ll probably have to wait in line to get them, but it’s worth it for pastries this incredible.

Susie Lacocque

Cinderella Bakery & Café

$$$$ 436 Balboa St

One of our favorite spots in the Richmond’s Little Russia is Cinderella Bakery and Cafe. The casual spot is always packed with folks waiting for housemade breads, baked and deep-fried piroshki, pelmeni in broth, and more - but be sure to grab a slice of the medovik, an excellent layered honey cake with sour cream and condensed milk.

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um.ma

um.ma

$$$$
Korean  in  Sunset
$$$$ 1220 9th Ave

You’ll smell um.ma’s sizzling bulgogi and pork belly wafting through down 9th Ave. like an air freshener before you arrive at the restaurant. The Korean restaurant does barbecue extremely well, so sit down on one of their picnic tables out back and get into some tabletop grilling (make sure the crispy seafood pancake is in front of you, too). They also have lots of soju and beer towers, and a lively atmosphere that always adds up to a good time.

Sarah Felker

Volcano Curry

$$$$
$$$$ 5454 Geary Blvd

The generous portions and cheaper lunch and dinner options keep us coming back to Volcano Curry, a casual, counter-service spot in the Richmond. That, plus the fact that the Japanese curry is excellent. Each plate comes with a big serving of rice that’s doused in the gravy-like stuff, plus your choice of protein. And, yes, the curry is the main event here, but don’t miss the adorable mini spam katsu sandwich, a palm-sized flavor bomb that will only run you $2.75.

Erin Ng

Lily

$$$$
$$$$ 225 Clement Street

Lily is an upscale Vietnamese restaurant in the Richmond that works great for a special occasion, whether it’s a date night or a birthday dinner with a small group. The food itself is worth celebrating - every dish on the menu is creative, beautiful, and absolutely delicious. We especially love the shaking beef salad, and the whole-fried red snapper over saucy pineapple chow fun.

Erin Ng

Damnfine

$$$$
Pizza  in  Sunset
$$$$ 3410 Judah St

Wood-fired pizza is the star of the show at this cool neighborhood spot in the Sunset. Each pie that comes out of the oven has a perfectly charred and crispy crust, which you can get topped with things like mixed mushrooms and garlic butter, or purple potato, pancetta, and pesto. We especially love the pizzas drizzled with some of the gooey hot honey or ranch you can get on the side. Damnfine also has plenty of tables and bar seating, which are perfect for settling in with a cocktail or glass of wine and staying a while.

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Susie Lacocque

San Tung Chinese Restaurant

$$$$
Chinese  in  Sunset
$$$$ 1031 Irving St

If the last time you had dry-fried chicken wings that inspired an out-of-body experience was never, today’s the day to change that. All you have to do is head to San Tung, a Chinese restaurant in the Sunset. The ones here are covered in a caramel-like garlic, ginger, and red pepper sauce so good you’ll probably end up licking the plate clean. But you should also save room for their other dishes, which are just as great - like the three deluxe spicy sauce noodles and crispy pork potstickers. The chicken wings aren’t a very well-kept secret, so you may have to wait for a table - but being patient will pay off.

Sarah Felker

Cielito Lindo

$$$$
MexicanTacos  in  Richmond
$$$$ 3450 Balboa St

For cheesy quesabirria tacos stuffed with perfectly spiced beef (our favorite dish here) or crispy Guanajuato-style enchiladas, head to Cielito Lindo, a small family-run Mexican spot in the Richmond. You’re guaranteed to walk away happy - and whether you go with the birria or grab one of their giant carne asada tortas, there’s really no wrong order here.

Erin Ng

Pineapple King Bakery

$$$$
$$$$ 1915 Irving St

The next time you’re in need of the perfect all-day park snack, stop by Pineapple King in the Sunset and fill up a pink pastry box with pineapple buns, hot dog buns, egg tarts, and more. The Chinese bakery usually has a line down the sidewalk, and for good reason - everything on the menu is baked daily, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a squishy pineapple bun that’s still warm from the oven.

Marnee Thai

$$$$
Thai  in  Sunset
$$$$ 2225 Irving St

One of our favorite self-care activities is heading to Marnee Thai and ordering a skillet full of Thai rice coconut hotcakes with pumpkin, corn, green onions, and coconut cream. Each one is crispy on the outside, and nice and soft on the inside. This casual Sunset spot also has some other Thai favorites, like fried rice and massaman curry, and there’s almost always something exciting to try on the specials board, like banana curry or khua kling.

Burma Superstar

$$$$
Burmese  in  Richmond
$$$$ 309 Clement St.

Burma Superstar may not have been the first Burmese restaurant in San Francisco, but it did help popularize Burmese food in the area. It opened in 1992 and has since evolved into a sort of mini empire with multiple locations and iterations across the Bay. Now that that history lesson is out of the way, know this: Burma Superstar still has a line out the door, and you have their incredible, shareable dishes like a game-changing tea leaf salad, to thank for that. Other dishes to consider while you’re here include the sweet mango chicken, platha and dip, and pork belly with mustard greens. And always get extra coconut rice.

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Jeremy Chen

Good Luck Dim Sum

$$$$
ChineseDim Sum  in  Richmond
$$$$ 736 Clement St

At this cash-only dim sum bakery in the Richmond, you’ll find everything from shrimp har gow to turnip cakes to sesame balls. It’s a great spot to swing by before heading into the park for the day, or if you’re in need of a breakfast or lunch that won’t cost over $10. You really can’t go wrong with anything here, but we especially love the face-sized, slightly sweet baked BBQ pork buns.

Julia Chen

Breadbelly

$$$$ 1408 Clement St

One of the most photogenic dishes in the city is at Breadbelly, a Richmond bakery and cafe with Asian-inspired pastries and sandwiches. It’s the kaya toast, and it’s made with neat squiggles of bright green coconut-pandan jam and sea salt. Definitely get one, along with something savory like the chicken karaage or their breakfast sandwich with ham, gruyere, and a fried egg. Their menu changes often, but know that the kaya toast is a staple.

Terra Cotta Warrior

$$$$
$$$$ 2555 Judah St

Terra Cotta Warrior is a casual restaurant in the Sunset that stands out for its excellent Shaanxi dishes, like biang biang spicy noodles or hot and sour dumpling soup. The main protein to come here for is the cumin lamb, which you can get as a burger, in rou jia mo, or with hand-pulled noodles. Ordering a side of their cold shredded potatoes is a great way to cool your mouth down after all of the numbing spices.

Thanh Long

$$$$
$$$$ 4101 Judah St

At this Sunset institution, be prepared to feast on a massive spread of excellent seafood. The Vietnamese restaurant is great for groups, or to swing by on a weeknight for their iconic whole-roasted Dungeness crabs. They’re all thoroughly covered in garlic sauce, salt, and pepper, which you’ll be licking off your hands for the entire meal. And yes, the crab is technically why you come here, but it also pairs perfectly with the equally iconic garlic noodles, which you’ll be daydreaming about for weeks to come.

Ebisu

$$$$
JapaneseSushi  in  Sunset
$$$$ 1283 9th Ave

This Japanese restaurant in the Sunset doesn’t take reservations, but the wait is never too long, which makes it an easy option for a last-minute date or a group dinner with a few friends. The sushi here is all great as well, and we also like to get the $25 sashimi omakase (15 pieces) or some giant hand rolls. If you want something hot though, we always start with the Pink Cadillac, which is a grilled salmon filet wrapped around scallops.

Julia Chen

Hummus Bodega

$$$$ 5549 Geary Blvd

It’s no surprise that the hummus at a spot called Hummus Bodega is fantastic. It’s smooth and creamy, and pairs excellently with a garlic confit we want to spread on everything, especially their fluffy, fresh pita. This spot is a great option for a casual lunch - the entirely-vegetarian menu also has pita sandwiches, hummus bowls, and falafel and cauliflower plates.

Jeremy Chen

Perilla

$$$$
$$$$ 836 Irving St

Much like the body-length heating pad we recently acquired, the garlic noodles and five-spice chicken from this Vietnamese restaurant in the Sunset bring us comfort - and lots of it. A pile of the buttery, chewy noodles never fails to cheer us up after a bad week, and when they’re combined with the crispy-skinned chicken doused in fish sauce, there’s really nothing better. Plus, the whole plate will only run you $12, and you’ll definitely leave full.

Outerlands

$$$$
American  in  Sunset
$$$$ 4001 Judah St.

Outerlands is an excellent brunch and lunch spot in the Outer Sunset, and we love coming here to relax in the middle of the day with a grilled cheese or a Dutch pancake that could also double as a work of art at the MoMA. Their outdoor tables here are ideal for people watching or bringing your dog along before a stroll along the beach.

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