Our Guide To San Francisco: Great Eats!

In the same vein of the great values in combination with great tasting wines we offer our customers as a Négociant, we want to offer an installment in our “Guide To…” series by focusing on our favorite local great eats.  While we can’t tell you who is supplying us with the great wines we offer, we can tell you who is supplying our favorite bites!  Following is our staff’s personal selections of great eats for San Francisco:

  • Owen: U.S. Restaurant in North Beach. Go on a Friday evening for their weekly calamari special. Best calamari you will ever have in your life.
  • Henry: Lam Hoa Thuan Restaurant on 2337 Irving. Sounds like a Vietnamese restaurant (I suppose it’s the name of the Vietnamese owner) but actually sells Cantonese-style barbecue. They roasted everything from pork loin, crispy pork belly, ribs, suckling pig, and duck. Everything is modestly-marinated before roasting, which allows you to actually taste the meat rather than the sauce-driven barbecue offered in other places. I always recommend to-go for the $20 whole roasted duck. Pair that with a sub $20 Nebbiolo and you are going to feast like a king (for cheap). Their other roasted meant sold by pound can also be great conversation piece for wine tasting events. For your next wine tasting, instead of being the 6th guy showing up with a block of Gruyere, give roasted pork belly a try.
  • Ryan: Il Borgo in Hayes Valley. Been in the same spot since 1993 (If memory serves me correctly) and is the best Italian food for a decent price outside of North Beach. Crazy good prices on the wine selection and great plate pricing. The spot looks like it was picked up out of Carmel-By-The-Sea and dropped on a seedy corner of a once seedy neighborhood behind City Hall. I always go carpaccio to start followed by a wood fired pizza margherita or the lasagnette from the specials (loaf of lasagna pasta wrapped around cheese, prosciutto, more cheese and finished with pink sauce – 3 slices for around $15!). Throw in the chianti basket bottles with 15+ years of multi colored wax adorning them and you got the most epic date night for cheap.
  • Jess: Dumpling Time in Design District. I LOVE Dumpling Time! YUM!!!
  • Cam: Tommy’s Joynt in Cathedral Hill. It’s all about the corned beef or pastrami ($9 for a sandwich, $13 for a dinner plate). Stock up on the self-serve pickles to accompany either the sandwich or dinner plate.
  • Eric: Garaje on 3rd Street. Great spot for big burgers and a great selection of beers you can order in a liter mug. I’d say get the cheese burger and a liter of which ever beer you are feeling!
  • Andre: Yamo in the Mission. Always been a fan of Yamo on 18th. House noodles with pork + liberal amounts of chili sauce.
  • Tom: El Burrito Express 2 on Divisadero. Do you like traveling? If so, I can take you strait to Mexico without ever leaving the city limits of SF. I don’t think this taqueria has a sign but walk on the East side of Divisadero Street in between Pine and Bush and you’ll see a long derelict hallway with a small kitchen at the end. Walk down the hallway and you’ll hear the cheering of Latin American soccer fans from a discolored TV and a Mariachi band singing through the static of an old radio. Once you make it to the end of the hallway, you’ll be greeted by friendly faces calling you “amigo” and they’ll treat you like one. There’s no menu, so order anything you like… as long as it’s a burrito. You might hate me for telling you about this place, or you might love me. One thing is for sure- you’ll never see burritos the same after a trip to the hallway on Divisadero Street.
  • Katie: Golden Coffee in Polk Gulch. Super cheap, great food. Whether you’re hung over, or just starving. It’s the bomb.
  • Chris: Michaelis Food Store in North Beach. If you find yourself in the overly touristy Ghirardelli Square and don’t feel like spending a ton of money, go grab a sandwich at Michaelis Food Store. It’s a tiny little market but they have a deli counter and they’ll make you one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat. Try Dutch Crunch for your bread choice.
  • Maribel: La Palma on 24th & Florida. This has always been where my grandmother (and every true SF Mexican) buys their tamale masa during the holidays.  The little market has a full-on tortilla factory and carry-out restaurant counter.  Every chance I get, I go straight to the back and check out the selection of freshly made gorditas and huaraches.  The potato and chorizo huaraches are the most popular at home, if we don’t finish them in the car!  Also, every salsa next to the front register is bomb.
  • Caroline: Best Lil’ Porkhouse in San Rafael. I don’t get out in the city much (LOSER lol!), but I love️ ‘Best Lil Pork House’ in San Rafael. Epic smokehouse, exterior looks like a piece of shit, but my god that Hog Heaven (pulled pork sandwich) with homemade BBQ sauce, Mac N Cheese + Southern BBQ Baked Beans are sooooo gooooodddddd!!!!!!!

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