I lived, studied and worked in San Francisco for nearly 10 years. Thanks to numerous friends and my own exploration I was able to discover plenty of lovely foodie joints. However last August I moved home to San Jose, and I’ve been missing my usual hangout spots. Lucky for me, I’ll be in San Francisco again for U-KISS’ Saturday concert along with plenty of out of town KissMes. Here are some of my favorite food spots that are worth checking out.
Fiona’s Sweetshoppe – 214 Sutter St (Financial District: Kearny & Sutter)
Ok, this isn’t really a restaurant but it is one of my favorite candy shops! When I go I usually buy in bulk since they have deals when you buy more than one bag of goodies. Plus they have super cute packaging and even tie a ribbon making them the perfect gift for friends and family with a sweet tooth. They have classics such as peppermints, gummies and various milk and dark chocolates, even coming in fun shapes! My personal favorite that they recommended was their custard and rhubarb hard candies. I’ll definitely be grabbing some more treats next trip I make up to SF.
Cocobang – 550 Taylor St (Union Square: Bush & Taylor)
I discovered Cocobang after a night of clubbing near Union Square. The group of friends I was with had been there before and had they not taken me I’d probably have never known about. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall Korean lounge that serves a lot of the classic anju and Korean alcohol. The actual food is nothing to write home about but I love the cozy interior with K-Pop videos projected on the wall. I’ve introduced many friends who’ve loved the experience (and the soju!). However if you plan on coming with 3 or more be sure to come early on the weekends cause it gets crowded fast!
Photo Courtesy of Nara Youn
American Cupcake – 1919 Union St (Marina: Laguna & Union)
American Cupcake is another place I was introduced to via a handful of colorful friends. The interior is entirely white which allows the hanging lights’ constantly changing colors bounce around the room. This place has more than just cupcakes. They also specialize is some great comfort food such as mac & cheese, bbq pork sliders, and tater tots. Other than their variety of cupcakes, they most famous for their red velvet fried chicken. It’s hit or miss but when it’s good it’s goooood which makes it worth a try! They also have a wonderful breakfast/brunch selection for anyone’s sweet tooth. For evening gatherings, they have fun themed cocktails, beers and wines that you can pair with mini cupcakes. It can get pretty busy past 6PM so if you’re with a larger group be sure to make a reservation.
Photo Courtesy of DIVE
Golden Coffee Shop – 901 Sutter St (Tenderloin: Leavensworth & Sutter)
Yet another friend took me to this lovely breakfast/lunch after a late night of SantaCon shenanigans. The Golden Coffee Shop is very cozy and limited in space so if you plan on eating within 10 mins of arriving be sure to show up before 10AM on the weekends as it gets PACKED. Best to only got with 1 to 3 people tops or you may not sit together. Seating arrangements aside this is a great place to grab a classic American breakfast in the city for under $10. They have the standard eggs, bacon, toast setup but also throw in some super tasty omelettes, pancake sandwiches (yup) and Chinese food. The owners are really friendly and know their regulars’ orders at the drop of a hat. Be sure to hit up an ATM before hand as it’s cash only!
Playground – 1705 Buchanan St (Japantown: Laguna & Post)
Playground is a restaurant, bar and karaoke spot located in the heart of Japantown. While I haven’t taken advantage of the restaurant portion of the establishment, the bar and karaoke part is one of my favorites in SF. There are lots of karaoke joints in and near Japantown, but Playground is one of the only ones that has Korean songs in their playlist and Korean spirits on the menu. I usually go here with old co-workers and we get the bigger room and squeeze between 15-20 people in.. which you probably shouldn’t do as it’s a fairly small room, but we make it work in shifts! It’s a little pricier than similar places, but their soju cocktails and awesome song selection keep me coming back.
Like most places if you have a large group try to call ahead and make a reservation. Let us know if you’ve been to any of these spots and tell us how you experience was! What are some of your favorite food stops in SF?
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