One of the hardest things about business trips is finding a good place to eat. You don’t want to fill up on fast food or convenience store fare, but at the same time, you’re not sure where to go, especially in a city known for its food, like San Francisco. If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco soon, here are the five places you must try while you are there. Some of them are a bit expensive but they are worth it.
Benu is located at 22 Hawthorne Street. Did you manage to grab a meeting with Gary Crittenden? This is where you’ll want to take him. The restaurant has amazing American, French and Asian food. Head Chef Corey Lee was taught by Thomas Keller but has definitely managed to find a style that is absolutely his own. The restaurant’s specialties are shark fin soup (it comes with black truffle custard), braised beef (the braising has pear and sunflower seeds) and Hokkaido sea cucumber (it gets stuffed with shrimp and a fermented pepper sauce). Make sure you call well in advance of your trip to get a reservation. This is a popular place!
San Francisco is known for its Chinatown district and its Chinese food. Louie’s is located at 646 Washington Street in San Francisco and, a major plus, is moderately priced. The menu is (thankfully, if you don’t speak Mandarin) in English, and the contemporary fusion dishes are good, but if you want a food experience, you’ll go after the Cantonese seafood that’s on the Chinese menu.
The restaurant takes reservations, so it’s a good idea to call at least a couple of days before your trip to make sure you can get a spot. This place was just written up in The Gate, so it’s pretty packed!
Pizza Hacker offers arguably the best pizza in the city but it travels around. This is a street vendor who has one of Yelp’s highest ratings of every pizza-serving restaurant in San Francisco.
Use the website to figure out where he’ll be when you’ll be in town, and make a plan to find him and eat his food. You can also follow him on Twitter (@pizzahacker) to get up to date info. His prices are reasonable, but beware: You might never be able to eat pizza again because everything else will just be a pale shadow in comparison.
SF Grill is the go-to in American food, particularly if the American food you want is a burger. Located at 550 Divisadero, the restaurant is closed Saturdays, so make sure you go Sunday-Friday. The prices are affordable and the restaurant’s food is rated amongst the highest in the city. This restaurant is incredibly popular, so make sure you give yourself enough time to get in and eat —they don’t take reservations.
If you want some good veggie fare, Morty’s at 280 Golden Gate Avenue is the place to go. Its vegetarian options are praised throughout the city, and the place is considered one of the best places in the Bay Area if you want an affordable, filling and tasty vegetarian meal. A big bonus is that the menu isn’t exclusively vegetarian, so you won’t have to worry about the carnivores in your group raising a fuss.
About the author: Erin Steiner is a freelance writer from Portland.