Covering a wide swath of San Francisco, including the San Francisco Giant's AT&T Park, the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art and the Folsom Street club scene all in one sweep, South of Market has some of San Francisco's finest destination restaurants and hippest under the radar dining and nightlife hot spots. Chez Spencer and Sushi Groove South (unmarked from the street) deliver undercover chic in an industrial, unassuming section of SOMA. Some of San Francisco's finest restaurants, like Town Hall for American cuisine done with a rustic, gourmet flair or sister restaurants, Lulu and Anzu, are within walking distance from the Moscone Center and the MOMA. Around the ballpark, SOMA offers excellent spots for house-brewed beers and hamburgers as easily as martinis and gourmet noshes.
24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.644.0240
Steak. An all American steak and chop house right at the AT&T Park baseball stadium. It features organic veggies and grass-fed, planet-friendly beef without annoying hormones and antibiotics. In addition to happy cows, entrees include lamb, pork, duck and catch of the day, served with all-American side dishes like baked potatoes, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, and creamed spinach. Appetizers include clams, oysters and cracked crab. Among the bar specialties: regional wines, single malt scotches, cognacs and inventive cocktails.
689 Mission St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.284.4040
Contemporary American. Celebrated Napa Valley chef Hiro Sone opened San Francisco's Ame restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel to great acclaim. Ame's seasonal menu reflects a refined blending of local ingredients with the flavors of southern France and northern Italy, filtered through Hiro's Japanese culinary sensibilities. The food is as beautiful as the setting.
201 Ninth St., San Francisco, CA 94103; Tel. 415.255.2742
Asian, Fusion/Eclectic. A world-famous San Francisco restaurant and entertainment venue, AsiaSF is a worthwhile destination. Top-notch Cal Asian cuisine, accompanied by a Wine Spectator-awarded wine list, is served to a backdrop of live performances from renowned transgender stars. The ladies perform outstanding entertainment in the beautiful, colorful space that make this a truly unique San Francisco dining event.
448 Brannan St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.904.4100
Contemporary American. Whether it's for business dining, a celebratory dinner, casual Friday lunch, late-night snack, or just a fun night out, Bacar offers a warehouse full of wine and culinary adventures. This vibrant South of Market (SoMa) restaurant features a welcoming atmosphere for patrons to enjoy while dining on well-crafted Northern California seasonal cuisine featuring fresh local ingredients and French and Mediterranean influences.
1489 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.552.3963
Thai. A lofty San Francisco restaurant with tall windows and exposed brick, Basil Canteen has the chic appeal of a gallery loft, yet all the aromatic sensibilities of a true Thai restaurant. The long, communal table adds a different element to the traditional San Francisco dining scene, seating patrons together to sup on the flavorful cuisine in a way that’s not uncommon in Bangkok. Great cocktails make the unavoidable socializing a little easier for shier types.
Buca di Beppo
855 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.543.7673
Italian. Buca di Beppo is a kitschy place for Italian immigrant flavor and food in South of Market near the Moscone Convention Center and the SF Museum of Modern Art. Carafes of wine keep flowing (not the vintner's choicest, but certainly the cheapest) and the menu covers the family style favorites like garlic bread, ravioli, hearty pennes, cheesy lasagna and meaty sauces. The atmosphere is boisterous and fun, with red gingham tablecloths and a veritable explosion of Italian-American paraphernalia adorning the walls. Buca di Beppo also has a full bar and is an excellent San Francisco restaurant for large groups and birthday parties.
82 14th St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.864.2191
French. Chez Spencer is an elegant hideaway where customers will find critically acclaimed preparations of French bistro cuisine. This restaurant has garnered rave reviews from publications like Bon Appetit, Sunset, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, The San Francisco Chronicle and Food & Wine. Live piano music fills the lofty space on Friday and Saturday nights.
500 Florida St., San Francisco CA 94110; Tel. 415.553.8560
Californian. Circolo Restaurant & Ultra Lounge might be one of the most successful restaurants in San Francisco. This daring and elegant restaurant, created by club impresario Jon Mayeda and headed by acclaimed chef Martin Castillo, features an undeniably stylish and warm setting and a menu of innovative, Asian- and Latin-influenced Californian cuisine.
500 Brannan St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.543.2222
Californian. In the home of the former Bizou, COCO 500 Chef Loretta Keller has revamped the menu, the idea and the decor. Now catering to ballgame fans and a younger, hipper clientele, COCO 500 still prepares old favorites like the tempura fried green beans with a daily changing dipping sauce, wood oven flat breads and pizzas and the braised beef cheeks. COCO 500 offers the same dedication to fresh, local, organic, ingredients, but with a bright new modern look, an updated menu, and a new bar serving signature cocktails.
50 3rd St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.977.0271
Italian. Ducca melds Northern Italian favorites with modern Californian influences for an exquisite menu highlighting local ingredients, the bounty of the sea and aromatic spices. Described as an “urban Venetian mecca,” this stylish and beautiful restaurant features a warm and unique interior, and a terrace that welcomes casual dining by day, but transforms with communal tables and a roaring fire pit at night.
369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.369.9955
Steakhouse. Aptly named, Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco is outdoing the traditional steakhouse story. The focal point of the brilliantly appointed, lofty space is the custom-built wood fired grill and wood burning oven, but massive, steel-framed windows revealing striking waterfront views come in a close second. The innovative, ever-changing menu showcases big, flavorful preparations of contemporary steakhouse cuisine with centerpiece ingredients like naturally raised beef, Kobe beef, Carlton Ranch pork and lamb from proprietary sources.
570 4th St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.543.0573
French. A top-rated, casually elegant SoMa dining hotspot, Fringale is favored for consistently excellent renditions of Basque bistro cuisine. The classic (and shockingly affordable) fare is bright with flavor and prepared with top quality ingredients. For the cuisine and the classy style, Fringale is a favorite SoMa restaurant among everyone from local foodies to socialites, politicians, celebrities and journalists.
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
2 Harrison St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.243.6785
American, Brewery. A classic brewpub with better-than-brewpub fare, Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant is a local favorite. House-brewed microbrews sate beer-lovers’ cravings, and the Pacific-American menu boasts creative appetizers, salads, entrees and deserts. This fun and casual San Francisco restaurant is great for events and birthday parties.
1148 Mission, San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.863.6008
Chinese. Bright with sleek, modern style, Heaven’s Dog is a San Francisco Chinese restaurant and lounge specializing in Chinese cuisine melded with a creative, American comfort food approach. Noodle soups and tasty meat and seafood dishes are prepared with organic and sustainable ingredients. The list of fabulously creative cocktails is worth sampling from, and there is a small, yet robust, selection of wines to pair with the meal.
350 Kansas St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.252.3500
Portuguese. A beautiful refurbished warehouse with a contemporary rustic edge is the setting for enjoying authentic Portuguese fare with Mediterranean twists at Horatius. The menu at this casual and unique San Francisco dining spot showcases dishes like grilled fresh Monterey Bay sardines, trios of Portuguese-style fried cakes, brilliantly flavored marinated chicken, braised beef ribs, and the most popular rendition of Portugal’s national dish, Bacalhau.
Koh Samui & The Monkey
415 Brannan St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.369.0007 x2
Thai. An award-winning Thai restaurant in San Francisco, Koh Samui & The Monkey is a hip and stylish SOMA dining spot. Though rooted in tradition, the Thai fare reveals creative influences gleaned from the owner’s extensive travels. Dishes are fragrant and vibrantly spiced, and the extensive menu offers options for just about every palate. The beer, wine and sake selections are equally lengthy and impressive.
489 Third St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.512.0300
Italian. Simple and elegant, La Briciola is an authentic SOMA Italian restaurant. The menu of Northern Italian fare includes all the perennial favorites from Tuscan and Piedmontese cuisine, including homemade pastas. An excellent wine list showcasing Italian wines compliments the comforting menu.
315 Fifth St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.546.6128
French. Sweet and affordable with a comfortable, traditional bistro feel, Le Charm is where patrons can relax with creative French cuisine like escargots, lamb shank confited, local halibut with asparagus and tomato confit, or satisfying charcuterie plates. This San Francisco French restaurant offers a pleasant dining atmosphere, with a warm interior and a patio for alfresco dining.
888 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.616.6566
Californian. With an award-winning chef and a menu that reflects local farms and the natural bounty of Northern California, Luce stands out in the San Francisco dining scene. Sophisticated, urban décor acts as a backdrop for the creative, Cal-Ital fare, and the extensive selection of wines affords indulgent pairing opportunity. A well-poised staff tends to diners needs to make the entire experience impressive.
816 Folsom St.., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.495.5775
French Provencal. The upscale darling of SOMA, LuLu opened to rave reviews and continues to be a San Francisco destination restaurant. With an open hearth turning LuLu's signature rotisserie chicken and a family-style menu, LuLu boasts an airy, approachable feel, excellent French Provencal comfort food and attentive service.
303 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.543.2928
Mexican/Southwestern. Maya restaurant elevates Mexican food to new heights with its sleek, modern take on classic dishes. Billed as modern Mexican cuisine, Maya actually exemplifies a more Aztec and Mayan culinary taste than a Spanish one. Creativity sparkles in traditional dishes like tamales and enchiladas, as well as in more inventive culinary creations like braised pork shoulder with red onion-orange habanero escabeche and grilled hanger steak with a chile de arbol vinaigrette.
1582 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.551.1582
Asian. The Mercury Lounge stands out among San Francisco restaurants with creative, globally charged Asian cuisine. The menu favors smaller plates designed for sharing, with tasty options like tuna poke tossed with ginger ponzu, crispy salt and pepper sea bass, garlic hoisin glazed short ribs, sizzling grilled pork and Singapore chili prawns. In the space once home to the legendary Hamburger Mary’s, the dramatic and modern Mercury Lounge is a brilliant addition to the SOMA dining and nightlife scene.
139 Steuart St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.808.1048
Mexican/Southwestern. Traditional Mexican cuisine meets outstanding creativity at the critically acclaimed Mexico DF. Sustainably sourced and organic ingredients come together in dishes like wild salmon with pumpkin seed green mole, duck flautas, marinated pork tacos with grilled pineapple salsa, and mahi mahi ceviche with soy sauce, rice vinegar, cucumber & tomatoes. This San Francisco Mexican restaurant features bright, stylish décor, great happy hour specials and a long communal table.
937 Harrison St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.278.0480
Peruvian. Zesty and fragrant, the distinct flavors of regional Peruvian spices pervade the creative cuisine at Mochica, a Peruvian restaurant in San Francisco. This critically acclaimed restaurant has received praises for the excellent cuisine and the artful ambiance, both of which lend to an inimitable dining experience. The menus presented to diners are lengthy, showcasing such a large array of creative options that it’s almost overwhelming.
760 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.227.8660
American. Right across the street from San Francisco's SBC Park, MoMo's is a destination for pre- or post-game dining. Try standout dishes like the Dungeness crab cakes with sweet corn salsa and chipotle aioli or the country barbeque baby back ribs with French fries and cole slaw. The extensive menu goes beyond our continental borders offering pizza, risotto, and other dishes alongside the American classics. Outdoor dining in San Francisco MoMo's is hard to beat with its large outdoor decks in one of San Francisco's sunniest nooks.
Nihon Whisky Lounge
1779 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.552.4400
Japanese. Sushi lovers and whiskey lovers might find their new church with the Nihon Whiskey Lounge. An array of sushi and sashimi creations populates the menu, along with delicious, contemporary Izakaya (the Japanese version of tapas). In addition to creative whiskey and champagne cocktails, this San Francisco Japanese restaurant also boasts the largest single malt selection on the west coast, with over 400 available through bottle purchase. And don’t worry about finishing the bottle you purchase, because all purchases are stored in a private locker to enjoy on future visits.
Nova Bar & Restaurant
555 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.543.2282
American. A SOMA dining hotspot, Nova Bar & Restaurant impresses locals and critics with American cuisine that flaunts a contemporary comfort food edge. Baked mac & cheese, Prosciutto wrapped BBQ prawns, lobster & wild mushroom quesadillas with lemon crème fraiche, seared ahi with a soy beurre blanc, and slow roasted turkey pot pie with rosemary gravy are just a few of the satisfying options on the menu.
860 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.995.2061
Contemporary American. Chic and warm with exposed brick and hues of saffron, Oola is an American bistro serving what they call “San Francisco” cuisine. Locally sourced and organic meats and produce are woven into creative dishes prepared via classic cooking techniques. Artisan cheeses and wines support the menu effortlessly, and a professional and accommodating staff rounds off the pleasant dining experience.
508 4th St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.777.1508
Californian. Vibrant and artistic, Orson makes a lasting first impression when patrons step through the doors. The menu carries the torch well, with creative, whimsical renditions of contemporary American cuisine peppered with unique surprises in the most unexpected places. Celebrity-chef Elizabeth Faulkner seeks out organic, locally sourced ingredients for her inspired, aromatic and artistically presented fare.
Paragon Restaurant & Bar
701 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.537.9020
American. Sophisticated and warm décor meets a fun, lively ambiance at the lofty Paragon Restaurant & Bar, located one-half block from AT&T Park. Cultivating an American Brasserie experience, this San Francisco dining spot is a favorite for seafood-centric starters, dishes like house made sausage cannelloni and grilled hangar steak, and smoked BBQ. Creative cocktails are also noteworthy, as are the selection of over 80 vodkas from around the world, the wine list and the house-infused vodkas.
540 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.278.0495
Fusion/Eclectic. Aromatic Indian and Asian flavors bring Californian cuisine to life at Prana. This hip, stylish fusion restaurant in San Francisco dazzles with the colorful and fragrant fare, as well as a setting befitting haute San Francisco crowds. Supporting the menu is an excellent list of regional and organic wines and a selection of unique cocktails. Guests with a fondness for people watching can linger with a glass of wine or a cocktail on the mezzanine level above the main dining room before or after dining.
301 Mission St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.543.7474
Contemporary French. One part wine bar and one part restaurant, the menu of contemporary French and American cuisine at San Francisco’s RN74 is carefully scripted around a world-class wine list. All of the dishes have been designed to hold up the complexity and sensuality of the wines, and the menu offers reasonable portions that allow diners to select multiple offerings for a custom gastronomic experience.
1131 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.554.0522
Italian. A SOMA dining institution, Rocco’s Café on Folsom pairs a lively neighborhood atmosphere with home-style Italian cuisine for a comfortable dining experience. Familiar Italian favorites populate the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, and the open kitchen allows patrons to watch the chefs in action. Though casual, this San Francisco Italian restaurant is also suitable for a dinner date.
575 Mission, San Francisco CA 94101; Tel. 415.777.0277
Seafood. Roy's Hawaiian-Asian-fusion cuisine is, in a word, sumptuous. From scallops to mahi mahi to a divine chocolate fudge explosion for dessert, Roy's offers surprising combinations from its open kitchen while the wine list is impeccably tailored to complement the cuisine (or try the Earth-Wind-Fire-Air Sake sampler). Close to Market St. in SOMA and popular at lunch with a Financial District crowd, Roy's has a dark wood dining room with touches of Hawaii and a staff that really exudes a warm, Island hospitality.
South food + wine bar
330 Townsend St. #100, San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.974.5599
Australian. A contemporary restaurant and wine bar in San Francisco, South food + wine bar steps out of the traditional dining spectrum with a menu showcasing the best fare and libations from Australia and New Zealand. The unique cuisine and lively, blissful ambiance are why this restaurant has received countless praises from publications like The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Travel + Leisure and more.
South Park Cafe
108 South Park, San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.495.7275
French. Gourmet Magazine once called South Park “one of the best little French restaurants in San Francisco,” and they weren’t lying. Like a little slice of Paris nestled into the SOMA district, South Park Café charms with a bistro atmosphere and fantastic rustic French cuisine. The modest wine list packs a punch with a rounded selection of predominately French wines.
657 Harrison St., San Francisco CA 94107
Global, International. Supperclub is a unique San Francisco restaurant featuring a tantalizing combination of high-end cuisine and extraordinary entertainment with a hip, San Francisco nightlife vibe. Guests at this SOMA restaurant lounge on oversized beds while dining on sumptuous, multi-course meals created by Chef Guus Wickenhagen. During the meal a rotating cast of performance artists, aerialists, DJs, drag queens, singers and contortionists roam the spare, all-white space, interacting with guests and each other. A truly distinctive San Francisco dining experience, a meal at Supperclub SF is one guests don’t soon forget.
Sushi Groove South
1516 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.503.1950
Sushi. Almost unnoticeable from the outside, Sushi Groove is a hip, industrial hideaway across from Slim's in SOMA's Folsom club corridor. With a live DJ nightly and signature sake cocktails, locals flock to Sushi Groove South for excellent, inventive sushi and a bustling, in-the-know atmosphere.
123 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.348.9977
Thai. Southeast Asian cuisine arrives true to form at Tara Restaurant. This San Francisco Thai restaurant is known for fragrant, delicately spiced and beautifully presented dishes ranging from well-known Thai favorites to less common options. The rich yet simply decorated atmosphere evokes a modern Bangkok, and is suitable for everything from casual lunches to dinner dates.
661 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.974.0905
Latin/Spanish. Normally upon entering a brewery, the last thing on anyone's mind would be Spanish small plate tapas, but that's exactly what awaits visitors to the perennially packed Thirsty Bear Brewing Company. A favorite in the SOMA District for the after-work crowd and students at the nearby Academy of Art, the Thirsty Bear serves up heady, small-batch beers that—really—perfectly complement the cuisine.
342 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.908.3900
American. Located in the historic Meco building, Town Hall is a San Francisco restaurant serving New American cuisine with a focus on regional ingredients. Distinctly different dining areas at this chic SOMA restaurant include a communal table, a bar, a patio, a private room, a living room and a brick and wood dining room.
Town's End Restaurant
2 Townsend St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.512.0749
Contemporary American. The bright, crimson and white dining room of Town’s End Restaurant features a wall of windows on the Embarcadero that lend an open feel and allow diners to enjoy a constantly moving portrait of the city outside. Meals begin with a basket of handmade breads, and evolve into dishes of contemporary American cuisine crafted from local organic produce and carefully selected meats, poultry, seafood & cheeses. Deserts and pastries baked onsite daily round off the breakfast, lunch and dinner experiences.
130 Townsend St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.227.0500
Mexican/Southwestern. It's hard not to love Tres Agaves restaurant. Boasting one of the country's premier tequila collections, the good times (and loud) Mexican restaurant also features an open kitchen that turns out soulful, renditions of Jaliscan and other central Mexican classics made with freshest Bay Area produce.
1155 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.703.0557
Contemporary American. Blending in perfectly with its surroundings, Triptych embodies the industrial and artistic style of SOMA. Patrons sup on creative New American cuisine—crafted from local, organic, humane and sustainably sourced ingredients—in a vibrant, lofty dining room that showcases the works of local artists. The wine list embraces a global approach with wines from all over the world. During warm weather, visit Triptych to enjoy brunch, lunch and dinner in the garden.
75 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.243.0299
Mexican. Tropisueño offers a refreshing approach to San Francisco Mexican restaurants, opting for a casually elegant setting over the clamorous, vibrantly decorated style common in most Mexican restaurants. The menu is impressive with reasonably priced plates of traditional Mexican cuisine that are simply prepared yet bright with flavor. During lunch, Tropisueño is a casual, full service taqueria for quick and easy midday dining. The tequila selection is out of this world.
22 Hawthorne St., San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.777.9779
Californian. An extension of San Francisco's famous (and expensive) Hawthorne Lane restaurant, TWO signifies the restaurant's two top tier chefs. This new San Francisco restaurant incarnation features funky but sophisticated design, inventive cuisine and attentive service in a secluded and romantic setting on the hideaway Hawthorne Lane.
Vitrine - St Regis Hotel San Francisco
125 3rd St., 4th Floor, San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.284.4049
American. A striking palate of white and sage with rich espresso accents sets a beautiful stage for dining at Vitrine. Located on the fourth floor of the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, this light filled, casually elegant dining spot enlivens familiar American cuisine with refined yet creative twists. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are each appealing, with many dishes crafted from organic and locally sourced ingredients.
399 Embarcadero, San Francisco CA 94105; Tel. 415.284.9922
Seafood. A beautiful San Francisco waterfront restaurant, Waterbar is where patrons sup on the fantastic seafood dishes while enjoying panoramic bay and bridge views. The bounties of local and international waters both contribute to the menu, and all of the dishes are simply prepared to let each carefully selected ingredient shine. This San Francisco dining gem is supports the culinary creations with an excellent wine list.
181 3rd St., San Francisco CA 94103; Tel. 415.817.7836
Contemporary American. Located on the ground floor of the W Hotel San Francisco, xyz is a sleek space for chic cuisine in a modern, DJ-lounge setting. Mellow, ambient beats fill the air while a knowledgeable staff serves seasonal cuisine, fine wines and cocktails. The xyz restaurant San Francisco is now open for weekend brunch.
Zaré at Fly Trap
606 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.243.0580
Californian. Classic yet modern, playfully stylish yet casually elegant, Zare at Fly Trap is distinctly alluring. The menu showcases culinary creations inspired by melding Californian, Persian and Mediterranean cuisines. Excellent wines and cocktails lend to the dining experience, and an innovative desert list encourages patrons to linger after dinner indulging in something sweet.
564 4th St., San Francisco CA 94107; Tel. 415.777.5900
Italian. With a lofty, artsy space and distinctly industrial-bohemian style, Zuppa doesn’t have the look of a traditional Italian restaurant. The menu, on the other hand, summons the finest culinary traditions of Italy to please the picky palates of San Franciscans. Critically acclaimed, this San Francisco Italian restaurant is not to be missed.