San Francisco, the only city and county within the state of California, packs close to 900,000 people within 49 square miles. This roughly seven-by-seven mile area is filled with hundreds of world-class destinations — SFMOMA, the de Young Museum, countless cultural and shopping districts — with equally amazing restaurants in between them to refuel at as you take in the sights.
Whether you’re seeking a quick on-the-go bite or an opulent, white tablecloth affair, there is something here for every taste and budget. These are our San Francisco Best Lunch winners for 2022, selected by our editors – look for our readers’ choice winner, selected by our audience.
Feature Photo: Souvla
SF Lunch Map
One Market Restaurant
With soaring windows showcase vibrant views of San Francisco’s treasured Ferry Building, Embarcadero, and Bay Bridge, and an open exhibition kitchen offering “Chef’s Table” guests a front-row seat dining experience, One Market Restaurant has set the standard for sophisticated dining in San Francisco since 1993. A wood-fired grill, multiple private dining rooms, outdoor patio, and vibrant bar further enhance the ambiance. Check out their specialties here. Lunch hours are Tuesday through Friday 11:30am to 2pm. Dinner hours are Tuesday through Saturday 5pm to 9pm. onemarket.com
A European-style cafe in the heart of North Beach offering authentic Italian cuisine and a wide selection of Italian and California wines. Try their classic Luigino pizza, a margarita pie, or their pizza Sofia, with arugula, prosciutto and shaved parmesan. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 12pm to 6pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 8pm. cafezoetrope.com
While the food scene in the City can be very fickle, Molinari Delicatessen is proof that real quality outlasts hype. The deli, which serves up classic Italian sandwiches with ingredients like sweet coppa, prosciutto di Parma and Sicilian style sausage, was established in 1896, making it one of the oldest delis in the United States. If you’re a fan of meatball sandwiches, theirs is a bucket list item. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Closed Sunday. molinarisf.com
Mission Rock Resort
This two-story waterfront destination in Mission Bay boasts bay views from every seat, both indoors and outside on its spacious decks. Seafood specialties include raw bar offerings; salads including an ahi tuna bowl; sandwiches like a Dungeness crab and bay shrimp roll; and local petrale sole served with mashed potatoes, vegetables and a lemon-caper beurre blanc. Draft beer, wine and a list full of tropical cocktail concoctions round out the beverage selection. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 11am to 8:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 8:30pm. missionrockresort.com
Chef Gonzalo Guzman opened Nopalito in February 2009 with the best of two worlds at the heart of it — Guzman’s traditional, from-scratch Mexican cooking and the Bay Area’s fresh, local ingredients. Snack on the signature spicy garbanzo beans and don’t skimp on the cocktails — the tequila and mezcal drinks are out of this world. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11:30am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am to 9pm, and Sunday 11:30am to 8pm. nopalitosf.com
After stints at some of the most renowned restaurants in San Francisco, including Coi, Quince and Michael Mina, Evan Rich and his wife Sarah opened Rich Table in 2012. With signature items like porcini doughnuts and sardine chips, Rich Table became an immediate hit. In 2017 the duo ventured into counter service and opened the first RT Rotisserie. It’s pretty simple here — as the name implies, the menu features rotisserie chicken, and elevated-yet-approachable sides like whole-roasted cauliflower and umami fries. The value for the quality here is unbeatable. rtrotisserie.com
“Souvla,” which means “skewer” in Greek, is a small San Francisco-based chain of fast-casual restaurants offering a menu of pita wraps, salads, simple sides and a local favorite, their Greek frozen yogurts topped with everything from olive oil and sea salt flakes to baklava crumbles and honey syrup. Affordable and portable, the former First Lady — no, not that one — had Souvla on her flight from San Francisco back to D.C and wrote the staff a kind note. Hours are 11am to 9pm daily. souvla.com
A Michelin star restaurant in a quiet corner of the city near the Presidio, Spruce has been an insider favorite since its opening in 2007. The restaurant boasts numerous awards for its wine selection and food offerings, but the burger is perhaps the most lauded of all. Served on an English muffin bun, the patty is a blend of short rib, sirloin and brisket. The $22 price tag seems intimidating, but is well-warranted. Weekday lunch hours are from 11:30am to 2:30pm, weekend brunch runs from 11am to 2:30pm. sprucesf.com
Hog Island Oyster Co
Located in the historic San Francisco Ferry Building, Hog Island Oyster Bar’s constantly changing seasonal menu offers the freshest ingredients from local farms and seafood fresh off the boats. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11am to 8pm. hogislandoysters.com
With a wide selection of bao and refreshing outdoor seating, this is the perfect place to bring a group of friends. dumplinghome.com
Try the tender brisket or juicy pork belly for a taste of San Francisco’s Chinese food scene. Equally delicious vegan and vegetarian options are available. missionchinesefood.com
Reem’s freshbaked bread will have you thinking of home from the first bite. This small corner bakery serves up big flavors. reemscalifornia.com
Set in a heated patio in the heart of Mission, Prubechu serves up Chamorro dishes with classic flavors and local ingredients. A must for those that haven’t tried cuisine from Guam before. prubechu.com
Palm City is a gathering place for good food and wine-loving individuals in the Outer Sunset. palmcitysf.com
To complement the excellent location on the Embaracadero waterfront, Waterbar also sets sustainability and excellence standards as San Francisco’s foremost seafood restaurant. waterbarsf.com
Burma Love brings a contemorary flair to classic Burmese dishes. Their bar menu is to die for, with all manner of drinks inspired by south-east Asian flavors. burmalove.co
Not your standard Thai place! Farmhouse Kitchen serves up innovative takes on Thai street food, all made with fresh and local ingredients. farmhousethai.com
Acclaimed as both the best brunch and garden patio restaurant in SF, Fable is must visit for their seasonally inspired menu and complimenting curated wine list. fablesf.com
Since 1979, Zuni Café has been known for its daily changing menus sporting traditional French and Italian cuisines inspired by local, seasonal ingredients. zunicafe.com
For ramen lovers, Marufuku is a must-stop. The menu has something for everyone, from Hakata Tonkotsu to Chicken Paitan and full vegetarian ramen. marufukuramen.com
Bodega SF elevates traditional Northern Vietnamese cuisine with a casual fine dining experience. Serving family style, guests sample a variety of authentic flavors. bodegarestaurants.com
On the Bridge
The extensive menu at On the Bridge is one of the most unique in town. Look for Japanese spaghetti, pizza, burgers, and the classics of Japanese cuisine. onthebridgesf.com
Grab a bite, drink, and enjoy live music at The Ramp Restaurant. Located blocks from Chase Center and Oracle Park, it’s the perfect stop pre or post-game. rampsf.com
Since 1979, Greens Restaurant has been serving up elevated vegetarian cuisine. Their menu is constantly changing and follows the seasonal harvests of local farmers. greensrestaurant.com
More Local Favorites in San Francisco
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Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
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