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
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
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