As you may know, I took a trip a couple weekends ago up north to San Francisco! While the main focus of the trip was to see Big Sur and be one with nature, there was no way I was going to miss out on hitting up some of the best food spots in Northern California! Lucky for me, my family is just as much as a food lover as I am, so they stuck with me and waited in line for almost ALL of the restaurants and shops we went to.
I know what you're thinking, you traveled how far to wait how long in line for... food? YES, I promise I'm not crazy. Just crazy for food. I regret zero amount of time we spent waiting in line. I will say, however, there were some spots that I thought did not live up to the hype, and I'm here to tell you what is and is not worth the wait!
A quick note: we stayed in Tenderloin. While it might not be the safest area, it was central to all of the restaurants we went to (only a short 15-20 minutes or less walk).
MR. HOLMES BAKERY
Get baked in San Francisco at Mr. Holmes Bakery! We waited about 30 minutes for our baked goods, and it was worth every second of the wait. Not only is this shop super Insta-worthy, everything we got was absolutely perfect in every way.
WHAT TO ORDER: Donut, matcha croissant, and cornflake cookie
Ah, the ever-so-famous fish cone! I have seen these alllll over the gram and have been waiting to get my hands on one for so long. After a 45 minute wait, we finally got our cones! The novelty of the fish cone is definitely fun, although I think I prefer a crispy and crunchy waffle cone. However, their soft serve was impeccable.
WHAT TO ORDER: Matcha and sesame taiyaki
We stumbled across this ramen shop while we were in Japantown. An hour before the restaurant opened, a few people were already lining up. Naturally, we hopped in line, and lucky for us, we got in line at just the right time because before we knew it, the line stretched from one end of the plaza to the other. We were all unanimous in our decision that while the food was decent, it was not worth the hour we waited in line.
WHAT TO ORDER: Kakuni bowl and chicken paitan dx ramen
MONGKOK DIM SUM
Chinatown is swarming with dim sum restaurants, but we went to a little shop recommended by our family friends - Mong Kok. It's quick, cheap, and good. The only thing is that it's pick up only, but there are a couple parks nearby that are a great place to chow down.
WHAT TO ORDER: Sticky rice in a tea leaf and shrimp dumplings
BRENDA'S FRENCH SOUL FOOD
For delicious comfort food from New Orleans, Brenda's French Soul Food is your spot. Be forewarned, the line for brunch is crazy. We got there around 9am and the list was just about full and only 1/3 of the way marked off. We put our name down and walked over to Philz coffee, and by the time we got back, we only waited another 15-20 minutes.
WHAT TO ORDER: Beignet flight
Did you really even go to San Francisco if you didn't go to Boba Guys? The quality and taste is on a whole 'nother level. Their boba tea is... dare I say... the best I've ever had.
WHAT TO ORDER: Iced Matcha Latte (with almond milk and 75% sweetness level)
No glitz or glamour here, just some good old Vietnamese and Chinese food. Not to mention a friendly staff and quick service - nothing to complain about here!
WHAT TO ORDER: Salt baked crab and hot and sour shrimp soup
We spent roughly two days in San Francisco, and I think we were able to hit a good number of foodie destinations! Whether you already have your flight booked or are looking for a reason to get out of town for a few days, I hope this guide helps you plan out your next trip to San Francisco! While this is not a comprehensive list of all the hot spots in SF, they're worth considering for your itinerary.