San Francisco Lunch Spots – 7 of the Best

Best places to eat in San Francisco, Best Restaurants San Francisco, Foreign Cinema

Looking for some finger-licking good San Francisco lunch spots? You’re spoiled for choice.

San Francisco has one of the highest number of restaurants per square capita. Some of the world’s best chefs are based in this city, though you’ll often find the locals raving more about the latest independent set-up.

And most of these lunch spots also offer epic brunch and dinner options.

The top lunch spots in San Francisco are always up for debate, but these are my seven favourites, tried and tested by yours truly. And just for the record I’m happy to go back and try any of them again…you know, just to be sure.

The Best Lunch Spots in San Francisco

San Francisco lunch spots
Pin this post on San Francisco lunch spots

1. Mama’s On Washington Square

1701 Stockton Square, San Francisco

Stacks of pancakes lathered in syrup, fresh crab, eggs cooked to perfection – name it and they’ll likely have it. It’s no wonder there’s nearly always a queue to try this institution.

This spot is popular for breakfast or brunch, but whatever time of day it’s worth a visit and that includes lunch!

See here to read a full review.

Mama's on Washington Square in San Francisco
Mama’s on Washington Square

Recommended Reading: San Francisco in 4 Days

2. The Plant

101 California Street (though they have multiple locations)

Fellow vegetarians step this way. The food is piled high and full of flavours. Even my meat-eating boy loved it.

The Plant is a chain and you’ll find a few of them in San Francisco, but the one on the pier is my recommendation.

Veggie food at The Plant in San Francisco
Veggie food at The Plant in San Francisco

This place made my top three restaurants of all time so that should give you an indication as to how good it is. See here for a full review of this San Francisco lunch spot.

Veggie food at The Plant in San Francisco
Veggie food at The Plant in San Francisco

Recommended Reading: Eating Out in San Francisco? Head to The Plant

3. Boudin

Pier 39, San Francisco

Yes it’s gimmicky, but it has to be done. I can’t put my finger on why, but eating a lunch of piping hot soup or clam chowder out of a freshly baked bread bowl is just so satisfying.

Boudin in San Francisco
Boudin in San Francisco

Boudin is really famous in San Fran (as is clam chowder), so you need to visit at least once for a quick bite to eat.

You can see the bread being made in the kitchen and watch the ‘floating breads’ as the ‘fly’ on the raised conveyor.

Boudin in San Francisco
Boudin in San Francisco

Recommended Reading: Top Things to Do in San Francisco

4. Tony’s Pizza

North Beach, San Francisco

This pizza joint is in North Beach, one of my fave parts of the city. It also serves pastas and such, but it’s all about the award-winning pizzas that range from the classic options to the more unique.

It’s often jam-packed (more with locals than tourists), so be prepared to wait for a table or book ahead. See here to read a full review.

Tony’s Pizza in San Francisco
Tony’s Pizza in San Francisco

Recommended Reading: Tony’s Pizza in San Fran

5. Ghiradelli

2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco (other locations available)

Dessert for lunch in San Francisco? Why not?!

When it comes to sundaes at this famous chocolatier you really need to start on an empty stomach. They are huge, delicious and you really, really, REALLY need to have one. I recommend the mint sundae.

Ghiradelli is more famed for its chocolates so you might as well get a bag (or five) of those to take home with you. It’d be rude not to.

Recommended Reading: Cocktails and Views at Top of the Mark in San Francisco

6. Foreign Cinema

2534 Mission Street, San Francisco

This is one of those cool, hipster places. Found in the neighbourhood, The Mission, you’d probably miss the entrance if you weren’t paying attention.

Once inside you’ll soon spot all of the clichés; the ones with the cool beards, the ones with the top knots, the yummy mummies…it’s a super fun place to people watch.

The food is just as cool and features a little bit of everything.

Foreign Cinema in San Francisco
Foreign Cinema in San Francisco
Foreign Cinema in San Francisco
Foreign Cinema in San Francisco

Recommended Reading: Discovering Alcatraz in San Francisco

7. The Cheesecake Factory

Union Square, 251 Geary Street, San Francisco

The menu is huge and is full of comfort eats, like burgers, nachos and pastas. The fizzy drinks are as big as your head, but the real winner is the gigantic menu of cheesecakes.

I don’t normally like cheesecake, but over here I’m their number one fan. You’ll need at least ten minutes to decide which one to have. If you can’t manage lunch and dessert you can always get a cheesecake to take away.

I’m not even going to apologise at how touristy this recommendation is. The fact is this restaurant isn’t in my home town, so whenever I’m in the US I make sure I go here.

The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco
The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco
The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco
The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco

Pin this post on the best San Francisco lunch spots

San Francisco lunch spots
Pin this post on San Francisco lunch spots

Have you ever been to San Fran? If so, do you have any recommendations to add to this list? X

More San Francisco Blog Posts:

Where to Drink:

Drinking the Views at Top of the Mark, San Francisco

Drinking at the Redwood Room

Where to Stay:

A San Francisco City Tour…on a Fire Engine

Clift Hotel Review

Hotel Palomar, San Francisco

Hotel Diva in San Francisco

Hyatt San Francisco

What to Do:

Discover Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Coit Tower: The Best Views of San Francisco?

Bike the Bridge with Blazing Saddles San Francisco

The Best Christmas Spots in San Francisco

Famous San Francisco Movies

Anchor Brewing Tour

Special Treatment at Alcatraz

7 Reasons to Road Trip in California #7POW

Get social!

You might also like

Comments (7)

  • […] Recommended Reading: The Best Lunch Spots in San Francisco […]

  • I’m so pleased Mama’s featured in your round up – it’s still one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had anywhere and I sat there alone and queued alone and I’m still saying that! I love Cheesecake factory too, been a couple of times, loved it the first but 2nd time round, at the branch I visited, I was very gutted that they had decided to put the calorie counts on – of course, this is clearly the best idea healthwise but it totally worked and I think we ended up sharing about one slice between about 4 of us!!

    Taylor Hearts Travel 5 years ago Reply

    Oh it’s amazing, isn’t it?! It’s such an unassuming place, with big, tasty eats!

    I don’t even want to begin to think how many calories are in one mouthful, let alone one slice! Anyway, when on holiday calories don’t count, right?!

  • Ayla 5 years ago Reply

    Oh yum! Definitely eating in all these places. I think I’ll be in heaven if we go The Cheesecake Factory!

    Taylor Hearts Travel 5 years ago Reply

    Please bring me back some cheesecake?! Sooooo good! x

  • Ooooh we went to Foreign Cinema, very unique and I loved the food!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    Taylor Hearts Travel 5 years ago Reply

    It definitely has the unique factor and it’s so different to the other spots in this neighbourhood. Good times! x

Leave a Reply

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest
RSS