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
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.
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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.
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.
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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 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.
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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.
Recommended Reading: Tony’s Pizza in San Fran
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.
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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.
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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.
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