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View of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco city skyline from the Marin Headlands

California

10 Reasons Foodies Love San Francisco, California

By: Heather Lalley

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  • States:
    California

With endless options and world-class dining, San Francisco's culinary delights will keep you coming back for more.

Wondering how to get an authentic taste of San Francisco, California? You’re in luck: The city offers robust public transportation, and stand-out eateries are densely packed. Let these 10 principles guide you to the city’s defining culinary experiences:

1. Amazing Produce Year-Round

Northern California is nicknamed “The World’s Salad Bowl” as some of the planet’s most prolific food producers grow within a short drive of San Francisco. The result? Chefs and casual shoppers alike can flock to the city’s year-round farmers markets for fresh fruit, vegetables and more.

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2. Diversity

In San Francisco, you can visit the largest Chinatown outside of Asia for authentic dim sum, then head to the Mission District for craveable burritos and tacos from no-frills taquerias.

In the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, go for authentic dim sum.

In the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, go for authentic dim sum.
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Scott Chernis

3. Award-Winning Restaurants

Some 40 restaurants in San Francisco and the surrounding area have earned Michelin stars. Don’t miss Coi, Rich Table, The Slanted Door or State Bird Provisions. (The latter two restaurants are also James Beard Foundation awardees.)

4. Wine!

Northern California is also home to some of the world’s leading wine regions. Experience tastings at wineries in the city, including Bluxome Street Winery and Treasure Island Wines. Then check out expertly curated restaurant wine lists and several quaint wine bars around the city.

5. The Freshest Seafood

From local Dungeness crab to oysters harvested on farms near the city, take your pick of fresh seafood here.

Fresh seafood is harvested from the waters off of San Francisco and on farms near the city.

Fresh seafood is harvested from the waters off of San Francisco and on farms near the city.
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6. Ice Cream (Of Course) 

San Francisco chefs treat ice cream with the same artisanal care afforded to high-brow cuisine. Sample Humphry Slocombe’s unique flavors such as “Secret Breakfast,” made with corn flakes and bourbon, and Smitten’s made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream.

7. Coffee Culture

San Francisco leads the way in American coffee culture, ushering in a new era of premium coffee that’s locally roasted, sustainably sourced and expertly prepared. In fact, San Francisco’s been a coffee city since Buena Vista Café invented Irish coffee here in 1888. Since then, a host of local roasters have joined the scene.

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8. Cocktails & Beer, Too

Several locations around San Francisco boast amazing cocktail lists, such as Trick Dog. And the Northern California craft beer tradition has been going strong since Anchor started brewing beer here in 1896.

In San Francisco, mixologists craft artisanal cocktails.

In San Francisco, mixologists craft artisanal cocktails.
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9. Sustainable Farming

San Francisco restaurants and grocers are mindful to offer responsibly sourced produce, meat and seafood to diners and shoppers. Fresh, local and sustainable really does taste better.

10. High Quality

San Francisco fosters a culture of quality, whether you’re talking fresh produce, artisan ice cream, haute cuisine or authentic burritos.