San Francisco is home to so many incredible restaurants that it's hard to know where to start. You could spend months in the city and still not go to as many places as you wanted to. So, in order to get the most local vibes in places unlike anything in any other city, head to these five lesser-known, super local, off-the-beaten path places to eat a memorable and delicious meal.
Top 5 Places To Eat Like A Local In San Francisco
1. El Toreador – Mexican
This colorful West Portal eatery has been serving authentic Mexican fare since it opened in 1957. The space is ornately decorated with random Mexican and American novelties along its vibrantly colored walls. Dine during lunch or before the dinner rush because lines aren’t unusual here. The food is quite authentic and delicious – and the complimentary Mexican soup will prepare you for the main course.
Address: 50 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA
2. Pacific Café – American Seafood
Pacific Café’s menu, which features a selection of seafood specialties, changes every night. The fish entrées, served with homemade tartar sauce, are among the best in town. They don’t take reservations, so you’ll most likely have to wait for a table Don’t fret, however, since a complimentary glass of wine will keep you happy.
Address: 7000 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA
3. Turtle Tower – Vietnamese
With three locations across San Francisco, this small local Vietnamese chain offers such tasty dishes as hearty servings of pho will get you hooked. The food here is strictly Northern-style Vietnamese, and you MUST ask for the lemon sauce to compliment your rice noodle soup.
Address: 645 Larkin Street, 5716 Geary Boulevard, 501 6th Street, San Francisco, CA
4. Tonga Room – Pacific Rim
Located below the Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill, the tiki-themed Tonga Room serves such tasty treats as ahi poke, crab salad sliders and Singapore noodles. A broad cocktail menu offers such umbrella-laden drinks as the mai tai, Bora Bora and the Scorpion.
Address: 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA
5. Forbes Island – American Seafood
This manmade floating island on Pier 41 in Fisherman’s Wharf features a comprehensive wine selection to accompany the seafood and American cuisine. The 40-foot lighthouse is the only privately built lighthouse in the US. When it opened in 1980, the restaurant was featured on “That’s Incredible” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Address: Sea Lion Harbor, I Dock, San Francisco, CA