If you want to feel like you’re in Spain without leaving San Francisco then Zarzuela is the place to go. There’s tapas, sangria and paella, authentic Spanish atmosphere and you’ll return home a little drunk on Spanish hospitality. The food is affordable since the plates are meant to be shared; they have imported cured Serrano ham, but it’s the seafood paella that steals the show.
Zarzuela, 2000 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 346 0800
This Japanese sushi place does not take reservations, and because of their excellent price to quality ratio, you might find yourself waiting for an hour before getting a taste of their fresh buttery salmon rolls. Elephant Sushi is a small restaurant and the menu is concise.
Elephant Sushi, 1916 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 440 1905
Leopold’s is a Bavarian style bar/restaurant. Waiters and waitresses wear raditional outfits and you can order a two-liter ‘boot’ draft beer. On those warm spring and summer evenings, you can also sit outside.
Leopold’s, 2400 Polk St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 474 2000
Everybody loves pizza, especially the pizza at Za. There are daily specials as well as classics, and vegetarian options too. This is an ideal venue for a quick, cheap, quality bite to eat. They also offer delivery in the Russian Hill and North Beach area.
Za, 1919 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 771 3100
On the verge of Russian Hill, close to North Beach, there are many Italian spots to get your pasta fix. Trattoria Contadina serves favorites such as cheese ravioli, gnocchi and the carlesimo: pancetta, porcini and tomato cream. All the pasta is fresh and handmade.
Trattoria Contadina, 1800 Mason St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 982 5728
Polkers Gourmet Burger
Polkers Gourmet Burger serves classic American fare. The menu boasts different flavors, from a Japanese-infused ahi tuna burger to a very spicy habanero burger. Their curly fries are also seriously good.
Polkers Gourmet Burger, 2226 Polk St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 885 1000
Frascati serves Mediterranean food with a Californian touch. The dishes are beautifully plated with strong, robust flavors and an excellent wine list complements the food. Their menu changes with the season to make sure you get the freshest, seasonal ingredients.
Frascati, 1901 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA, USA,+1 415 928 1406
The Italian HomeMade Company
Maybe not the coziest ‘sit-down’ restaurant but for a fast bite, the quality is astonishing. They are inherently an Italian deli selling imported cheese and other Italian goodies, but their freshly made pasta dishes is the reason why you should visit The Italian HomeMade Company. Pick your (homemade before your eyes) pasta, choose your sauce and enjoy.
Head to Curry Leaf for great Indian and Pakistani food. The place is ‘Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB)’ and must-try dishes include the masala chai. It is self service but efficient and a perfect spot for a casual dinner. Complex flavors, huge servings and great food quality is what makes Curry Leaf grand. The palak paneer and samosas are delicious.
Curry Leaf, 943 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 440 4293
An upscale Vietnamese restaurant with French fusion cuisine is a delightful place for the fancier bowls of pho and plates of imperial rolls. Aux Delices has an extensive menu with plenty of seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes. Finish your night with a Vietnamese coffee.