The Tenderloin is a small neighborhood near downtown San Francisco
, situated between Union Square and the Civic Center. The Tenderloin often gets a bad rap, but if you can get past the negative stereotypes, you’ll experience one of the most interesting and diverse neighborhoods in the city. To help you in your exploration, The Culture Trip has profiled the top 10 restaurants in the Tenderloin neighborhood.
Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen
Cafe, Ethiopian, $$$
Food Truck, Asian, $$$
The Chairman is an Asian fusion spot in the Tenderloin, serving bao steamed buns, rice bowls, and gluten-free options. With entrées like a pork belly bowl with fried egg, noodle salads, braised beef short rib, and Coca-Cola braised pork bao, The Chairman is sure to become one of your favorite go-to restaurants. And if you’re on the go, be sure to check out The Chairman’s food truck!
The Chairman, 670 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 813 8800
Saigon Sandwich is a small, takeout-only and cash-only Vietnamese sandwich shop in the Tenderloin that offers delicious meat and tofu banh mi sandwiches. Be sure to stop by early because there is almost always a line for one of their delicious sandwiches!
Saigon Sandwich, 560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 474 5698
DeAfghanan Kabob House
DeAfghanan Kabob House is an Afghan and Middle Eastern restaurant that serves succulent kabobs, traditional Afghani appetizers, and several rice and vegetarian options. Afghani cuisine uses many different spices and herbs such as saffron, cinnamon, cloves, chilies, parsley, dill, and mint. Craving kabobs but don’t want to leave your apartment? DeAfghanan has pickup and delivery!
DeAfghanan Kabob House, 1035 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 929 1124
Brenda’s French Soul Food
Restaurant, French, Seafood, Soul Food, $$$
Brenda’s French Soul Food
Brenda’s French Soul Food offers Southern, Creole, and French cuisines presented in a down-home style and atmosphere. Enjoy tasty appetizers like crawfish beignets and hushpuppies, followed by entrées like chicken étouffée, shrimp and grits, and a cornmeal fried shrimp po’boy, plus a variety of sweet beignets for dessert. But get there early because Brenda’s doesn’t take reservations, and it fills up fast!
Brenda’s French Soul Food, 652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 345 8100
Restaurant, Indian, Pakistani, $$$
Thai Idea Vegetarian
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Rusty’s Southern embraces the traditions of the South, but through more than just food. They believe that being Southern is more than just a geographic identity, and that it comes down to how people relate to one another and embrace the traditions of their food. Rusty’s offers entrées like catfish, fried chicken, meatloaf, and pork chops, with sides for the whole table. There’s a specialty brunch, and lunch items are served every day along with craft beer.
Rusty’s Southern, 750 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 638 6974
Cafe, Tea , American, $$$
Un Cafecito is a small locale in the Tenderloin that serves coffee and tea, brunch, tamales, and sandwiches. They also often feature local artists in the café and frequently have spoken word poetry and live music nights. So head to Un Cafecito, grab a Mexican hot chocolate and bagel with Nutella, and settle in for a night of spoken word.
Un Cafecito, 335 Jones St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 674 1769
Taylor Street Coffee Shop
Taylor Street Coffee Shop is a small, casual, neighborhood spot that offers traditional American breakfast and lunch. Try their breakfast pizza, with hash browns under scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, their specialty Millionaire’s Bacon, or grab something healthier with a side of fresh fruit.
Taylor Street Coffee Shop, 375 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 567 4031