Fillmore St. is just two blocks over from Japantown, where we were based during our New Year’s trip to San Francisco. If you don’t know what you want to eat but want access to a variety of cuisines, this is a great street to walk through. It’s lined with excellent eateries, from bars to fast casual to upscale dining.
This seafood restaurant has a cozy, neighborhood vibe. It’s walk-in only and tends to be busy. We had fun sitting at the bar and ordering fresh oysters and sardines to start. The bartender was friendly and attentive. I recommend the lobster roll, full of meaty chunks.
The large dining room at Noosh has an open feel, and you can entertain yourself by watching staff cooking flatbreads to order in the oven at the end of the bar. The smoked yogurt spread comes with fresh, fluffy pita and pickled veggies on the side. You can’t go wrong with the Turkish flabreads; they’re like light and classy thin-crust pizzas.
Ah, good old bagels with lox and cream cheese. Wonderful stuff. A New Yorker’s deli dream exists in San Francisco’s Wise Sons, which offers ideal breakfast portions: the bagel sandwiches are not too large, not too small. You’ll be satisfied after eating one, and you’ll still have room for a proper lunch.
The breakfast burritos are so good here. Get it with delicious, umami-full chorizo, and you’ll be in foodie heaven. If you want to take it over the top, as I am wont to do, get the guac as an extra filling. They serve these big babies all day, so don’t be shy about ordering one after sundown.
Meat lovers and vegetarians can commune at Roam, where there is an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. You can go crazy with toppings–I recommend adding an egg to your burger–and the sides are more expansive than the usual fare. For instance, you can, and should, order a side of zucchini fritters and, my personal favorite, sweet potato fries.
Super-friendly bartender when we were there. Academy has an array of local beers on tap. I love stouts, and I had a delicious one to wash down our two meat-filled pizzas. That’s right–we ordered two pizzas. The first one was so good, we just had to go for another one. No leftovers.
Started by a New Yorker, the Grove has grown into a business that has several outlets in the city. It’s a casual, comfortable place where locals hang out. There was a lot of Bruce Springsteen playing while we were there, and the walls are decorated with photos of rock stars. At first impression, the cafe looks like the one in the show “Friends,” but it’s not cheesy at all–the Grove serves up top-notch food. The pastrami sandwich was full of tender, juicy meat, and my mocha had strong, balanced notes from the chocolate and the coffee.