South of Seattle: 24 Hours of Food in San Francisco

Seattle is an ideal location for domestic travel, a short hop away from Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Say you’re looking for a quick getaway to San Francisco. Where do you spend the day doing the most important thing in life–eating? Here’s your guide to 24 hours of food in San Francisco. (If you’re wondering about Portland: Burgerville, Burgerville, Burgerville. Yum yum.)

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH (Monday through Saturday, 8am-3pm): Just for You Cafe, 732 22nd Street (at 3rd Street) Just For You Cafe in San Francisco

Located in the formerly sketchy neighborhood Dogpatch, Just for You is a typical American diner, with a twist: it is really, really, really good. Expect to come here and get filled up. The omelets are creative and delicious, the beignets huge, fluffy, and heavily powdered with sugar. The pancakes come in a selection of buttermilk, cornmeal (my favorite–not too sweet, but big enough to eat one for breakfast and one leftover for lunch), buckwheat, or gluten-free oatmeal. Plus there’s good old-fashioned pancake syrup, not that sissy maple syrup. The coffee is excellent, and the menu is rounded out with a selection of burgers, Mexican food, and the California usual (think garden burgers and granola). Just for You is a true classic.

BRUNCH/LUNCH (M-F 8am-10:30am, 11:30am-2:30pm; Sunday 10am-2:30pm): Boulette’s Larder, Ferry Building @ Market & Embarcadero Boulette's Larder in San Francisco

Boulette’s Larder is a treasure in the gourmet paradise of the Ferry Building, filled with top quality local food and wine. The menu changes daily and is always filled with amazingly unique Mediterranean/Californian-style cuisine. The changing menu makes it hard to recommend particular dishes, but a few are consistent. The Sunday osso bucco is reputed to be top-notch, the yogurt is always freshly-made and tangy with exciting add-ins, and the beignets are creamy and eggy. The beverages are an oddly strong point, including Blue Bottle (read: amazing) coffee served in French presses, ultra-thick hot chocolate, and the best damn fresh-pressed orange juice you’ve ever had. This is one of those places where everything on the menu is good, particularly if you’re up for a little adventure. With a combination of a brilliant chef and a blend of local and imported top-notch ingredients, Boulette’s is a consistent hit.
Note: Boulette’s is alcohol-free, but BYOB if you want to enjoy that bottle of wine you inevitably just picked up.

DINNER (W-Sunday, 6-9pm): Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant, 2154 Mission St Minako in San Francisco

Get ready for the best sushi you have ever had or ever will have. I am not even kidding. The quality of the fish is always near perfect, in particular salmon toro sashimi that is alway buttery and perfectly textured. The restaurant is run by a mother-daughter team and features the latest and greatest of music as the daughter, Judy, works in the music business. The rolls can only be described as creative, with a huge selection of vegan rolls and nigiri as well. The entrees are standout as well, with the salmon teriyaki being a particular favorite (with a light coating of teriyaki instead of the drench of Seattle). The appetizers are truly amazing, particularly the tofu house and eggplant miso. Both will leave you craving more, and the whole experience will leave you wondering how you will ever be able to eat sushi elsewhere. You’ll be sure to make it a stop every time you’re in the city.
Warning: The California rolls and cucumber rolls are thick rolls, not the thin rolls you are probably used to. You can probably ask for thin rolls if you want though, the kitchen is great with customization.
Bonus: All dishes can be made gluten-free, even tempura! Amazing.

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