FIRST-TIMER’S GUIDE TO EATING OUT IN SAN FRANCISCO
If there’s one thing that I love about San Francisco, it’s the wide selection of restaurants and bars. Whether you’re looking for something low key or something a little more fun and fabulous, there’s no shortage of options, which is why I’ve dedicated this entire post to some of San Francisco’s finest restaurants.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive in (literally!!!).
The recently opened Babu Ji San Francisco is a modern Indian restaurant from the creators of Babu Ji in Melbourne Australia. The first thing you’ll notice as you walk through the doors is the fragrant aroma in the air and what I can only describe as disco, Indian pop playing from the speakers.
Babu Ji have incorporated all the traditional India flavours, but done so in a way that is more modern and less heavy than traditional Indian food. I would highly recommend the degustation menu which gives you the opportunity to try a variety of smaller Indian dishes, including a number of small sized Indian curries and a homemade Indian spiced ice-cream- delicious!!
If you’re big on seafood and love a stylish restaurant with a view, then you must visit Waterbar. Waterbar has been one of my favourite restaurants for a while and every time I go to San Fran, I go to Waterbar! It’s located on the Embarcadero waterfront with exquisite views of the Oakland Bridge. In the center of the restaurant is a beautiful, floor to ceiling aquarium, which would be a stunning feature of its own but coupled with the view of the bridge is truly amazing. The restaurant is busy at any time of day so be sure to book in advance via Open Table.
Also located on the Embarcadero right next to Waterbar is Epic Steak. Epic Steak offers both indoor and outdoor seating so if it’s a nice day try to get a table outside so you can soak up the sun and the view. Unlike Waterbar which offers only seafood, Epic Steak offers a variety of food including seafood, salads, pasta and of course, steak.
Absinthe is a French brasserie in the heart of Hayes Valley. As soon as you enter the Absinthe doors you’ll see the large dimly lit bar at the front of the restaurant and the beautiful French décor.
You can expect to find your traditional French dishes such as French onion soup, steak tartare and coq au vin as well as an extensive cheese and dessert selection.
Just around the corner from Absinthe are several small bars that you can head to for a drink before or after dinner.
I love the Rotunda because it combines two of my great loves- food and fashion! The Rotunda is located at the top of the Neiman Marcus building at Union Square which can be dangerous for those shopaholics like me.
Rotunda takes dinning to a whole new level of deliciousness. They start with a complementary side which is a bread meets croissant equivalent, served warm with a side of strawberry butter. I love to order a salad because they are both filling and fresh but I’ve tried many things on the menu and they are all good. I recommend going for a lazy afternoon lunch, enjoying the spectacular view of the glass stained dome and perhaps heading down the shops afterwards for a cheeky purchase.
Mezcalito is a recently opened Mexican restaurant in Russian Hill. Mezcalito offers an extensive mezcal menu which you can have neat or in one of their many cocktails. They also offer smaller Mexican tasting plates that have been designed to be shared.
In a short amount of time Mezcalito has become very popular, so you’ll find tables in very high demand. Don’t worry though, you can put your name down with the wait staff and head to one of the nearby bars across the road.
Your quest for the finest Argentinean steakhouse in San Francisco ends at Lolinda. This eatery opened in 2012 and offers a rainbow of meats that are cooked wood-fire asador (grill). In addition to a wide range of meats, Lolinda also offers many other dishes including ceviche, empanadas, octopus and roasted vegetables.
Last year I had my birthday at Lolinda and the restaurant was fantastic, especially when it came to accommodating a table of our size. Everyone loved the menu and the food we choose made it easy for sharing with the table. Because it was a Friday night the restaurant was buzzing with people which made for the perfect atmosphere.
Hope you enjoyed our first-timers guide to eating out in San Francisco and if you are looking for what to do, don’t forget to check out our blog.
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FIRST-TIMER’S GUIDE TO EATING OUT IN SAN FRANCISCO BY MELANIE DUCA