The Essential SF SoMa Food & Drink Guide



SF’s most eclectic neighborhood is the SoMa (South of Market). The SoMa is culinarily buzzing with a diversity of exceptional food and drink spots housed in the most unique spaces you’ll experience in the city.  This SF food & drink guide is here to help you discover all the the hotspots and hidden gems from a cool local perspective.

Why the SomA & THIS FOOD & DRink guide are special

Once the city’s gritty hub for small manufacturing, sprawling warehouses, and leather-clad subcultures, this distinctly urban neighborhood has been irreverently reimagined. Today the SoMa is a world epicenter of tech culture, modern art, and some of SF’s finest food and drinks.

After living around and working in the SoMa for over a decade, we’ve curated a unique selection of essential favorites below that highlight the neighborhood’s unique charm and rightly contribute to SF’s legendary culinary culture. This neighborhood food and drink guide focuses on the hippest part of the neighborhood, it’s southwestern corner (nearest the Mission District), where old-school SF classics intermingle with some of the city’s most innovative and exciting new restaurants and bars. Enjoy and let us how you like them!


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Rocco’s Cafe

 1131 Folsom Street
SF-STYLE Diner [  ]

A SoMa neighborhood classic.  You’ll find extensive menu of solidly done breakfast favorites (and benedicts on the weekends) and bottomless coffee are served in a space exuding SF charm, history, and plenty of kitsch.  Extra points for the nostalgic oldies jams playing in the background as you start your day off right.

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Vive La Tarte

 1160 Howard Street
Bakery Café [  ]

This Belgian-style bakery serves up a tasty array of pastries, quiche, and larger breakfast plates alongside great coffee in a bright, airy, industrial-cool space that’s made for hanging out.

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the Grove

 1 Henry Adams Street
Café [  ]

A diverse and extensive menu with hearty portions and an outdoor patio make this a sunny day, al fresco fave. Located in the ‘Design District’ this is a great jumping off point for checking out some of SF’s coolest furniture and decor shops after you’ve had your fill.

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 18 Boardman Place
Sandwiches / Vietnamese [  ]

Bahn mi done right. This simple take-out-focused spot serves an array of substantially-sized Vietnamese sandwiches, spring rolls, and drinks. Try our personal favorite grilled portobello bahn mi and an a Vietnamese iced coffee. 

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Pizza squared

Pizza Squared

 885 Brannan Street
pizza[  ]

It seems like a gimmick but this pizza spot is really good and a solid choice for picking up a quick slice.

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Teds deli

Ted’s Market & Deli

 1530 Howard Street
Vietnamese [  ]

It’s a surprising challenge to get a delicious, high-quality sandwich at a fair price in SF.  Enter Ted’s: an extensive menu of exceedingly delicious, sizable, and affordable sandwiches served by the nicest people.  Lots of vegetarian and vegan option too!

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Moya (closed)

 121 9th Street
Ethiopian [  ]

Some of the best Ethiopian food in SF served in colorful, casual space, with the nicest staff. Try the veggie sampler platter, the doro wot (spicy marinated drumsticks), and gluten free injera bread.

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Pho hour

Pho Hour

 1114 Bryant
Vietnamese [  ]

This is a great, cheap, no frills spot serving delicious Pho and any array of other Vietnamese classics.

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7 Mission

 150 7th Street
Chinese / Vietnamese [  ]

A cozy, very affordable Chinese spot with an attentive staff and a great menu.  Try their hot pots or their vegetable stir fry served up quick and fresh.  

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Basil canteen

Basil Canteen

1489 Folsom Street
Thai [  ]

A SoMa staple, this Thai spot (and there somewhat more formal sister space Basil down the street) serves up a curated selection of Bankok-inspired dishes and refreshing cocktails in a lofty two story space.  They have a great happy hour too!

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Fondue cowboy

Fondue Cowboy

 1052 Folsom Street
Eclectic / Cheese [  ]

Combining two of our favorite things, cheese and spaghetti westerns, this fondue spot is a memorable choice for a cozy and indulgent meal. 

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Dumpling time 5

Dumpling Time

 11 Divison Street
Asian [  ]

This hip spot has an extensive menu of every imaginable type of dumpling, fried, steamed, and soup, all of which are delicious.  The glass-enclosed kitchen puts the art and theater of dumpling making on display too, while the steam, pops of neon, and movie playing on the projector complete the visual feast.

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82 14th Street
Japanese [  ]

Probably the best Izakaya spot in SF.  We love the diverse and excellent menu of Japanese favorites like sashimi, yakatori, and udon that shine with high-quality locally-sourced ingredients.  The space and the design of every detail reaches near aesthetic perfection too– a true dining experience.

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Pink onion

Pink Onion

64 14th Street
Italian [  ]

A great little Italian spot serving Sicilian-inspired small plates, pasta, and pizza along with a consistently-excellent selection of beer and wine on tap. 

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1725 Alameda Street
Seafood Fusion [  ]

One of our favorite places to come for seafood.  An array of innovative, Japanese-inspired dishes cleverly play with local ingredients and cuisines.  Some of our favorites include  the Uni ‘flan’, fish ‘ribs’, and katsu fries. They also have a great brunch and heated patio for a rare SF al fresco dining experience.

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Ananda fuara

Ananda Fuara

1298 Market Street
Vegetarian [  ]

This long-running, old school vegetarian & vegan spot, run by what seems to be a cheerful cult, is an SF classic for a reason. Try their legendarily-delicious ‘neatloaf’ and explore the bistro-like menu which includes a number of Indian and Mexican classics, along with an array of sandwiches, wraps, soups, and salads.

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Bar agricole

Bar Agricole

355 11th Street
California Seasonal [  ]

A SoMa legend where fancy cocktails & natural wine meet fresh California cuisine with a fine dining twist. The distinctive, airy space is large and never feels too crowded, even when it’s bustling.  Be sure to check out their sweet outdoor patio too.  

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Cat heads bbq

Cathead’s BBQ

1665 Folsom Street
Barbeque [  ]

Some of the best BBQ in SF. Our favorites include their pulled pork, coca-cola smoked brisket, Marker’s Mark portobello mushrooms, and their signature biscuits (that are as big as a cat’s head).  Bonus points: they were featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show (questionable taste in personal style but great at highlighting special local spots :).

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Cellarmaker Brewery

1150 Howard Street
Craft Brewery [  ]

Easily the finest microbrewery in the SoMa.  A rotating selection of brewed-in-house beer is consistently delicious and served up in a bright and airy space. Pro-tip: show up early before the weekday crowd gets off of work to claim a precious space at the bar.

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The willows

The Willows

 1582 Folsom Street
Bar with Food [  

This classy dive, serves up a great selection of cocktails and beer along with a solid food menu (see their ‘drunken happy meal’ above for inspiration).  Their diverse, multiroom space also features  pool, pinball, and a bunch of bar games to keep it interesting.

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Terrior NAtural Wine Bar

 1116 Folsom Street
Natural Wine Bar [  ]

One of SF’s finest venues for wine. Find an exciting collection of natural & organic wine by the glass, complimented by a delicious selection of small plates. The whole place is an extensive bottle shop too so you can take your new (or old) vine discoveries home with you.

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The tempest

the Tempest

 431 Natoma Street
Dive Bar with Food [  ]

The only true dive left in the SoMa, this spot has been a mainstay of bike messengers and longtime locals for decades. Start with a requisite beer & shot combo then wander over to the attached Box Kitchen for some of SF’s finest bar food (the garlic fries are a must). 

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the Stud

 399 9th Street
Drag Bar [  ]

Only 50 feet from our shop! This SoMa institution is the only cooperatively-owned bar in the country and SF’s lone drag bar. Dance and drink with the finest queens in town, nightly, until this (and rest of the city) are turned into condos.

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City beer store

City Beer Store

 1148 Mission Street
Beer Bar with Food [  ]

One of a few must-visit beer venues in SF.  Sporting classy new digs, this spot consistently showcases the best hop water that the Bay Area & CA have to offer.  Also check out their attached shop for a dangerous selection of bottles & cans to drink in or take away. You’ve been warned.

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Vega Coffee

1246 Folsom Street
CoffEe Shop [  ]

This small but mighty cafe with a cool Vespa theme serves up great pour-over coffee and espresso and is run by some of the nicest people around. Also check out their exceedingly-cool collection of SF art, cycling, and history books.

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Sightglass Coffee

 270 7th Street
Coffee Roaster [  ]

The main roasting operation and café of one of SF’s hippest and most notable coffee roasters.  Drop in for a consistently clean, tasty 3rd-wave coffee or espresso in a beautiful warehouse space with a deco theme.

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A curated insider’s guide to our favorite places to eat, drink, and explore in the city

About Nick Hormuth

Nick is the owner and main tour guide of Dandyhorse Bike Tours. A lifelong San Francisco enthusiast and resident of the Mission District, Nick nerds out on food, bikes, history, and crafting unique adventures.

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