Category: Food (12)

Who’s Hungry?

Hi, I’m Ping, I’ve been with Latitude 38 Group for a little over 2 years and my blog post is well overdue. But for good reason! Since I didn’t move here as a student looking for housing, I had to think of a topic that would benefit our readers. I came up with FOOD. Who DOESN’T love food?

I moved to San Francisco from Pennsylvania in February 2003. I was a December graduate with no job. I came to SF broke, intending to crash on my sister’s couch, and hopefully to land my dream job. I moved here with my cousin and since we had to eat, we went on a hunt for the best and cheapest places to eat in the City. One of the first things we learned about SF was that if we ate at a different restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, it would take us over seven years to get through everything. This driving us even more to start our hunt.

Fast forward to 9+ years down the road; I still have yet to go to some of the most well-known restaurants, but I do have a pretty extensive list of favorites that I can share. I’ll list a few from the top of my head, in no particular order. And please excuse the veer toward Asian Food; we didn’t get much of the good stuff in PA, so I’m like a kid in Candyland here in SF.

  1. Roy’s – Hawaiian Fusion, SOMA: Must try: the Butterfish! It melts in your mouth
  2. Cha Cha Cha – Caribbean/Cuban Tapas, Mission or Haight: Must try: Plantanos, Cajun Shrimp, the sauce is amazing; ask for more bread so you can use it for dip, Potatoes, YUM!
  3. Barbacco – Italian, FiDi: Learned to love Brussel Sprouts here. Then again, what isn’t wonderful when fried in duck fat?
  4. San Tung – Chinese, Inner Sunset: Must try: the Chicken Wings. Who’da thought a Chinese restaurant would have the best chicken wings in town?
  5. Saiwaii Ramen – Japanese, Outer Sunset: Must try: Pork Belly with any Ramen dish
  6. Sweet Maple – Korean Fusion Breakfast/Brunch: Must try the Millionaire’s Bacon and the Bulgogi scramble. Expect a wait, unless you’re a party of two.
  7. R&G Lounge – Chinese, Chinatown/FiDi: MUST HAVE THE SALT AND PEPPER CRAB!! So delicious. And their Peking Duck is amazing too.
  8. Credo – Italian, Fidi: Love this little place. Their pastas are delicious.
  9. PPQ – Vietnamese, Outer Richmond: Their Crab and Garlic Noodles are to die for!
  10. Gott’s Roadside – American, Ferry Building: I always get the Cobb Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, and either a milkshake or a beer 🙂
  11. House of Dumplings – Chinese, Outer Sunset: Dumplings!
  12. Curry Up Now – Indian Food Truck, FiDi: Must try: the Tikka Masala Burrito (Paneer is Mild, Chicken is SPICY HOT)
  13. Focaccia Market & Bakery – Deli, FiDi: Make your own salad or sandwich, how can you go wrong?
  14. Spices – Chinese, Inner Richmond: Go to the one on 8th Ave and get the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, it is truly amazing.
  15. Naan n Curry  – Indian, various locations: You can order anything, its all good. Esp the Naan.
  16. Tawan – Thai, Inner Richmond: Must try the Sweet Chili sauce Fish. I crave this on various occasions.
  17. Singapore Malaysian Restaurant – Singapore/Malaysian, Inner Richmond: Get the Roti Prata, the Kway Teow, some kind of Curry.
  18. Michelangelo’s – Italian, North Beach – Such a great little place, with gummy bears as dessert.
  19. 21st Amendment – Microbrewery, SOMA – Great place for drinks and food. I always get the butternut squash soup and the goat cheese appetizer and a couple of beers 🙂
  20. Anchor & Hope – Seafood, SOMA – Dollar Oysters!
  21. Moshi Moshi – Sushi, Dogpatch – Sea Urchin, yes!

21’s good. “Ping” me for more suggestions. 🙂

Click here to check out the map below with L38’s restaurant recommendations.


The city by the bay is well known for its great restaurants and food diversity. Its reputation has been well backed up by urban legends like the one that says that you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in different places for 3 years without repeating the same restaurant. Sadly, life and restaurants in San Francisco are not exactly cheap, but there are some tricks that allow you to enjoy them without spending your entire budget.

Tons of restaurants around the city offer happy hour menus where you can have nice appetizers and great drinks (only if you are older than 21 years, if not…..soda or water for you….sorry; anyway the food is worth the try) at an accessible price. You can find any type of places, and for any type of food. For example; you can eat a real Italian pizza for $5 at Il Fornaio from 4:30 to 6:30pm (same pizza that will cost you $19 at regular time), and all this can be enjoyed with a nice drink at a reduced price as well (additional special treatment will be available if you talk to Jorge and tell him that Mats sent you ;)).

If you are in the city, I will definitely recommend checking around the financial district. There you will find locals relaxing after long work days. My favorite places are: Osha at Embarcadero, Il Fornaio, Waterbar and their $1 oysters, and Sens on Friday nights; but I’m still trying new places and no regrets so far (it has been more than a year and a half by now).

So please, go out and enjoy the incredible and unpredictable weather of this amazing city, with a nice food and great glass of your favorite drink……..Cheers!

By Mats Nalsen