If you want to be technical about it, any sandwich consumed first thing in the morning is a "breakfast sandwich," but we know what you're really after as you roll groggily out of bed: oozing, melted cheese, fluffy scrambled or fried eggs, optional (but not really) meat of choice, all encased by sweet, glorious carbohydrates.
So many considerations must be taken into account: bun-to-filling ratio, additions and house-made components. There are fancy variations and grease bombs, snacks and meals that meet the daily caloric intake. Each has its place in our hearts and stomachs.
Called it a croissandwhich, a bagelwich, a McMuffin or a sando, if you can order it in the morning and it has buns and eggs, it counts. Whether to cure your hangover woes or simply start the day off heartily in ideal proportions of fat, protein and carbs, here are the our ten best breakfast sandwiches in the city.
See also: San Francisco's Top 10 Brunches
As fall settles in on San Francisco, it brings changes at the farmers' market, restaurant menus, and the type of weather-related bitching done by city residents. With each successive fall, one food item seems to be rearing its greasy head on more and more menus: poutine. Every year, this Quebecois pub snack gains traction as additional restaurants slot it on to their menu, and each year someone writes about a few of them, but it's usually only a short list of three to five places and ends up resembling more a rapper's name check than an informative breakdown. This doesn't cut it for me. Having traveled to Montreal on many occasions to watch the Canadian Formula 1 races and then to Quebec, I have indulged in many late night poutine-eating sessions in bars, and even a sad afternoon stop at a poutine-serving Burger King, so uncovering only a few of San Francisco's poutine stops would be criminal. Instead, I found eleven. Yeah, "Vladamir Poutine," president of Poutinestan, would approve.
These days it seems that chefs must constantly compete to remain relevant in modern culinary culture. Especially in San Francisco, where food trends roll in and out with the fog. But no matter the direction the most recent current shifts or what the latest fuss is about, there will always be a place in our stomachs for classic comfort food like old-fashioned, finger-lickin' good fried chicken. We traversed the city, foregoing salads at the peak of their season and sacrificing the efficiency of our arteries, to bring you our top ten favorites.
Outdoor seating at an S.F. bar is a rare bird, but some of us actually enjoy that heady mix of cool air, cigarette smoke, and condensed fog to go with our cocktails. And shoot, when it's sunny these are the only places to be. Using a "complex" metric taking into account, among other things, ambiance, populist appeal, and proximity to the heart of town, we ranked the eight best patios, benches, and decks where one may freely imbibe.
8. Lucky 13
This Upper Market watering hole includes a nice-sized patio off to the side*, though don't expect too much -- the seating is usually dominated by smokers and its hours are modest out of deference to the neighbors. Consequently, there's hardly ever a crowd. Any given weekday around dusk, you can claim one of these cozy benches for your own. Dogs are welcome!
7. The Ramp
Seems like this Potrero Hill place was engineered to manage hangovers. A plate of eggs Benedict, a bloody Mary, and a massive patio filled with parasol-shaded seats looking out over the bay is a prescription for a successful afternoon. This is an inarguably gorgeous, if slightly out of the way spot to drink outside. It's also basically a restaurant, with a modest booze selection and rather chaste hours. Go here for brunch; go somewhere else for a wild night.
Given the care that San Francisco cooks lavish on the humblest of vegetables, it's no surprise that sandwich-making in this town qualifies as an artisanal pursuit. Even journeyman makers hunt down the perfect bread for their masterpieces and whisk together small-batch mayonnaise. In fact, we're surprised that no one has come up with a sandwich-making certification program. Or a guild. Or at least a manifesto. Then again, that's what we love about sandwiches. You can make a sandwich fancy, you can charge $14 for it, but in the end, it's still a food meant to be eaten with your hands. Here are our 10 favorite right now:
Brunch is a way of life in San Francisco. Out-of-towners marvel that
we'll wait an hour-and-a-half for a stack of pancakes, and the morning
cocktail scene is lively -- even if the drinks are made with soju
instead of vodka. On Saturday night we may share bottles of Zinfandel
and exotic preparations of Brussels sprouts, but come Sunday morning,
it's all back to the roots of eating for pleasure. Runny, cheesy eggs.
Thick bacon. Crispy hash browns. Warm, creamy grits. The staples we love
and crave, but elevated to a whole new level.
This city is home to many flavors of brunch spots, from chichi raw
bar restaurants to good old-fashioned American breakfast diners. We have
brunches based in almost every cuisine at almost every price level in
almost every neighborhood. It's tough to narrow down a meal so close to
our hearts and bellies, but SF Weekly has given it our best shot,
rounding up our favorite places to gather on foggy weekend mornings with
friends. Here are our 10 favorite current spots for brunch:
What better way to spend a weekend morning than over dim sum? Waitresses keep offering you tidbits of pork and shrimp, your endless pot of tea gets refilled without asking if you leave the lid up (there's a veteran tip), and at almost every place on this list, six people can eat until you're bored, full or both for less than $20 a person.
San Francisco ain't Hong Kong or Singapore, but for dim sum outside of Chinese-speaking metropoli, we've got it pretty good. A couple months ago SFoodie brought a wine writer from New York to one of our favorite places and he said, "Wow, we don't have dim sum like this," and not because we made him eat chicken feet. Though when you get to number 5 on this list, we strongly suggest that you do.
The best dim sum in San Francisco is not found in Chinatown. Instead, look north of Golden Gate Park, although top spots are found as far afield as Daly City. And a warning to vegetarians, as well as people persnickety about service: You'll be happiest at the places with the fewest Chinese diners. Because for the rest of us, the best way to find a new favorite dish is to not ask questions, but point at it and dig in.
In the last few years, finding a bad drink in San Francisco has become harder than finding a good one. In nearly every neighborhood you'll find a bar filled with fresh juices, high-quality spirits, and a talented bartender conducting their craft. Having already covered the top 10 dive bars, now it's time for our picks of 10 bars that are moving the local cocktail culture forward, one drink at a time.
In a fickle landscape for food businesses, many cupcake shops have opened in recent years in San Francisco -- and, happily, they continue to stick around. While not every innovation regarding the dessert has worked out in practice (cupcake and wine pairings should be banned), there's still a clear demand.
SFoodie is a tough customer when it comes to cupcakes. We are not on a diet. We are not lured or fooled by a sky-high swirl of frosting. And we're not swayed by sprinkles, though we do have an appreciation for the occasional edible glitter. Attention must be paid to the cake itself, ideally with a not-too-dense crumb (how the inside looks, not what falls off it). You'd probably not be shocked to know how many places make that an afterthought.
Here are our 10 favorite current spots for cupcakes:
Within five minutes of arguing with any San Franciscan about the best burrito in town, it becomes clear that what makes a great burrito is different for all of us. For some people, greatness is impossible without girth. For others, the quality and quantity of the meat is most important, and a few stalwart taqueria regulars refuse to eat a burrito unless the tortilla has been griddled.
SFoodie doesn't really care about size or tortilla heating method. For us, the most important factor is flavor. And not just the flavor of the meat and salsa: The beans must be well cooked, and the rice can't be just filler -- seeing as how you're carbo-bombing your body, the bulk of the wrap should taste like more than starch. A great burrito stacks six or seven good components on top of one another, so that even when you get a bite without cheese, or salsa or meat, you want to keep eating the thing.
Here are our 10 favorite right now: