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Food & Drink

Best Late-Night Greasy Spoon 

Sam's

Sam's looks like the sort of a place a private eye would repair to for a cup of joe while a seen-it-all counterman flips burgers on the grill and Edward Hopper lingers on the fringes. Located near the strip joints, blues bars, and mean streets of the old Barbary Coast, Sam's is a fine place to scarf a little protein after a rough night of booze and ennui. A nine-stool Formica counter dominates this brightly lit hole-in-the-wall with its handwritten signs, Radio Shack TV, and low-stipend menu of pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fried shrimp, fried chicken, and fish and chips. The pizza has a delectable pillowy crust, the chicken is moist and tender inside and nice and greasy outside, and the burgers, grilled in the front window to tempt the passing demimonde, are skinny yet satisfying and exactly what you want in the wee small hours of the morning. Bud, Beck's, Anchor, and Moët & Chandon (!) are available to wet your whistle. Open till 3 a.m.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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