When San Francisco went into lockdown in March I started eating A LOT of takeout. My idea of a wild Friday night was ordering in Pizza and watching a few of my favorite movies. In fact, my roommate and I had some fun with it and started planning movie theme weeks. At the beginning of the week we’d pick a theme and brainstorm a bunch of movies.
The movies were fun, but obviously we needed food to go with it. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday, became take out nights. We ordered some of our tried and true classics, but also experimented with some new ones. Pretty much everything we got was drool-worthy. SF knows how to do take out.
In case you’re new to the blog and just tuning in to my bi-costal saga, I moved to San Francisco a few years ago, but have spent the past few months in Connecticut to be closer to family. Since I’ll be working remote for a while longer, I decided it was time to pack up my apartment and move back east for a while. This past week I went back to San Francisco to move out, so, naturally, had to make the most of my limited time and eat as much as possible.
I plan to be back in the Bay in six months, but I figured I’d jot down a list of my top restaurants and favorite menu-items in case I somehow forget my go-to orders before then. Here it goes!
The Italian Homemade Company.
Potentially the most basic spot in North Beach, but I regret nothing. There are a few Italian Homemade locations around the city, but the OG is in North Beach, just a few blocks from where I lived. The menu is simple and classic, but beyond delicious. I pretty much only ever order fettuccini with marinara since I don’t do meat or cheese, but even this minimalistic dish hits the spot. It’s a great place to pick up when you’re out and about, even right now. The North Beach location is just half a block down from Washington Square park, so it’s easy to order to go and take your pasta for a picnic! They’re also on Caviar/Doordash so it’s easy to get it delivered too…contactless, of course!
Square Pie Guys.
Ever heard of Detroit Style Pizza? Yeah, me neither…until I tried Square Pie Guys. And let me tell you, it’s life changing. Growing up my family almost always ordered out pizza on Friday nights, so even now I have some primal instinct that craves pizza every Friday. Of course, I don’t eat dairy so it’s a battle to find a place with a good vegan option. Square Pie Guys does not disappoint. I usually tend to be a thin crust pizza kind of gal, but thick doughy cheese covered crust quickly converted me. My usual order is the plant square 2.0 with vegan cheese and the chilled bowl Salad. The pizza is heavy and indulgent so I justify it by getting a salad to go with, and honestly, the salad might be even better than the pizza. With kale and jumbo white beans, tossed in a sun dried tomato vinaigrette, it’s one of my all time favorite salads. Plus, the leafy greens balance out the thick slices of glorified cheese-y bread you’re eating along with it. I’ve never actually been to their location, but thankfully they deliver on Caviar so I’ve indulged on more than one occasion.
If Friday’s are for Pizza, then Thursday’s are for ramen. Before I moved to SF, I thought ramen was just the cup of noddles you ate as a broke college student. It turns out I was living completely in the dark for the first 22 years of my life. Ramen is AMAZING. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good cup-o-noodles, but Ramen Yamadaya is on another scale entirely. Their vegan ramen is easily one of my favorite comfort foods. With yams, mushrooms, corn, and cashew butter, it’s everything I could ever ask for from a bowl of noodles, and more. I’ve been to their location in Japantown on more than one occasion (pre-pandemic), and while there is something sorta fun about the ramen bar experience of getting packed into shared tables that are definitely not at all allowed right now, eating ramen at my coffee table while watching one of my favorite movies, that’s something else entirely. Check it out!
Above Ground San Francisco.
This has quickly and easily become one of my favorite spots in SF and I’ve never even been there. In fact, Above Ground opened solely for takeout back in April. They’ve since opened for in person dining while allowed by the city but they’re still doing takeout orders! One of my favorite and least favorite things about Above Ground is that they are constantly changing their menu. I think each time I’ve gotten a different main dish each time I’ve ordered, but everything has been exquisite. Oh, and 100% vegan. Yes, that’s right, their menu is 100% vegan!! In past I’ve gotten a few different pasta dishes which were creamy, comforting, and completely delicious. Currently they have a lot of pizzas, which I’m fine with because it gives me another option for Friday nights. My favorite item on their menu thankfully hasn’t changed – the oyster mushrooms. They are mushrooms crushed with arborio rice and served with a chile jam and they are easily one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. They remind me of a vegan calamari, so if you’re like me and you’re a former calamari fan who no longer eats fish/meat, you’ve gotta give these mushrooms a try. They’re available for delivery, and I’d recommend ordering early because they tend to get busy!
I have plenty of other favorite places to eat in San Francisco, but these have been my recent go-to’s, and were the four places I made my dad try while he was helping me move. His personal favorite was Italian Homemade…which we ordered twice in the six days we were in the city!
If you’re based in SF, let me know if you’ve tried any of these spots or have other local favorites! If you’re not in the area, you’ll have to add these to your list for when you can travel again and want to eat your way through the best (and most delicious) city on the West Coast!