When I arrived to San Francisco to work at BetterDoctor as the UX designer, nobody told me that the food is so good in this city. I thought it is my job now to tell you why you should really apply for Start up Life. It ain’t the job, honey, it’s the food.
When they say San Francisco style, they mean ridiculous amounts of avocado
You might get hungry after your long flight from chilly Finland. I know I did and I have eaten well and in many places. I could say that after my first half of Start up Life, I have become a San Francisco food pro. And luckily I have had good teachers guiding me with where to eat good Chinese, Mexican, Thai and Brazilian food, not to mention typical American burgers in the San Francisco style. Which means that there is loads of avocado in everything; in sandwiches, salads, soups, hamburgers… Nearly in anything you can imagine. Usually when the menu says “San Francisco style” -something, it means it comes with avocado. If you have eaten avocado only in Finland, forget you ever tasted it. This is something different.
Rise and shine (with a good croissant)
Enough of avocado, let’s talk about breakfast. Here people seem to eat their breakfast when commuting to work. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, especially since I don’t have a kitchen. So I eat my breakfast at work. It seems that in whatever area you live in, you’ll have a coffee shop nearby. I have lived now in Mission, Inner Richmond and downtown, and even the furthest corner like Inner Richmond, had a couple of decent coffee joints. If you are a coffee lover, there is huge amount of variety to choose from, and in the morning you don’t even have to wait that long to get your daily wakeup dosis. If you are more of a tea person you won’t have to worry, because you can get good tea also from almost everywhere.
My personal favorite is the coffee shop next to our office, called La Boulange de Market, located at the corner of 3rd and Market Street. They have the best croissants in town, and I especially recommend the whole wheat croissant. And there is just something about that coffee that makes it taste better than the others. Maybe it’s the talkative hipsters working there who I randomly pump into all the time in the dive in bar Dave’s next to the cafe.
Everyday lunchtime decision-making problems
After your hard, at least 3-hour sitting-in-front-of-computer session you are definitely needing some refill. If you work in downtown like I do, you have even too many lunch options. The food is affordable during lunch time even though the actual restaurant might be more expensive during dinner time. Just remember one thing, in San Francisco the entire city is looking for lunch at noon, so prepare yourself for line if you go exactly at 12 pm.
These are a few of my favorites:
- For good thai food, I enjoy TaRa. We go there pretty often from work and the food is good and definitely well priced. (https://www.tara-restaurant.com)
- If you want Chinese lunch, try Fang. It’s a good option if you want something that has a lot of taste. It might even surprise you! If you do not want to pay too much, don’t let the owner order you food! Been there, done that. (https://www.fangrestaurant.com)
- Lunch salad! If the day is good, I warmly recommend the apple chicken salad at the Grove! Take it with you and go to the nearest park, which in this case would be Yerba Buena Gardens, which is amazing place to be when it’s sunny outside. For a moment you might feel like you are not in the city. (https://www.thegrovesf.com)
- But still, my personal favorite is Plant Cafe, which is known for the organic products. (https://www.theplantcafe.com)
- For a good pizza I have to say that Zero Zero is worth trying for. Also the salads are amazing, so take both! (https://www.zerozerosf.com)
- If you don’t like any of these things, try food trucks at the truck stop! The food trucks go around the city and there are usually few next to each others, so if your buddy has different taste in food, you don’t have to fight about the place. Just go there and go stand in different lines.
These are just few ones, but there are many many more good ones. I bet that in 90% of the places you eat at the food will be good.
Eat until you drop!
The food journey never ends! In San Francisco people get together quite a bit for dinner and drinks. People eat dinner here rather early, but you can go later too. You can always get food somewhere at anytime. So don’t worry. You won’t be going bed hungry.
I recommend a couple of places. If you like meat like I do, and you are ready to pay for it, go to Churrascaria Espetus for a eat until you drop dinner. You will get more meat than you can imagine. It’s great. I just have one advice before you go there: eat salad for a week before you dine there. You will not regret it. (https://www.espetus.com)
For a good Mexican dinner, you should take a walk towards SoMa and eat at Tres. The place is pretty neat and the food is good. Another piece of advice: the portions are big. And don’t do what I did.. Eat a whole lot of chips with guacamole while waiting the food. The guacamole is amazing but you might not be able to eat anything after that. It’s so addictive. If you like avocado, of course. (https://tressf.com)
If you want something fishier, go to Izakaya Ninja, where all the japanese hipsters eat. Also, this place is my Monday-laundry-night dinner place. I eat while waiting for the laundry machine to do its magic. I love this place. (https://www.izakayaninja.com)
You look like I need a drink
After a good day of eating, you should go dancing somewhere. But if you are a Finn like me, you might need a bit of encouragement before you hit the dance floor. Good place to go for a classy, fine cocktail is definitely Local Edition. It’s a jazzy place that doesn’t even look like a bar from the street. (https://localeditionsf.com)
If you want something less fancy, you can just go to any of the many dive bars around the city, and like I mentioned before, Dave’s is a good one to start with. You can then upgrade to Local Edition around the corner if you feel after it that you need something fancier in the end. (https://www.yelp.com/biz/daves-san-francisco)
If you are enough jolly, go dancing. And don’t go wherever, go to Mission or Castro. The startup lifers from my batch (and the earlier batches) enjoy spending time in Beauty bar in Mission for some reason. (https://www.thebeautybar.com) Maybe because there is a hot dog kiosk next to the bar. You can still get a foodie experience before you hit the bed.