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Forward-thinking San Francisco has often been at the fore of dining trends: Street food, farm-to-table cooking, new-Mexican and fast-casual are all trends that grew here. And with the city experiencing something of an explosion in different cuisines, your hardest decision might be which great restaurant to try next. Here is a brief guide to ten great restaurants that are well worth a visit (or two, depending onhow hungry you are).
Azalinas restaurant

Photo courtesy of Azalina Eusope

1. Azalina’s Malaysian (1355 Market St)
Chef Azalina Esope is known for her innovative flavours and interesting dishes, from traditional curries to tea-leaf salads. This fast-casual restaurant doesn’t disappoint, and if you find yourselffalling in love with her cooking, you can even book a spot in one of their cookery classes!

Related: Just got back from San Francisco? Yeah, we can tell. Here are the top 7 signs.

2. Cockscomb (564 Fourth St)
Probably most famous for their Oysters – this upmarket restaurants focusses on fresh, fun cuisine and the natural flavours of a seaside city. Cockscomb is a restaurant that celebrates San Franciscos’ culinary heritage in style, and attracts a young and upmarket crowd.

Liholiho Yacht Club

Liholiho Yacht Club | Photo courtesy of Zach Hilty

3. Liholiho Yacht Club (871 Sutter St)
If you’re seeking out something a bit exotic, this Hawaiian-inspired restaurant with a modern open kitchen concept makes for a fun choice. Colorful tile floors and illuminating skylights add some cheer, while the chefs are fabulous at mixing obscure ingredients in unexpected ways. Look out for the twice-cooked pork belly with pineapple, and roasted octopus.

The Perennial

The Perennial | Photo courtesy of Helynn Ospina

3. The Perennial (59 Ninth St)
The Perennial, set for a January 2016 opening, boasts the motto “Progressive Agrarian Cuisine,” and the journey from farm to plate is carefully followed. Everything on the menu will be sourced with constant attention to developing positive and ecologically sustainable relationships between farmer and restaurant. So if you’re conscious about where you food has come from, or even fancy knowing more about it (the staff here will fill you in), then this place is a fantastic choice.

San Francisco Restaurant-Mourad

Photos courtesy of Mourad

5. Mourad (140 New Montgomery)
In the heart of downtown San Francisco, Mourad is a popular Moroccan restaurant with a lovely ambiance and well-cooked dishes that are seasoned to perfection. Mourad is also well-known for generous portions (the perfect choice for those with big appetites) and excellent service.

Hawker Fare interior and food

Photos courtesy of Hawker Fare

6. Hawker Fare (680 Valencia St)
Hawker Fare is a popular Thai restaurant, with a great atmosphere and delicious food. If your idea of a good time is loads of sharing plates, vibrant flavors and loud music, then this place will be right up your alley. The food is authentically Thai, and for a second you might just trick yourself into believing you’re on a beach somewhere.

Xiao Long Bao, a dish at China Live

Xiao Long Bao, a dish at China Live | Photo courtesy of China Live

7. China Live (644–660 Broadway St)
While this top spot is currently undergoing construction, China Live is set tor turn with the very best of modern Chinese gastronomy in early 2016. Taking up a huge chunk of China Town, this “dining experience” makes a great spot for a lively night out.

Morning bun and galette from Tartine Bakery

Morning bun and galettefrom Tartine Bakery | Photos courtesy of Eric Wolfinger

8. Tartine Bakery (18th St at Alabama)
For those with a sweet tooth, you won’t be more satisfied than you are after eating here. Organic ingredients are used to make the delicious pastries, sweets and sandwiches, and the smell alone will have childhood memories of home-baking flooding back to you. Look out for the lemon cream tart, plus the chocolate eclairs are to die for!

Related: Take a look at some of our favorite things to do along Central California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

Sunchoke curry with halibut at Al's Place

Sunchoke curry with halibut at Al’s Place | Photo courtesy of Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

9. AL’s Place (1499 Valencia St)
Chef Aaron London received universal acclaim during his time at the famous Nobu in London. Now his new restaurant in San Francisco aims to showcase excellent options and flavors available to vegetarians, although delicious meat and seafood dishes are also available.

Capo's Italian

Capo’s Italian | Photo courtesy of Sarah Inloes

10. Capo’s Italian (641 Vallejo St)

You don’t need to go to Chicago to find authentic Chicago pizza, because it lives right here on Vallejo Street. This restaurant is a serious throwback, and has that comfortable, friendly-family atmosphere Italian restaurants are known for. Top tip? The deep-dish pizza is out of this world, but make sure you save room for the tiramisu. You’ll never taste another quite as good.

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Elle-Rose Williams
Elle-Rose is an award-winning travel blogger from the UK, who is the editor of She is based in London, but travels as far and wide as she can, as often as possible.
Elle-Rose Williams

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