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Hit list for best restaurants in the Mission District

My husband loves eating in this area. His favorite, back in the day was Slanted Door. Here's my two cents on the hottest restaurants in the Mission District:


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  1. I love Blue Plate. They serve some of the most creative food I had in California

    1. I love eating in the mission because the food is generally both cheap and delicious, here is my little list of eateries:
      pakwan - for some tantalizing pakistani
      La Taqueria - for the tacos
      Pancho Villa - for the burritos
      Esperepento (not so cheap) - for the tapas

      5 Replies
      1. re: delicious

        To expand that, here's a recent thread on inexpensive eats in the Mission.


        1. re: delicious

          Re: Esperepento
          Do they really have the BEST sangria in town? From what I've heard, the food is just so-so but have been told to visit just for the sangria alone. What do you think?

          1. re: banquisha

            I do not think Esperpento has the best sangria...it's all about the value for the food there. Personally (and I'm no expert) I think Cha Cha Cha has great sangria, though I think the food there is relatively awful.

            1. re: banquisha

              try the patatas bravos and the dry fried garlic shrimp, you wont regret it.

            2. re: delicious

              Just had dinner at Esperpento and it wasn't that great, at all. Ordered a bunch of stuff (sausages, meatballs, calamari, white bean salad, clams) and most of it looked like it rolled off the truck from sysco. Sangria was okay, and the price was right, but when the guitar player started singing in my ear and leaving his hat on the table for tips, I had to throw down the towel. Thank god I was with good friends so we could laugh!

            3. Range has great cocktails and some good food, I'll second Blue Plate, La Taqueria (get the salsa verde), Pancho Villa, and Pakwan. I'll also add Delfina and Pizzaria Delfina and the taco stand on 24th near Alabama at Taqueria Vallarta.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Candice

                I heard that Delfina is also open for lunch/brunch? How is it? Worth trying?

                1. re: banquisha

                  Pizzeria Delfina only, not Delfina proper.

              2. I second the taco stand at Taqueria Vallarta. I have tried their lengua and beef cheek tacos and both were delish.

                1. Ti Couz at Valenica and 16th Street. Great seafood salad and crepes. Ankor Borei at Mission and Cortland. Wonderful Cambodian food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Rocky

                    Wow. Thread of the living dead.

                    I would disrecommend Ti Couz for dinner. They try to fancy up their crepes with salad and oysters, and it all goes horribly wrong. Crepes, brunch, check.

                  2. My favourite part of town when visiting. Limon was the best meal I had there on my last trip.

                    1. Minako Organic Japanese Food - Mission near 18th, one of the few places in the Mission that I regard as a destination visit. (Delfina is too hard to get a reservation for unless you are a regular).

                      1. I will second Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina, Range, Ti Couz, Blue Plate. I won't step into the taqueria fray -- it's very personal!

                        In addition to what's already mentioned:

                        Yo's Sushi Club on Mission near 29th

                        Platanos on Guerrero & 18th

                        Lotus Garden next to The Blue Plate

                        Aslam's Rasoi on Valencia near 21st

                        Dosa on Valencia & 21st

                        Pauline's for great pizza, on Valencia near 14th

                        And don't forget Tartine (the bakery)

                        I just can't recommend Esperpento or Ramblas. The sangria and the food at each are just so-so. Both are fun places for a group, though.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: farmersdaughter

                          What's good at Platanos? I never see much of a crowd there?

                          Also, I thought Pauline's was just fair. What is good there?

                          1. re: abe1329

                            I think the ceviche at Platanos is awesome.

                        2. My family and I had a pretty good lunch at Maverick. Luna Park, my dad loves, Mom loves The Last Supper Club, I'll second La Taqueria (vegetarian burritos and tacos, for those who don't eat "lengua"). Dosa,(muy sabrosa)very delicious. Ritual for coffee (to go, unless you like the ambiance of "cafe laptop"). Limon for pork chops or fish. Is the new Rasoi Indian place good?

                          1. my choices for mission eats!

                            blue plate - fried asparagus and crab salad
                            pakwan - chicken tikka masala
                            go go sushi - $3 hand rolls during happy hour
                            limon - any of their ceviches
                            delfina - any of their homemade pasta dishes
                            tartine - yummy chocolate croissants
                            pancho villa - super al pastor quesadilla
                            el farolito - super carne asada burrito
                            arinell - ny style slice pizza

                            1. We're just tourists in SF this week, but we had OUTSTANDING burritos (pollo con chili rojo) and fish tacos last night at EL METATE, on 2406 Bryant Street (near 22nd St.) A tiny and very warm joint, lovely folks. Steady stream of locals in this Hispanic neighborhood, but the Zagat rating seems to draw in a consistent sprinkling of gringos as well.

                              And worth mentioning Ritual Roasters for coffee after dinner or anytime, on 1026 Valencia, also near 22nd St. I'm a New Englander, so I'm no burrito expert-- but I know my coffee, and Ritual has a superior cappucino-- I thought it was better than the very decent Blue Bottle cup I tried as well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Avid Rita

                                Here's a second for Ritual!

                                I'm a big fan of this shop; they are easily one of the most consistent shops that I have ever seen. Every single espresso that I've had there, always poured ristretto, were incredible, and their lattes (decorated with very competant Latte Art) are beautiful to behold and wonderful to taste and feel, the latter due to an incredible texture in their microfoam. Somehow they coax a pronounced but natural sweetness of milk sugars out of their microfoam that I have not tasted as clearly in competing but otherwise competently poured lattes.

                                With regards to Blue Bottle, definitely a quality operation, but when I was there I felt that their coffee sufferred ironically from being too fresh out of the roaster. My ristretto had a distinct gassy/grassy taste that I associate with just-roasted coffee.

                              2. Another to add:

                                Emmy's Spaghetti Shack
                                18 Virginia Ave, San Francisco, CA
                                (415) 206-2086

                                Inexpensive, friendly, great caesar salad, nice wine, good in general (but the risotto we had recently wasn't really a risotto). Open late.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Syre

                                  Yes, lots of fun there and they serve cocktails too.

                                2. Toads-great burgers. Only opened recently.

                                  Los Jarritos-good Mexican. The Vicente Especial is a beef dish that I usually go for. They serve goat.

                                  Medjool-drinks on the roof for amazing views, but I can't speak for the food as I've only had it once.

                                  Bissap Baobab-Sengalese food and unique cocktails, very reasonably priced. Lots of fun for groups.

                                  Last Supper Club-don't order their french toast at brunch, it's soggy. Everything else rocks there, including pasta, meats, green beans, wine list, etc.

                                  Velvet Cantina-for apps and drinks. They constantly bring bowls of housemade tortilla chips that are salty and wonderful. Entrees can be uneven.

                                  Foreign Cinema.

                                  1. Some of these are echos of what has been said already:

                                    Pizzeria Delfina - Soooooo good. (Still have never tried Delfina next door because I am terrible about making reservations.) Oh, and you can easily hit Tartine and/or Bi-Rite afterwards as they are on the same block.

                                    Papalote - Can't believe no one has mentioned this one yet. Great Mexican. Looove the fish tacos!

                                    Pakwan - As mentioned above, it's cheap and tasty Indian/Pakistani. Also note that you can BYOB! (Conveniently, there are a number of liquor stores on this block.) Love the samosas.

                                    Cafe Ethiopia - Ethiopian (obviously!).

                                    Bar Tartine - Restaurant by the same people as the bakery. Service was a bit slow, but I thought the food was terrific. I've been able to walk in earlier in the evening and get a table or bar seat without reservations.

                                    The Last Supper Club - Italian. I love the ambiance here.

                                    Dosa (South Indian) - Good place but can be uneven. I like the Paper Masala Dosa (although the last time I ate there, mine arrived slightly soggy). I found the Chana Bhatura to be too heavy and greasy.

                                    To chime in on Esperpento and Ramblas - I have to agree that the food is so-so, but the atmosphere is fun. I thought the sangria at Ramblas was too sweet. Sangria at Esperpento was better, but the service was glacial (and I'm usually not thaaat picky about service).

                                    I've also been wanting to try that new vegetarian Japanese place on Valencia - Cha-ya? There is always a crowd outside whenever I walk by and the menu looks interesting.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: bluestgirl

                                      The food at Esperpento ranges for me from so-so to downright gross, and the service is very poor. I don't find the atmosphere to be fun -- the place just looks dirty. Ramblas is a lot more fun.

                                      1. re: bluestgirl

                                        I think I recall that Esperpento doesn't have a liquor license -- only wine and beer.

                                        If that's the case, it's not possible for the sangria to be right because sangria isn't just made with wine. It usually has gin and other liquor added to it.

                                        1. re: bluestgirl

                                          My two cents on Last Supper Club: Their ambiance is good for groups. And groups on the rowdier side. I went last weekend with a drunken birthday party crew and we had a great time. I was not wowed by any of the appetizers or main dishes, save for the burrata and caponata appetizer. The sage and butternut squash ravioli was also pretty tasty, but I feel all restaurants try that (to one degree of success or another) during the fall. For dessert we had a nice panna cotta with huckleberries. In sum, don't go expecting quiet, privacy, or romance. Go with a large group that wants to drink and needs not terribly pricey food.

                                        2. My husband and I like Little Star Pizza at the corner of Valencia and 15th St. Their deep-dish pizza is excellent. We usually order a Classic (sausage, mushrooms, bell pepper and onions) with artichoke hearts added and a small Mixed Salad. We've also enjoyed their thin crust pesto pizza. They have a small but nice selection of bottled beers, but I wish that they had some good beers on tap.

                                          We also like Delfina, Lotus Garden and Spicy Bite. And on Cortland Ave. (Bernal Hts., I guess, not really the Mission) we really like Little Nepal. Also just a bit south of the Mission (on Church around 29th St.) we like Regent Thai.

                                          1. Little Star is fantastic. I'm in Chicago (my hometown) right now, and we got Lou Malnati's take-out last night per my request...and it was too painful for me to tell my family that Little Star is better.

                                            Pizza aside, in the Mission, I had a great birthday dinner at Range Friday night before my flight Saturday morning...yellow pea soup and short ribs. Awesome, and they comped us a wonderful apple/berry cobbler for no reason.

                                            1. That's like every resto in the Mission! Well, just to complete the list:

                                              Garcon - typical French
                                              La Provence -- also typical French
                                              Kiji (better than Tokyo A Go-Go)

                                              1. If you like Delfina and Range, I would especially recommend Woodward's Garden and Blue Plate.

                                                My Mission Faves:
                                                Woodward's Garden - Absolutely wonderful food and an urban-romantic atmosphere.
                                                Blue Plate - Homey, hip, and great food that manages to be both simple and unique.
                                                Limon - Great ceviche and a nice paella-esque dish. Trendy, but worth it for the food.
                                                Ti Couz - Lovely crepes and salads, a nice casual place to go with friends or a date.
                                                Pauline's - Great upscale pizza with ingredients from the owner's farm--unpretentious but seriously better than your typical pizzeria.
                                                Tartine - The food is lovely, the line legendary.
                                                Bi-Rite Creamery - The best ice cream I've had outside of Italy.
                                                Aslam's Rasoi - Much better than Dosa, service is iffy but the Narvathan Korma is worth it.
                                                Velvet Cantina - Very fun place--small menu but great atmosphere and very good cactus enchiladas.

                                                1. Don't forget Osha Thai - very nice modern Thai cuisine in a lovely setting.

                                                  1. I havn't been in ages but I had an amazing date at Foriegn cinema on the patio (great food, pretty candle light, and fun sitting outside with the movie going in the backround). I also returned for a delicious weekend brunch!

                                                    Tartine is always a favorite, as is Pizzeria Delfina. I still need to check out range!

                                                    1. From an out of towners perspective: if you have a heart beat == The Last Supper Club
                                                      First time my SO & I tried it. She was scared of the mission (IT'S NOT SAFE!) but i was dumb & driving. We ate at a long communal table and were forced to enjoy our meal with the patrons on both sides of us. Awesome - it went on the "glad I did it, must do again" list. My second trip was with 2 other business types, (again, several safety objections were raised) I eventually convinced the driver to abandon our car in the middle of the street (not a lot of identifiable parking spots), we ended up talking to / partying with most of the other patrons. They both claimed it was the best "business adventure" they had ever experienced.
                                                      Bottom line: Atmosphere / attitude is everything, food is okay.
                                                      This is an adventure event, not just a meal (kind of like Rocky Horror is not just a picture show)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: dancingTimmy

                                                        Folks, we've removed some off topic replies focused on whether the Mission is or isn't safe. If you've got a comment on the food, please go ahead and add it, but discussions about neighbourhood safety are outside our narrow focus.

                                                      2. Favorites:
                                                        Front Porch
                                                        Blue Plate
                                                        Bisaap Baobab
                                                        Aslam's Rasoi

                                                        Pretty good's:
                                                        Last Supper Club
                                                        Luna Park

                                                        Don't care for:
                                                        Limon -- go to Destino for better Peruvian
                                                        Ti Couz - burnt crepes
                                                        Velvet Cantina -- sad Mexican (why arent there good sit-down --ie not taquerias -- restaurants in SF? Anyone have a good rec here, PLEASE!)
                                                        Ethiopian place on Valencia -- go to Rasselas on Fillmore, yum
                                                        Weird Fish (?) -- decent cheap fish but nothing special
                                                        Cha Cha Cha -- now that there are so many good tapas places all over town, dont bother here

                                                        Still haven't gone to but need to:
                                                        Foreign Cinema
                                                        Little Star Pizza!