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Best Pork in S.F.

I will be in town for the holidays and i am wondering what is the best pork dish in the city. It can be any style or cuisine, and not necessarily BBQ.

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  1. What immediately came to mind:

    Pork shoulder at Incanto.
    Pork ragu at Incanto.
    Pork leg stew noodle soup at Thai House Express.
    Tacos al pastor at Taqueria San Jose.

    Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
    1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

    Taqueria San Jose
    2830 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Thai House Express
    901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP

      i firmly believe that the carnitas at taqueria san jose are probably some of the best in the city. shredded and ultra crispy textures with a very satisfying flavor. not to be missed.

      1. re: Dave MP

        I like the conchinita pibil at Mi Lindo Yucatan.

        Photo of the pork leg stew at Thai House Express:

        1. re: wanderlust21

          Damn that looks good. kind of thing i would never find on my own.Thank you and thank god for chowhound.

          1. re: moradbipbip

            Yes. I think it's even better inside the soup.

          2. re: wanderlust21

            My initial thoughts are:

            taco al pastor at el novillo taco truck in oakland (just mentioning this in case you're flying into oakland airport - it's very close)
            poc chuc at mi lindo yucatan
            porchetta at roli roti

        2. Second the pork shoulder and pork ragu at Incanto.

          The porchetta at Ame and the roast suckling pig at Koi Palace is also delicious.

          1. If you can catch a Saturday when Roli Roti's making it, don't miss the porchetta and the bay views at Ferry Plaza.

            1. Al pastor - Taqueria Cancun in the Mission
              Carnitas - Taqueria La Bomba in Mountain View

              1. Carnitas tacos at La Taqueria.

                La Taqueria
                2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. Pork roast - slow braised in milk - at Osteria del Forno in North Beach.

                  1. Portuguese pork chops at the Grubstake (which was just on Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: HunterJay

                      How are Portuguese pork chops preppared? Definitely sounds like it could be good.

                      1. re: ML8000

                        Here's a link to an old chowdown report, and opinions on the pork chops ala alentejana are all over the place (per usual).

                        1525 Pine St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                    2. Open faced pork belly sandwich at Bar Tartine (brunch)

                      1. Add:

                        Red-cooked pork joint at Shanghai Restaurant (not in SF but Oakland Chinatown)
                        Harvest pork at Henry's Hunan
                        Cocinita pibil at El Maya Yucatan

                        And ah, yes, xiaolong bao at Shanghai House ;-)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Xiao Yang

                          You could go to Shanghai (quick, easy access via BART to Oakland City Center) and have a pork fest: xialong bao, red-cooked pork and lion's head meatballs. According to The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters, unless otherwise specified, "meat" means pork.

                          On a completely different tack, housemade cured meats is all the rage in SF Italian restaurants. You could drop into a whole bunch of them for a salumi plate and report back on the findings. Personally, I really liked the house-cured proscuitto at La Ciccia, especially the thicker, chewy end/edge bits.

                          La Ciccia
                          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                          Shanghai Restaurant
                          930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Indeed, I would endorse dropping into the bar at Incanto for a salumi plate and glass of wine, and then walking over to dinner at La Ciccia (only about three blocks away) for a comparison....

                        2. Thank you fellow pork lovers. i will be there for Christmas and i will file a full report. Definitely intrigued about Incanto and Mission district recommendations

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: moradbipbip

                            If you end up going to incanto, you might try the pork trotter starter if they have it on the menu that night. We had it last week and it's the full on pork goodness: bruschetta with pork trotter, a layer of foie gras topped with bacon and a savory pork sauce with pears.


                            Braised Pork:

                          2. Al pastor off the vertical spit at Taqueria San Jose...usually my first stop when I arrive in SF and my last stop before leaving.

                            1. Not yet listed is the incredible roast pork at Mariposa Cafeteria.

                              Take it out--it's a particularly gritty spot inside, aside from the postal workers. I'm always grateful to Yimster for this one, and one lunch serving ($7?) easily feeds three or four.

                              Taqueria San Jose's tacos al pastor are good too.

                              Mariposa Cafeteria
                              1599 Tennessee St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                              1. I'll third T. San Jose for the al pastor. T. Cancun is pretty good, too. One tip for Taqueria San Jose: avoid the "super" taco but get two "regular" tacos for about the same price. They tend to bury the meat in super taco so deep in beans and other stuff that you can barely find it. I do like the "super" taco at Taqueria Cancun, though.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Xiao Yang

                                  I know I'm probably in the minority, but I actually prefer TSJ's al pastor in super burrito form with black beans. I'm torn about the al pastor at Cancun. It used to be my gold standard but was dry and oddly flavored on my last couple of visits.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    Taco, burrito, it all depends on how hungry you are. If it's mainly the pork you want to get at, I think the regular tacos in multiple are the best bet.

                                  2. re: Xiao Yang

                                    Thanks for the heads up. Taqueria San Jose seems pretty unanimous among Porkhounds and i am trying that one for sure.

                                  3. Great suggestions here.

                                    I'll add the porchetta panini at Avedano's on Cortland (explanation for out-of-towner: Not a restaurant, but a small gourmet grocery and meat/fish market). Had it for the first time last week and it's by far the best panini sandwich I've ever had in my life.

                                    I found the description on their website: Grilled Porchetta with oyster mushrooms, pickled cabbage and provolone cheese. A total steal at $5.50.

                                    I'll also stick my hand in the air for Taqueria San Jose. Really fantastic tacos.

                                    235 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Atomica

                                      that panino sounds fabulous! is it the really traditional Tuscan porchetta (i.e. - deboned suckling pig with spinces, loin, offal stuffed inside)?

                                      1. re: sfoperalover

                                        No, it is roast suckling pig with rosemary that Avedano's uses (no offal). I just checked with them and they will continue to offer this sandwich in December.

                                    2. it's not always on the menu but pork chops at range cannot be beat.