ALA Annual 2015

San Francisco: Where To Eat and What to Do?

San Francisco's SoMa Neighborhood
San Francisco’s SoMa Neighborhood (photo courtesy of Rebecca Alcalá-Veraflor)
“Where should we go to eat?” In San Francisco, that question can have a myriad of answers. Never fear, whatever you decide will be delicious. Considered to be mecca for foodies everywhere, be prepared for your taste buds to dance in gastronomical delight!

Here are my top three reasons San Francisco offers the best culinary experience.

First, we have a diverse menu to choose from for your palette. From Japanese to Vegan to Brazilian and Pakistani, there isn’t much that’s missing. In addition to the diversity in food, we also like to offer yummy cuisine Off the Grid style or in a food court like the Hall SF.

Second, food is just a hop, skip, or even a jump away in many of our neighborhoods. The Mission District is the first that comes to mind when it comes to door to door food options. When people think of the Mission District the Mission Burrito usually comes to mind, and yes it’s good, but there’s also so much more!

San Francisco's Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown (photo courtesy of Rebecca Alcalá-Veraflor)

Third, and my final point although I could go on and on, you will always find traditional and long standing establishments such as the House of Prime Rib, The Cliff House, and Farallon  among the new and innovative restaurants that pop up around the city.

The only downside to being in such a great place to find delicious food is deciding where to go. For your viewing and tasting pleasure, we’ve provided you with some of our favorite restaurants that are easily accessible by BART, MUNI, or within walking distance of the San Francisco Main Library, the Moscone Center, and the ALA hotels. Click here for some delicious dining options courtesy of the ALSC Local Arrangements team.

San Francisco's Mission District
San Francisco’s Mission District (photo courtesy of Rebecca Alcalá-Veraflor)

After a great meal, I love to walk around the city to do some shopping. Near the Powell Street BART station, you’ll encounter numerous shoppers walking up and down Powell Street as well as around Union Square. You can also spend a fair amount of time shopping in the Westfield San Francisco Centre which is also conveniently located at the Powell Street BART station.  Fairly close and within walking distance is Chinatown. Take a picture on Bush Street at the entrance and then have fun visiting all of the shops and eateries. Another tourist must see for shopping is Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. You can find plenty of San Francisco themed gifts in both locations including one shop dedicated to Alcatraz. Don’t forget to take a picture with the famous sun bathing sea lions also known as the “Sea Lebrities while you walk around.

Welcome to San Francisco! Have fun and eat lots!


Today’s blog post was written Rebecca Alcalá-Veraflor, the Early Literacy Coordinator at the San Francisco Public Library, for the ALSC Local Arrangements Committee.


  1. Jenni

    If you like Indian food, you should visit Darbar, a teeny, tiny restaurant on Polk Street near Pine St. The food is excellent!

    There are also quite a few wonderful restaurants near Green Apple Books, an amazing used book store on Clement St. in the Richmond district. 🙂

  2. Jenni

    I would also recommend visiting Golden Gate Park. It’s 3 1/2 miles long and it fits inside the city. There are spots in the park where you can’t tell you’re in a big city anymore. On one end it is across the street from the beach, so those who want to see the ocean can do so! Also, it is home to a herd of bison, which is probably something you wouldn’t expect to see in San Francisco.

  3. Paula Laurita

    For garlic lovers there is the Sinking Rose. It’s a celebration of all things garlic. For classic detective story aficionados go to John’s Grill. It’s not far from Union Square and and was a setting in author Dashiell Hammett’s, The Maltese Falcon. It’s been an established steak restaurant since 1908.

    If you’re thinking of heading out of town for wineries I recommend skipping Napa and Sonoma and head south to Livermore. It’s the home of Concannon,, Wente, and over 30 other wineries. Wente is the oldest continuously owned family winery and introduced Chardonnay to the USA.

  4. Kirstie

    I’m a librarian and I work a few blocks away from the convention center. Restaurants I recommend in the vicinity are Tropisueno, Sanraku, Super Duper, Little Delhi, Cafe Madeleine, and the Nordstrom Bistro.

    Tropisueno is located on Yerba Buena Lane, next door to the back entrance of the Marriott Marquis. Delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine, taqueria-style during the day with long lines, and full service dining in the evening, reservations recommended. One of my favorite restaurants in the city and they know my order: cheese chile relleno with black beans!

    Sanraku is located inside the Metreon complex and faces Yerba Buena Gardens. Very good Japanese food and sushi. Their $13 bento boxes are substantial. Reservations also recommended.

    Super Duper is a local chain and they have one of the best burgers in the city.

    Little Delhi is a short walk away about a block from the cable car turnaround at the foot of Powell and Market Streets. They have delicious Indian food and a very inexpensive lunch special for 6.99.

    Cafe Madeleine is on O’Farrell between Stockton and Grant, and people line up for their salads and sandwiches.

    Nordstrom Bistro has a delicious lobster bisque and a white chocolate bread pudding that will knock your socks off!

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