Avocado Toast I Loews Regency San Francisco
San Francisco

When friends and family ask me what to do in San Francisco, my stomach practically starts growling. The indisputable answer to that question? Eat!

Who better to help you get the most out of this epicurean paradise than the locals who eat their way through the city daily? Loews Regency asked three of San Francisco’s well known foodies to help you navigate the food scene. Let’s meet them:

San Francisco Food Bloggers I Loews Regency San Francisco

I hope you’ll be as excited as me to update your San Francisco “to eat” list. Note: I asked them these questions individually, so it’s fun to see some clear winners.

1) What’s the hottest new restaurant in San Francisco and why?

Tina: Mensho Tokyo for ramen. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had, and while it’s kind of a sticker shock for a bowl, you’ll forgive it as soon as you taste the broth. It’s a tiny place, so get there before opening (5 PM) as there is always a line. Must order: the oyster appetizer and tori paitan ramen.

Dan: The newest hot spot is Louie’s Gen-Gen Room. It’s the basement bar of the already insanely popular restaurant, Liholiho Yacht Club. Louie’s is a small 24-seat, reservation-only bar where diners can snack upon waffles made with bone marrow, drink stiff cocktails or glasses of wine. I finally got a reservation, so I’ll be checking it out very soon.

Cynthia: I love Little Gem because I can eat a huge meal at their restaurant and feel good afterwards. Everything tastes delicious and just so happens to be gluten free, dairy free, and free of refined sugars. Basically they serve delicious food here that just so happens to be good for you!

Little Gem San Francisco I Loews Regency San Francisco

Little Gem I Photo by Tina

2) Name a classic San Francisco eatery that stands the test of time and trends.

Cynthia: House of Prime Rib. It’s been around for ages. Even my parents used to come here for date-nights, and now we go as a family. They come around with carts full of meat and cut it straight onto your plate in front of you. The entire experience is wonderful.

Tina: Swan Oyster Depot will always stand the test of time in SF. There’s still a line even to this day, proving that trends can come and go, but fresh and delicious seafood will always win. Anthony Bourdain is a huge fan, and you’ll always see this gem featured on his shows.

Dan: House of Prime Rib. They simply don’t mess around. From the get-go, you sit down, order off a menu with very few options (different cuts of meat), and then you’re ready to eat. The whole experience is consistent. From the cocktail shaker left behind for you to top off your drink, to the mesmerizing salad spin and the sighs of fulfillment you hear through the dining room after the meal.

3) Describe your favorite neighborhood to eat in and 3 stops you’d make while there?

Cocktail photo by Dan

Photo by Dan Rosenbaum

Tina: Mission District has to be my favorite with all of its diverse and innovative eateries. I’d start off my day with Craftsman and Wolves to enjoy the legendary Rebel Within, El Faro for a bomb Mission burrito, and end it at Trick Dog for some cocktails and tasty eats, including their incredible kale salad.

Cynthia: I’m beginning to love Hayes Valley, it’s quite charming. I love spending an afternoon here walking around, looking at the shops and sitting at a cafe to do work. Little Gem is there, Boba Guys (for the best boba in San Francisco), and Tsubasa, my favorite sushi restaurant.

Dan: The best neighborhood to eat in is the Mission. I’d go Hawker Fare, a restaurant specializing in food from all over Southeast Asia, and head straight up the stairs to the secret bar, Holy Mountain. I knock back a few classic cocktails while I wait for my table. For dinner, I’d get the Khao Mun Gai and a tiki drink. Other great places in the area are Ken-Ken Ramen, Mission Chinese Food and Yamo. All of them are on 18th and Mission, and all of them are delicious. For drinks, I usually find myself at Southern Pacific Brewery drinking a house brewed IPA, or at Trick Dog for the best cocktails in the city.

4) What style of food does San Francisco do best?

San Francisco food guide I Loews Regency San Francisco

1601 Bar & Kitchen I Photo by Tina

Tina: That’s so hard to pick, but I think San Francisco does fresh really well. Whether it is seafood just off of the boat, ingredients you’ll find at a farmer’s market, or daily breads at your favorite brunch place, you can count on food being picked or made that morning. It’s a huge reason why SF does food so well.

Dan: San Francisco does fresh, local and sustainable food the best. We get the best produce from the best producers. Other cities say they do farm-to-table, sustainable food, but they don’t get avocados or vegetables in abundance like we do all year-round. It’s not just vegetables, San Francisco is a short drive away from some of the best oysters in the world at Tomales Bay.

Cynthia: SF is at the forefront of innovation. We have places like Eatsa. It serves the best quinoa bowls out of machines that you can customize to exactly how you want it. Then there’s the new Starbird. I love their concept because they are reinventing fast food in a way. They use all organic eggs. Their chicken is: free range, sustainably farmed, air chilled, antibiotic free and non-GMO. This is a fast food joint where we know exactly where the food is coming from.

5) What’s your hidden gem, the spot people won’t find in a tourist book?

Tsubasa I Loews Regency San Francisco

Tsubasa I Photo by Cynthia Linh

Cynthia: Definitely the sushi joint I mentioned, Tsubasa. It’s the most underrated restaurant in SF right now.

Tina: I love checking out new restaurants in the city and one that I made reservations for on my birthday, while staying at the Loews Regency, was The Perennial near Civic Center. They’re breaking the mold when it comes to sustainability by innovating unique ways to bring farm-to-table to life. Everything is locally sourced and grown in the Bay Area, including even salvaging the wood from the Transbay Terminal for posts in their dining room. Their dedication to what they refer to as “progressive agrarian cuisine” is evident as soon as you taste one of their dishes. They are finalists for Bon Appetit‘s “America’s Best New Restaurants,” so they’re starting to get the attention they deserve. Be sure to check them out soon before this hidden gem is not so hidden.

Dan: I’m going to kick myself for giving this one away. Dim sum in San Francisco is a way of life and there are numerous delicious options in the city. My go-to spot is a place in the Richmond neighborhood called Golden River. It’s right next to Ton Kiang, which always has a line. That place is good too, but I like my dim sum delicious, at a reasonable price and without a wait. Golden River delivers this every time. Get the pan-seared shrimp and pork bun (along with everything else on the menu).

Dim sum San Francisco I Loews Regency San Francsico

Dim Sum I Photo by Cynthia Linh

Here’s to the next great meal. The Loews Regency San Francisco team hopes to welcome you to our delicious city soon.

Kallie