Sure, bacon is “overused” and “trendy,” but it's also "delicious" and "mmmmmmmmm," especially when it's wrapped around tater tots, topping a maple donut, and/or/BUT MOSTLY AND smoked and slid into a beignet. So, we decided to round up the 18 best bacon-centric dishes in San Francisco, which just so happen to include all of those things.
Beef and Bacon Burger
Rickybobby (address and info)
How could you possibly make an already-perfect bacon cheeseburger better? Duh -- you grind the bacon in with the patty so every bite is a completely ridiculous blend of beefy, porky, fatty, smoky magic. This marvelous, dripping Franken-patty is topped with American cheese and house mayo, because if you haven’t figured it out by now, fat + fat + fat = OHMYGODYES.
Bacon Bacon (address and info)
The name of this cafe (and the accompanying truck) says it all -- these guys are all about the bacon, and don’t shy away from using it in any and all forms. Because we’re purists (sometimes), we dig the bacon bouquet, a charmingly wrapped fistful of tender-crispy, just-right strips of bacon. Bacon, bacon, bacon!!!
Kitchen Story (address and info)
Speaking of bacon going solo, you can take your straight-bacon eating to the next level with Kitchen Story’s Millionaire’s Bacon. Here, straight-up meaty slices of the good stuff are coated in black pepper, brown sugar, and cayenne before being baked, making them spicy, sweet, salty, and bacon...y, all at once.
Bacon-studded hot dog
4505 Burgers & BBQ (address and info)
Fact: hot dogs are great. Fact: bacon is great. Fact: studding a hot dog with bacon is The Greatest. Thankfully, meat maestro Ryan Farr has gone ahead and done exactly this. His bacon-studded dog is excellent straight-up, served on a bun with pickles, or packed in a tidy square of deep-fried mac & cheese, also known as the Frankaroni. However you like it, adding Farr's chicharrones is a great idea. 4505, we are not worthy.
Bacon-wrapped hot dog
Any cart on Mission St
If we’re talking bacon and hot dogs, we can’t NOT mention the dangerously delicious-smelling, bacon-wrapped hot dogs that are griddled pretty much up and down Mission St as soon as the sun goes down. Get yours with onions and peppers, or don’t -- a hot dog wrapped in bacon after a drink or definitely-more-than-one-drink is one of the purest, most blessed things about our fair city, morning-after regrets be damned.
Cockscomb (address and info)
Take a strip of bacon, multiple it by about 1,000, cook it in its own fat until the outside is nice and crispy, and serve. There you have Cockscomb’s bacon chop, an amplification of bacon unlike any we've seen before it. Count on Chef Chris Cosentino to do a hardcore bacon entree, and freaking nail it. You probably could share this, but then again, you probably should... not?
Eats (address and info)
We know, we know. Taking a craggy Belgian waffle and studding it with bacon is nothing new. You know what is? Taking said bacon-filled waffle, covering it with melted cheese, and topping it with a fried egg, just ‘cause. Yeah. Considering bacon, egg, and cheese is one of the most time-honored trios out there, throwing a waffle in the mix is the kind of stuff that morning-after-a-long-night dreams are made of.
Maple bacon donut
Dynamo Donut & Coffee (address and info)
The OG of bacon-filled sweet things, Dynamo’s donut holds its own in a town chock-full of bacon-obsessed imitators. You’ll find diced bacon from Fatted Calf both inside and on top of the donut -- sautéed apples also form the flavor base, and a maple glaze ties everything together, as maple glazes tend to do.
Smoked bacon beignets
Frances (address and info)
Speaking of perversely genius combinations of bacon and maple, it’s kind of the law to love the bacon beignets at Frances. First, Frances is adorable, and delicious. Second, these are delicately fried balls of dough, studded with bacon, and served with creamy, salty-sweet maple creme fraiche for dipping. Better yet (and also third), these beauties are constantly on Frances’s seasonally changing menu, because bacon is always in season.
Bacon-wrapped fried dates
The Front Porch (address and info)
We know, we know -- bacon-wrapped dates are like, sooooooo 2012. But everything you thought you knew about this “tired” combination will be immediately shattered upon sampling the fried bacon-wrapped dates from The Front Porch. Yeah, uh-huh, FRIED. And wrapped in bacon. While still maintaining that totally glorious, salty-sweet sensation that even the most boring bacon-wrapped dates possess. They’re also filled with goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic port reduction and you can enjoy them with a tall boy because, Front Porch.
Bacon gravy fries
Chomp N’ Swig (address and info)
You know how you’re eating french fries sometimes and you think, “Man, I really wish these were covered in a creamy, hearty, bacon-rich gravy?” Us, too. Thankfully, the good people at Chomp N’ Swig can READ OUR MINDS, because they're covering theirs in exactly that. The gravy itself is on point (read: hella bacon-y), and the fries themselves are fried crispy and stand up nicely to the delectable gravy onslaught.
Ike’s Place (address and info)
Bacon has so many edible soul mates it’s hard to keep track -- maple, egg, cheese, chocolate... we could go on. But bacon and AVOCADO holds a special, and essential place in our California-fied hearts. This is usually best on a sandwich, typically with lettuce and tomato, and definitely at Ike’s Place. The Cali-stamped BLT has bacon, avo, tomato, lettuce, and your choice of cheese -- we like ours with pepper jack -- and Dutch Crunch is 1,000% the only correct bread choice. Mayoose, we don’t know you, but we think we love you.
Bacon, jalapeño, and Green Goddess pizza
Starbelly (address and info)
Green Goddess may sound kind of, well, goddess-y, but in fact, it’s a delicious mayo-based dressing with a ton of tarragon and other goodness in it. It’s particularly tasty when paired with bacon, and even better when both of these things are on a pizza -- as it is at Starbelly, where the bacon is made in-house (!). There're also spicy jalapeños on it, and bracing arugula, plus you can (read: definitely should) add a fried egg.
The Boardroom (address and info)
The Boardroom takes its bacon prowess so seriously that it has branded itself “Home of the Original Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot.” And why not? That’s a damn fine thing to be proud of. Bonus: you can get a straight-up plate of bacon here, in case you’d like to double wrap your tots. (You would.)
Nosh This (address and info)
Hello, best-ever candy to ever exist. Nosh This makes butter toffee with Zoe’s smoked bacon, mixes in almonds, then dips it in Guittard chocolate. This is a real thing! It exists!
The Abe Froman
Hogwash (address and info)
The motto at Hogwash is "swine + swill" and The Abe Froman (beef, cheddar & bacon sausage) takes the former to a whole new level. A boatload of house-cured bacon goes straight into the grinder for maximum smoky deliciousness. House-made Thousand Island dressing, chopped romaine, and cherry tomatoes go on top, and holy cow (and pig!), is this a worthy homage to "The Sausage King of Chicago."
Buttermilk pancakes with bacon maple syrup
Marlowe (address and info)
Solving man's oldest brunch conundrum -- “Do I want salty or sweet for brunch today?” -- is Marlowe, and its downright genius bacon-packed maple syrup. Think about it -- maple syrup is basically the most delicious thing ever... until you add bacon, officially making it The Most Delicious Thing Ever. Pour serious amounts of that over a stack of buttermilk pancakes, add smoked butter, and do your best to control the totally inappropriate this-delicious-food-is-making-me-moan-weirdly noises that you’re probably making right now.
Thrice-cooked bacon and rice cakes
Mission Chinese Food (address and info)
Too often, bacon is a simple accompaniment, a welcome addition to an otherwise boring meal. We like our bacon like we like our burger -- as a main course. Few do it better than Mission Chinese -- the thrice-cooked bacon stars meaty, wonderfully smoky chunks of chopstick-friendly bacon, well accompanied by slippery, chewy rice cakes and tongue-numbing Schezuan pepper.
1. Rickybobby400 Haight St, San Francisco
2. Bacon Bacon205 Frederick St, San Francisco
3. Kitchen Story3499 16th St, San Francisco
4. 4505 Burgers & BBQ705 Divisadero, San Francisco
5. Frances3870 17th St, San Francisco
6. Eats50 Clement St, San Francisco
7. Cockscomb564 4th St, San Francisco
8. Dynamo Donut & Coffee2760 24th Street (between York and Hampshire), San Francisco
9. The Front Porch65A 29th St, San Francisco
10. Chomp N' Swig1541 Clement St, San Francisco
11. Ike’s Place3489 16th St, San Francisco
12. Starbelly3583 16th St, San Francisco
13. The Boardroom1609 Powell St, San Francisco
14. Hogwash582 Sutter St, San Francisco
15. Marlowe500 Brannan St, San Francisco
16. Mission Chinese Food2234 Mission St, San Francisco
You know it's a sweet place when it has two first names for its only name. And if you like cheap and hearty eats, soft lighting and crazy crap on the walls, you'll love Rickybobby.
You'll be able to smell the wafts of perfectly-cooked bacon at this Cole Valley hub from miles away. From flavored bacon sandwiches to cookies dipped in chocolate & coated in bacon bits, there's no way you can go wrong.
From the same crew behind Sweet Maple and Blackwood, Kitchen Story's a California cuisine-ery in the Mish-stro that looks just like every other "typical suburban family breakfast nook that unexplainably seats 50 people". Only we doubt they have items like Kitchen Story's "Millionaire's Way" with bacon, grilled organic asparagus and smoky maple syrup sauce.
An offshoot of the original 4505 Meats, this burger and 'cue shack is one for the Divis books. This butcher-owned and operated spot takes meat and barbecue seriously, with loaded platters of pulled pork, smoked ribs, and hot sausage, and quarter-pound grass-fed burgers. No matter if your main is in the form of a sandwich or platter, don't overlook the fixin's -- the fried mac & cheese with a hot dog inside is an insanely delicious creation.
Located on a quiet residential block in the Castro, Frances is a tiny Michelin-starred restaurant helmed by the superbly talented chef Melissa Perello. The seasonal, market-driven menu changes often but you can always expect an appearance from Perello's smoked bacon beignets, a house signature featuring delicately fried balls of dough studded with bacon and served with a creamy maple creme fraiche dipping sauce.
Breakfast and brunch are the big draw at this American eatery on Clement. Prepare your stomach with a Bloody Mary while you ponder options like ricotta pancakes, eggs Benedict, chicken & waffles, or the Waffle Bacon -- a bacon-filled Belgian covered with melted cheese and a fried egg.
Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino celebrates the many tastes of San Francisco with his lauded restaurant Cockscomb. Warm, welcoming, and a bit rustic, Cockscomb welcomes diners for lunch and dinner with “nose to tail” delicacies like beef heart tartare, braised lamb shoulder, and pork belly with fermented black bean aioli and fried clams. Classic cocktails like San Francisco’s own Pisco Punch round out the menu for a uniquely delicious night out.
Bacon. Donut. Day. Dynamo Donut & Coffee has made it real, and available every day. Handmade daily by owner Sara and her staff and using organic, locally sourced ingredients, their creative take on donuts make the word "glazed" suddenly sound mundane and unworthy.
Southern food served with "Mission Hospitality" -- The Front Porch's cozy name is well earned with actual rocking chair-supported outdoor dining and classic dishes like shrimp + grits, fried chicken, and gumbo filled with chicken, sausage & okra.
Chomp N' Swig is now making up for it, with weekday sandwich'd deliciousness at awesomely divey-dive Harry Harrington's in the TL. Wash your hot sanwich down with one of over 50 varieties of beer on tap. (Gulp.)
Ike's serves up a myriad of delicious sandwiches (with quirky names) and features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to satisfy all. Out of all the sandwich shops in San Francisco, this is the best place for vegetarians and vegans in the area.
The undisputed cocktail masters behind Beretta also coined Starbelly, a 100-seat California comfort foodery, and this time have chosen to complement the grub with a crazy grip of beer n' wine cocktails shored up with a brewlist that's off the charts.
While much of North Beach has a steady flow of out-of-towners, The Boardroom is a somewhat hidden and less crowded sports bar that experiments with interesting bar food. In addition to the requisite burgers, the menu is loaded with the likes of tater tot poutine, BBQ pork sandwiches, and a variety of well-spiced wings. Stop by on Tuesday for trivia and $2 tacos, $2 Tecate and $5 shots of El Jimador Tequila.
With over 30 beers on draft, this Union Square taproom is a beer drinker’s paradise. It’s the perfect marriage of craft brews and elevated bar snacks, the latter of which includes house-made sausage sandwiches, curry fries (with an almost obligatory fried duck egg add-on), and fried pickles. It's a counter-serve, so after you place your food order at the bar, snag a seat at one of the communal tables with a beer -- be it a local IPA or Belgian sour -- in hand.
This French-American bistro in SOMA has all the things that make a neighborhood restaurant so recommendable: excellent brunch; a fine wine selection featuring French, Italian, and Californian wines; an outdoor patio; and last but definitely not least: one of the best burgers in the city. Served with fries, the $16 Marlowe Burger is stacked with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish aioli. It's so darn good that it's also served at sister restaurants Park Tavern and The Cavalier.
Though Danny Bowien's since expanded with two NYC locations, the original SF Mission Chinese, which he opened inside a rundown Chinese restaurant in 2000, started it all. The creative Mission eatery takes an interesting spin on classic Chinese dishes. You’ll find the usual suspects like Mongolian long beans, ma po tofu, and sesame chicken, but the real showstoppers are his fun spins on classics. Kung pao pastrami, thrice-cooked bacon and rice cakes, and kung pao burritos are far from forgettable.