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.
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Rickybobby (address and info) Lower Haight 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) Upper Haight 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) Castro 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) Western Addition 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.
Any cart on Mission St The Mission 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) SOMA 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) Inner Richmond 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 Mission 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) Castro 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.
The Front Porch (address and info) Bernal Heights 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) Inner Richmond 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) Castro 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) Castro 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) North Beach 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) Various locations 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) Union Square 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) SOMA 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) The Mission 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.
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Lauren Sloss is a proudly carnivorous food writer who hates some food trends (like cupcakes) and loves others (like bacon. And kale). Tell her why she’s wrong (or right!) @laurensloss.