How to Enjoy SF While Everyone Else Is at Burning Man

Published On 08/28/2016 Published On 08/28/2016
Arsicault Bakery
Bi-Rite Creamery
Flickr/Joanne Wan
State Bird Provisions
Flickr/Whitney Porter
Eddy Galeotti/Shutterstock
Una Pizza
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1. Zazie 941 Cole St., San Francisco, CA 94117

Since 1992, this petite French bistro has been a San Francisco brunch institution, where locals and tourists alike have gathered to enjoy awesome dishes in an intimate and quaint setting. It's a Cole Valley neighborhood gem that has countless meals worth lingering over; from its multi-level back porch/garden to its dog-friendliness to the awesome Croque Monsieur, Zazie is a spot that has added permanent character and charm to the city.

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2. Arsicault Bakery 397 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

After Bon Appetit declared Arsicault the "Best Bakery of the Year" in 2016, this Inner Richmond spot became so popular that it had to enforce a limit of six pastries per customer because everything sold out that quickly. That said, it's hard to go wrong with anything in the bakery's display case, but what you're really here for are the flaky almond croissants, followed closely by the Dominique Ansel-like kouign-amanns.

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3. Bi-Rite Creamery 3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

It's universally acknowledged among San Franciscans that Bi-Rite's ice cream is worth waiting for, which is why there is almost always -- at least on sunny weekend afternoons and summer evenings -- a line out the door. Owned and operated by two Bay Area natives, this popular Mission haunt makes small-batch ice cream in true artisanal flavors like honey lavender, orange cardamom, and the house specialty: salted caramel. The scoops are small, so your best bet is to order a double or a triple of whatever's on the seasonal menu.

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4. Mama's 1701 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Cozily perched on Washington Square, Mama's is the epitome of weekend brunch. The cozy, daytime spot is comfort food done right: expect fluffy omelets, Bay Area-specific specials like dungeness crab eggs Benedict, and fruit-topped plates of French toast. The bright and sunny bistro is fairly small and has limited seating, so don't be alarmed when you're greeted by a line down the block -- the average wait for a table on Saturday morning is two hours.

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5. Biergarten 424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102

With quintessential large mugs, sausages and sauerkraut, long picnic tables in the sun (hopefully), and a rotating selection of impressive German beers, Biergarten everything you want in, well, a beer garden. It’s owned by the masterminds behind Suppenküche, so you know you can bank on them having a way with Teutonic suds and snacks. With no roof, it’s not the ideal spot for a rainy day pint, but you’ll be clamoring for a space come summertime.

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6. State Bird Provisions 1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

State Bird Provisions opened in the Fillmore in 2013, won the James Beard Award for best new restaurant, earned a Michelin star, and has been one of city's hottest spots ever since. After you score a reservation, State Bird will likely be one of your most memorable meals ever thanks to the fact that creative Northern California small plates are served from dim sum carts. The atmosphere is fun, the food is affordable (plates range from $3 to $20), and the dining experience is anything but ordinary.

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7. Tartine Bakery 600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Country Bread from this well-known bakery and cafe is the original Cronut-like craze. Each day, 240 loaves are made, and within an hour, they are GONE. The bread pudding is also a mainstay at this justifiably-packed carbohydrate haven, and if you're planning on grabbing some sweets to-go, try the chocolate-rye tart with snowy meringue and a chocolately lattice.

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8. Una Pizza Napoletana 210 11th St., San Francisco, CA 94103

The first thing you need to know about Una Pizza Napoletana is that it only sells pizza. Pizzamaker Anthony Mangieri set up this SOMA power-house after conquering New York and New Jersey, and his 12-inch personal pies consistently rank on San Francisco's top pizza lists. The Apollonia, named after his daughter, is topped with eggs, parmigiano reggiano, buffalo mozzarella, salami, basil, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. It's downright amazing, but it's only available on Saturdays.