From Joe’s Special to abalone, sand dabs, and sourdough bread, San Francisco has always been at the forefront of food trends in the country. The eclectic food scene of the city, coupled with its breathtaking views, guarantees more than a few Instgrammable opportunities. If you are looking for those picture-perfect opportunities to give your friends and followers some serious FOMO, here is a list of the most Instagram-worthy restaurants in San Francisco.
Media Noche (3465 19th St.)
This Cuban place is, arguably, what started the trend of Instagrammable restaurants in San Francisco. Media Noche’s kitschy interiors have attracted travelers from as far as Japan and China. The dramatic floral tiles here, custom-made, are regularly tagged in Instagram posts. Don’t miss the banana wallpaper in the bathrooms and the pink flamingo mural. Their Cuban sandwiches are delicious, too.
The Riddler (528 Laguna St.)
This champagne bar on Laguna Street is built for Instagram. From the giant mural of a champagne bottle on the exterior to comfort food that is served with slogans such as “Hello, old friend,” this cozy eatery offers plenty of Instagram-worthy opportunities. You can’t come here and miss a photo with a “chambong” — a champagne bong that has its own Instagram page.
Bellota (888 Brannan St.)
Bellota has its ham wall — a glass wall that lets you see into the temperature-controlled ham room where $50,000 worth of premium ham are stored at any given time. While the ham wall at Bellota is a favorite among Instagrammers, the lamps at the bar are a perfect Instagram accessory. You can adjust their intensity to get the perfect shot. You can even tilt them or anchor your phone on the lamps’ necks to take that perfect food selfie.
Tartine Manufactory (595 Alabama St.)
Let’s bring the focus back to food. If you are craving some baked goodness, Tartine Manufactory is where you should go. The bakery’s food photographs perfectly. There is ample lighting, the food is served on white plates, and the industrial decor makes for an interesting backdrop. When it’s finally your turn to order after standing in line for quite a bit, it does call for an Instagram celebration.
Straw is a Hayes Valley joint that has been featured on The Food Network and The Travel Channel as much for its lip-smacking comfort food as for its tilt-a-whirl booths. To up your Instagram game, order their signature Ringmaster Donut Burger. With the melting cheese, the strips of bacon and the giant buns, it will be hard to go wrong with your Instagram story here. www.strawsf.com
Going bar-hopping in San Francisco? Don’t miss Whitechapel, serving more than 400 different kinds of gin. The place has interiors inspired by the London Tube, which makes for an interesting backdrop for your food photos. The gin is obviously the Instagram hero here, although their burgers look pretty decent, too. www.whitechapelsf.com
Over the Moon (2144 Chestnut St.)
Skip the black-and-white filter when you Instagram here. A small shop with limited flavors, Over The Moon has built an Instagram reputation based on its pretty ice cream sandwiches that taste just as good as they look. Order the Cookie Monster, stick your tongue out (as it turns blue), and take those crazy selfies that make it look as if you are having all the fun in the world.
Bob’s Donut and Pastry Shop (1621 Polk St.)
Love donuts? Even if you don’t, you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to eat at this San Francisco staple, which has been around since 1960. Order a giant donut for yourself and take Bob’s challenge. Chances are you will fail, but you will get more than a few Instagram-worthy shots as you try.
Sourdough isn’t the only kind of bread special to San Francisco. There is Dutch Crunch, too. There are plenty of spots around San Francisco that use the crunchy bread to create some delicious sandwiches. Central Station Deli is arguably the best of the lot. The humble eatery makes some seriously delicious sandwiches that look plenty good even with no Instagram filters. Their Triple Cheese Melt is a case in point. www.centralstationdeli.com
Boba Guys (8 Octavia Blvd.)
This hipster cafe in Hayes Valley makes the list for its inventiveness. Dedicated to tea, it has intriguing concoctions such as Muscat Oolong and milk tea Hong-Kong style, which has people lining up. Its pretty tumblers, together with the cool quotient, definitely make it an Instagram-worthy cafe in San Francisco.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (1042 Larkin St.)
It is the birthplace of the cruffin, a cross between a croissant and a muffin. Baked with a different flavor everyday, cruffins are made in limited number at this bakery. About 180 are made on a weekend, and 150 on weekdays. if you want to get your hands on one, you need to be in line before 9 a.m. when the bakery opens. Before you dig in, don’t forget to take a selfie in front of the bakery’s neon sign that reads, “I got baked in San Francisco”.
Foreign Cinema has been around since 1999, and it has been repeatedly voted one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. The Instagram quotient? The red carpet at the entrance and the movie accents throughout the restaurant, in addition to the great food. Their fried chicken deserves a special mention. They screen movies, too. Check the restaurant’s screening schedule to plan a visit in advance and grab a seat in the courtyard. www.foreigncinema.com
Contrada is your friendly neighborhood restaurant serving pasta and pizza, with a gorgeous outdoor deck that overlooks a lush wine garden. The greenery and the expansive space, together with Contrada’s warm decor, is perfect for your Instagram game. www.contradasf.com
Roll Up Creamery & Cafe (3092 16th St.)
If you’re looking for the wildest ice cream in San Francisco, head to the Mission and visit Roll Up Creamery & Cafe. Besides serving the unique, Thai-style rolled ice cream, the Roll Up gang has taken things to the next level, with toppings that range from fresh fruit to cotton candy. What’s more, you can order your creamy creation in a waffle-cone taco!
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