More Bang for that Buck: Best Value Restaurants in San Francisco

Besides saving money, getting the most value out of a dining experience also includes that other important resource: time.

By taking some time right now to plan your dining experience, you'll insure that you get the most value out of that experience by considering our "Expert Tips" on each specific restaurant. Once you've narrowed down your choices, never forget that time is on your side in San Francisco: there are many, many restaurants vying for your business. Doing a little prep beforehand of what's really out there will leave you extra time to walk the lovely neighborhoods of San Francisco and let that one special restaurant grab you. There's nothing more important during a trip than that one memorable, signature meal.

To start you off, let us introduce you to a few of our favorites, such as Chapeau! and Mama's on Washington Square. They're low in expenditures and high in appeal. If you want the highest rate of return for your dinner dollar, be sure to check out the restaurants on our list.

Photo courtesy of used in book.

Simplicity and authenticity reign at this small, popular restaurant. Zinc tabletops and exotic hardwoods bear this out, as does the incomparable Italian fare with its top-notch ingredients. Treat yourself with grilled calamari salad, braised...  Read More

Kabuto Sushi

This spirited Japanese sushi bar thrives on the quality of its fish and the variety offered to customers. Affordable maki, nigiri, and sashimi are beautifully prepared and presented, as much a visual delight as a gustatory one. Guests are also...  Read More

Cole Valley
Park Chow

Although it's only been around since 1997, Park Chow feels like an old San Francisco institution, like one of the glory day bar and restaurants from gold mining days. The restaurant distinguishes itself by knowing its purpose and delivering on...  Read More

Dottie's True Blue Café

A little homey, a little kitschy and a lot of good. If you crave homemade breakfast foods and substantial portions, Dottie's is definitely the place to go. In the morning, wonderful pancakes, French toast, frittatas and baked goods bring...  Read More

Photo courtesy of used in book.

This charming bistro, happily ensconced in its small, friendly neighborhood, always issues a warm welcome. Its comfortably upscale dining room is busy but romantic, and patrons delight in Chapeau!'s well-executed French country fare. Classics...  Read More

Rosamunde Sausage Grill
Photo courtesy of used in book.

Within this small, bright eatery, you'll find some of the city's best sausages. Choose from kielbasa, knockwurst, Italian, chicken or weisswurst, or live boldly by sampling wild boar with chutney or smoked duck with figs. The variety is...  Read More

For those who like their pizza with thin crusts and simply made, Arinell's is the place. Their flagship spot in the Mission, beloved by locals, is small and not fancy, but the time they saved in creating atmosphere they put into making simple,...  Read More

L'Osteria del forno

Given the size of the kitchen, it's hard to believe that so much tasty food springs from a lone oven. Its bounty includes thin-crust pizzas, fragrant foccacia, skewered lamb, a daily roast and baked pastas. Another favorite, milk-braised roast...  Read More

First-time visitors to the Mission District of San Francisco will certainly be overwhelmed by all the restaurant choices. Traditionally known as the premier spot for Latino fare, the Mission has been ground central for the tech boom in the Bay...  Read More

One of three locations, the Valencia Street restaurant in the Mission District is where the magic that is Pica Pica first happened in 2010. Fitting in perfectly with its surroundings full of Latin flair, this Maize Kitchen is open for lunch,...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom

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