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.



Although dimsum will always reign as the classic San Francisco takeout food, The Vietnamese sandwich has gotten more and more popular in recent years. And no one puts together these sandwiches like the Saigon Sandwich shop, which is no more than...  Read More

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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

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

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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



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



If you value food over atmosphere in your dining experience, then HRD Coffee Shop might be the place for you. The location itself is as imaginative as its name, but the food is a daring and delightful mix of Chinese, American, Korean and Mexican...  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