As food photographers, we’ve been lucky to try many of the San Francisco restaurants gems, everything from hole-in-the-walls to Michelin-rated restaurants. Some interiors are rustic while some brim with whimsical floral decor. Here’s a Bay Area foodie’s guide to the most Instagrammable restaurants in San Francisco. All these restaurants have amazing food, amazing vibes, and swoon-worthy interiors!
Ettan is a progressive Cali-Indian restaurant, making reinvented versions of classical Indian dishes. When a plate of food transports you home, you know they’re doing something special. Every plate whispers of nostalgia. Every preparation shows incredible restraint, balancing familiar flavors with modern techniques. Come for the food, hospitality, and swoon-worthy decor.
2. Son and Garden
If you’re looking for an Instagrammable brunch place with amazing food and cocktails, this is it. Walking into Son & Garden feels like stepping foot into a secret garden, one where you’re greeted with blush floral walls and blue cotton candy cloud Proseccos. We loved the details, everything from the delicious brunch, to the afternoon tea, to the complex + balanced cocktails. Read about my experience and everything we ate in my full Son and Garden Blog Post
3. Son & Garden Secret Cocktail Bar
The secret cocktail bar hidden behind the main dining room of Son and Garden is SWOON worthy. Here you can enjoy their afternoon high-tea experience or indulge in one of their many inventive cocktails
4. Empress by Boon
Empress by Boon is spearheaded by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon. The restaurant features a seasonal prix fixe menu of modern Cantonese dishes prepared with fresh Californian ingredients. The decor is a mix of modern with elements of classic traditional Chinese design, the perfect place to gather with family and friends. The current menu is 7 courses covering a wide variety of modern takes on classic dishes. The meal is served family style and starts off with a classic Xiao Long Bao with Iberico Ham. The crispy chicken curry is glorious, as is the grilled alaskan black cod
Jananita is the newest Peruvian restaurant in San Francisco and it’s all the hype! Dining there feels like a fun dinner party in Peru The indoor dining area is decked out in colorful ribbons and a massive tree. The vibe is electric! Their food showcases the vibrant food and culture of Peru. They’re open for lunch and dinner, but their newest bottomless brunch is where it’s at! You can choose from different mimosa flavors, and can be sure that the champagne is free flowing. For food, start off with their signature ceviche. The brunch menu has classics like omelettes and benedicts with a Peruvian twist. For something light, try their quinoa salad. Their steak dish is so flavorful! It’s the perfect place for brunch with friends.
Nari is a modern Thai restaurant located in Japantown SF. The interior is bright and contemporary, it sets the scene for the incredible dining experience. It’s the perfect place for a fancy date night. Chef Pim Techamuanvivit has created a menu that’s bold and exciting. It’s also the sister restaurant of the Michelin-rated Kin Khao. Start with a Thai-inspired cocktail, like the spiked Thai tea or the ones infused with pandan. The menu is divided into first course and mains. For appetizers, the squid & pork is not to be missed. The main dishes are come in sharable portions. The curries are absolute flavor bombs! Get the lamb shank and green curries. Leave room for dessert because they were all excellent. The pandan parfait and tapioca desserts were the perfect end to a delicious meal
7. K-Café Patisserie & Tea House
Whimsical decor and dainty desserts, need I say more? My favorites were the pistachio cake, passionfruit financier tartlet, and the matcha black sesame chocolates
Located on the first floor of the San Francisco Proper Hotel, Villon is serving up some serious food and cocktails!
9. Farmhouse Thai Menlo Park
The Farmhouse empire is known for their aesthetics and AMAZING Thai food. Their newest location in Menlo Park is just as amazing. Try one of their many south-east-asian inspired cocktails and their brunch platter!
10. Dandelion Bloom Chocolate Salon
This is my kind of high tea! Bloom Chocolate Salon is serving up some seriously good chocolatey drinks and bites. Their bean-to-bar chocolates make a stunning appearance in their high tea service and ice cream tasting. Make sure you save time for their factory tour!
11. U:Dessert Story Vintage
There are multiple locations, but the Greenwich location in the Marina is our favorite. They serve a Japanese-inspired brunch and also serve the classic U:Dessert desserts like binsgoos and crepe cakes. Pictured here is the cod platter (with broth served in a gold pot), pandan crepe cake, mango bingsu, ebi katsu sando, salted egg french toast, and matcha spritzer.
12. Trailblazer Tavern
Hope this lost of most Instagrammable restaurants in San Francisco inspire you to explore more of SF’s restaurant gems!
Thanks for stopping by,