The best street food in San Francisco

This is the third in our series of the best things to see and do in Kaplan’s top destinations. This week, we are getting hungry thinking about the best street food in San Francisco. Read on to discover our favorite street eats in the City by the Bay.

Street food is a culinary trend that is becoming increasingly popular around the world. The idea is simple: tasty food that you can buy on the street and take away to eat where you like. It’s faster, cheaper, and more informal than going to a restaurant, and there are plenty of amazing places to try in San Francisco.

SOMA Streat Food Park

428 11th St, South of Market

San Francisco Soma Streat Food Market
Another busy day at the market.

The most obvious place to start is with the SOMA (south of market) Streat Food Park. It’s a whole area dedicated to street food, with different vendors every day to ensure you get a different experience every time. Open for lunch or dinner, there’s also a bar when you can have a drink; happy hour sangrias are only $3. There are also loads of events, from karaoke to comedy nights, and the atmosphere is always fun and energetic.

Doc’s of the Bay

All over San Francisco

San Francisco Doc's of the Bay Burger
The Doc's classic burger.

Perhaps the most iconic of all American food is the burger. As you can imagine, there are lots of burger places to choose from in San Francisco, but one of the best is Doc’s of the Bay. The Doc's food truck travels around the city, using beef that's sourced from just across the bay in Oakland. They even make their own ketchup. The Doc’s classic burger is the most popular, although the vegetarian black bean burger looks just as enticing. Don’t count the calories, but this classic American food will leave a satisfying feeling in your stomach.

Rocky’s Fry Bread

By the El Rio in the Mission, and all over San Francisco

San Francisco Street Food Rocky's Fry Bread
A sweet fry bread with sugar and honey.

Rocky cooks up traditional Navajo fry bread and works purely on donations. His food has no set price, so you pay what you can, or what you think it’s worth. The suggested donation is $5, but once you’ve tasted it you’ll happily give more. He stretches the dough on-site and fries it into a mouth-watering golden circle. There are only two options: sweet or savory. The sweet fry bread is topped with sugar and local honey, and the savory option is usually a vegetarian ‘Navajo taco’, with beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, and cheese. Simple, but extremely comforting – and delicious.

Bacon Bacon

All over San Francisco

San Francisco Street Food Bacon Bacon
Why not take home a jar of bacon jam?

You don’t need to be a genius to work out what Bacon Bacon are all about. The food truck travels around the city delivering bacon-inspired treats such as the grilled cheese sandwich (with bacon and bacon jam) or the Triple B taco – pork butt, pork belly, peppers, goats cheese, and (you guessed it) bacon. They also do desserts if you have a sweet tooth: chocolate covered bacon and bacon caramel corn. If you love bacon, there’s a good chance you’ll love Bacon Bacon’s street food.


432 Octavia St. #1A (at Linden Street)

San Francisco Street Food Smitten
The Smitten stall at night. Photo credit: Chloe Prud'homme

Smitten offers you a small selection of tasty ice creams – but these aren’t normal ice creams. Your order is freshly made using a special liquid nitrogen freezing technique. It’s quite technical, but it means that the ice cream has much smaller ice crystals, making for a smoother and creamier taste.  (I’ve tried it, and you can definitely taste the difference!) With new flavors every month, this unique ice cream will have you coming back for more, all year round.

Where would you recommend eating in San Francisco?

Check out the other posts in our series: Best bars and pubs in Edinburgh and Best ice cream in London

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