Where to Eat in the Inner and Outer Sunset
The Sunset District lies south of Golden Gate Park and features plenty of outstanding international restaurants, especially along Ninth Avenue, which is not far from popular attractions such as the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. These neighborhood restaurants are easily reached via the N-Judah Muni Metro from downtown San Francisco. Here are a few local favorites that visitors can enjoy.
Arizmendi Bakery (1331 Ninth Ave.)
Lovers of carbs are well acquainted with the daily changing pizza specials available (think shiitake, portabella and button mushrooms in a sesame, ginger and garlic sauce) at this worker-owned co-op. They also bake delicious scones, muffins and more. Fig fennel sourdough loaf is a must, and you can stock up on granola, too.
Art’s Café (747 Irving St.)
Neighborhood counters are a dying breed, but Art’s keeps things alive and kicking. They even innovate the usual menu with dishes like their famed hash brown sandwich. You’ll see some Korean additions and influences on the menu, like the beef bibimbap.
Lime Tree (450 Irving St.)
There are two locations of this casual but delicious Malaysian restaurant. The roti pratha will quickly disappear from your table, along with the martabak (stuffed roti), corn fritters, beef rendang, spicy curry noodles and nasi goreng with chicken.
Nopalito (1224 Ninth Ave.)
This is the second location of one of the most adored places for quality Mexican cuisine in San Francisco. The masa is made in-house with organic corn, the carnitas are some of the city’s best, and the sustainable, high-quality ingredients truly make every handmade dish shine. Totopos con chile never fails to wow, and a cookbook is available for those who want to try making it at home.
Outerlands (4001 Judah St.)
Locals trek from across the city to dine at this Outer Sunset establishment, especially for weekend brunch. It has height-of-the-season dishes made with organic ingredients, plus craft cocktails, incredible house-baked bread and a rustic, beachy look. Rockstar items include Eggs in Jail, where the eggs are cooked right into a slice of pan au levain bread – served with bacon and sea salt.
San Tung (1031 Irving St.)
While San Tung’s dry-fried chicken wings are legendary, diners also flock here for the shrimp-leek dumplings and potstickers, black bean sauce noodles, and shrimp with lobster sauce. Come with a group, but don't forget: they are (in)famously closed on Wednesdays.
Thanh Long (4101 Judah St.)
Regular diners know what to order here: roasted crab (coated with garlicky butter) and garlic noodles (a secret family recipe), or the charbroiled royal tiger prawns. Prepare to get your hands dirty and leave with dragon breath. Make a reservation.
The Yellow Submarine (503 Irving St.)
This sub shop, which has operated for decades, has a lot of sentimental value for many locals. Yet everyone can appreciate the good value and specials like their pepper steak sandwich. House-made potato chips/fries (try the garlic fries!) and hot sauce are other touches you’ll enjoy.
Yummy Yummy (1015 Irving St.)
This Inner Sunset spot is homey and has a bunch of regulars who come for their raw beef salad, imperial rolls, beef pho and bun bo hue (vermicelli and beef soup) spiked with lemongrass. You’ll also find some seafood, like salt and pepper crab as well as banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes).
Andytown Coffee Roasters (3629 Taraval St.)
With house roasted premium beans and special Sunset-centric blends like the "Wind and Sea Blend," this is one of the best places in the Sunset to start the day. Homemade real Irish-style soda bread goes hand in hand with unique coffee creations like the Snowy Plover: two shots of espresso on top of sparkling water, topped with fresh whipped cream.
Trouble Coffee Company (4033 Judah St.)
Locals make the pilgrimage to this Ocean Beach hotspot for the famous cinnamon toast, which matches up quite nicely with the potent lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso drinks (vegans can rejoice: soy or coconut is available instead of milk). This place is truly tiny, so expect a line during peak morning times and on weekends.
Devil’s Teeth Baking Company (3876 Noriega St.)
Pastries, bread, and comfort food (fat BLTs on sourdough bread) keep the crowds pleased at this Outer Sunset bakery. Standout baked goods include shark cookies, pecan pie, whoopie cakes and cheddar bacon beer muffins.
Kingdom of Dumpling (1713 Taraval St.)
This classic dim sum house has a strong local following, so don’t be surprised to find a line out the door here on the weekend. Wait it out for Napa cabbage and pork dumplings, the Shanghai soup dumplings, or rack of lamb with rice.
Terra Cotta Warrior (2555 Judah St.)
With plates from the interior Xian region of China, this Inner Sunset favorite is a bit different than the coastal Chinese cuisine more common in San Francisco. From the signature dish, Guangzhou Hot Spicy Noodles, to more creative fare like the cumin lamb burger, everything here is loaded with fully seasoned flavor.
Social Kitchen and Brewery (1326 9th Ave.)
A great place to stop for a beer flight and some rave-reviewed chicken wings, this restaurant and brew pub also has a popular daily happy hour and great Sunday brunch specials. House brews include Gangsta’s Paradise (rapscallion with pineapple and guava) and Cream of the Crop, a fresh hop cream ale.