The comprehensive guide to late-night dining in San Francisco
May 9, 2009
Find us at the San Francisco Annual Citywide Sidewalk Sale, 5/16
Next Saturday is the Annual Citywide Sidewalk Sale and we're back with our booth and selling the remainder of our maps! Get them before they're gone! We'll be on Divisadero Street somwhere between Haight and McAllister. Hope to see you there!
Annual Citywide Sidewalk Sale
600-800 Divisadero (btw Haight & McAllister)
San Francisco, CA
May 16th - 10am - 4pm
December 18, 2008
Holiday Special: BUY 1 GET 1 FREE!
Our recession gift special: For a limited time, buy one map and we'll autmatically give you another one free! No codes at checkout, no limits (i.e. if you buy 5 maps, we'll give you 10)! Buy a map today!
July 20, 2008
Open Late SF at Mission Indie Mart, Sunday July 27th
We're back full force for our 2nd Mission Indie Mart at Parkside in Potrero Hill! We'll have our discounted maps & posters there, and possibly some Gocco cards as well. Come check us out as well as the many other talented artists there. The event will be held outdoor and indoors -- look for us inside! We'll be sharing a table with our good friend, Fat Ninja. See you there!
Mission Indie Mart @ Parkside
1600 17th Street @ Wisconsin (in Potrero Hill)
About July's Mission Indie Mart
Rock, shop & drink Sunday July 27thÉthe party that rocks the Mission over the last year is packing itÕs bags for the Summer and hitting the streets (literally). WeÕve joined forces with Thee Parkside and are taking over the bar inside and out, as well as Wisconsin Street, to bring you the Indie Mart bigger & better. Bringing you over 70 of the best in local & indie designers, vintage, unique finds and much, much more. Throw in half a dozen DJÕs, awesome BBQ food all day long, cheap beers, drink specials, 2 bars, plenty of guys & plenty of ladies and all round good times in Potrero Hill on a Sunday afternoon.
July 6, 2008
The best Late-Night Ramen in San Francisco!
I've lived in San Francisco for almost 7 years now and have only discovered Katana-ya this year! Turns out I've been deprived of my late-night cravings this whole time! Located in at the edge of Downtown and the Tenderloin, Katana-ya serves up authentic Japanese ramen with the most delicious, thick (though could be stickier) miso a broth I've had in the Bay Area. Outside the Bay Area, well that's a whole 'nother level...
My favorite is the Fried Chicken (aka chicken karage) Miso Ramen and the Spicy Tofu Miso Ramen. Their Cold Ramen is also good when you're craving ramen on a hot day, and their sushi and chirashi bowls are surprisingly decent. You can also get a ramen combo with a variety of donburi bowls or rolls.
April 3, 2008
New and noteworthy
A couple of new late-night eats have popped up on the radar and yes, they are noteworthy! I actually haven't tried all of them yet, but will vow to give my full report this weekend when I am actually up late. Now with a real day job, I can't really do the late-night thing on weekdays anymore. Anyway, here they are:
Finally a place in the Mission that is something other than bean & rice or just a little tooo hip. A new bar/pizzeria called Beretta stays open till midnight and "turns out seasonal Italian provisions such as antipasti (broccolini with pepperonici; fritto misto di pesce), risotti (asparagus and robiola), and specialty pies (bianca, EVOO, and sea salt; spicy Italian sausage, panna, and spring onions)." Drinks include "cocktails like the Dolores Park Swizzle (strong white rum, lime, maraschino, absinthe, and bitters over crushed ice)." Sounds yummy to me!
Back in SOMA, I hear that 330 Ritch has renovated and is opening back up on April 4th along with an impressive tapas and midnight snack menu. Check it out this weekend!
If you're feeling like something more Asian or just tired of bar food (even though late-night pizza can never be that bad!), try Namu in the Inner Richmond. Sound familiar? They're the guys behind the new "gourmet" hot dog carts in Golden Gate Park. This Korean-Japanese-fusion place serves up Korean hot-pot (mandu jungol) along side the beloved Hawaiian Loco-Moco, Hog Island oysters, scallop carpacio and sweet chilli chicken wings. Need I say more? Should have gone there for dinner tonight! They also have a decent sake menu.
March 26, 2008
Visit us at the Mission Indie Mart on Sunday, March 30th!
Open Late SF is finally making its first in-person debut at the Mission Indie-Mart on Sunday March 30th, from 12pm - 5pm. We're so excited to be finally showing and telling everyone about our beloved map in person, as well as sharing our late-night foodie stories. So come on Sunday and check us out! The event also includes other local indie designers, drinks, snacks and music.
About Mission Indie Mart
The Mission Indie-Mart has quickly grown from an underground backyard shopping party into a popular monthly event featuring a tantalizing combination of shopping, music, and food. Catering to the style-conscious hipster, this event showcases truly independent local designers, offering everything from one of a kind fashions and reconstructed vintage to offbeat crafts, handmade jewelry and fun antiques. Enjoy cheap beer, hot plates, local DJs and the cream of the crop of SFÕs indie designer scene.
Mission Indie Mart
2565 Mission Street (@ 22nd St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
12PM - 5PM
February 3, 2008
More Late-Night Foodie Updates
It's the new year, and new restaurants are opening later and later! Here's the latest round up + an oldie but goodie:
October 22, 2007
Taters and Tapas
Went to the gentrified part of the Mission (a.k.a. Valencia Street) Saturday night for some good ol's tapas at Ramblas, but unfortunately did not get a reservation in advance. No problem! The always open late Belgian fries & snack joint, Frjtz was right across the street, so we hung out there until we were ready for our real meal. We ended up staying at Frijtz for about an hour with some Belgian beers, thick pomme frites with 3 different kinds of dips (wasabi mayo, curry ketchup, truffle oil), topped with a heaping ton of garlic! Stinky breath? Hell yeah, but it was worth it! Love the black and white modern/victorian/superhero decor too.
When we finally made it over to Ramblas, we were half full, but that didn't stop us for ordering a ton of tapas. My favorites were their little empanadas (or as they call it, empanadillas), longanisa baked with manchego cheese, slow cooked ribs and of course, churros with chocolate! The dessert alone is enough to get me back there, if not for the other 40 items on the menu that I still have to try. This place is definitely hoppin' on the weekends so if you plan to go, don't forget to call and make a reservation. For Frijtz, you can just walk right in.
August 26, 2007
My Favorite Late-Night Dessert
Two words: Ginger Cake. My favorite low-key, but still fun place to go for late-night dessert has to be Chow, located in the Upper Market/Castro district. Yes, there is sister restaurant called Park Chow located in Inner Sunset, and both have the same menu, but only Chow opens late enough on Fridays and Saturdays for the honorable Late Night Foodie mention. The parking situation at Chow is less than desirable, but if you can manage to pop in quickly and have your dessert in an hour or so, you can try chancing it at the Safeway parking lot -- though you didn't hear that from me.
My favorite desserts (which is practically the entire dessert portion of the menu) are: Ginger Cake in Caramel Sauce, Warm Chocolate cake and their fabulous apple pie, all a la mode of course! Trust me, you will not forget your first bite.
The food is good for its price, and the atomosphere is always fun. I especially like the slow-roast short ribs, the spagehetti with the biggest meatball you've ever seen and the sunday brunch out on their back patio.
August 14, 2007
Happened to be in the Marina last night and saw a smallish hole in the wall that somehow still managed to look like a chain. I was curious and discovered The Pita Pit! Apparently this joint has been around for 2 years or so but some how missed it on the map. Oops!
I was curious so I decided to give it a try. Pitas are definitely a healthier alternative to the tempting Pizza Orgasmica around corner on Fillmore & Greenwich, which is also opened pretty late.
First thing I noticed -- there are a million combinations you can do with these pitas. You have over 20 choices in between the breakfast, meat and vege pitas and as well as a variety of salads and soups. It's almost like a Subway/Quiznos with pitas instead of bread. And like Subway, you get to choose as many toppings and sauces to go with your pita. I decided to honor the origin of the pita and went with the Chicken Souvlaki (Greek Seasoned Chicken) with hummus for an extra $1. The cook throws the chicken on the grill, so immediately I think, oh it's gonna be fresh and tasty! I was SO wrong.
First of all, they forgot the hummus. But I didn't realize it until I was halfway home after taking several bites of the pita. Second, the chicken, which I thought was freshly grilled, was still cold in the center! It was obviously precooked, then "reheated" on the grill. The only good part was the "Tzatziki" yogurt sauce, but they really just dabbed a little on there. The pita was also cold and a bit hardened from refrigeration, so about half way into the pita, it cracked and a bunch of ingredients fell out. All in all, the thing tasted like a mediocre grilled chicken Subway sandwich wrap, and not at all pita-like. Nothing like the piping-hot carved meat pitas you'd expect for a REAL pita joint. So why does this pita suck so much? I checked the website when I got home, and what do you know, The Pita Pit is a Canadian chain! (That wasn't in any way an offensive remark towards Canadians, but c'mon, Canada is definitely not known for their pitas.) I guess the one positive thing is that The Pita Pit delivers (and according to their brochure, also caters), but so does Pizza Orgasmica! Or better yet, walk up to Union Street and check out the other Crepes-A-Go-Go!
The moral of this story is, just go for the better tasting pizza around the corner. Cold pitas just don't really hit the spot when you're hungry late at night.
August 7, 2007
Summer Sale! Buy 1, get the 2nd 50% off!
It's like we're giving it away for free! Ok, not really. But for a limited time, buy one map or poster, get the second map or poster 50% off. Now you and your friends don't have to fight over who gets to choose where the eat after the club. Just close your eyes and point to a place on the map! To get this special discount, you must purchase the map here.
August 3 , 2007
LND (Late-Night Dining) in SOMA
It's been a while since I've done any late-night dining, so I figured it's about time I write about my own 'hood, dubbed sometimes at the "Entertainment District" or simply just SOMA (that's South of Market Area for those who are new to San Francisco). Last Friday, D and I were exhausted from a long day at work and decided to make it a Blockbuster night. We were too lazy to cook and didn't want to drive anywhere to get food, so begrudingly, we ventured out to our own hood.
We've lived in our 'hood for about 4 years now, and as it goes with all neighborhoods, the food options get old. Fast. Manora is always a great and fast Thai option, and is open till 10:30pm, but on Friday, it was not quite late enough to be a LND joint.
Next we ventured to the somewhat grungy, but vouched by many as a solid LND eatery: V Cafe. Their garlic fries and cheesestakes speak for themselves, especially when that midnight hunger strikes. However I did notice a discrepancy in their menu on this particular night. I had been craving a crepe, but did not want to stand in the Crepes-A-Go-Go line next door, so I tried to order one at V's. On their large menu display inside the cafe, there is a whole section devoted to crepes. However when I made the order, the woman had no idea what I was talking about and said that they hadn't served a crepe in over 2 years! Hello -- take it off the menu then! Anyway, we ended up ordering the mozzeralla cheese sticks and chicken tenders. The wait was a bit longer than expected (about 10 min), but it hit the SPOT! I also hear they deliver if you're within the 'hood, and if you're one step lazier, than us, all you have to do is pick up the phone!
Since I didn't get my crepe at V Cafe, I thought what the heck, I guess I'll wait at Crepes-A-Go-Go. This is not really a restaurant or cafe like the one in the Marina or downtown Berkeley, but actually a satellite office of the same establishment. Their set up is basically a beat-up trailer with a small kitchen and cook inside, parked in a random lot next to Butter with a direct couch and astroturf. Supposedly its open 24/7 but I have definitely seen it closed during the day, but the are ALWAYS open late at night. The menu is the same as the main restaurant (give or take), and the crepes, especially when eaten after midnight are amazing! Hot, lots of cheese, slightly greasy, just the way it should be. A good place to grab a quick bite before heading home (or to the next bar!). And the lines aren't really that long, but it does get busy when the clubs close around 2am.
Lastly, on our way back home we passed by a random hot dog cart (not even worthy to be called a hot dog "stand") next to the 11th & Folsom bus stop Ñ very similar to the kind you see around the West Hollywood club strip. It was basically just two guys with baggy T's and jeans just fryin' up some bacon-wrapped dogs on something that resembled an ice cream cart with a grilling surface on top. It seemed that they had just started frying when we got there, but after 10 minutes or so, it smelled pretty dang good, even from across the street! It was a little too sketchy-street-food for me, so I didn't try one, but there was definitely a crowd waiting for that fatty bacon-dog midnight heart attack. Maybe if I was 18 I'd go for one, but hey a girl's gotta watch her figure!
July 8, 2007
Grubstake Ñ Is it really that good or is it because it's open late?
I find myself coming back to Grubstake over and over and I'm not really sure why. The novelty of sitting in an old rail car is undoubtly pretty neat, but I got over it the first time. The food is really quite standard and their menu is pretty limited. The omelettes are neither giant or tiny (and REALLY needs an expansion on their ingredient list), the pork chops/steak 'n eggs aren't bad, but not fabulous, and well their Portuguese food is what it is Ñ they just really don't give you enough to savor it during those wee hunger hours of the night! I do like the club sandwich and onion rings, though you just can't go wrong with onion rings.
What is really comes down to, in my opinion, are the hours and possibly the novelty of the rail car. Last night, after watching the 11PM showing of Ratatouille (which is quite good by the way!) at the AMC Van Ness, D and I were really craving some food and we wanted something right then and there. Polk street is pretty lively on Saturday nights but the only things open late within walking distance are the ok/could-be-better Thai Stick 4.0 (which closes at 1AM, so we would have barely made it), Ozone, another Thai place that's a little too trendy for late night dining, and yes Mel's, which we've probably all eaten one too many times late at night because it was just next door. So we were left with Grubstake, the other diner-y place open just as late.
My advice? Just stick to Mel's. At least they have a huge menu and more omelette ingredients choices. You'll also save yourself from walking 4 blocks in the bitter cold San Francisco wind.
June 28, 2007
Late-Night Foodie Updates
Restaurants come and go and some places decide to open later. Below are some additions and changes since the premiere of Open Late SF:
June 26, 2007
Fast-Food Foodies Beware
This is what you're actually eating compared to what you see on the brightly lit menus at the drive-thru:
Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
June 24, 2007
NOPA Ñ the 2nd Unsuccessful Attempt / Cafe Colma, I love you
Tried going to NOPA after a concert at The Independent. Nothing available, not even at the bar! Fast forward to yesterday night. Reservations at 9:30pm. Check. Trendy, stylish clothes. Check. Keys. Check. What we did not check was the parking situation.
Our efforts were thwarted before we even got there. We decided to DRIVE. Big mistake. We arrived at our destination by 9pm, but we had to park. I think we circled for about an hour in that famed area known as North of the Panhandle with no avail. It was Saturday night. Prime going-out time. Should have known better. Finally we were just too hungry and bailed and went to our ultimate favorite late-night dining restaurant with a giant parking lot: Cafe Colma.
I feel that I need to credit Cafe Colma since I go there so often, even though it is not on the official map because it is technically in Daly City/Colma and not in San Francisco. But Cafe Colma, you deserve an honorary mention. You provide with delicious food, 24 hour service, an array of American, Chinese, and Filipino cuisine, and plenty of parking. That is why I love you.
My favorite item is the Comsilog (Com=combination, si=rice, log=egg), which is a combination plate of 2 kinds of Filipino-cured meats with eggs of your choice and my favorite, garlic fried rice. The most popular is the Tapsilog, which is a cured beef with eggs & rice, but why stick to one meat if you can have two?
I forgot to mention, Cafe Colma is located inside Lucky Chances, a strictly legal poker/card house (dare I say casino?!?) in the heart of Daly City. It is craaazy there on Saturday nights. Ok, so it's a Chinese-Filipino run card house, but seriously, the food is the best part about the place. Stay for a tournament or two when you're done.
June 20, 2007
A long-awaited introduction
It's been a little over 6 months since Open Late SF made it out into the world (aka the Bay Area) and well, it's about time I should start sharing my adventures in San Francisco late night dining! Give you some hands-on insights as well as updates to the map itself.
A little bit about myself and the map: I'm a graphic designer who stays up pretty late at night, usually slaving away on some project. I love food, good food, and good food late at night is just pretty darn hard to find in San Francisco unless you are fine going to the same boring place every time you get hungry past midnight. Finally I got so fed up that I compiled a list of EVERY late-night dining spot I could find in the city, called each restaurant to make sure they were indeed open late (meaning midnight or later at least once day a week) and got an insane excel spreadsheet going sorted alphabetically, by district and by cuisine.
You can imagine how difficult it got opening up a spreadsheet and sorting through all that data every time you wanted to eat late at night. What better to do next than to put my design skills to use? To make a long story short, Open Late SF was born.
Soon a whole bunch of friends started asking me for copies of the map. "Here's the PDF", I said, "Go print the thing yourself!" (Mind you, printing ONE large poster costs about $75 each!) Finally through the generosity someone much more well-off than a starving artist like myself, I was able to get the map printed in a semi-ridiculous quantity. This funding did come with the price though. I have to sell these things!!! (In case you didn't notice, that was my sales pitch.)
You might ask, why don't you just put the darn map online so everyone can use the information for free? Save on the printing cost! Well, as a designer, my first love is the beauty of holding a intricately designed, printed piece in your hand. Looking at the detail and exploring it without having to spend more time than I already do at work in front of the computer. That is why the map is printed, not just some link to forward to your friends. You can keep it in your car, hang it up on your wall, use it as a piece for engaging conversation.
My hope is you can appreciate the beauty of a well-designed map/poster as well as find the information on it useful, entertaining and spark some foodie debate with your friend, neighbor, or even a stranger. And if you do like it, tell your friends and get them in on it.
Thanks to all of you who have bought a map.
Support the Late Night Foodie revolution! If you would like to see Open Late maps of other cities or would like to participate in our research group for late night dining spots, please contact us.
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