It's been a year and half since I've take a vacation and now is the time. I'll be gone 3 weeks and while I won't stop eating where ever I go, I won't be able to partake in the joys of San Francisco food. Be that as it may, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of my favorite places to grab a bite and check out for yourselves. Herewith, a few small lists of things I think are worth at least one visit.

PIZZA--gotta have one

Little Star Pizza--3 locations to suit your needs. Thick or thin and all the toppings on these delicious cornmeal crust pies of delight. It's where the hipster in you goes for pizza.
Paxti's--like a bay area mini-chain they have deep-dish and thin crust, again with that sweet crunch of cornmeal. Though it takes extra time they also deliver. For when you want local gussied up as a chain but still good.
Gioia Pizzeria--when one of you wants great then crust pizza and the other person wants something else. They do more than pizza, like a great pork belly appetizer, so you can't go wrong with tried and true or anything else on the menu. Or if you just want to pretend to be a Marina girl without actually going to the Marina.
Del Popolo Pizza Truck--it's thin crust brick oven pizza--FROM A TRUCK! Yes! They have a brick oven IN their truck! What better reason to try them! Of course the pizza is pretty darn good and orders come out surprisingly quick. I recommend the Bianca. Eat here and truly feel like an in the know San Franciscan.
Cinecitta--this tiny hole in the wall restaurant in North Beach is a true hidden gem. Traditional Italian pizzas with dough made from semolina flour imported by the owner directly from her family's farm in Italy. How much more old-world do you need than that? Cute, quaint and tasty.

Surprisingly there are tons of places to get a pizza in San Francisco, you'd think this Chicago or New York or something. You can also find other worthy contenders on this list.

BURGERS--to satisfy that craving

Pearl's Deluxe Burgers--in the rush of best burgers in San Francisco, somehow Pearl's seems to just miss the list and I don't know why. Burgers come in 1/2 and 1/4 lb version and are cooked to order juicy. Plus they have all sorts of toppings or specialty burgers to choose from. Their 2 locations in the city are way casual drop in and eat kind of places. And as a plus you can get a basket that is half onion rings and half sweet potato fries--nobody else does that in town--they should be on your list.
Super Duper Burger--an idea that grew into a local mini-chain that is hugely popular with the locals and tourists. Good made to order burgers and french fries. Nothing fancy, just good food. I would suggest trying one of the outlying locations, like the original Castro one, as the downtown ones can get crazy crowded. And for something different--get an egg on it.
Slider Bar--for when you don't want a full size but a mini one in lots of choices. You can choose from 15 or so combos and mix and match in 1, 2, 3 or more. They also have large baskets of different kinds of fries and a myriad of sauces for dipping. Great for when you want a burger but don't quite know which kind.
Slider's Diner--not to be confused with Slider Bar or for a diner, this is strictly burger town. When you want a flame grilled burger fast, cheap and good without having to go fast food, plus they are open late for when the craving really hits you.
Flipper's--regardless of what others think, I like Flipper's in Hayes Valley. You can get a burger with fries, salad or curly fries for less than $10. Plus they have an outdoor patio for lazy Sundays. The burgers are good, basic and come with all the fixings. Yes they have other menu items like brunchy stuff but they are called Flipper's for a reason.

As a burger caveat--this town is chock full or restaurants that offer them on their menu but I always wonder--why do I want to pay $15 to $20 for a burger and fries at some sit down place when I can get a really good one for less than $10 at the above places and a few others. Just because you add smoked applewood bacon or caviar to a burger doesn't make it a better burger it just gives it a different taste profile. But hey, if that's what trips your trigger then click here for a list of places you might also be interested in.

just a CASUAL DINING experience

Brenda's French Soul Food--the name kind of says it all, and the food has lots of soul. The fried chicken is great, for the West Coast, and they make one of the best biscuits I've ever had out here. Waits can be long at lunch so go early or try a dinner reservation. It's in the Tenderloin but that just adds to its charm--no really.
Citizen's Band--poutines the thing and here it's exceptional. This quirky spot in SOMA does upscale down home cooking, if there is such a thing, but whatever, they do good food. The kitchen is open so you watch them cook up the goods, then chow down. The burger here is also quite tasty.
Piccino--everything tasted fresh here, lots of places claim it, this one delivers. From salad starters to pizzas to meatballs to desserts, it's one fantastic course after another. Make a reservation--even though they are in the outlying Dogpatch neighborhood, people still make the trek there and so should you.
Range--making your way to the Mission? Then check them out. They were there before Valencia street became the hipster foodie/bar hub it is today and they are still there pumping out local farmer's market fresh fare. Eat here then hit one of the bars in the hood nearby.
and some other FAVORITES to try just because
HRD Coffeeshop--yeah, not really a coffee shop, more like Korean barbecue done up American style from pulled pork sandwiches to Mongolian beef burritos. It's a total hole in the wall in SOMA but worth it, when there isn't a baseball game going on.
Nopalito--high end taquerias are a new trend, when it isn't really necessary, but this place is totally spot on. With 2 locations it serves up surprisingly good variations of Mexican standards--empanadas, carnitas, tostados and so on. I was plesantly surprised by it and you will be too.

and some other FAVORITES without explanation

and let's not forget about BRUNCH in this town--it is a rite of passage after all

Just For You, Butler and The Chef, Serpentine, Plow, Mama's, Sweet Maple, Pork Store, ok this list could go on forever as many places serve brunch, because, you have to and here's another link to some more places.

Okay, so I could go on and on and on.....there are lots of places to eat here in San Francisco and of course, you can always check out some of the other places I've reviewed on the blog in the past, most are still around. Whatever you do, just make sure you get out and try something because there truly is something for everyone in this town--and that's a good thing.