Where to Eat and Drink in San Francisco, According to Mohammad Gorjestani
Where to Eat and Drink in San Francisco, According to Mohammad GorjestaniMohammad Gorjestani
Iranian-born director, photographer, and multi-disciplinary artist Mohammad Gorjestani comes through with an in-depth guide to San Francisco's culinary hotspots.
Gorjestani is the founder & creative director of San Francisco-based studio Even/Odd. As a filmmaker, his work has screened globally earning awards at festivals including SXSW & Tribeca. He also is the artist behind 1-800 Happy Birthday, a voicemail project and public installation honoring the Black and brown lives taken by police.
As a San Francisco local, Gorjestani frequents community & culturally focused eateries, cafes, and drink spots. Here, he shares his findings.
In this Guide
“Loquat explores the the flavours of Iraqi Jewish heritage and is the brainchild of my homie Tal Mor, who is behind Four Barrel Coffee and The Mill with Josey Baker Bread. Loquat is built from love and intentionally sourcing all of its ingredients, many of which are from Palestine. My favourite thing is the boureka plate with the house harissa and zhoug. Don’t sleep on the salted chocolate babka either.”More Info
“I low-key think this is the best bar in America. The combination of community, food and drinks is unmatched. I get creatively inspired here with what Nicholas Torres and his team does. The cocktails span the imagination, and I especially appreciate the low ABV drinks. I would get the bartenders choice of cocktail and definitely get the hen of the woods mushrooms.”More Info
“This is a special special place run by amazing people. You can’t beat the vibe – it is unequivocally San Francisco. 20 Spot is a restaurant inside the old Force of Habit record store, it’s run by Bodhi Freedom who is a Frisco OG. I recommend just sitting at the bar with a flatbread and anything else that looks good on Alejandro’s (the chef's) menu and letting Bodhi pour you a glass of what he’s feeling that night.”More Info
“Isa and Kenzie used to work on farms before opening this spot that serves the most incredible tamales and bowls. Everything is amazing, but I go with the Hugo Street Retreat with a breakfast cookie to enjoy on a walk around one of the best neighbourhoods in the city.”More Info
“24th Street is my favourite street in San Francisco and there’s nothing like it or La Palma in the world. I go with the Taco Sonora and I grab some queso and salsa for the fridge on my way out.”More Info
“The best coffee in America is in San Francisco (sorry Portland) and Grand is one of my favourites. I love the two locations on Mission Street and I love everything this place and its owners represent as a community business. I love their espresso and usually go with an eight-ounce Americano or a Gibralatar (don’t call it a Cortado!).”More Info
“When I first moved to San Francisco I lived in the Richmond, and I discovered this tiny spot that changed how I think about how food is made and that small is better. Pizetta makes a few pizzas a day based on what's at the farmer's market. I usually get whatever pizza is on the menu, a slice of flourless chocolate cake, and an espresso that takes me back to 2007 when I used to just sit at the bar and write.”More Info
“Anybody telling you San Francisco is dead, just bring them here on the Friday or Saturday night. Probably the most fun place to dance in the city, and while I admittedly avoid the dancefloor, I do appreciate the natural wine, top shelf DJ and music curation that makes this place bump.”More Info
“There’s a few great dive bars I was thinking of for this list, like Lone Palm and 500 Club, but I’m putting Wazema [down] because in addition to being around the block from me, and it being a historic San Francisco business, they also serve Ethiopian food every night 'til 10. I order the sampler plate and enjoy a little fernet after, and hit the pool table in the back.”More Info
“I go to bat for Gallardo’s as the best brunch in the city. It’s only on the weekends, but it's worth the wait for their birria served with their tortillas and fixings.”More Info
“Sunset Squares Foodhall is where you can go watch a game and choose between Sunset Squares Pizza (sourdough pizza), Namu Stonepot (Korean-inspired fare), Filipino food (Uncle Tito’s) and a really amazing curation of beer and wine. I go for the Pub pizza, and I add olives and gardiniere for the first half of the game.”More Info
“The Palestinian diaspora in San Francisco is one of the most special things about the city. Biet Rima is a family business that makes you feel at home every time you eat at either of their two locations. I usually go with their chicken shish tawook plate, the mezze platter – and don’t sleep on Samir’s bread.”More Info
“Few places in San Francisco have the room feeling that Zuni does. I always go back and forth between Bix and Zuni as my favourite old-school vibes. But Zuni takes it for me because when I first moved to the city it was the late-night meals I had here after my shifts that shaped my love for food. The move here is to grab a seat by the bar, get a martini, order the chicken, and patiently wait for it enjoying their Caesar salad. Classic and perfect.”More Info