My Top 24 San Francisco Eats (Part 1)

I’ve lived in San Francisco for approximately 3,298 hours. A lot of those hours were spent eating. Here’s what I like so far:

#24 Newkirk’s

You know that sandwich you daydream about when you’re feeling really sandwich-y?

The sandwich where you take layers of cold cuts and crisp shredded iceberg lettuce… and you stuff them into a roll that has a crunchy crust and a squishy interior… and then you brush, drizzle and bathe those meats in oil and vinegar?

Newkirk’s makes that sandwich.

And ever since I tried their gooey Philly cheesesteak with a fried egg jammed in the middle, I look forward to hangovers.

#23 MIXT

In the future — when insufferable yuppies like me have covered the earth in soulless, colorful apartment buildings — big salads will be the only type of food. Pizza will be salads. Burgers will be salads. Even hot dogs will be big, giant salads.

Every salad will cost $29.95 before tax. And you’ll be able to order them just by blinking at your smart glasses. I can’t wait.

#22 Cha Cha Cha

If I was under house arrest for the next 80 years, and my house arrest guards could only bring me one meal, it would be Cha Cha Cha’s Ropa Vieja — a giant pile of shredded steak, black beans and rice studded with green olives.

This place will give you the most ceviche per dollar anywhere in the city.

#21 Boogaloos

Boogaloos served me a cube of plantain with my breakfast. It was really good.

#20 Foreign Cinema

This San Francisco institution absolutely crushes the vibe check. The iconic patio — festooned with string lights and drenched in the gentle glow of a classic film — has to be one of the best date spots in the city.

The food was perplexingly inconsistent. My caesar salad looked and tasted like it was pilfered from a stuffy hotel ballroom during a dental convention. But the coffee-rubbed steak I ate a few minutes later hit all the right notes and then some. The overall experience is well worth the price of admission.

#19 Dumpling Time

Dumpling Time’s menu touts a gigantic soup dumpling called the “King Dum” — which is, allegedly, so bursting with soup you have to drink it with a straw.

So you can imagine how excited I was when they plunked this thing down in front of me.

But when I stabbed my straw into it and eagerly sucked away — no soup arrived. And I almost choked to death on a chunk of pork that was rocketing into my esophagus.

When I finally reopened my eyes, I found the delicious soup gushing out into a thin layer below my sadly collapsed dumpling.

Was it my fault for not knowing the proper dumpling drinking technique? Or is Dumpling Time feeding people an impossible fantasy? All I know is I should never be a phlebotomist.

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