Every Single Restaurant and Bar Anthony Bourdain Has Visited in San Francisco

UpOut SF
UpOut SF
Oct 3, 2016 · 10 min read

By Jenna Homen

Maybe it was from a recent binge-watching session of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, or maybe it was his recent visit to the city by the bay — what matters is that I suddenly felt compelled to compile every single place (food and drink-wise, that is) that Anthony Bourdain has been to, or even briefly mentioned, in San Francisco.

Here’s everywhere the infamous, slightly crude, and borderline alcoholic chef has graced with his presence — only on TV, of course, as I have no clue what the man does off-screen. Feel free to write in the comments anything I missed, and updates to come once his latest episode on SF comes out!

FOOD

Swan Oyster Depot

Get there early, Tony says — there’s always a line. Proclaiming the Nob Hill counter to be “one of my favorite places to eat in America,” he raves about the crab fat served with fresh sourdough bread for dunking, as well as the sea urchin.

A Cook’s Tour — Season 1, Episode 18 / The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5 / in a recent taping for Parts Unknown

Sam’s Pizza and Hamburgers

Josh D. via Yelp

Bourdain hit up this spot for the ultimate drunchies: cheeseburgers. Located in North Beach and open until 3:00am, you can even order “The Anthony Bourdain Special” which consists of a double cheeseburger, fries, and a beer for $13.99. After a long day and night of drinking, Bourdain declared Sam was his “walking Buddha” and a “patron saint.”

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

House of Prime Rib

Bourdain gets totally hammered off martinis here while losing his mind over the giant 1/2-pound slab of meat.

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15 / Spotted during a recent taping for Parts Unknown

Sinbad’s

David H. via Yelp

A kind of confusing curveball, as Sinbad’s in the Embarcadero is notoriously mediocre (sans the view) — we’ll have to wait and see why Tony was eating here.

Spotted during a recent taping for Parts Unknown

Tadich Grill

Tadich Grill

Tony gets the classic Hangtown Fry, an omelette with bacon and oysters that was made popular during the 1850s Gold Rush.

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

4505 Burgers & BBQ

4505 Meats Facebook

We’ll have to wait and see what Tony’s recommendations are at this tasty BBQ spot — they will also be a vendor at Outside Lands, too.

Spotted during a recent taping for Parts Unknown by reader Christina Ferguson

Pier 23 Cafe

Pier 23 Cafe

“If the weather is nice, Pier 23 might be what you need. Avoid the slow movers and touristas at Fisherman’s Wharf and get your views here.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

R&G Lounge

Modern Luxury

Tony devoured the popular salt and pepper crab, which he described as “lightly battered and crispy fried and seasoned with secret salt and pepper sauce,” and washed it down with a lychee martini.

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

Ferry Building Farmers Market

Travel Spirit

“Organic, and green, and local — yes. But also a magnet for the food-fetishizing elite, from an area with an average household income of $85,000 a year. And there’s banjo music, a waving red flag as far as I’m concerned.” Despite Tony’s criticism, after sampling from various stands and eating tamales, he admits he can’t hate it.

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

Red’s Java House

Red’s Java House Facebook

Tony’s final stop in No Reservations is at the classic Red’s on the Embarcadero for a burger — they do a basic cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, mustard, pickles and onion, but serve it up San Francisco style on sourdough bread.

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

That’s It Market

S V. via Yelp

Located inside this unassuming market are some of the best tortas in the city — Tony ordered the popular Torta Cubana, stuffed with chorizo, egg, milanesa, hot dogs, bacon, ham, queso fresco, lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapeño, avocado, and mayo.

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

King of Noodles

Bkwm J. via Yelp

“The thing to eat are the wontons, and of course noodles, made fresh in-house,” says Tony.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Off the Grid

Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr

“These food trucks offer some of the best street food in San Francisco. They notify people of their location via Twitter and are primarily powered by solar panels.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Rice Paper Scissors

Travel Channel

A pop-up restaurant series, Rice Paper Scissors picks a location and takes it over for a night or a few days — in this episode, Tony has shrimp chips and banh mi sandwiches. You can try it yourself Monday through Friday at Brick & Mortar from 11am to 2pm, or on Thursdays at Mojo Bicycle Cafe from 6pm to 10pm.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

La Cocina

Travel Channel

Tony gives a nod to the San Francisco incubator kitchen that “cultivate(s) low income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Mission Chinese Food

Michael U. via Yelp

While the storefront stays Lung Shan Restaurant, Mission Chinese takes over the kitchen at specific hours and cooks up their own food completely separate from Lung Shan. With dinner all week from 5pm-10:30pm and lunch Thursday-Monday from 11:30am-3pm, this is some of the best Chinese food in the city.

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

La Folie

Jaylena P. via Yelp

Tony meets up with friend Chef Roland Passot, who is in the kitchen every night at this cozy, fine-dining French restaurant in Russian Hill.

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Yuet Lee

Peter N. via Yelp

Cash only and open until 3:00am, Tony recommends the salt and pepper prawns.

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Lucero’s Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

jcasasphotography via Photobucket

Tony describes these dogs as “delicious and sinister, and worth traveling for.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Boccalone

Boccalone Facebook

Meat lovers: this is the “only place to experience the incredible, handmade artisanal-cured meats,” according to Bourdain.

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Rosamunde Sausage Grill

“Small restaurant with a cult following, [with] grilled meat in tube form on French rolls. Up to 2 free accompaniments like sauerkraut, onions, peppers or spicy beef chili. Hell yes.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Molinari and Sons

Travel Channel

This was Tony’s last stop in San Francisco after a massive drinking binge — he said he needed to satisfy his “fierce need” for a greasy, meaty, Italian sub. He ordered the Molinari special with vinegar.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

El Huarache Loco Food Truck

Helena Q. via Yelp

Ran by Veronica Salazar, this food truck (and now also a permanent restaurant in Larkspur) focuses on the tastes of Salazar’s hometown, Mexico City.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen

Christina C. via Yelp

According to reader Meagan, Tony dropped in to Jasper’s and had their signature burger, the J Burger: angus beef, Point Reyes blue cheese, frisee, and bacon-onion relish on a brioche bun. She remarked that Bourdain said that he “normally hates when people add too much to a burger, but this was an exception,” and that “someone really thought about this burger.”

Spotted during a recent taping for Parts Unknown by reader Meagan Melton

Polly Ann Ice Cream

Jeremy L. via Yelp

Bourdain hits this ice cream place up back in 2001, remarking that “Polly Ann’s is well-known in San Francisco, particularly among the Asian community, for their unusual ice cream flavors.” He samples Pumpkin, Red Bean, Taro, American Beauty (a rose flavored ice cream that he thought was “too strong” and reminded him of “kissing my grandmother”), Lychee, and Durian.

A Cook’s Tour — Season 1, Episode 18

DRINK

Tonga Room

Travel Channel

Tony and his friend, Chef Chris Constantino, share a Lava Bowl that is intended for four people; he later orders a Bora Bora Horror and a Zombie and puts them down the hatch. Drunkenness ensues, and his mind is blown at the indoor artificial hurricane.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Li Po Cocktail Lounge

Allen C. via Yelp

“Named after Li Po, the famous Chinese poet who drowned while attempting to embrace the rays of the moon in the water,” remarked Tony. This spot in Chinatown is known for their “lethal” Mai Tais (and from firsthand experience, I wholeheartedly agree) — Bourdain tosses some back after his debauchery at Tonga Room and then gets swindled into playing a few rounds of Liar’s Dice. Oh, and he’s slurring his words by now.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Toronado Pub

Travel Channel

“Known mostly for beer, of which they stock 50-plus microbrews and about 100 bottled beers; most importantly they boast a no Grateful Dead policy on the jukebox, which ensures me the peace of mind and spirit I need for a late-morning buzz.”

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Comstock Saloon

Comstock Saloon Facebook

“Named after silver-lining magnate Henry Comstock. Owners Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin carefully craft their cocktails, but Comstock is at root an old-school, no-nonsense bar.”

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Mr. Bing’s

Travel Channel

“What type of psychotic fucking freak would not love this place?” Tony says. “If you can’t find it in your heart to immediately recognize that this is a fine drinking establishment, there’s no hope for you.” Is this the alcohol or Bourdain talking? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Persian Aub Zam Zam Club

SFbaytripper

“Run by a legendary unfriendly owner, the notorious guardian of another age, Bruno. He was famous for running things his way and only his way. Bruno’s gone — died in 2000 — but he’s not forgotten.”

No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

Bender’s Bar & Grill

Bender’s Bar and Grill Facebook

“I could’ve gone to Bender’s for late drinks. They have live rock and roll there, but this show is so cheap-ass that we couldn’t afford to pay the music rights.” Oh, Tony.

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Zeitgeist

Cali C. via Yelp

Knowing that Bourdain loves the cash-only, no bullshit Zeitgeist just makes so much sense. He says that it’s “a beer garden with a juke loaded with work from local bands and has a huge back patio filled with picnic tables. The regulars are usually bike messengers and locals only.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Blue Bottle Coffee

Kenny Louie via Flickr

“Hand-crafted” and “artisanally produced,” Bourdain says this is the spot for the the coffee aficionado.

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

The Alembic Bar

The Alembic

According to Bourdain, “Alembic Bar is where off-duty or pre-shift bartenders head for a high-quality drink.”

Mentioned in The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

CLOSED

Chaac Mool Food Truck (Closed)
The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

To Hyang (Closed)
The Layover — Season 1, Episode 5

Sebo Sushi (Closed)
No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar (Closed)
No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

Pirate Cat Radio Cafe (Closed)
No Reservations — Season 5, Episode 15

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!

Originally published by www.upout.com/sf.

UpOut SF

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UpOut SF

A web & mobile app guide to SF’s underground events & culture. Discover San Francisco by getting complimentary tickets to secret events → http://bit.ly/1RLUp7V

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