Fast-casual restaurants have been taking the Bay Area by storm. From sandwiches filled with fried chicken or hand-rolled pasta to Cuban and Vietnamese fare, check out the following San Francisco spots that won’t waste your time or money.
1. A modern Vietnamese café
Rice and Bones is lauded chef Charles Phan’s first fast-casual foray is a modern Vietnamese café on the UC Berkeley campus. Choose from regularly changing dishes like beef stew and spicy chicken stir-fry.
2. Southeast Asian-inspired fare
Head to Hawking Bird and savour Southeast Asian-inspired dishes like KMG, or khao mun gai – poached chicken served atop rice that’s cooked in chicken broth – in this bright corner space owned by Michelin-starred chef James Syhabout.
3. Cuban sandwiches and rice bowls
Fun, funky and filled with tropical colours, Media Noche serves up delicious Cuban Miami fare like Cubano sandwiches and a wide selection of rice-based bowls.
4. Rotisserie chicken is the star dish
It’s not surprising that RT Rotisserie‘s star dish is a succulent rotisserie chicken. Brined for 24 hours in buttermilk, it’s served with delicious sauces ranging from chimichurri to Douglas fir sour cream.
5. Californian-Italian-style pizza and pasta
Located in the Mission District, Barzotto’s tightly curated menu includes fresh, hand-rolled pasta dishes like spaghetti with marinara sauce and pork and turkey meatballs and bucatini with clams, green garlic, furikake and chilli.
6. Dishes inspired by casual souvlaki joints found throughout Greece
One of the originals, when it comes to fast-casual dining, Souvla is a Greek chain that opened back in 2014. They are known for lamb salads, chicken wraps and delicious frozen yogurt.
– PHOTOGRAPHY BY AUBRIE PICK
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published in October 2021