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Dumpling Time in SoMA

The Local Guide to SoMA, San Francisco

SoMA is a lively neighborhood in San Francisco nestled just east of downtown. With a mix of HQ’s for SF’s hottest startups and residents who commute to the Southbay/Downtown, there is no shortage of great places to eat, drink and be merry. We have posted our list of the top spots in SoMA on the LocalFriend google map here.

Feel free to comment below, or reach out to our LocalFriends via the chat, with any questions you may have about these places! You can also download our iPhone app to chat directly with a local here.

Where to Eat in SoMA:

  1. Garaje – SoMA’s version of a taqueria, also a bit nicer than most in the Mission. This Cali-Mexican joint has a huge variety of specialty beers on tap and lots of deliciously greasy burritos/tacos.
  2. Spark Social SF – This is a food truck park in mission bay with tons of great options. The trucks offer pretty much everything including Poke, Pizza, Gyros, Ramen, Burgers and so much more.
  3. Dumpling Time – You have to love any dumpling place where you can watch them being made fresh. It’s the law. This place gets packed so try to get there early. Make sure to get the Tom-Yum Xiao Long Bao. It’s Thai-Chinese fusion at its finest.
  4. Saap Ver – Most definitely my favorite Thai place in the city. Their Papaya salad drew me in but their Pad See Yew kept me coming back. We should get some kind of commission from them purely based on the amount of people we have brought here and are now hooked for life.
  5. Marlowe – This is an upscale American restaurant currently on the Eater SF Essential 38 list.  While everything I’ve had here has been great, I am a sucker for their burger. Also, their selection of wine by the glass is top notch.
  6. Zero Zero – This is the spot for unique pizzas in SoMA. It’s a “smart casual” Italian restaurant with pizza, pastas and salads. It’s also a great place for a date.
  7. Little Skillet – I have a weakness for Southern Food, although I try not to get it too often because I could eat endless amounts of fried chicken. When I do decide to indulge, Little Skillet is my go to place in SoMA. It’s attached to an awesome bar to grab a drink after your meal.
  8. Darwin Cafe – This place makes the freshest sandwiches and hearty salads. It’s a lowkey café that I can always count on for a healthy lunch to break up a workday. I would also occasionally go during the weekend for their brunch menu.
  9. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen – One of the first places I visited in San Francisco. I have a soft spot in my heart for all things cheese, and The American Grilled Cheese does not disappoint.
  10. Brickhouse – If delicious southern food and brunch had a baby, it would be brickhouse. They also have excellent coffee served in large tin glasses so that scores extra points in my book. Their happy hour features a huge plate of nachos for a perfect snack before a Giants game.
  11. Deli Board – Another hit on Eaters SF Essential 38.  San Francisco has no shortage of over-the-top yet delicious sandwich spots, but this one tops the list. Their bread is that soft buttery delicious kind that takes any sandwich to the next level. 

Where to Drink in SoMA:

  1. Woodbury – Lowkey bar that sits below the Alchemist right across from the Giants stadium. A great place to grab a beer and some delicious bar snacks (I’m looking at you loaded tater tots).
  2. Rooftop 25 – One of the better rooftop bars SoMA, also a poppin’ place for happy hour. It sits atop 25 Lusk, a popular modern upscale restaurant. You can visit the rooftop to still experience the modern vibes at a fraction of the price.
  3. Alchemist – this is a more upscale lounge that’s sits above Woodbury, and has the same owners. This is a great place for a first Bumble date, a get together with old friends, or just to wind down with a scotch after a long day.
  4. Local Tap – Your classic Sports bar. Tons of TVs, great selection of beer on tap and wings. Tasty, tasty buffalo wings.
  5. District – One of my favorite wine bars in the city. They have options for a few different wine flights where you can get 3 “tastings” of wine for less than $20. These tastings are way closer to full glasses than the kind of tasting you get at a winery. You’re guaranteed to leave a bit more “relaxed” then when you came in.
  6. Bluxome St Winery – It’s like a trip to Napa, but way closer. I think my girlfriend would describe this place as “super cute”.
  7. Public House – This bar is located in the Oracle Park, where the Giants play. There’s at least a million TV’s which makes it my go-to spot for any big game. I don’t think it’s possible to be more sport-y than a sports bar in the sports stadium. Go sports!
  8. 21st Amendment Brewery – Lot’s of people love 21st Amendment beer, including myself. So why not get it straight from the source? They also have some fire fish and chips.
  9. Mission Rock Resort – So I’m more than stretching the boundaries of “SoMA” for this one but I have to let you in on a little local secret with this place. It’s actually a seafood restaurant situated right on the bay with beautiful views. The reason that I put it on the “bars” list is because the have a $1 oyster happy hour M-F from 5-7. The beer is flowing and the oysters are delicious. There’s really no reason not to go.

Things to Do in SoMA:

  1. Coin-Op – Arcade bars have become all the rage in SF, and for good reason. No better way to spend a weekend afternoon than getting a little boozy and playing your favorite childhood video game.
  2. Hotel Utah for some live music – Hotel Utah is an older style “Saloon” type bar. There’s live music almost every night and most of it is local. The talent level may be a gamble, but you’re guaranteed to have a good tie.
  3. Go to a Giants game – This is one of the top things to for anyone visiting SF. Oracle park is a beautiful stadium nesteled right on the water with great views and even better food. We wrote a blog post on how to score cheap Giants tickets here.
  4. Check out at concert at Oracle Park or Chase Arena – The biggest acts coming to San Francisco play at Oracle Park or Chase Arena, which are both really close to SoMA. There’s something going on almost every weekend, so check ticketmaster for who is in town!
  5. Stagecoach Greens – This is a San Francisco themed mini-golf course located right next to Spark Social. Going from the food trucks at Spark Social, to the mini-golf course, makes for a great date night in SoMA.

Where to Dance in SoMA:

  1. DNA Lounge / Bootie SF – Bootie SF is a “party” that happens every Saturday night at DNA Lounge. This huge multi-room club is open every day of the week but Saturday nights are definitely the most poppin. It will be a wild and a bit weird, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
  2. Audio – This is more of a “house” style club. I’ve had great times here watching my favorite DJ’s. They have good headliners most weekends, so check their website to see who is playing and grab a ticket before going.
  3. Raven – This place is more of a bar on the first floor and more of a dance club on the second floor. They play lots of 2000’s era hip-hop, which always makes for a great time.
  4. Butter – This is a fun bar with lots of great music, and happy drunk people singing along.
  5. 1015 Folsom – Another great club to catch a DJ that’s coming through town. This place leans more toward hip-hop and trap than Audio.

I hope this guide helps to make your time in San Francisco unforgettable! If you have any questions, feel free to download our LocalFriend App here, or chat with a local directly on this site. We are happy to help you experience the best things to eat, see and do in SF!

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