San Francisco Marathon Recommendations: Best Places to Eat and Top Things to Do


Best Places to Eat

Best Overall
Off The Grid

This is less of a freestanding restaurant and more of a group that organizes food truck gatherings on specific days of the week all over the Bay Area. Food truck culture is huge in San Francisco, with over 320 food trucks operating in the city alone. Ranging from Asian food to seafood to ice cream and cookie dough, you'll find food trucks through Off The Grid that rival some of the best restaurants in the city.

According to Racertrips Ambassador Luda, the most famous of the Off The Grid gatherings takes place on Friday nights at Fort Mason in the Marina neighborhood. Make sure when you go, try a small item from a few trucks to share, so you can get a taste of each one—and don't forget to save room for dessert!

Best Near the Starting Line
The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is a famous San Francisco landmark turned food artisan marketplace, housing some well-known San Francisco restaurants like The Slanted Door, Gott's Roadside Cafe and Humphrey Slocombe ice cream. A favorite of Bay Area chef Alice Water's, there is also a well-known farmer's market on Sundays, which features some of the best local produce and seafood, including sushi-grade fish. Whether coming here for a meal, a snack or special treat, everyone will find something delicious at the Ferry Building, according to Racertrips Ambassador Kim.

Best San Francisco Local's Experience
Swan Oyster Depot

This intimate oyster bar is off the beaten path when compared to other oyster and seafood restaurants in San Francisco. Located on Polk Street, tucked between bars, taco stands and the famous Bob's Donuts, Swan Oyster Depot was a favorite of Anthony Bourdain and other celebrity chefs, as well as Racertrips Ambassador Derek. It's super tiny and very local, so you'll have to wait in line, but it's well worth it. And while the oysters are a must-try, don't leave without also trying the crab chowder and smoked salmon.

Best Place to Carbo Load 
The Italian Homemade Company

The North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco is a famous Italian food destination, with Italian immigrants settling here after the 1906 earthquake. In the 1950s, this neighborhood was the epicenter of the Beat Generation, with local watering holes frequented by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady. Now, the Italian charm still exists, and some hundred-year-old Italian restaurants remain as well. The Italian Homemade Company is a local favorite, serving up no-nonsense pasta on paper plates you can eat outside if one of the three tables is free. If not, walk it over to Washington Square Park for a lunch with a view.

Best Casual Meal 
Golden Boy Pizza

If you're looking for a quick bite to eat that's cheap and also considered the best pizza in the city, you'll find it all at Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach. Recommended by Racertrips Ambassador Kim and established in 1978, this local hot spot is known for its beautifully designed bread pizza that's cut into squares. The only downside is there's not much seating—and you will have to wait in line for a slice—but it's all worth it. Be sure to grab a slice (or many) and walk down to Washington Square Park to get a taste of how locals live in North Beach—San Francisco's iconic Italian neighborhood.

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