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January 20, 2016

The Foodie's Guide to the Richmond Neighborhood

The Richmond District (which runs north of Golden Gate Park) is full of international restaurants, from Chinese to Vietnamese to Burmese to pizza. Here are a few highlights of some local favorites that visitors may enjoy.

Arguello Super Market (782 Arguello Blvd.)
Any local who loves a good turkey sandwich has this place on their radar. They’ll craft your sandwich exactly how you want it (white meat, dark, mix of both?) and it’s perfect on Dutch crunch. Get lots of mayo and cranberry, too. And then there’s avocado... And now you can cart your sandwich off to Golden Gate Park and enjoy it!

Aziza (5800 Geary Blvd.)
This upscale Moroccan restaurant has gone through many changes as it has evolved over the years and is known for chef-owner Mourad Lahlou’s exploration of Moroccan cuisine with a California lens and local ingredients. Dishes range from his famed couscous and basteeya to more seasonal options (there’s a tasting menu, too). Don’t miss an inventive cocktail from the full bar.

Burma Superstar (309 Clement St.)
It’s kind of amazing how popular this casual and small Burmese restaurant is, always drawing a line of people waiting for a table (open since 1992!). The rainbow salad and samusa soup are favorites, and vegetarians will find a lot to enjoy here.

Hong Kong Lounge (5322 Geary Blvd.)
Every weekend, dim sum lovers line up for a table at this spacious Cantonese restaurant, eagerly anticipating steamer baskets of har gow shrimp dumplings, baked pork buns, fantastic Peking duck and the coffee ribs. The nighttime scene is also fun, with large groups enjoying banquet feasts.

Lime Tree (836 Clement St.)
There are two locations of this casual but delicious Malaysian restaurant, depending on which side of Golden Gate Park you’re on. The roti pratha will quickly disappear from your table, along with the martabak (stuffed roti), corn fritters, beef rending and nasi goreng with chicken.

My Tofu House (4627 Geary Blvd.)
When the weather is dreary and you need a pick-me-up, the hot tofu soup (soon dubu) at this affordable Korean restaurant will do the trick. Get a group together and huddle over dishes like bibimbap and kalbi ribs (or opt for the daeji bulgogi spicy pork, which will also fire up your belly).

Pizzetta 211 (211 23rd Ave.)
This pizzeria is truly tiny, like Lilliputian, so don’t come here in a large group. You should also wear a sweater and prepare to wait outside, but the thin-crust Californian pizzas here are truly worth it. Get an egg on it. Or go for the pepperoni and white anchovy. So good. And think about lunch here instead of dinner if you can swing it. Cash only.

Schubert’s Bakery (521 Clement St.)
This classic European bakery (since 1911!) makes some mighty fine cakes, starting with their exquisite Swedish Princess Cake. You can come by for just a slice of cake, or cookies or fruit tarts…and everything is fresh.

Shanghai Dumpling King (3319 Balboa St.)
When you want your dumpling fix, this affordable and petite place has a bounty to choose from, from xiao long bao to pan-fried pork dumplings to their famed sugar egg puffs for dessert. Round out your meal with hot and sour soup and the green onion pancake.

Tommy’s Restaurant (5929 Geary Blvd.)
A family-run restaurant (since 1965), what it’s really known for is its truly marvelous margaritas (and crazy huge selection of tequila—let owner Julio Bermejo educate you). The bar is teeny-tiny, but always draws a friendly crowd. You can sit down for dinner in a booth in the dining room, with a menu featuring many Yucatecan specialties.

Ton Kiang (5821 Geary Blvd.)
A neighborhood favorite for dim sum, and you’ll also find lots of seafood and some Hakka specialties on the menu, too. Don’t miss the warm egg custard tart (dan tat) for dessert. The room has a nicer look to it, a step up from some of the more casual places around town.

Wako (211 Clement St.)
This Inner Richmond sushi restaurant does everything right: beautifully selected fish, well-crafted sushi, friendly staff and it has a cool look, too. It’s the kind of place sushi aficionados like to keep to themselves. Try the nigiri omakase menu for the full tour.

Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, tablehopper, about the San Francisco dining and drinking scene; get all the latest news at www.tablehopper.com. Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram for more San Francisco finds!

Photo by David Sawyer / CC-BY-SA 2.0

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