Soul Food Restaurants in San Francisco
In its sheer volume and variety, San Francisco's culinary scene can't be beat. You can find every dish and drink you ever imagined here—and even some you haven't. Looking for some classic soul food during your stay in San Francisco? Look no further! Here are just a few of our favorite places for soul food in the city.
Please note: during the city's recovery from COVID-19, it's best to contact these restaurants directly to confirm their hours and the kind of dining options they're offering.
The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen (1 South Park Ave.)
Is there any food that warms the soul more than a grilled cheese sandwich? Head to the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen to find out. There are locations in SoMa and the Financial District. At The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, you'll find a menu full of grilled cheeses. Among the most special that they serve are the mac n' cheese grilled cheese, which has mac n' cheese stuffed into a garlic buttered grilled cheese sandwich, and the Kim Cheesy, which has cheddar, jack, tender Korean spare rib, gochujang, Napa cabbage kimchi, scallions, and sesame butter on sourdough.
Biscuits and Blues (401 Mason St.)
The name says it all. Biscuits and Blues is a celebration of everything southern and soulful. Located in Union Square, Biscuits and Blues is both a live music venue and a restaurant serving up delicious comfort food. Expect to find southern favorites like gumbo, fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and BBQ ribs.
Brenda's French Soul Food (652 Polk St.)
This restaurant offers a menu that you might expect to find in New Orleans. You'll find delights like crawfish beignets, mufalettas, smoked pork rillettes, and catfish des allemands. Brenda's French Soul Food also caters to a plant-friendly audience by offering vegetarian options like sweet potato dumplings and buttermilk fried cauliflower.
Brick & Beam (555 North Point St.)
In the heart of Fisherman's Wharf is Brick & Beam, a restaurant that seamlessly blends a hip, west coast aesthetic with the classic taste of comfort food. Brick & Beam touts their comfort food, but expect more American bar dishes than traditional southern fare, including calamari, chicken tenders, cheeseburgers, and more. Don't skip dessert when you go; they have a cheesecake of the day that always wows.
Hard Knox Cafe (2526 3rd St. and 2448 Clement St.)
Perhaps the most classic spot in San Francisco for soul food is Hard Knox Cafe. This restaurant has two locations in Outer Richmond and the Dogpatch. Inside both locations, the vibe is funky, fun and casual. Bring the whole family here or come for a fun night out—and have a cocktail, too. The menu features soul classics, like fried chicken, BBQ ribs, and po' boys.
Little Skillet (360 Ritch St.)
Chicken and waffles are the star at Little Skillet, where you can order waffles with either 2, 3, or 8 pieces of chicken (and side dishes). Expect classically southern sides like collard greens, biscuits, or mashed potatoes. There are other things on the menu at Little Skillet, including a "customize your own" bowl, po' boy, or plate, allowing you to choose from a selection of proteins and sides. The restaurant also has a weekend brunch that shines for its chicken and waffle benedict. Little Skillet is in SoMa and they also have an outpost in SFO's Terminal 1, so you can have one last bite on your way home.
The New Spot on Polk (2401 Polk St.)
If you're looking for something easy, breezy, and no frills, check out the New Spot on Polk. This neighborhood cafe has become well known for serving a delightful menu of soul food options mixed in with standard American fare, and their brunch is particularly popular. You'll find dishes like charbroiled pork chops, biscuits and gravy, and a crab po' boy. The New Spot on Polk is in the Heart of Russian Hill
Palm House (2032 Union St.)
Palm House is a soul food restaurant with a creole twist. Harkening back to New Orleans and the Caribbean, Palm House has a menu that features dishes like Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Island Smoked Ribs, and Spam Fried Rice Musubi. It's a little bit exotic with a whole lot of comfort and soul. Palm House is bright and airy inside, with beachy influences in the decor, and the atmosphere is trendy and chic.
Town Hall (342 Howard St.)
Town Hall Restaurant offers an atmosphere that's just as enjoyable as its food. It's set in a 1907 brick warehouse in the heart of SoMa. The restaurant offers a classically southern menu with warm, comforting bites, including fresh oysters, BBQ gulf shrimp, BBQ ribs, and smoked andouille jambalaya. On Sundays, the restaurant offers a meat and three (which is a clasically southern meal featuring a main protein and three sides). The restaurant touts itself as a Louisiana eatery, so expect some distinctively Creole and Cajun options.