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Food and Drink Secret Guides

10 Weird And Wonderful Menu Items To Try At Least Once In San Francisco

By Jamie Ferrell

10 Weird And Wonderful Menu Items To Try At Least Once In San Francisco

Grasshopper tacos? Ube sourdough? Yes, please!

Who’s hungry?! With all the creative people living in this amazing city, San Francisco has an enormous amount of unique and delicious food to offer. Read on to learn all about the weird, wacky, and wonderful menu items in San Francisco that you have got to try at least once!

1. Watermelon beer from 21st Amendment Brewery

21st Amendment Brewery’s most unique beer is “Hell or High Watermelon,” a tasty wheat beer that’s actually brewed with watermelons to give it a distinct fruity flavor you won’t find in your average hefeweizen. This crisp, light ale is absolutely delicious during the summer season, which is why it’s only available in six packs and on draft between April and September. The brewery recommends pairing it with seafood, fruit salads, or your favorite summer treat. Other fun flavors include “Hell or High Mango” and “Hell or High Pomegranate!”

Where to get it: 21st Amendment at 563 2nd St, or see participating locations.

2. Gourmet quail dishes from State Bird Provisions

This upscale restaurant is the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the United States! Not only is it highly rated, but Chef Proprietors Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski specialize in exquisite, delicate quail dishes, hence the name “State Bird Provisions.” The food menu changes often, but you can count on seeing at least one or two quail variations. Right now, they’re serving smoked lemongrass quail with cashews and chile sauce. Come for the quail, stay for the sourdough-sauerkraut pecorino & ricotta pancakes!

Where to get it: 1529 Fillmore St

3. Doomsday Sandwich from Ike’s Sandwiches

This enormous sandwich has everything but the kitchen sink, but in the best way. If you’re a meat lover, you’ll be blown away by the combination of ham, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, salami, bacon, jalapeño poppers, jack cheese, mozzarella sticks, avocado, habanero salsa, dirty sauce, and your choice of additional toppings. That’s right, this sandwich features SIX different kinds of meat! Ask for #188, The Doomsday, and be prepared to pay a chunk of change for this masterpiece. Don’t worry, it’s all part of the experience.

Where to get it: See Ike’s locations

4. Grasshopper tacos at La Oaxaqueña

If you’re a seasoned taco eater, you likely don’t shy away anymore from staples like beef head and tongue. Is it time to up your game? Consider these jumbo grasshopper tacos from La Oaxequeña and crunch your way through a totally unforgettable meal! If that’s still not enough, they also have tarantula meat available seasonally. Ingredients imported from Oaxaca include chapulines (grasshoppers), red and black mole, pepitas, (pumpkin seeds), and tasajo (cured beef).

Where to get it: 2128 Mission St

5. Any sushirrito from Sushirrito

It’s sushi! It’s a burrito! It’s a sushirrito! These colorful sushi wraps come in a ton of fun flavors, and the fusion of Japanese food with Latin influences makes for some great combos. Try the crowd favorite Sumo Crunch, with shrimp tempura, surimi crab, and red tempura flakes; or the Cowboy, which has blue corn chips, kabayaki beef, and kimichurri sauce. The Sushirrito restaurant claims to have created “the world’s first sushi burrito,” opening in San Francisco a decade ago to great success. It’s still an SF staple, and a totally unconventional and fun sushi experience for even seasoned sushirrito veterans.

Where to get it: See Sushirrito locations

6. Wacky ice cream flavors from Humphry Slocombe

Named after 2 characters from the 1970s sitcom “Are You Being Served?”, Humphry Slocombe creates delicious and unusual ice cream flavors including pepper & mint chip (pictured above), hibiscus beet sorbet, McEvoy Olive Oil, and peanut butter curry. The ice cream menu changes often, so we can’t point you in the direction of one flavor in particular, but keep an eye out for wild ingredients such as bacon, candied ginger, ancho chiles, carrot, cucumber, jalapeños, mushrooms, prosciutto, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Scan this list of every flavor they’ve ever created, and you’ll get the gist.

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Where to get it: See Humphry Slocombe locations

7. Fancy toast at The Mill

Ok, yes, we know that toast isn’t exactly “weird and wonderful,” but literally every single ingredient in this toast is of the highest quality, particularly the all organic, whole-grain rye flour milled on-site daily to create expertly crafted, fresh, fragrant sourdough that’s arguably the best in San Francisco. Top that with smoked trout, creme fraiche, and pickled lemon. Or house-made halva spread, toasted pistachios, and date syrup. Whatever gourmet ingredients you add to your already gourmet toast, you can expect to pay between $5-10 for the fanciest toast you ever did see. By the way, if you’re a home baker, check this out – The Mill will actually give you some of their sourdough starter in exchange for a poem, a six-pack of beer, an origami crane, or whatever you have on hand to barter! Learn more here.

Where to get it: 736 Divisadero St

8. Cotton candy cocktail from Son & Garden

This lovely restaurant delivers on an entire high tea experience, but one menu item that’s really caught our eye is the Cloud 9 Cocktail, which features lillet blanc, dolin blanc, pineapple and sparkling wine. It’s made unforgettable with the addition of a floating cotton candy cloud and an edible butterfly! Sip this magical ($18) cocktail under a canopy of flowers, and enjoy menu items that are all just as Instagrammable as the restaurant itself. Learn more here.

Where to get it: 700 Polk Street in San Francisco, or 1195 Merrill Street in Menlo Park

9. Ube sourdough from Rize Up Sourdough

Azikiwee Anderson founded this innovative micro-bakery, Rize Up Sourdough, in the spring of last year. It started as a quarantine project in response to nationwide unrest after the murder of George Floyd and the uneven impact of Covid-19 on the Black community. He now bakes dozens of delicious, creative sourdough loaves every week!

The ube sourdough has particularly caught our eye, but be sure to try other flavors such as jalapeño bacon and cheddar, garlic confit and lemon thyme, candied blueberry, and much more. Different loaves are baked on different days, so check out the menu and schedule here to see what you’re in for. You can also purchase a subscription for fresh weekly bread, or “pay it forward” by buying 2 loaves at a discounted price, one of which will be donated to a local food bank!

Where to get it: Order online, either for delivery or pickup at different pop-up windows in SF

10. Matcha soft serve with edible gold from Matcha Cafe Maiko

If you want a dessert as delicious as it is luxurious, then you’ll want to try Matcha Cafe Maiko in San Francisco. Their Golden “Shogun” Soft Serve is a lavish and picture perfect treat that is totally worth trying at least once. This dessert features a swirl of creamy soft serve in your favorite flavor–try their matcha or ube flavors inside a freshly-made waffle cone. The real fun starts when they add the real and edible 24k gold leaf that tops each cone! Learn all about it here.

Where to get it: See Matcha Cafe Maiko locations

 

Featured image: @rize_up_sourdough via Instagram