South of Market, or SoMa, is a thriving San Francisco neighborhood that offers residents interesting attractions like the Museum of Modern Art, the Old Mint, and the Folsom Street Fair. This fashionable neighborhood also has a wide assortment of eateries where you can grab a bite to eat or relax with friends over a drink. Whether you are planning a night out on the town or just a leisurely day strolling through this diverse community, consider stopping by one of the following restaurants.
Located at 1127 Folsom Street, Carafe has two personas. It is a fast-paced café during the day and a laidback wine bar and beer garden at night. The lunch menu features healthy offerings like juices and acai bowls made from locally sourced ingredients. The cheese and charcuterie, or prepared meat, plates are featured on the evening menu. Patrons can dine-in or order take out. A meal for two people at this vegetarian-friendly restaurant costs approximately $50.
Opening in 2010, the family-owned and -operated Marlowe neighborhood bistro has a meat-oriented American cuisine-inspired menu that features California comfort food. The hip, sprawling space has a distinctive butcher shop-themed décor that includes stainless steel walls, white hexagonal floor tiles and illustrations of animals overlaid with butcher cuts. Situated at 500 Brannan Street, this stylish restaurant offers small plates, appetizers, and desserts for under $20 apiece. You can enjoy entrees and specialty drinks for a less than $30.
Located on Mission Street, AQ offers a multicourse tasting menu and a four-course prix fixe menu that changes seasonally based upon the fresh local ingredients available to this farm-to-table restaurant. Along with the imaginative California cuisine-inspired menu, the interior décor also changes with the seasons to create an inimitable and sophisticated dining experience. Because AQ stands for “as quoted,” menu prices can vary daily. The tasting menu is typically available for approximately $100 per person.
Another one of San Francisco’s stylish restaurants in SoMa, Benu features an inventive and expensive Chinese and Korean cuisine-influenced menu that also includes an acclaimed tasting menu. The different colors, flavors, and aromas of each dish contrast with the Hawthorne Street eatery’s casual unassuming décor. Rated as one of the Bay Area’s best restaurants, Benu has earned a Michelin three-star rating. The dinner tasting menu costs approximately $248 per person.
Drinks With a View
The iconic View Lounge sits atop the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel. This premiere destination for leisure gatherings and business meetings offers handcrafted cocktails, a unique selection of California wines, and delectable small plates. Featuring artisan cheeses and seasonal ingredients, the appetizers and entrees, as well as specialty drinks, are available for less than $20. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the marvelous panoramic vistas of the city skyline through the massive arched windows. The posh View Lounge is the ideal spot for drinks before dinner or after an evening exploring the city.
These restaurants provide just a glimpse of the different eateries and cuisines available to people visiting or living in SoMa. Each venue affords diners the opportunity to experience the matchless ambiance and spirit of the “City by the Bay” and its magnificent cuisine.