We tend to eat late and if we have to eat out, our food choices for dinner are rather limited even though we live in San Bruno, minutes from San Francisco. I feel like there’s always a need for late night and 24 hour eateries especially in large metropolitan cities where there is entertainment all night and around the clock working people out and about. So besides a shortage of cabs that has recently been relieved by Uber and Lyft, there also isn’t a lot of 24 hour restaurants in the San Francisco and Peninsula area. There are quite a few late night eats in San Francisco but I really wish there were more 24 hour restaurants.
Do you remember the old 24 hour King Tin in Chinatown? Or IHOP next to the Big Heart City Nightclub on Mission, the Denny’s off Westborough or the Denny’s in Japantown serving udon and the Lyon’s that is now home to Boulevard? Those restaurants were the best for late night grub after a night of drinking and clubbing. These days, there’s less clubbing but I still have the occasional 2 AM craving for fried mozzarella sticks or chow mein so I thought I’d share a list of my top picks of probably unknown 24 hour eateries in the area. These aren’t fancy places that Michael Bauer would frequent. Some of the listed restaurants are chains but they will definitely feed you when no one else is open. Most are simply family owned and operated places, little gems in my book. They are also nostalgic as I started to eat at many of these establishments in college so you know they’ve been around for a long time.
Plus, these restaurants are much less expensive than the more popular late night and 24 hour restaurants. On a dollar scale, I’d say these restaurants get a one dollar sign rating, $ = under $10 or maybe the lower end of two dollar signs, $$ = $11-$30. The only exception to my list is Tsunami Sushi, which is worth every penny of their $$$ rating. Being one my favorite Japanese restaurants that just so happens to stay open late, I had to include them. There aren’t that many 24 hour restaurants to list but for the late night eateries, we have more choices so I tried to cover different cuisines but again staying in the $ and $$ range.
24 Hour Eateries
- Sparky’s (Castro) – 242 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 626 -8666 – They have fried goodness, salads, pizza, pastas, burgers and sandwiches served 24 hours a day.
- Orphan Andy’s (Castro) – 3991 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 864-9795 – This is a Castro institution serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner diner food.
- Allstar Donuts (Marina/Cow Hollow) – 2095 Chestnut St (at Steiner), San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 441-9270 – Great place for late night sweet cravings. They also serve breakfast sandwich bagels and sandwiches but keep in mind that if there’s a drunk line behind you, those in line will most likely complain about having to wait on your sandwich being made.
- Araujo’s Restaurant – 404 W San Bruno Ave East of El Camino Real between Green and Easton), San Bruno, CA 94066 (650) 588-4257 – They have a very extensive menu covering burgers, sandwiches, American and Mexican breakfast and traditional Mexican dishes including burritos, tacos, etc. They don’t serve beer or wine and the service is not very good but just be thankful they’re open to serve you decent food at 3 AM.
- Shari’s Cafe and Pies – 2010 Rollingwood Dr (Off 280 South Sneath Lane exit), San Bruno, CA 94066 (650) 589-4819 – More than just a diner, Shari’s has a huge menu ranging from breakfast items, healthy choices like salad and grilled chicken breast to comfort food such as pot roast with mashed potatoes. They have a great selection of fried goodies as well as delicious pies. Wednesdays is free slice of pie day and they let you take it home if you don’t want to eat it there. They also have a pretty extensive kid’s menu and serve beer and wine.
- Leann’s Cafe, 777 Airport Blvd, Burlingame, CA 94010 (650) 288-0296 – The restaurant is located on the side of the Red Roof Inn. Essentially it’s in the Inn but it has its own entry and is nestled between Doubletree Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn. They have diner food including breakfast dishes, entrees and sandwiches plus decent Chinese food! Their chow mein is pretty tasty. This place also serves large portions.
- Denny’s Downtown SF – 816 Mission St (between 4th St & 5th St), San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 243-8800
- Denny’s Fisherman’s Wharf – 495 Beach St (at Jones St), San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 776-3700
- Denny’s Serramonte – #2 Serramonte Center, Daly City, CA 94015 (650) 756-8544
Late Night Eateries
- CocoBang (Union Square) – 550 Taylor St (between Isadora Duncan Ln & Post St), San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 292-5144 – Sunday thru Thursday: 5:30 PM – 2 AM. Friday and Saturday: 5:30 PM – 4 AM. Say what? Late night comfort Korean food open til the wee morning???
- Naan N Curry (Inner Sunset) – 642 Irving St (between 7th Ave & 8th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94122 (415) 664-7225 – Sunday thru Thursday: 11 AM – 11 PM. Friday and Saturday: 11 AM – midnight. Yummy Indian food. Get the Papadums and Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan.
- Naan N Curry (Tenderloin) – 336 O’Farrell St (between Taylor St and Mason St), San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 346-1443 – Open daily til 4 AM.
- Grubstake Diner (Nob Hill) – 1525 Pine St. (betweeen Polk & Van Ness), San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 673-8268 – Breakfast, lunch and dinner served every day 5 PM to 4 AM. They’re just not actually open during what we’d call normal lunch time but I’m sure 12 AM is someone’s lunch break.
- Katana Ya (Tenderloin/Union Square) – 430 Geary St (at Mason St), San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 771-1280 – Open nightly til 1 AM. One of the only Japanese owned joints in town. The ramen is outstanding. The noodles are cooked perfectly and the soup is delicious with the right amount of salt and spices. I think their sushi is ok so I stick to their Cherry Blossom roll.
- Tsunami Sushi (Panhandle) – 1306 Fulton Street (at Divisadero Street), San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 567-7664 – Open for dinner Monday thru Saturday till midnight. Closed on Sundays. This is my favorite sushi place in town but it’s not cheap, definitely $$$. I love their unique rolls and they have an awesome Uni in a Spoon and Jalapeno Hamachi.
- The Monk’s Kettle (Mission) – 3141 16th St (between Albion St and Valencia St), San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 865-9523 – Open daily 10 AM to 2 AM.
- El Farolito (Mission) – 2779 Mission St (between 24th St & 23rd St), San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 824-7877 – Sunday thru Thursday: 10 AM – 2:30 AM, Friday and Saturday: 10 AM – 3:30 AM. One of the best Mexican taquerias around and even better that they’re open late. Awesome burritos and quesadillas.
- My Canh (North Beach/Chinatown) – 626 Broadway (at Grant Ave), San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 397-8888 – Open daily 10 AM to 2 AM. Really tasty, authentic Vietnamese dishes. Their pho is good too. Cash only by the way.
- Vietnam Restaurant (North Beach/Chinatown) – 620 Broadway (at Grant Ave), San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 788-7034 – Open daily 9 AM to 3 AM except on Sundays they open at 10 AM. Super tiny hole in the wall serving really good pho, bun, banh mi and rice plates. It’s hard to find pho places that also serve good banh mi. Cash only here.
- New Sun Hong Kong (Chinatown) – 606 Broadway St (corner of Grant Ave and Columbus St), San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 956-3338 – Open daily 10 AM – 3 AM. I’ll eat at this place any time of day and am happy they stay open late. My family and I enjoy their Cantonese food a lot and have been going here for years. They have great jook (rice porridge), chow fun (pan fried flat rice noodles) and jeen mein (Hong Kong Style chow mein).
- Washington Cafe (Chinatown) – 826 Washington St (between Waverly Place & Ross Alley), San Francisco, CA 94108 – Sunday thru Thursday: 10 AM – 1 AM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM – 3 AM. Hong Kong style restaurant and they also serve hot pot. Don’t go here expecting great service or super cleanliness. This is straight up Chinatown. Go here to satisfy your late night Chinese food craving.
- Best of Thai Noodle (Haight/Ashbury) – 1418 Haight St (at Masonic Blvd), San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 552-3534 – Open daily till 1:15 AM. I love their Pad See Ewe, Pumpkin Curry with Chicken and Tom Kha Gai. We haven’t had a single bad item at this place. I actually have them programmed in my phone for quick to-go orders when I’m in the area on my way home.
- King of Thai Noodle House (Richmond) – 639 Clement St (between 7th Ave and 8th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 752-5198 – Open daily from 11 AM to 1 AM. This is the smallest of their locations so if you have a large party, I recommend going to No. 2. Their larb is very good and Pad Ke Mao is one of the best I’ve ever had. It has the right amount of spiciness where it is usually mild at most other Thai restaurants and it’s not that oily.
- King of Thai Noodle House No. 2 (Richmond) – 346 Clement St (between 5th Ave & 4th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 831-9953 – Open daily til 2 AM. All the Thai dishes here are great. My friends like their fried chicken over rice and we like their pad ke mao and pad see ewe. Their soups are good too especially the duck noodle soup.
- Little Fire Pot – 271 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015 (650) 992-0888 – Tuesday thru Sunday closes at midnight, Monday closes at 10 PM. Really good hot pot and other savory Chinese and Taiwanese dishes as well as a full bar available. You will not leave here hungry or sober at times. They have an all you can eat and all you can drink option. They also have private karoke rooms. Say hi to the owners Steven and Joanne for us.
- Nizario’s Pizza (North Beach) – 279 Columbus Ave (at Broadway), San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 743-9999 – Open daily til 2 AM. Free, fast delivery available. I like to drop by here for a slice of pizza if I’m in the area drinking late.
- Nizario’s Pizza (Castro) – 4077 18th St (at Castro), San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 487-0777 – Open daily til 2 AM. Free, fast delivery available.
- Nizario’s Pizza (Richmond) – 3840 Geary Blvd (at 3rd Ave), San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 752-7777 – Open daily til 2 AM. Free, fast delivery available.
- Nizario’s Pizza (Mission) – 535 Valencia St (at 16th St), San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 776-7171 – Open daily til 3 AM. Free, fast delivery available.
- Mel’s Drive-In (Richmond) – 3355 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 387-2255 – Sunday thru Thursday: 6 AM – 1 AM and Friday thru Saturday: 6 AM – 3 AM.
- Mel’s Drive-In (Marina/Cow Hollow) – 2165 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 921-2867 – Sunday thru Wednesday: 6 AM – 1 AM, Thursday: 6 AM – 2 AM, Friday and Saturday: 24 Hours.
- Mel’s Drive-In (Downtown 4th & Mission) – 801 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 227-0793 – Sunday thru Thursday: 6 AM – Midnight, Friday and Saturday: 6 AM – 3 AM.
- Mel’s Drive-In (Nob Hill) – 1050 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 292-6357 – Sunday thru Wednesday: 6 AM – 1 AM, Thursday: 6 AM – 2 AM, Friday and Saturday: 6 AM – 4 AM.
- Seniore’s Pizza (Parkside) – 2415 19th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116 (415) 661-2222 – Open daily from 11:00 AM – 3:00 AM. Free, fast delivery available.
- Seniore’s Pizza – 992 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066 (650) 952-4100 – Open daily from 11:00 AM – 3:00 AM. Free, fast delivery available.