San Francisco’s Richmond district is packed full of incredible restaurants across the whole spectrum of cuisines. No matter if you’re craving tacos, pizza, sushi, or flaming fire fish (not actually as spicy as it sounds), you can find it all and more in one of our favorite districts for food. Most of the restaurants are either on Geary, Balboa, or Clement, and it’s the last one that we’ll be focusing on in this comprehensive must-try guide. Having such a diverse range of food is awesome in terms of selection, but which spots are truly worth your time? Well, I grew up in the Richmond going to Clement Street restaurants all the time, so I’ve compiled a list of both new spots on the block and longtime neighborhood favorites (in some cases we’re talking 40+ years in business) that are definitely worth a taste. So let’s get into it!
1) Chili House
One of my favorite restaurants in all of the Richmond District is Chili House! They’re a Szechuan joint that is sister restaurant to the famous Z & Y Restaurant on Jackson St. Their menus are similar in a lot of ways, and so is the excellent quality. For a deeper dive into Chili House with more photos and to see why it’s one of the best Clement Street restaurants, check out our posts here and here.
2) Giorgio’s Pizza
I have yet to find a pizza lover who doesn’t absolutely love Giorgio’s. They do have a larger menu with pastas and salads, but let’s be real, we go here for the pizza. They’ve been serving the Richmond district since 1972, and in my opinion, there isn’t another pizza place in the neighborhood that comes close. I recommend the Giorgio’s Special, which has mushrooms, salami, sausage, and pepperoni.
Mokuku is a more recent discovery (around 2019) and it’s become my number one spot for shabu shabu in the entire city! The main reason for this bold claim is that they have A5 wagyu on the menu and it’s unimaginably delicious. They also have tablets so you can order digitally from your seat, which is nice. Seriously, don’t sleep on this place! Also, side note: “shabu” is slang for the illegal drug, meth, in Japanese, so please always say “shabu shabu” when referring to the food.
Another great spot that’s been around for awhile is PPQ, which serves awesome Vietnamese-style Dungeness crab and tasty garlic noodles, among other things. It’s tough to narrow down the crab options considering they’re all so good, but a few of my favorites are the Roasted Crab with garlic and butter, the House Special Crab sautéed with their signature onion sauce, or the Curry Crab in spicy coconut curry sauce. They also have some great sides like imperial rolls, Kusshi oysters, and beef papaya salad. This one’s a definite staple for Clement Street restaurants.
Here’s another relative newcomer. Fiorella on Clement moved into the space that was previously my favorite Japanese restaurant in the city (miss you, Shimo), but they’re definitely holding their own in this competitive environment and have found a niche as a more trendy Italian restaurant, which sets them apart from a place like Giorgio’s. Their burrata pie is a must-try when you go!
6) Hard Knox
If you’re looking for some solid soul food on Clement Street, Hard Knox is a great option. They actually started out down in the Dog Patch before expanding to their second location in the Richmond. They have some tasty fried chicken, and one of my personal favorites is the smothered pork chops, which are covered in rich, thick gravy. Their mac and cheese is a favorite side of mine, too!
Breadbelly is a fantastic bakery with Asian-inspired pastries, and if you’ve never been there, that needs to change ASAP! They’re probably most known for their Kaya Toast, which is milk bread with coconut-pandan jam and maldon sea salt. Holy cow, it’s mouth-watering! They also serve more substantial dishes if you’re looking for a meal such as chicken karaage and several different sandwiches.
Chapeau! has been around since the mid-90’s and is, in my opinion, the best fine dining spot on Clement. They’re a french restaurant with incredible quality and attention to detail in the plating of everything. My family has had many dinners there to celebrate various special occasions over the years, and aside from that, it’s a great date spot! I’d give recommendations, but their menu changes from time to time. Also, just know that it’s also more expensive than pretty much everything else on this list.
9) Burma Superstar
Burma Superstar usually has a line out the door at dinner time, and it’s definitely worth a bit of a wait. It’s actually one of multiple restaurants owned by Burma, Inc. and all of them are top notch in terms of quality and flavor. They’re most known for their Spicy and Crispy Chicken Wings and Tea Leaf Salad, both of which I order every time I go!
Check out our post on their sister restaurant, Burma Club, with a very similar menu here!
10) Ilana Coffee
I’m actually excited to share Ilana Coffee, mostly because I don’t think many people know about it. They aren’t flashy, they don’t have social media pages, but they’re a little Vietnamese-owned cafe on Clement Street that has delicious banh mi, and a strong Vietnamese coffee that I order nearly every time I walk by. The owners are super friendly, as well. Give them a try!
If you’re in the mood for some amazing brunch in the Inner Richmond, check out Eats! They do a couple tasty fruit/waffle combinations as well as a breakfast burrito and some omelettes that are definitely worth the trip. This is another spot that fills up quickly and usually has a line out the door, so get there early!
12) Bill’s Place
Bill’s Place might be the oldest restaurant on the list having been founded in 1959. It’s a fun, family-friendly spot with diner foods like burgers, sandwiches, shakes, and fries, many of which are named after celebrities. While their website hasn’t been updated since the year 2000, maybe that’s actually a testament to their reputation in the community. If your business can survive in this day and age without an online presence, you must be doing something right. If you’re super hungry, grab the Bill’s Famous Cheeseburger #02, but another solid option that I order all the time is the Mexican Burger! And a peanut butter shake for good measure.
13) Toy Boat
Toy Boat has been a beloved neighborhood favorite to so many people for their refreshing ice cream and nostalgic collection of vintage toys on display. It was founded in 1982 and almost closed for good in mid-2020 when the owners announced they would be retiring, but luckily Amanda Michael – owner of the Jane the Bakery chain – decided to take over the space and keep much of it the same with some new additions to the menu from Jane the Bakery. Having gone to this place since I was born, I’m so happy it’s still around, and the ice cream is as good as ever!
14) Y & Y Vietnamese Restaurant
Y & Y is a hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant that a Vietnamese friend had told me about years ago, and I’ve been going there for my pho fix ever since. Their rice and noodle plates are really tasty, as well, but since I mainly go there for pho, that’s my main benchmark.
We put Home at the bottom only because they’ve done their social media marketing so well that you’ve most likely already heard of them. But if you haven’t, they make beautiful, delicious lattes and toasts that are perfectly designed and super Instagram-worthy. The lattes are especially amazing with the often rainbow latte art on top. The owners are such amazing people and we’re so happy to see them succeeding and expanding (they opened up a third location in Chinatown!).