February 16, 2018

A Taste of San Francisco | ALA 2015 Preview

San Francisco is deservedly known for its restaurant offerings. No conference preview could cover them all (and no conference attendee could visit them). Below is a tasting menu of options that are accessible from the Moscone Center, at 747 Howard Street, provided courtesy of San Francisco local Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing Group.


Central Kitchen. 3000 20th St., 415-826-7004; centralkitchensf.com. A beautiful restaurant with a patio seating feel (indoors), locally sourced ingredients, and California cuisine artfully cooked.

Salumeria. Locations in SOMA and the Mission districts; salumeriasf.com. A great lunch spot, this deli/larder serves artfully crafted cured meats, sandwiches, salads, antipasti, and a selection of cheeses, oils, honeys, and fresh pasta.

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

Photo by Eric Wolfinger


Rintaro. 82 14th St., 415-589-7022; izakayarintaro.com. Japanese izakaya serving traditional menus in a hip, buzzy space decked out in exposed woods. The curry kabocha croquettes and plum liquor (ume) are favorites.

The Slanted Door. 1 Ferry Building #3, Ferry Building Marketplace, 415-861-8032; slanteddoor.com. Chef and author Charles Phan’s nationally acclaimed restaurant in the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace is open for lunch and dinner and serves sophisticated San Francisco–style Vietnamese food. In addition to great cuisine and a full bar with signature cocktails, the restaurant has a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge, boasting one of the most beautiful views in the city. For more from the Slanted Door, look for the Out the Door kiosk at 1 Ferry Building #5 for takeout or Out the Door at 2232 Bush St., 415-923-9575; outthedoors.com.


A16. 2355 Chestnut St., 415-771-2216, a16sf.com; Bustling Italian eatery dispensing Neapolitan pizza, house-made pasta, and more from an open kitchen.

Exterior photo by Melanie Duerkopp; food photo by Frankie Frankey

Exterior photo by Melanie Duerkopp; food photo by Frankie Frankey

Capo’s. 641 Vallejo St., 415-986-8998; sfcapos.com. Capo’s is 11-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani’s Chicago Pizzeria and Bar. Celebrating classic Chicago-style cuisine with an emphasis on authenticity and quality of ingredients, the menu dishes up favorites on four types of crust, each made with Ceresota Flour from one of the oldest mills in Chicago. Capo’s signature dish is the Quattro Forni pizza—baked four times—and the restaurant specializes in classics like baked Mostaccioli, Chicken Vesuvio, and house roasted Italian beef and house-made Italian sausage and cheese. Don’t miss the cocktails, the handcrafted Art Deco–inspired bar, and the red leather booths that pay tribute to infamous Chicago mobsters. (The Capone booth features rare, personal items owned by Al Capone in his heyday, including poker chips from the Chicago mob’s illegal gambling house!)

flour + water. 2401 Harrison St., 415-826-7000; flourandwater.com. In the heart of San Francisco’s trendy Mission District, flour + water serves handcrafted Italian food, including pasta and wood-fired pizza, in a casual, rustic space. The menu is influenced by regional traditions throughout Italy as well as Northern California and is led by executive chef Thomas McNaughton, author of Flour + Water: Pasta.

SPQR. 1911 Fillmore St., 415-771-7779; spqrsf.com. Italian entrées and tasting menus made with local ingredients and a vast wine list served in cozy digs.

Exterior photo by Aubrie Pick;  food photo by Erin Kunkel

Exterior photo by Aubrie Pick;
food photo by Erin Kunkel

Tony’s Pizza Napolentana. 1570 Stockton St., 415-835-9888; tonyspizzanapoletana.com. Home of 11-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, author of The Pizza Bible, Tony’s is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Little Italy in North Beach, a ten-minute cab ride from the Moscone Center. Whether you choose the famous pizza margherita or the savory Cal Italia, Tony’s will not disappoint. All of the ingredients are authentic and imported from Napoli. Tony’s was voted Best Pizzeria in the United States by USA Today and Forbes.


Tacolicious. The Marina District, North Beach, and the Mission District, tacolicious.com. Fun, cocktail-driven, and often bustling, Tacolcious serves fresh, vibrant Mexican fare with a menu centered on tacos that extends to salads and great appetizers. In addition to great food, the eatery is known for its diverse, and strong, cocktail list.

This article was published in Library Journal's June 1, 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. Here’s a link to a quick-and-dirty Google Map showing the locations of the restaurants: