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Try The Best French Onion Soup in San Francisco at Squat & Gobble

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The more cheese, the better.

In college, a friend once told me he didn’t like soup.  Fortunately I cut that asshole out of my life, because who wants a friend who doesn’t like soup?  There’s so many different varieties and textures; you can serve it hot or cold; and what the heck do you slurp when you have a cold if you don’t eat chicken noodle?

Needless to say, I love soup.  I usually have Top Ramen for at least one meal every day (seriously) because I’m infatuated with the fried noodles and MSG packet of tastiness.

But when I really have that craving to bloat myself with salt and cheese, which happens more often than you might expect, it has to be French onion soup.  And when I want French onion soup, there’s only one place I’ll go — Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery.  It’s a chain, so you might have seen the other handful of locations in the city (Castro, West Portal, Marina, etc.), but I’ve found that the best soup can be had at the Lower Haight location on Fillmore.  The broth is salty, but that’s the way I like it.  The portion is huge — even I can’t finish a bowl (though it’s more like some crazy liter-sized thing that can hardly be called a bowl).  The cheese on this baby is what dreams are made of — a completely gratuitous amount of Swiss smothers the top of the bowl and drips scandalously down the sides, browned to perfection.  There’s also an herb crostini involved, and that sounds very important.

Maybe somewhere in San Francisco serves fancier, French-ier soup, but for $6.50, I’m completely satisfied with my little obsession.  And if you happen to be at lunch with my old college soup-hater buddy, he’ll be fine — the Squat has one of those all-encompassing menus that boasts everything from dessert crepes to seafood linguini.

Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery 237 Fillmore St. (btwn Haight & Laussat) [Lower Haight]

Photo courtesy

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Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

When Christy announced she was leaving her family's Southern California home and moving to San Francisco, her mom said, "Have fun in that den of sin." This is the only (however sarcastic) advice Christy has ever taken from her mom, who also told her to join and cover her eyes during sex scenes in movies. Christy puts her creative writing degree to good use by locating the typos on Chinese food menus and spends most of her time challenging friends to all-you-can-eat contests and trying to get that one bartender at Zeitgeist to smile.


  1. Transister Sistor
    August 1, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I love French Onion Soup, and this sounds (and looks) great. If you’re in the East Bay and want a French Onion Soup fix, try it at Au Coquelet, in Berkeley on University Avenue. It’s around the same price as Squat & Gobble which, unfortunately, is too costly for me to enjoy as often as I would like. I guess I’m too broke for Broke-Ass Stuart’s. How depressing!

  2. J. Beaman
    August 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

    You guys keep doing the “cheap” thing. You’re good at it. But you probably shouldn’t venture into the “best” thing. Because you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Squat and Gobble (besides having the stupidest name ever) doesn’t have the best anything (unless you count best mediocrity).

    The French Onion Gratinee with Gruyere at Brazen Head (singularly the coolest, darkest most charming bar in the Marina) is $9. So for $2.50 more you can get a not Frenchier or Onionier just way fucking better French Onion soup.

  3. Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator
    August 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    i’m fine with best mediocrity…

  4. nck
    October 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    If they are gonna charge me 900 FOR FUCKING SOUP, it had better be served by a waitress in a low cut top with the sweetness knockers this side of the closest homeless person you all pretend to care about!!!!!