ColumnsEat & DrinkSF Bay Area

Why A Sacramento Native Thinks San Francisco’s Food Scene Sucks

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Written By: Maisey Dillion

If unaffordable housing and homelessness aren’t enough, you can add wack food to San Francisco’s menu. Once you’ve made it to the most expensive city in America, making just above the poverty limit of 100k a year, you’d think you can finally afford a decent dinner at one of San Francisco’s many eateries. And you can, but is it worth it?

You don’t need to have “good taste” to know when something is terrible.

The short answer is no. The long answer is you’re better off going to Sacramento. If you’re up in arms by this statement, you are the problem and not from here.

I’m not a food connoisseur, so why would my opinion matter? I think it takes a really trash food scene to make a person with mediocre taste feel appallingly underwhelmed. You don’t need to have “good taste” to know when something is terrible.

I moved from Sacramento 6 months ago, which is a decent enough time in the city to mingle with the locals. Unfortunately, by locals, I mean people who have lived here for five years and consider themselves locals. But that’s what San Francisco is, a toddler with a toddler palate. Almost every person I have interacted with, I have asked their opinion on restaurants worth trying. The answers are usually like “uh” with a long pause and a dazed look or “Original Joes.”

So how is Sacramento outperforming San Francisco? It’s simple: there’s nothing better to do in Sacramento than eat, drink, and try to be happy.

So I took to Yelp to try the best restaurants, Ryoko’s for sushi, Uncle Vito’s for Pizza, and Marafuku for ramen. Don’t get me wrong, these places aren’t bad, but if a restaurant has 2.7K likes and 4.5 stars in Sacramento, it will unequivocally be worth the rating. And they should be here too, because these are the top-rated restaurants in their category, in one of the wealthiest cities in America.

So how is Sacramento outperforming San Francisco? It’s simple: there’s nothing better to do in Sacramento than eat, drink, and try to be happy. That’s all Sacramento has going for it. You can’t live in a hot town next to a stinky river where there’s virtually nothing to do and have bad food. We don’t need two Bakersfield.

My family is from the city, my great grandparents owned a bakery in North Beach, and my grandparents grew up in Excelsior. When my parents moved to Sacramento, we would visit every weekend, back when the only restaurants in Sacramento were Paragary’s and The Spaghetti Factory. We would often fish in the bay and have dinner on the docks. Even that was arguably better than most restaurants in Sacramento. However, times have changed.

San Francisco had some of the strictest mandates in the country, forcing all restaurants and bars to close for six months before allowing outside setting only, a significant contributor to many of the city’s hidden gems to close. Over the past two years, the City took a massive hit; 120 restaurants closed permanently in 2021 alone.

San Francisco is supposed to be a world class city. San Francisco’s competition is New York City, London and Paris. So how is it that California’s sweaty capital has a better food scene? Oakland, San Francisco’s decidedly less chic neighbor, also has a much better food scene. I wouldn’t know, but I’ve heard San Jose does too.

Just because a city is rich in natural beauty doesn’t mean that’s an excuse for every other aspect of it to suck. I’m not writing this article to say as a whole Sacramento is better. Sacramento is steaming pile of flat in a fiery pit of boring. San Francisco is supposed to be something special, but it’s filled with food that isn’t and people who only think they are.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Four Injured After Car Goes Down Cliff Near Sutro Baths

Next post

How Hillary Clinton Helped Fuel The Alt-Right

Guest Writer

Guest Writer

We write for busboys, poets, social workers, students, artists, musicians, magicians, mathematicians, maniacs, yodelers and everyone else out there who wants to enjoy life not as a rich person, but as a real person. Namely, we write for you.

We’re currently looking to expand our author pool. If you’re snarky, know what’s happening in your town, and good at making your fingers type out funny words, then you might be just the person we’re looking for. Email with some writing samples if you're interested. Cheers


  1. Hed Tedly
    May 10, 2022 at 11:56 am — Reply

    What a gigantic joke of an article.

    • Joe Doe
      May 13, 2022 at 7:13 am — Reply

      Yes, definitely, but it made the author *think* they’re “something special.”

  2. Moi
    May 15, 2022 at 4:21 am — Reply

    Hed and Joe, you dismiss what you can’t describe.

    I found the article fascinating. And it stands to reason that your ‘puff’ responses suggest a bit of, well, resentment that Writer (I don’t them, so I won’t call them by their first name, Guest) scratches an itch that you can’t.

    To be fair, though. Writer is too casual in dismissing venues in SF and uses Yelp to make their case (which makes mine too). Search a bit more and you will find more to like, esp. if you stop using Yelp. Writer, were you a City Search guru back in the day? You know, people like places that you don’t.

    But I will say this: your description of Sac made me laugh. What an odd place. And I am no foodie. I loved Eastern Empire before it closed. Thought the place was great.

    I think Hed and Joe are funny. They have ideas. Opinions. But they just can’t make it past the point where the “NO!” turns into an actual POV with some details to make it sing. Try again, guys. Try again. When you are bested by Guest Writer, you need to rethink your response game.

    • Hector
      May 24, 2022 at 9:38 am — Reply

      100% chance this worthless garbage was written by someone from the Marina.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *