Best Castro Restaurants

Courtesy of Finn Town

The Mission may be the spot to open up the hottest new restaurant, but the Castro is full of neighborhood joints that have a certain neighborhood appeal – walk into any one of these spots and you’ll feel right at home, just in about ten different ways. 

01 of 09

Frances

Food
Nina Y. via Yelp

 Neighborhood: Castro
3870 17th St.
Telephone: (415) 621-3870

California cuisine is all over this city, but nowhere does it quite like Frances. Something about the small, cozy space and neighborhood vibes makes it feel like you’re dining at a close friend’s house—if that close friend just so happened to have a Michelin star. Menu staples include ​honey-brined pork chop, bavette steak with caramelized parsnips, and kale salad topped with crispy chickpeas. But this place is no hidden secret—reservations are booked a solid three weeks out. 

02 of 09

Saucy Asian

Food
Saucy Asian

 Neighborhood: Castro
3801 17th St.
Telephone: (415) 834-5555

Come April, this neighborhood is getting a Korean fix. The menu is rolled out in steps. Step one is to choose whether you’d like a bowl, wrap, taco, or poke bowl. Step two is when you choose your protein like spicy pork, soy garlic chicken, and more. Sides include kimbap – rice with spicy pork and pickled daikon. It’s fast causal adventure dining at its finest. 

03 of 09

Nomica

Food
Tiffany P. via Yelp

Neighborhood: Castro
2223 Market St.
Telephone: (415) 655-3280

From the owners of Sushi Ran in Sausalito comes this modern Japanese restaurant. The name translates to drinking house in Japanese but is also short for Noe-Mission-Castro, the neighborhoods it serves. But the drinks are the selling point here with concoctions like the umeshu tonic with vodka, yuzu, and oolong bitters or the stray cat, a combination of cognac, shiitake, and rosemary. The menu is full of light fusion dishes like karaage fried chicken and waffles. 

04 of 09

Mama Ji's

Sichuan food
Steph L. via Yelp

Neighborhood: Castro
4416 18th St.
Telephone: (415) 626-4416

This no-reservations neighborhood joint is the go-to for an easy weeknight dinner with the family that’s loaded with flavor. Owner Lily (aka Mama Ji) and Marv serve up home-style Sichuan food. Try the pork shumai or cilantro shrimp dumplings or indulge in the wonton noodle soup and chow mien. And the owners are longtime neighborhood residents so the whole place feels like home. 

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Starbelly

Chicken and waffles
Frank S. via Yelp

 Neighborhood: Castro
3583 16th St.
Telephone: (415) 252-7500

Brunch is the name of the game at this sun-soaked patio spot. There’s sunnyside joe’s, challah French toast, chilaquiles with ​house-made chorizo, and fried chicken po boys – basically, something for absolutely everyone. Of course, lunch and dinner are just as delicious. 

06 of 09

The Sausage Factory

Pizza
Paul B. via Yelp

 Neighborhood: Castro
460 Castro St.
Telephone: (415) 626-1250

This pizza joint has been around since 1968 and is about as classic as it gets. Pillowy dough and just the right amount of cheese yield delicious slices that have the stability to be eaten by hand (forget that knife and fork!). Tiffany chandeliers and a cozy interior make it the go-to pizza joint for the neighborhood. 

07 of 09

Finn Town

Pub food
Finn Town

 Neighborhood: Castro
2251 Market St.
Telephone: (415) 626-3466

Longtime San Francisco resident and Top Chef veteran Ryan Scott ​has put down roots in this new American restaurant. The specialty is elevated pub fare, from quinoa burgers to duck confit potpie. It’s got a funky vibe to match with plenty of mismatched leather bar chairs and globe lights. Oh, and did we mention the kitchen is open until 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturdays? A finer choice than some of the neighborhood’s other late night spots. 

08 of 09

Anchor Oyster Bar

Cioppino
Eric J. via Yelp

 Neighborhood: Castro
579 Castro St.
Telephone: (415) 431-3990

This little seafood spot has been around since 1977 and the choices are still pretty classic. The crab cake entrée comes with the housemade tartar sauce and roasted potatoes, a cup of chowder or a green salad, as do the wild Mexican prawns. But their cioppino is what brings in the crowds – the traditional seafood and pasta medley is best split with a large group of friends. Whatever you order, don’t forget to cleanse your palate with a couple of oyster shooters. 

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Deccan Spice

Indian food
Yashwanth A. via Yelp

 Neighborhood: Castro
468 Castro St.

Fans of the Mission’s ever-crowded Indian food staple won’t need to travel far to get their fix with (hopefully) less of a wait. Platters full of delicious curries, from those steeped with mustard seeds and Andhra spices to the perfect combination of cashews and butter with crispy, buttery roti make for the best kind of comfort food.