Even though I’ve been (not so) subtly hinting at co-founders Ev & Ron to move the Liftopia HQ to my hometown Oakland, CA, I have to admit that one of the perks of working in San Francisco’s Financial District is the incredible food. Just as there are ski areas for every skier’s ability and taste, there are a variety of food options within a 2- to 3-block radius of the office; we’ve got everything from Subway to Gitane. Every day around 11am, the lunch chatter begins, and by 11:45, the first folks are heading out to beat the inevitable lines and to get an early start on the mid-day meal. Since food is such a big part of the day around here, I thought it would be cool to give a shout out to the six places where Liftopians enjoy a good San Francisco lunch.
1. Chairman Bao Truck: The Chairman never parks anywhere near our office, but it doesn’t matter — every Tuesday, you can find a number of Liftopians making the trek all the way down to “Truck Stop” at 1st & Mission. It’s that good. We recommend the pork belly and braised pork buns — baked or steamed.
2. Working Girls’ Café: Great, straight forward, no nonsense coffee, salads and sandwiches, and a super friendly staff, too. We recommend the Cobb salad and any sandwich that comes with fresh mozzarella. As one of my family elders used to say, “Good bread, good meat, good Lord, let’s eat!”
3. Boxed Foods Company: Boxed Foods Company and Working Girls Cafe offer similar menus: coffee, salads and sandwiches. However, the execution at each of these places is completely different. If you’re into locally grown, organic, food with a bit more culinary flare, Boxed Foods Company is a great option for you. We recommend trying the grilled chicken salad and grilled turkey panini.
4, Fleur de Sel: Although I have yet to eat here, plenty of my co-workers are regulars. With their pre-made gourmet meals, it’s a great option when you’re low on time; no waits, easy in and out, perfect for the lunch crowd. Definitely try the quinoa salad, which is filled with cherry tomatoes, corn, ricotta cheese, baby arugula and basil.
5. Bamboo Asia: Bamboo Asia is basically three restaurants in one: Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese. You can choose from a variety of bowls, wraps and salads. The Indian tikka masala wrap, Japanese sashimi salads, and Vietnamese pork bahn mi are all great options. We also like the seaweed salad. The best part about Bamboo? They’ve taught me that guacamole goes well with pretty much anything.
6. Sunrise Delicatessen: Their claim to serving the “Best Falafel in Town” is no joke. I’m not even a huge falafel fan, and I love this place. Fresh food and large portions, every single time — can’t beat it! Our go-to orders include the regular and avocado falafel sandwiches and the vegetarian combo plate.
Honorable Mention: Off the Grid at St. Mary’s Square. Every Monday, you used to be able to find packs of Liftopians hovering in the various lines at this food truck stop. The selection of trucks always rotated, but our favorites were Senor Sisig, Five Ten Burger, and Mayo & Mustard. Unfortunately, the trucks are no longer stopping at St. Mary’s, and so we’ve been forced to find new Monday lunch joints. R.I.P., OTG at St. Mary’s Square. R.I.P.
Have you ever eaten in the Financial District in San Francisco? If so, let us know some of your go-to places and we’ll check them out!