San Francisco journalist and mascot Herb Caen once wrote, “Any city that doesn’t have a Tenderloin isn’t a city at all.” As the Tenderloin Museum puts it, “The 31 blocks of the Tenderloin district are the beating heart of the city peopled by immigrants and iconoclasts, artists and activists, sinners and saints.” Truly, the neighborhood is as San Francisco as Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, and, now, phalanxes of tech workers. That includes the myriad historic restaurants that have challenged city officials’ claims of unprecedented emergencies in the area, too.
In the spring of 2022 the Tenderloin continues making headlines; most recently the leaders of the Transgender District lost the battle to keep their area from being split between District 5 and District 6. As the hits keep coming, the one thing people forget to mention again and again are the local residents and the cornucopia of delicious food and drink they make throughout the neighborhood. From upscale French food and jazz clubs to affordable Senegalese and Vietnamese food, the Tenderloin is indeed the mark of any proper city: that one place where no one can show enough respect to the rich culture. Here are 20 restaurants and bars that need to make it on your list of places to try.Read More