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15 Actually Secret Menu Items in San Francisco

No, really, you haven't heard about these

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With the proliferation of food blogs, publications, and social media, nothing in the restaurant world is secret anymore — in fact, unearthing them is Eater's entire mission. So it's always a delight to stumble upon a secret menu item that hasn't yet been reported to death, and amazingly, there are still a few of those left in San Francisco.

Until now, anyway. This mouthwatering map has the latest and greatest off-menu dishes at the hottest restaurants around town. They're often limited in quantity, of course, and some require advance notice, but now you know where to look. From several takes on burgers to stuffed fried chicken, they're all dishes with a sense of whimsy and decadence, as though the chefs behind them allowed themselves to really relax and have a little fun with their food.

No matter what they are, though, these 15 items are all dishes you need to know about. Sorry, SF — secret's out.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bellota

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888 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 430-6580
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New Spanish superstar Bellota has playful animal-style patatas bravas available nightly, with chipotle bravas salsa, chorizo alioli, and crispy kennebec potatoes all topped with slices of Jamon Iberico de Bellota for $35.
Ryan McIlwraith

2. Rich Table

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199 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 355-9085
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Bar flies at Rich Table now have a brand-new option: the $21 Rich table burger, available only at the bar upon request and changing seasonally. Right now, it's a double-patty, dry-aged beef burger with Tomme d'Auvergne cheese and Early Girl tomato tartar sauce on a housemade roll. It also comes with housemade potato chips dusted in umami powder.
Rich Table

3. R&G Lounge

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631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 982-7877
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You have to order this one in advance, but if you do, Chinatown staple R&G Lounge will prepare you lo mei gai, or a deboned chicken stuffed with Chinese sausage, vegetables, glutinous rice, and chicken meat, that's then fried whole. The price tag is $55.

4. Huxley Restaurant

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846 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 800-8223
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Huxley has a hot new take on its popular burger: "The Hot Mes," a Wesburger-inspired burger that subs pickled jalapeños in place of the regular pickles and liberally adds housemade hot sauce to the MSG aioli that lathers both the top and bottom buns, all for $17.

5. Sessions at the Presidio

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1 Letterman Drive D-150
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 655-9413
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Available daily, the "monster burger" is eight ounces of certified Angus beef topped with house-smoked pastrami, a fried egg, Holey Cow cheese, and housemade bread and butter pickles on a housemade Dutch crunch bun. It's also served with hop-salt fries with an aioli dipping sauce, all for $23.
Presidio Trust

6. AL's Place

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1499 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 416-6136
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Only available to one or two tables per night, the "Fish Catamaran" (so-called because owner Aaron London thinks it looks like a large ship) is a salmon head and collar cooked over the binchotan grill with kimchi sweet & sour sauce and a miso-garlic sauce. Picing varies from $20 to 25, depending on the size of the fish.

7. Barzotto

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1270 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-1200
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The Italian ramen at pasta bar Barzotto is a California-Italian style with roasted chicken, mizuna greens, lime basil, Aleppo, grilled lemon, 63 degree Fahrenheit egg, and housemade ramen noodles. It's only available Sundays and Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for $12.

8. Beretta

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1199 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 695-1199
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You have to know to ask the bartenders for Beretta's $19 "bartenders pizza," which has burrata, sausage, spicy marinara, olives, and pepperoncini.
Beretta

9. ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

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3282 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 525-4750
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Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar has not one, but two off-menu specials. First up is the tako salad ($12), made with house sous vide octopus, pickled fennel, and sweet onions. Plus, at the sushi bar and for omakase only, chef/owner Tim Archuleta pickles that tako salad and finishes it off with some sesame seeds — but you'll only get it if you ask.

10. Maybeck's

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3213 Scott St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 400-8500
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Starting Wednesday, October 5, Maybeck's in the Marina will launch "Wellington Wednesday," when a whole beef tenderloin wellington will be sliced for only those who ask for the off-menu special. It's $24, and comes with creamed spinach and black truffle jus.

11. Orbit Room

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1900 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 252-9525
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On weekend mornings (specifically tailored to those with a hangover), Orbit Room offers a weekly-changing hash brown-crust quiche. There's usually a vegetarian option, like mushroom, leeks, and jack cheese, as well as a meaty version with something like sausage, pepperoni, and cheddar and jack cheeses. Five dollars gets you a hefty slice.
Orbit Room

12. Pacific Catch

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1200 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 504-6905
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Pacific Catch has tons of fresh fish on the menu, but its $23 poke chirashi (which means "scattered" in Japanse) is not one of them. It's sometimes listed as a chalkboard special, but even if it's not, it can always be made by request. The chirashi has salmon avocado and spicy serrano poke, ahi tuna, wakame salad, Hijiki salad, cucumber, and daikon sprout salad on warm seasoned short-grain rice.
Pacific Catch

13. Popsons

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998. Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Originally created for KMEL DJ Big Von, Popsons' off-menu “Big Von” Burger ($9.45) is a Popsons signature double cheeseburger topped with seasoned fries.
Popsons

14. Teo's Restaurant and Bar

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112 7th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 626-8366
The newly-opened Teo Restaurant and Bar serves a secret deep-fried goose with taro puree. The goose is marinated (with secret ingredients), deep fried, and served with water chestnut, bean curd skin, and taro puree.

15. Waterbar

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399 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 284-9922
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For the last three months, Embarcadero's Waterbar has served off-menu lobster rolls on Fridays at lunch, and they usually sell out in an hour. The $24 roll is made with Maine lobsters with melted butter and salt on a housemade toasted brioche, alongside Old Bay potato chips.
Waterbar

1. Bellota

888 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Ryan McIlwraith
New Spanish superstar Bellota has playful animal-style patatas bravas available nightly, with chipotle bravas salsa, chorizo alioli, and crispy kennebec potatoes all topped with slices of Jamon Iberico de Bellota for $35.
888 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103

2. Rich Table

199 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Rich Table
Bar flies at Rich Table now have a brand-new option: the $21 Rich table burger, available only at the bar upon request and changing seasonally. Right now, it's a double-patty, dry-aged beef burger with Tomme d'Auvergne cheese and Early Girl tomato tartar sauce on a housemade roll. It also comes with housemade potato chips dusted in umami powder.
199 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102

3. R&G Lounge

631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
You have to order this one in advance, but if you do, Chinatown staple R&G Lounge will prepare you lo mei gai, or a deboned chicken stuffed with Chinese sausage, vegetables, glutinous rice, and chicken meat, that's then fried whole. The price tag is $55.
631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108

4. Huxley Restaurant

846 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Huxley has a hot new take on its popular burger: "The Hot Mes," a Wesburger-inspired burger that subs pickled jalapeños in place of the regular pickles and liberally adds housemade hot sauce to the MSG aioli that lathers both the top and bottom buns, all for $17.
846 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. Sessions at the Presidio

1 Letterman Drive D-150, San Francisco, CA 94129
Presidio Trust
Available daily, the "monster burger" is eight ounces of certified Angus beef topped with house-smoked pastrami, a fried egg, Holey Cow cheese, and housemade bread and butter pickles on a housemade Dutch crunch bun. It's also served with hop-salt fries with an aioli dipping sauce, all for $23.
1 Letterman Drive D-150
San Francisco, CA 94129

6. AL's Place

1499 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Only available to one or two tables per night, the "Fish Catamaran" (so-called because owner Aaron London thinks it looks like a large ship) is a salmon head and collar cooked over the binchotan grill with kimchi sweet & sour sauce and a miso-garlic sauce. Picing varies from $20 to 25, depending on the size of the fish.
1499 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. Barzotto

1270 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
The Italian ramen at pasta bar Barzotto is a California-Italian style with roasted chicken, mizuna greens, lime basil, Aleppo, grilled lemon, 63 degree Fahrenheit egg, and housemade ramen noodles. It's only available Sundays and Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for $12.
1270 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

8. Beretta

1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Beretta
You have to know to ask the bartenders for Beretta's $19 "bartenders pizza," which has burrata, sausage, spicy marinara, olives, and pepperoncini.
1199 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

9. ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

3282 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar has not one, but two off-menu specials. First up is the tako salad ($12), made with house sous vide octopus, pickled fennel, and sweet onions. Plus, at the sushi bar and for omakase only, chef/owner Tim Archuleta pickles that tako salad and finishes it off with some sesame seeds — but you'll only get it if you ask.
3282 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

10. Maybeck's

3213 Scott St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Starting Wednesday, October 5, Maybeck's in the Marina will launch "Wellington Wednesday," when a whole beef tenderloin wellington will be sliced for only those who ask for the off-menu special. It's $24, and comes with creamed spinach and black truffle jus.
3213 Scott St
San Francisco, CA 94123

11. Orbit Room

1900 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Orbit Room
On weekend mornings (specifically tailored to those with a hangover), Orbit Room offers a weekly-changing hash brown-crust quiche. There's usually a vegetarian option, like mushroom, leeks, and jack cheese, as well as a meaty version with something like sausage, pepperoni, and cheddar and jack cheeses. Five dollars gets you a hefty slice.
1900 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

12. Pacific Catch

1200 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
Pacific Catch
Pacific Catch has tons of fresh fish on the menu, but its $23 poke chirashi (which means "scattered" in Japanse) is not one of them. It's sometimes listed as a chalkboard special, but even if it's not, it can always be made by request. The chirashi has salmon avocado and spicy serrano poke, ahi tuna, wakame salad, Hijiki salad, cucumber, and daikon sprout salad on warm seasoned short-grain rice.
1200 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

13. Popsons

998. Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Popsons
Originally created for KMEL DJ Big Von, Popsons' off-menu “Big Von” Burger ($9.45) is a Popsons signature double cheeseburger topped with seasoned fries.
998. Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

14. Teo's Restaurant and Bar

112 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
The newly-opened Teo Restaurant and Bar serves a secret deep-fried goose with taro puree. The goose is marinated (with secret ingredients), deep fried, and served with water chestnut, bean curd skin, and taro puree.
112 7th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

15. Waterbar

399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
Waterbar
For the last three months, Embarcadero's Waterbar has served off-menu lobster rolls on Fridays at lunch, and they usually sell out in an hour. The $24 roll is made with Maine lobsters with melted butter and salt on a housemade toasted brioche, alongside Old Bay potato chips.
399 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

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