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The 10 Best Food Gimmicks in San Francisco

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Cronuts, Doritos Locos Tacos, the mythical In-N-Out Krispy Kreme burger: few items enter into the food zeitgeist faster than gimmicks, especially of the food-stuffed-into-another-unaffiliated-food type. But these national food crazes have nothing on San Francisco's homegrown food gimmicks, which take the unholiest of food unions and create flavor sensations that just won't quit. How can something so gimmicky taste so good? Find out with our 10 picks for best food stunts in town.


What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ramenburger at Nombe

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2491 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 681-7150
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Ramenburgers are poised to become the Next Big Thing, and Nombe got there first with a 50/50 beef & pork belly burger sandwiched in a bun made entirely from ramen, plus vinegar onions, pickled Japanese cucumbers, tomato and mizuna. Oh, and they also have bacon-wrapped mochi.

2. Waffledog at Little Skillet

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360 Ritch St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 777-2777
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This particular waffle house has perfected both the "wrap it in bacon" and "stick it in something else" food gimmicks with a Prather Ranch beef hotdog wrapped in bacon, topped with pickles and special sauce and presented in a little waffle.

3. Sumo Crunch at Sushirrito

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59 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 495-7655
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Shushirrito took a gimmicky idea and turned it into a success with three popular lunch spots that turn out burrito-sized sushi rolls to the hungry masses. Get in line for the Sumo Crunch with crab, shaved cabbage, cucumber, avocado, green onions and red tempura flakes.

4. Doughnut Burger at Straw

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203 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 431-3663
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Dubbed 'The Ringmaster,' this ground chuck cheeseburger on a homemade glazed doughnut commands a circus of gimmicky goodness. If that's not enough for you, add bacon, make it a double double, or ask to put an egg on it.

5. Pork Fries at Rickybobby

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400 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

Waffle fries topped with pulled pork, cheese and buffalo sauce make up Rickybobby's heart-stopping pork fries, which ride both the waffle and pork trends to their natural conclusion.

6. Nutella Burger at Burger Bar

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251 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 296-4272
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Burger Bar doesn't stop at the $22 burger. Their decadent Nutella Burger is a dessert sandwich made with warm donuts, Nutella ganache, passion fruit gelle, strawberries and kiwi. Chocolate not your thing? They've also got a Cheese Cake Burger.

7. Tikka Masala Burrito at Curry Up Now

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659 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(800) 536-0000
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Famed the city over for successfully taking a gimmicky idea and making it good, Curry Up Now is synonymous with the all-Indian burrito concept. They offer a broad and delicious selection, but the Tikka Masala burrito is the undisputed king of curryrritos.

8. The Bouquet at Bacon Bacon

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205 Frederick St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 571-8516
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Is bacon a passé food craze? Maybe, but that just means there's more for the rest of us. The triumphant return to brick and mortar business reminds us of Bacon Bacon's unapologetic ode to the simplest joys of pork: the bacon bouquet.

9. Frito Pie at Chile Pies

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314 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 431-9411
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It appears to the uninitiated as a pile of taco fixins on a piece of discarded trash, but this Frito pie is no throwaway. Pinto beans, red chile, pico, cheese and cream sit atop a split bag of Fritos, lending the chile a satisfying crunch that belies its humble looks.

10. Turducken at 4505 Meats

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Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 255-3094

Traditionally prepared as the Pilgrims would never dare, turducken is perhaps the most unholy of all food gimmicks: a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey. You'll have to hold off 'til November for this Thanksgiving standby, but the wait it worth it: this turducken is tops.

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1. Ramenburger at Nombe

2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Ramenburgers are poised to become the Next Big Thing, and Nombe got there first with a 50/50 beef & pork belly burger sandwiched in a bun made entirely from ramen, plus vinegar onions, pickled Japanese cucumbers, tomato and mizuna. Oh, and they also have bacon-wrapped mochi.

2491 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

2. Waffledog at Little Skillet

360 Ritch St, San Francisco, CA 94107

This particular waffle house has perfected both the "wrap it in bacon" and "stick it in something else" food gimmicks with a Prather Ranch beef hotdog wrapped in bacon, topped with pickles and special sauce and presented in a little waffle.

360 Ritch St
San Francisco, CA 94107

3. Sumo Crunch at Sushirrito

59 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Shushirrito took a gimmicky idea and turned it into a success with three popular lunch spots that turn out burrito-sized sushi rolls to the hungry masses. Get in line for the Sumo Crunch with crab, shaved cabbage, cucumber, avocado, green onions and red tempura flakes.

59 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. Doughnut Burger at Straw

203 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Dubbed 'The Ringmaster,' this ground chuck cheeseburger on a homemade glazed doughnut commands a circus of gimmicky goodness. If that's not enough for you, add bacon, make it a double double, or ask to put an egg on it.

203 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94102

5. Pork Fries at Rickybobby

400 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Waffle fries topped with pulled pork, cheese and buffalo sauce make up Rickybobby's heart-stopping pork fries, which ride both the waffle and pork trends to their natural conclusion.

400 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

6. Nutella Burger at Burger Bar

251 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Burger Bar doesn't stop at the $22 burger. Their decadent Nutella Burger is a dessert sandwich made with warm donuts, Nutella ganache, passion fruit gelle, strawberries and kiwi. Chocolate not your thing? They've also got a Cheese Cake Burger.

251 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94102

7. Tikka Masala Burrito at Curry Up Now

659 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Famed the city over for successfully taking a gimmicky idea and making it good, Curry Up Now is synonymous with the all-Indian burrito concept. They offer a broad and delicious selection, but the Tikka Masala burrito is the undisputed king of curryrritos.

659 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

8. The Bouquet at Bacon Bacon

205 Frederick St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Is bacon a passé food craze? Maybe, but that just means there's more for the rest of us. The triumphant return to brick and mortar business reminds us of Bacon Bacon's unapologetic ode to the simplest joys of pork: the bacon bouquet.

205 Frederick St
San Francisco, CA 94117

9. Frito Pie at Chile Pies

314 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

It appears to the uninitiated as a pile of taco fixins on a piece of discarded trash, but this Frito pie is no throwaway. Pinto beans, red chile, pico, cheese and cream sit atop a split bag of Fritos, lending the chile a satisfying crunch that belies its humble looks.

314 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114

10. Turducken at 4505 Meats

Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

Traditionally prepared as the Pilgrims would never dare, turducken is perhaps the most unholy of all food gimmicks: a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey. You'll have to hold off 'til November for this Thanksgiving standby, but the wait it worth it: this turducken is tops.

Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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