4 San Francisco Foods to Warm You Up This Winter


No matter what time of the year you’re visiting, San Francisco is an excellent city if your travel is generally motivated by your taste buds. In the winter time when it’s cold, but not too cold to explore the diverse neighborhoods packed within just 49 square miles, you’ll easily find delicious options to warm you up from the inside. There are dishes from all over the world to reflect the international communities that have come to call this place home. Try one of these hearty, hot meals you can find within a few blocks of your HI San Francisco hostel after a day of exploring.

Pozole near HI San Francisco Downtown

pozole san jalisco san francisco

This traditional Mexican soup is usually served as a celebratory dish, but you can find it every day at many of the taquerias you’ll happen upon in the Mission District. Pozole typically features hominy and pork in a delicious soup you can get garnished with things like cabbage, radishes, avocado, or lime. Try San Jalisco (just a few blocks from the 16th Street Mission BART stop), where you can also try pozole verde, a green version of the soup, as well as traditional Mexican eats like enchiladas and stuffed peppers. 

Pho near HI San Francisco City Center 

pho 2000 san francisco

One of the best things you can eat on a cold, rainy day is a steaming-hot bowl of delicious pho, the Vietnamese version of ramen featuring a heap of rice noodles laden with meat and fresh herbs all in a hearty, soul-warming broth. When you stay at HI SF City Center hostel you’ll be in the heart of pho-town, or Little Saigon, and spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. A favorite is Pho 2000, which also serves a vegetarian version and traditional Vietnamese appetizers. 

Cioppino near HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf 

cioppino sotto mare san francisco

Cioppino is as San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge and hilly streets, and if you’re looking for a splurge meal during your visit, this seafood soup should definitely be it. This recipe came to the Bay via Italy and showcases local seafood, like Dungeness crab, clams, shrimps, and scallops, cooked in a fresh tomato and white wine sauce. Go to North Beach, San Francisco’s original Italian neighborhood, for the real deal cioppino – the best deal we’ve found is at Soto Mare where you can get enough seafood stew for two for $41. 

Vegetable Soup wherever you are 

lentil soup recipe

You can always take advantage of the hostel’s kitchen and cook up something delicious to share with your new friends, especially because San Francisco has good, fresh produce year ‘round. Check out the local Farmer’s Markets at Civic Center or Fort Mason for seasonal root vegetables and leafy greens, pick up some beans or lentils and a sourdough loaf, and look around the hostel kitchen for herbs, spices, and stock cubes and voila! You have a tasty, hot meal to impress fellow travelers without having to break the bank. 


HI USA tip: Take a look at more hosteler-friendly recipes dreamed up by travel blogger Anne Larue.  


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