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San Francisco can be a challenging place to find late night food, especially when many sit-down restaurants close around 10:00 PM. But here are a few options of places that stay open real late or operate 24-hours a day.
Straddling NoPa and USF, this restaurant-lounge serves authentic flavor Asian cuisine and eclectic cocktails in a DJ-friendly atmosphere. Inspiring the Balinese notion of duality, Poleng brings 3 star rated food and a hip, lively nightlife together in one venue. Closed on Mondays, but open until 1:00 AM Sunday thru Thursday, it's a great alternative to 24 hour "diner" food. Friday and Saturday, Poleng turns into a nightclub after 10:00 PM with a rotation of Soul, Reggae, House, and Hip Hop. Free parking can be tough, but there's a paid garage across the street which charges some of the lowest prices in the city.
Mel's Drive In
There are a number of Mel's Drive Ins located around San Francisco. Many locations, such as Geary Blvd., Van Ness, 4th and Mission, and Lombard Street stay open at least until 1:00 AM, and typically during the weekends until 3:00 AM, for the exception of the Lombard Street location that operates 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Don't forget to put a couple of quarters in the jukebox to hear some great oldies hits!
Video Cafe is a 24-hour operation that operates every single day, including holidays. Located on Geary Blvd. and 21st avenue in the Outer Richmond district, it provides an all American meal at a decent price.
The Lucky penny located on Masonic Ave. and Geary Blvd. offers a large variety of American style food at an affordable price. They have been in business for over 20 years and operates 24-hours a day.
The Denny's located in San Francisco's Japantown on Post. St. and across from the Peace Pagoda operates 24 hours a day with an all American menu and hawaiian speciality items as well. They currently don't have such a good reputation at this location, but at least provides the food you need to get you going late at night.
Jack in the Box
All Jack in the Box fast food locations within San Francisco offers fast food, including breakfast items on a 24-hour basis.
On Church St. just south of Market St. Across from the Safeway supermarket that is open 24 hours. The neighborhood is Church St to some and outer Castro to others. Sparky's 242 Church St (between 15th St & Market St) (415) 626-8666. Sparky's has great hamburgers, fries and shakes. Meatloaf to pie they have the dinner food locked down. The atmosphere is really fun after 1pm. Before that you can get in and out with no wait. Enjoyable and reliable.
On the northeast corner of Stockton and Broadway is one of the best seafood restaurants in San Francisco, but you wouldn't know it. The place is a Chinese linolium dive restaurant on the north end of Chinatown, right next to North Beach. The food is incredible, especially the seafood. Pepper prawns are a specialty. The scallops are great. The service and environment are New York diner level. They serve wine in one of those amber glasses with the bulges on the side to keep them from sticking together that you used to drink water from in the college dining hall. No, they don't fill the glass; it's only filled up a third or so. The place is noisy. After the bars close at 2:00 AM the line to get in gets long. They are open until 3:00 AM.