Step away from the Flamin' Hot Cheetos: There are far better—and more original—ways to satisfy a late-night, alcohol-addled appetite. Here are some of our favorites in the city's bar-packed hoods.
Think street dog, but buried under avocado, Salsa Chapina, and slaw and enveloped in fresh-baked bread. Los Shucos Latin Hot Dogs has been converting Mission night crawlers to the Guatemalan wiener since February. Serves until 2:30 a.m. on weekends.
3224 1/2 22nd St. (near Mission St.), 415-366-3868
Drunk vegans get the midnight munchies too! Love N Haight Deli delivers with an animal-free menu that includes the vegan barbecue steak sandwich, an assemblage that layers saucy, pliant slices of faux meat with a bevy of condiments, greenery, and, in an inspired twist, bread-and-butter pickles. Serves until 2 a.m. Mon.–Sat.
553 Haight St. (near Fillmore St.), 415-252-8190
Steroidal spring rolls and vast bowls of vermicelli shrouded under a canopy of pork and grilled shrimp: Vietnam Restaurant may be a hole-in-the-wall, but it’s one that fully understands the late-night longings of the inebriated. Serves until 2 a.m.
620 Broadway St. (near Columbus Ave.), 415-788-7034
Lower Bernal Heights
Off-duty salsa dancers and refugees from neighboring dive bars like to converge on El Zocalo for after- hours pupusas, but it’s fried plantains that keep us stumbling back for more. Serves until 3 a.m.
3230 Mission St. (near Valencia St.), 415-282-2572
Crispy fries entombed under a primordial ooze of mozzarella curds and fennel-sausage gravy: Few foods pair better with impaired judgment than 15 Romolo’s deliriously over- the-top poutine. Serves until 1:30 a.m.
15 Romolo Pl. (near Broadway St.), 415-398-1359
Hot, fried, glazed, and fresh pretty much sums up the fiendish appeal that Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop’s eponymous creations present to peckish 2 a.m. drunks in need of something sweet to soak up the booze—if they can endure the line that often trails down the block. Serves 24 hours a day.
1621 Polk St. (near Sacramento St.), 415-776-3141
Service is nonexistent at the Box Kitchen, but its burger is magnificent. Accessorized with bacon-shallot gastrique, crispy shallots, and white cheddar, it’ll just about slap you sober. Serves until 1 a.m.
431 Natoma St. (at Mary St.), 415-580-7170
Originally published in the May Issue of San Francisco.