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The Daily Dish Food and Drinks

5 San Francisco Restaurants, Bakeries, and Ice Cream Shops That Are Totally Worth the Long Lines

Top Instagrammers don't mind waiting for food at these spots.

By Hilary Sheinbaum

There are more than a few staples that San Francisco is known for: the Golden Gate Bridge, Haight-Ashbury, the not-so-small tech scene, and those hills that will give anyone amazing calves. But aside from all that, the Northern California city is filled with delectable dishes and tantalizing treats. And who better to document it all than the city's top Instagrammers?

Front-of-the-line, VIP treatment is usually the name of the game for social media influencers. But these San Francisco spots are serving up food that's worth waiting for, according to some of the area's most popular Instagrammers.

1. Arsicault

Arsicault is nondescript shop tucked away in the Richmond District of San Francisco. On any given day, rain or shine, the line can stretch from a 15 minute to 45 minute wait. Arsicualt has long been a hidden gem and a local neighborhood favorite. With its new renowned title, old timers, food bloggers, and tourists alike are all braving the line for a taste of their acclaimed croissants. The pillowy spaces between Arsicault's croissant layers are bigger than most apartments in San Francisco. The moment I set foot inside the small bakery, I'm greeted with a wave of warmth coming from the ovens on the second floor and the smell of buttery pastries beckons me in. Batches of warm, fresh, out-of-the-oven croissants are brought downstairs in large trays as customers keep their eyes on the prize. The chocolate-almond and ham-and-cheese are my personal favorites. The latter comes with a warning from the bakers to eat with caution as the cheese can still be scalding. Oh, the perils of a food blogger...” – Christina Song, @breadbunnie (more than 43.2k followers)

2. Tartine Bakery & Cafe

Sugar my love, a Sunday kind of love.

A post shared by Tartine Bakery San Francisco (@tartinebakery) on

Tartine always has a line around the corner of tourists and locals alike, and you'll wait at least 30 minutes, but your hunger will just grow for the cinnamony morning buns—or literally anything else they have on the menu. The morning buns are perfection: soft, buttery, a little crispy from the cinnamon sugar topping. Like the name implies, morning is best for the freshest selection. And, they will sell out. While you're there, grab a baguette or bread of your choice for homemade sandwiches later.” – Amy Kritzer, @whatjewwannaeat (more than 36.7k followers)

3. Bi-Rite Creamery

Icecream for dinner! Treat yo self #🍦#fashfoodiessf

A post shared by Sisters•Food •Travel (@fashfoodies) on

“I discovered Bi-Rite Creamery—aka the best ice cream I've ever had—after a day at Dolores Park. It's across the street, which is perfect after relaxing in the sun or a stroll in the park. Since it's a SF stable, there's always a line out the door—all the way onto the streets. It's crazy, but it goes quick! The flavors are unique with some savory options, like strawberry balsamic or blueberry buttermilk. [It’s] very flavorful, and the consistency is creamy, so it's totally worth the hype. I usually end up with two scoops to mix it up with a seasonal and staple flavor. The last time I had their ice cream, I ordered a scoop of honey lavender and birthday cake. No regrets!” – Monics Levin, @fashfoodies (more than 9.1k followers)

4. The Cheese Board Collective

~3.14 slices of pi in the sky ☁️🍕 Tag someone you want to take here❤️ #bayareaeats #piday

A post shared by Kristin [SF food drink travel] (@bayareaeats) on

“While there are countless pizza spots in and around San Francisco, there is one just across the Bay Bridge, in Berkeley, that reigns supreme. The Cheese Board Collective serves up one type of vegetarian pizza every night. Pies are topped with organic and local ingredients like summer squash, yellow onion, mozzarella, and basil-pine nut pesto or heirloom tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella, house-made garlic breadcrumb, buttermilk ranch dressing, parsley, and oregano. The line of hungry UC Berkeley students, families, date-night couples, and out-of-towners forms before the door opens and wraps around the block. Patient patrons converse with one another and enjoy the sounds of the live band that drowns out the sound of rumbling stomachs. There are a few tables inside and outside, but when the weather is nice—which is most of the time—it's best to enjoy some slices with friends at a local park like Indian Rock. It's always worth the wait.” – Kristin Rimbach, @bayareaeats (more than 23.7k followers)

5. Swan Oyster Depot

"Swan Oyster Depot is a SF institution that hasn't changed in many years. There is only counter seating, it's cash only, and the place is tiny, but everything they serve is so fresh. I always get the Dungeness crab cocktail with huge chunks of lump crabmeat and at least a dozen local oysters on the half shell. My mom and I go together, and we always have great bonding moments while waiting in line with the many other folks, both locals and tourists that flock to this place as early as 10 a.m." – Christine Yi, @cy_eats (more than 172k followers)

Photo: Courtesy Bi-Rite Creamery/Facebook

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