The Top Five Restaurants in West Portal

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West Portal is an appropriate name for a quaint San Francisco enclave that exists as an idiosyncratic world unto itself, where a small-town vibe is bolstered by quirky boutiques, an old-style movie house, a charming, little bookstore, a wonderfully weathered pub, and many intriguing culinary options. At only 2.7 square miles, this endearing, hidden gem of a neighborhood has enough stellar eateries to rival areas ten times its size. Residents of Parkmerced are less than two miles from the quiet, family-friendly streets of West Portal, making it an ideal destination for grabbing a bite. Here are five of our favorite restaurants in West Portal:

Trattoria Da Vittorio | 150 West Portal Avenue

Trattoria Da Vittorio is classic Italian done right. Velvety gnocchi, crispy thin-crust pizza, fresh lasagna, old school Eggplant Parmigiana, and homemade pastas round out a menu of flavorful favorites. The atmosphere is relaxed, unpretentious, and traditionally Italian.

Roti Indian Bistro | 53 West Portal Avenue

In terms of Indian food in the Bay Area, Roti Indian Bistro is hard to beat. Many of the dishes are cooked with locally grown ingredients and homemade sauces, and it shows in the robust flavor of the food. The vegetable samosas are light and bright, the curries are rich and meticulously spiced, the mint chutney is refreshing, and the naan is warm, buttery deliciousness through and through.

Bursa | 60 West Portal Avenue

You will not find too many Turkish restaurants like Bursa in San Francisco; it’s a cozy and lively space that brims with an infectious energy—especially on the weekends, when belly dancers entertain diners with their rhythm and moves. The hummus is fresh and balanced, the falafel is always the perfect consistency, and the stuffed eggplant sprinkled with pine nuts is excellent.

Fresca | 24 West Portal Avenue

Fresca is known for its colorfully innovative Peruvian fare, as well as a lively atmosphere. The empanadas, fire-grilled corn, and yuca fries are all neighborhood favorites, as is the flavorful (and strong!) sangria. Fresca is very popular, so reservations are strongly recommended.

Submarine Center | 820 Ulloa Street

Undoubtedly the most famous sandwich shop in West Portal and beyond, Submarine Center is staffed by seasoned sandwich-crafting veterans who operate at the highest levels. From well-known classics like their legendary hot pastrami to open-faced pizza subs and tasty vegetarian sandwiches, there is not a bad choice on the menu. The atmosphere is about as no-frills as it gets, with a take-out counter backed by their large, sub-centric menu. This place is a neighborhood institution for a reason.