Top 5 Instagram-Worthy San Francisco Restaurants

by | Nov 19, 2020

San Francisco has so many gorgeous and interesting sites and locations to photograph that you can easily fill up your Instagram account in one day. Not only will you find fascinating historical sites like Coit Tower and world-class tourist attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, but San Francisco boasts thousands of restaurants, diners, and hole-in-the-wall eateries. You can find any type of cuisine, from Latin-inspired eateries to restaurants serving champagne and oysters.

We should know! As professional photographers based out of our San Francisco Professional Headshot Studio, we’ve been in the city for 6 years.

San Francisco and its food scene provide fabulous opportunities to visit Instagram-worthy restaurants. Key features to look for when you want a great photograph of a restaurant include creative decor, natural sunlight, patterned floors, vintage glassware, and of course, gorgeously plated food. Grab your camera and appetite and head out to these top five Instagram-worthy restaurants in the beautiful city of San Francisco.

Le Marais Bakery

Pair a beautiful building in the picturesque Castro Valley neighborhood of San Francisco with gorgeous bakery creations, and you have the perfect place to take photos at Le Marais Bakery. The bakers use natural, organic ingredients for their French-inspired pastries and items offered on their bistro menu. Fresh flowers adorn the front of the bakery and inside you’ll find a certain Parisian charm that makes you feel like you’re on vacation.

The plated food comes with colorful decorations using fresh herbs and fruits with added touches of edible flowers. Natural light fills the bakery and cafe, so it’s easy to capture your stunning food presentations to post to Instagram. Choose from butter croissants, fruit-filled tarts, and savory muffins to pair with a cup of fragrant coffee or tea. Stop by for lunch and sample eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, a colorful beet and goat cheese salad, or a burger made with wagyu beef, gruyere cheese, and onion jam served on a brioche bun.

Media Noche

Feel like you’re on a Caribbean holiday when you visit the Cuban-inspired restaurant Media Noche in the Mission District. You’ll want to start snapping photos from the moment you lay eyes on the exterior of the building with its gorgeous flamingo and floral mural painted on the walls. Make sure to take a great headshot while standing next to the mural. The custom-made tiles with dramatic flower designs make a great backdrop for photographing your favorite pair of shoes while holding a glass of rosé or fruit-infused sangria wine.

Tablecloths with brilliant tropical colors make a great background for plates of Cuban sandwiches filled with layers of smoked ham, roasted pork shoulder, and house-made pickles. The grain bowls, such as the mojo-marinated chicken with black beans, rice, and coconut slaw, look stunning sitting on a tablecloth printed with golden pineapples. Be sure to stop in the restroom for one last photo of the wallpaper with bananas printed on it.


You can’t go wrong photographing Italian food with the contrasting colors of red tomato sauce over cream-colored pasta with green basil leaves scattered across the top of the plate. Barzotto on Valencia Street will not only satisfy your cravings for Italian food, but you’re sure to get plenty of great pictures to post to your Instagram account.

The colorful pasta looks beautiful served in pristine white bowls, and green salads with colorful vegetables showcase nicely on white plates. Set your food on the white tile and marble tables with a couple of glasses of red wine, a basket of breadsticks, and a bowl of marinated olives for the ultimate photo of an Italian meal presentation. The chefs make the pasta fresh every day and use locally-sourced ingredients.

Vive La Tarte at the Ferry Building

Head down to the Embarcadero to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and beverages from Vive La Tarte’s kiosk located at the striking and well-photographed Ferry Building. The iconic building, designed after the 12th century Gerald tower in Seville, Spain, and built in 1898, was used for decades as the main transportation hub for the Bay Area. As the automobile became more important than ferries, the building fell into neglect. In 2003, the building reopened its doors as the Ferry Building Marketplace, a world-class food and dining market.

Beautifully prepared food from Vive La Tarte looks amazing when held skyward with the Ferry Building’s clock tower in the distance. On the other side of the building, use the architecturally intriguing Bay Bridge as the background for your Instagram snapshots. Grab a croissant or sandwich from Vive La Tarte along with a latte made with espresso, matcha, or chai tea to go with your meal, and wander through the inside of the Ferry Building to snapshot the soaring vaulted ceilings made in an industrial-chic design.

Don’t forget to take a selfie of you holding one of Vive La Tarte’s specialties, the tacro. This interesting bread-like item, a cross between a croissant and a taco, gets filled with delectable foods such as pulled pork or chicken and avocado, and is finished with colorful pickled vegetables and green tomato salsa.

Foreign Cinema

Take a selfie strolling the red carpet that leads into the restaurant, Foreign Cinema on Mission Street. Sit at rustic wooden tables surrounded by movie art and posters and watch a classic movie in the courtyard. Take gorgeous Instagram photos of the creatively prepared food served on white plates that look divine against the wooden tables. Order a glass of wine to set next to the plates or a cocktail served in a copper mug for an extra rustic photo. For a romantic picture, order a dozen oysters served over ice or a serving of caviar set next to a bottle of champagne.

On a chilly San Francisco night, order a bowl of pureed vegetable soup served with a drizzle of black truffle oil and a gold leaf that’s sure to get plenty of likes on your Instagram account. Make your friends swoon with envy when they see how stunning the plate of four-peppercorn duck breast with roasted grapes, tapenade toast, toasted Brussels sprouts, and silky bean puree looks.

We hope you capture some amazing photographs while dining and visiting these Instagram-worthy restaurants in San Francisco and discover more as you explore this fascinating city.

While you’re checking out these articles, learn more about our San Francisco Professional Headshot Studio.

Popular Posts

What to Wear for Professional Headshots
How to Pose for Professional Headshots
Seven Attorney Headshot Tips for Success
5 Times You Know You Should Update Your Headshots
What Type of Headshot Is Right For Me?
4 Reasons Every Professional Needs a Great Business Headshot
Four Surprising Stats About LinkedIn for Job Seekers
How to Prepare for Professional Headshots