S.F.'s Longest Food and Drink Lines, Ranked

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Facebook/Eastside Bagels
The latest entry in the annals of San Francisco line-waiting came over the weekend, when many waited for more than an hour in the rain for a chance at a day-old bagel. The bagels in question had pedigree -- they'd been overnighted from New York's legendary deli Russ & Daughters by pop-up chefs Sonya Haines and Wes Rowe -- but the Eastside Bagels team wasn't prepared for the crowds that showed up at Dear Mom on Saturday morning, and a clusterfuck commenced.

Then again, it's no secret that San Franciscans like to wait in lines. In light of this latest entry, we've ranked the city's food and drink lines*, taking into account such factors as line location, ratio of tourists to locals, swiftness of line movement, and greatness of reward at the end. Behold, the clearly definitive, soon-to-be-gospel list:

29. Sushirrito
28. Toronado (Barleywine Festival)
27. Ghirardelli Square ice cream counter (sunny days)
26. Mama's
25. El Farolito at Mission & 24th (after last call)
24. Curry Up Now/Senor Sisig (FiDi weekday lunch)
23. Dottie's True Blue Cafe
22. Mission Chinese Food
21. Roli Roti (Ferry Plaza Saturday Market)
20. Zazie
19. Blue Bottle (Mint Plaza)
18. Del Popolo (any event)
17. The Plow
16. Brenda's French Soul Food
15. flour + water
14. Four Barrel Coffee
13. Ike's Place
12. Wise Sons Deli
11. Biergarten (sunny days)
10. Bob's Donuts
9. Bi-Rite Creamery (Mission)
8. Burma Superstar
7. Mission Beach Cafe
6. Swan's Oyster Depot
5. Bi-Rite Creamery (Divisadero)
4. Blue Bottle (Ferry Building)
3. State Bird Provisions
2. Toronado (Pliny the Younger keg)
1. Tartine Bakery

*To clarify, this is not a list of the longest lines in S.F. (if that were the case, obviously Bi-Rite Mission, Mama's, etc. would be at the top), but rather a ranking of the lines themselves and the experience of waiting in each.






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66 comments
ludogdoo
ludogdoo

i would think glide memorial gets a rather long wait time

Christy Jovanelly
Christy Jovanelly

facepalm. but congratulations, Sonya Haines! demand far exceeded supply, and that's never bad for a pop-up's first event.

Nick Codling
Nick Codling

About the "experience" of waiting in the line? I'm confused. Waiting in a line sucks, so all experiences suck, haha.

Nikkie La Mangiona
Nikkie La Mangiona

I'm always fascinated when I don't see a line at Swan Oyster Depot. But how did Hog Island Oyster Co not make it on this list?☺️

Giancarlo Vega
Giancarlo Vega

Tartine has the WORST costumer service ever !!!! Over rated and over priced ....Some in those herds love being treated like sh_t though .....Sighhhhhhh!!!!!

Christy Castellano Roberto
Christy Castellano Roberto

Wow I've only been to 9 of these places and a few of them I've never even heard of! I'm a foodie failure but I've got my new foodie bucket list :)

Mire Berch
Mire Berch

Why waste time in a line? I rather be commenting!!!!!

Michael Henshaw
Michael Henshaw

SF Weekly thank you very little. Most of these places are now going to be way too crowded since the plethora of transplants, tourists and glassholes love to choose their eateries by length of the wait instead of the quality of the establishment. Good to see many of San Francisco's secret gems are not on the list and will continue to be that way

Pauline Stavaris
Pauline Stavaris

Bob's only gets a line in the evenings when the donuts are coming out of the fryer and it's damn well worth every second of the wait!

Juan Segura
Juan Segura

Yuck. Who has that kind of time? It's like when u see people waiting for a treadmill at the gym. I don't get it.

Kimberly Simpson
Kimberly Simpson

Rude Trevor Vargas, I just walked into a bakery in my nabe that sold kro-nuts. I can bring you one! Though it may not taste the same if it came from a place w/ no line - in the Valley, no less. The utter definition of un-hip.

Rude Trevor Vargas
Rude Trevor Vargas

Kimberly, there always seems to be a long, long line in front of Bakesale Betty's for their fried chicken sandwich. Glori saw it when we were looking at houses, and said "I don't want to live near these people."

meredithob
meredithob

Dood. How can you not include San Tung on Irving? Or Burma Superstar on Clement? You have to stand in line just to put your name on the wait list for those places. 

Arlene Tsang
Arlene Tsang

Golden Gate Bakery when they are open is missing from the list

Kimberly Simpson
Kimberly Simpson

Rude Trevor Vargas, we should totally stand in line - like forever - for something while we're visiting. Ya know so we can feel like real Bay Area hipsters.

Swapna Panuganti
Swapna Panuganti

I have literally stood in every single one of these lines. Some worth it...some not so much :-/

Jason Paul Rosensteel
Jason Paul Rosensteel

It's silly to wait in line for any food in SF because there are so many great food options. People aren't smart. Always makes me go "WTF".

Alan W. Perkins
Alan W. Perkins

Real hipster don't do pop-culture. These are commercial hipsters..... Manufactured by media images(wecalledthem'posers'inmyday). Like a young teen goes to Hot topic to make themselves goth. Too much money makes you lame by definition!

Shelly DeVries
Shelly DeVries

I don't get the ordering of this. Tartine is awful but Roli Roti Saturday Ferry Building is a worse experience than most of these other ones. Bi-Rite Mission's line goes so fast!

malloryblanco
malloryblanco

What about Mama's. I waited in that line like 3 hours!

Brien Novenske
Brien Novenske

Stupid people with nothing better to do seem to like waiting in lines.

Mark Swanson
Mark Swanson

Toronado definitely ain't worth it. Especially with all the attitude the bartenders serve with it.

Arielle Kelly
Arielle Kelly

"is that a long line? let's go stand in it!"

emmapoe
emmapoe

What about Mission Beach Cafe?

Dorothy Mai
Dorothy Mai

Katie plow and state birds on the list.

Noel Cortez
Noel Cortez

Y'all forgetting Pork Store in Haight Street. During the weekends the line goes up to 2 blocks long. The owners even offers free coffee to the brave ones standing in line. I did every weekend when I used to live there. The line is worth the wait.

Jessica Brown
Jessica Brown

I've breezed into Swans a few times. It happens!

Eric Tanakasan
Eric Tanakasan

Swans should be higher. I have literally never seen either location without a line. Not once. No matter what time of day... And I live by the less popular one

John Jarchow
John Jarchow

Tornado made the list twice. Great beer selection everyday so I'm still not standing in line for Pliny the Younger.

Daniel Whittaker
Daniel Whittaker

standing in line for an HOUR for a bagel. Yeah. what a complete waste of time. Kim's right... the only people that stand in lines this long for anything pretty much think it's just super cool and hip.

Kim Kibler
Kim Kibler

hipsters like lines. it makes them feel important.

Jim Piechota
Jim Piechota

this is a good list of places to stay away from if you're allergic to tech-douches

Ken Goff
Ken Goff

Uhhh the bi-rite on mission always has wayyyy longer lines than the one on divis...

Nanette Wong
Nanette Wong

Joey I don't think this is very up to date.

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