Our mayor isn’t the only one who (allegedly) leads a Jekyll-and-Hyde life of steadfast labor and drunken debauchery. It seems most San Franciscans are highly productive by day, yet totally hammered almost every night. And we don’t let all the booze stop us from staying in shape either. We are notoriously healthy and hedonistic at the same time. It seems impossible, but the facts are there. SF ranks near the top of almost every "healthy-smart city" list, and yet we allegedly consume more booze per capita than any other city in America. The magic lies in the unified opposition of our daytime and nighttime eating habits. Afternoons spent counting carbs and choking down organic salads are balanced by nights of chain-smoking, guzzling beer, and ingesting some of the greasiest foods money can buy. The laws of the working drunkard state that if you’re gonna drink, you gotta eat. Thus, within walking distance of nearly every great SF bar there sits an equally amazing food stand. Just be sure to avoid these places by day. Beer goggles make you see food the same way they do ugly faces and flat asses.
You can find the line cooks at El Farolito seasoning meat with their own sweat long after most taquerias have flipped their signs to cerrado. The Little Light House serves traditional Mexican street fare which ranges from humdrum (bean burritos) to hilarious (brain and tongue tacos, a perfect gift for your totally hammered friend who "lost his wallet" at the last bar) until 1 a.m. on weekdays and until 3 a.m. on weekends. Oily tortilla chips and colon-cleansing salsa make this sedentary roach coach an obligatory pit stop for anyone hoping to flush their system before morning.
2777 Mission, SF. (415) 826-4870; 4817 Mission, SF. (415) 337-5500; 2950 24th, SF. (415) 641-0758
The Crepes A-Go-Go on 11th Street robs European burritos of their foreign mystique by serving them from a dirty trailer, the way God intended. You’re not going to find any lightly powdered Suzettes here, but you can score just about any other variation on the theme. Sweet, savory, sickening? Crepes A-Go-Go has it all. Equipped with multiple brands of hot sauce, "fresh" vegetables, meat, assorted cheeses, and jumbo jars of Nutella, this French chuck wagon and its chefs will have you digesting before your head hits the pillow … or sidewalk.
350 11th St., SF. (415) 503-1294
THE TAMALE LADY
You can’t plan every weekend around bars with food nearby, but your chances of topping off a bender with some down-home Mexican cuisine will grow exponentially if you stay within walking distance of the dives in this review. Virginia Ramos, the svelte tamale nymph, spends her weekends hawking cheap eats at Amber, Delirium, Zeitgeist, and bars all around Folsom Street from about 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Pork, chicken, and vegetable are her specialties.
Mostly in the Mission and SoMa, SF.
THE BACON-WRAPPED HOT DOG MAN
San Francisco may not have a fleet of bacon-dog vendors roaming the streets as does Hollywood, but we do have a lone soldier. Adam Gonzales-Hernandez, better known as the Bacon-Dog Cart by his fans at yelp.com where he’s listed as the fifth-best restaurant in SF pops up in the right place at the right time (usually around Mission and 16th from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.). He can also be found later in the evening under the freeway by The Endup.
Indian chefs have yet to devise decent handheld versions of palak paneer, chicken curry, or mixed sabzi, so you should only stumble into Naan-N-Curry’s 24-hour downtown location if you’re cool with smelling like coriander and cumin for the next week or so. Cheap and reliable curry in a cup.
336 O’Farrell, SF. (415) 346-1443
When you’ve been knocking back pints of Guinness at Shannon Arms (or at any Irish pub in the Sunset) since noon, and it’s now 2:30 a.m., you’ve got a slim chance of avoiding a hellish hangover. Some people call their dealers, some give up and sacrifice a sick day, but the truly dedicated head over to Island Café, the city’s only 24-hour Hawaiian joint. Spam burgers, Polynesian nachos, pineapple milk shakes, and off-the-wall pork dishes will have your stomach pumping double time to rid itself of toxins.
901 Taraval, SF. (415) 661-3303
MR. PIZZA MAN
Don’t freak out if you’ve missed the Tamale Lady or forgot to tell your cabby to stop at one of the other spots on this list. Just stumble to your room, log onto Mr. Pizza Man’s Web site, and chillax with a snifter of Fernet as San Francisco’s patron saint of late-night delivery makes you a pie to order. Mr. Pizza Man’s got all the fixin’s pineapple, jalapeño, and cheese make a tried-and-true hangover preventative as well as locations within five minutes of almost every address in the city.
Locations across the Bay Area. 1-800-570-5111, www.mrpizzaman.com