March, despite being the most hated of months (just ask Julius Caesar or anyone from 2020), did manage to have some high points. Specifically, the seven dishes on this list. From breakfast tacos with egg and avocado to pan-fried pork buns, these are the best things we ate during the entire month - and we eat a lot.
Schlok's Bagels & Lox
Everything Bagel With Scallion Shmear and Lox
Schlok’s Bagels is a pop-up operating on weekends out of The Snug on Fillmore. And the bagels here are something you need to pay attention to - golden-brown and well-seasoned on the outside, and perfectly chewy on the inside. Plus, these bagels are massive. Schlok’s also makes their own buttery, dill-cured lox in-house, which is as fantastic as the bagels themselves. If you’re looking to convert a California bagel skeptic, send them here.
Any Breakfast Taco
LoJo’s Tacos is a breakfast taco pop-up that operates out of Avedano’s Meats in Bernal Heights. Their tacos are filled with things like bacon, flavorful chorizo, eggs, and avocado, all tucked into thick flour tortillas and topped with house-made salsas. They’re optimally located right next to Holly Park - so you can pick up breakfast (and coffee from Pinhole next door) before heading over.
One of the newest additions to the growing Bay Area birria taco scene is El Cielito Lindo. The Mexican restaurant is located on Balboa in the Outer Richmond, and serves everything from breakfast burritos to enchiladas to great carne asada tortas. But what you want to do is get the birria - the tacos are excellent and made with beef that has a nice balance of spices and flavors. They’re also pretty meaty, and are four for $19 (or one for $5.50).
Marcella’s is a family-run Dogpatch lasagneria that’s open for lunch. They have seven lasagnas on the menu to choose from: eggplant, mushroom, verdura, butternut squash, abruzzo with house-made sausage, bianca, and bolognese, and each one is layered with ultra-thin pasta, creamy béchamel, and tomato sauce. Unless you get a whole sheet that serves six, the lasagnas are made for one and are roughly the size of a small, thick novel. There are also several ways to experience Marcella’s lasagna - outside under a white tent on their sidewalk patio, or for takeout (you can also ask for it cold and warm it up at home for later).
Located in the Inner Richmond, Cafe Europa serves everything from German and Polish to Hungarian food, along with plenty of traditional Russian dishes. Every time we come here, between all of the comfort food and the friendly staff, it feels like we’re eating in someone’s house - specifically a house with plenty of pierogi to go around. Our favorite is the classic beef pierogi, which comes with a side of sour cream and green onions, but you can also substitute cabbage and mushrooms if that’s more your style.
Square Pie Guys
Our favorite SF spot for Detroit-style pizza just opened its first location in the East Bay. You can find their crispy, cheesy square pizzas in Old Oakland, where they’re serving the same menu as their original location in SoMa. You can get your pies topped with everything from pepperoni to bacon and tomatoes to a mushroom medley - just be sure to get their trio of excellent dipping sauces (ranch, cilantro crema, and their special SPG sauce) on the side. If you’re still hungry, you can also order hot chicken sandwiches from Square Pie Guys’ virtual restaurant, Hetchy’s Hots.
Pan-Fried Pork Buns
There are many reasons we love this Parkside spot: the siu mai overflowing with pork and shrimp, and the xiao long bao, which is one of the best xiao long bao in the city. But the very big reason is Dumpling Kitchen’s pan-fried pork buns. They’re wrapped in a thick, chewy dough before being steamed, pan-fried, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions. Think of these dumplings as beautiful perfection.