CULTURE Bayview and Dogpatch rarely surface on short lists of acclaimed culinary 'hoods in the city. Which is a shame, because the wharf-side neighborhoods contain a rich mosaic of eateries, some deliciously rooted in the area's history, some exploring more experimental reaches of the palate. Head down Third Street for some cheap 'n' tasty soul food, or dive into the area's new kids on the block.
Old Clamhouse has been around since 1861, when its rough-and-tumble block really did have a bay view — the neighborhood, originally a salt marsh, was filled in and built over during the second half of the 1800s. The Clamhouse maintains a salty authenticity: belly up to the bar for ridiculously scrumptious seafood and an Anchor Steam. Oh, and don't leave without a plate of Guardian Publisher Bruce Brugmann's favorite: fried clams.
299 Bayshore, SF., (415) 826-4880
Four stars for schedule: J&V Cafe is in the wholesale produce market where workers start their day in the wee hours — and damn it, they need a plate of chilaquiles on their break! Find yourself out amid the warehouses after 1 a.m., and you can pick up anything from a cup of creamy potato soup to a marinated rotisserie chicken in this cheerful dining room.
2020 Jerrold, SF. (415) 821-7786, www.jandvcatering.com
MR. AND MRS. MISCELLANEOUS
The latest splash from the tsunami of gourmet cone spots that swept the city Slocombe- and Bi-Rite-style. Husband-and-wife team Annabelle Topacio and Ian Flores come up with ice cream yummy enough to hold its own with the rest of the daredevil churners. Just to get you going: past flavor boards have included chicory coffee, bergamot, lemon-verbena, Fernet-Branca, and ginger glacé.
699 22nd St., SF. (415) 970-0750
Las Isletas' plato vegetariano with gallo pinto, plantains, tortillas, queso fresco, and a side salad is the kind of Central American realness that you can forget exists in this burrito town. Of course, that means meat eaters will do best here. Massive, steaming bowls of soup can be had on the cheap, and nacatamales (large tamales) and baliadas (thick, cream-filled tortilla) are winners too.
4508 Third St., SF., (415) 643-4436, www.lasisletasrestaurant.com
AUNTIE APRIL'S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
Auntie's got low prices, all the usual soul food suspects (oxtail dinners, what?), and a neighborhood feel that makes you want to order seconds — if only you could squeeze them into your belly. We're partial to the breakfast menu, whose No. 2 special was dubbed "the Jive Turkey": two eggs, three turkey sausages, four turkey bacon strips, grits, and hash browns. Vegetarians, you can make a damn good meal off the sides.
4618 Third St., SF. (415) 643-4983
Another good-for-your-soul food spot. Hard Knox's original Dogpatch locale is tiny (there's a larger outpost in the Richmond District), but don't let that stop you from grabbing a seat at its counter. We're talking conviviality over comfort here — and the food ain't bad either. Catfish sandwiches get our vote of glory.
2526 Third St., SF. (415) 648-3770, www.hardknoxcafe.com
JUST FOR YOU
The 20-year-old Just For You packs in the Dogpatch throngs for lunch and breakfast. The menu's hangover recommendation is that old standard, the hangtown fry, an egg, bacon, onion, and oyster scramble made popular by the California Gold Rush. Finish it off with a plate of beignets? Oh my.