Going out in San Francisco poses a dilemma. Nothing brings on an appetite like a late night of drinking, but because most of this pulsing metropolis shuts down well before last call, the post-bar masses have few options to satisfy their cravings -- mostly 24-hour diners serving burgers and greasy fries. So where to go for decent grub? Tucked throughout the city are some alternative venues where barflies can sate those post-carousing munchies on something other than onion rings.
Osha Thai Noodle Cafe
696 Geary (at Leavenworth), 673-2368
This stylish and brightly lit noodle house serves heaping plates of fried noodles, gigantic bowls of Thai noodles in flavorful soups, and plentiful rice plates. A neon sign announces the restaurant's presence on a Tenderloin corner, beckoning hungry hipsters until it closes at 3 a.m. on weekends.
2777 Mission (at 24th Street), 826-4870
There's a much-coveted kitschy painting of a gyro on the back wall, but make no mistake: El Farolito serves the quintessential burrito -- until 4 a.m. on weekends. The small taqueria satisfies all appetites, from punk rock kids to indie rockers to night-owl Mission residents.
Open until 3 a.m. daily, this simple, cafeterialike restaurant has an endless menu of quality, cheap eats. Among the offerings are 35 fried rice plates, 22 kinds of pan-fried noodles, 27 porridge options, 12 braised noodle dishes, and 23 varieties of noodles in soup.
Specializing in chewy, Chinese-style noodles and "Asian tapas" in a cool but unpretentious setting, Lisa's fills bellies until 4 a.m. on weekends.
448 Brannan (at Third Street), 904-4100
You might have to miss last call to grab a meal at this swanky SOMA restaurant and "wine salon," which closes its kitchen at 1:30 a.m. But Bacar's fashionable Mediterranean menu and handsome décor make it worth the sacrifice.