Great dive bar in the heart of the artsy Mission District. In a city not known for its cheapness, you can still get a strong cocktail here for less than $4 and the jukebox is a who's who of punk and indie rock icons. While smoking is illegal in the state of California, it didn't seem to stop anybody from doing so in this place.
San Francisco has just about got it all as far as food goes, but you may have to cross the bay to Oakland to get some of the best real local Latino flavors (the focus here is more Central American than Mexican). There's a handful of taco trucks on a stretch of road near this stand, but amongst locals, this place has the best tamales, tacos and pupusas (a corn biscuit-like flat bread) around. Best of all, tacos and pupusas are insanely cheap (usually under $2).
They don't serve espresso at this downscale coffee shop, just greasy fries, burgers and beers. In fact, there's very little that makes this place a "Java" house these days. It's known more as a joint to grab a quick beer (PBRs are a $1.50) and a bite before catching a Giants game at nearby AT&T Park. The patio offers great views of the Bay Bridge and Port of Oakland.
Unlike other bars in the mission district, this place has a huge patio filled with tables and benches. Inside it's a low-lit biker bar with pinball machines. They serve pitchers and it's popular amongst local bike riders because you can take your bike right in with you while you drink in the beer garden, good for daytime or nighttime drinks.
Soul food in SF, done in the SF style. It's a cute little laid back restaurant that's known for its fried chicken (they serve you half a chicken; be hungry). While it may not be the most authentic place to get soul food, the food itself is amazing. Give a long hard look at the sidedishes - that's where the magic is. The fried okra and the yams are amazing.