El Toro- Love this spot. It's always a little busy, but never uncomfortably packed. It's bright, fresh, and you get good value.
La Taqueria this place has been hyped since I was a kid. The burritos are small, but tasty. Their agua fresca has the best crunchy ice, so you really must try them if you're there.
Papalote: California-style burritos. Fresh food, best salsa everrr.
El Farolito: All the rage. I lovvve their breakfast burritos.
Food & Drink...
Tacolicious - I'm always up for tacos. Low-key vibe.
Dosa- Southern Indian deliciousness.
El Techo- Rooftop Mexican. Make a reservation or plan to wait. ;)
Flour + Water- The freshest pasta. Insanely good.
Farina - Pizza! Great place to go with friends.
Delfina- Date night
Trick Dog- Food & Drinks. Good spot to wait for your table at Flour + Water.
Kings Bakery: pastries for 50 cents or so only exist in this tiny, dingy cafe. I love the coconut buns, the sugar pastries, and the glazed braided pastry.
Bi-Rite: the best ice cream. No-brainer.
Tartine: Get yourself a morning bun or chocolate croissant with some coffee.
Anywhere on Valencia or 16th.
For the Kiddos:
Dolores Park- Try not to lose your children. This park is amazing and BIG.