Food Secrets of San Francisco Writer Stephen Elliott

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Stephen Elliot

If you keep your eyes peeled at Mission cafes, you may spot writer Stephen Elliott. He rides his bike or walks everywhere (no car), and is a Mission resident who is all over the news for selling the rights to his Adderall Diaries memoir to James Franco. Elliott is also making waves for organizing against the possibility of a Blue Bottle cart in Dolores Park.

Elliott was at first hesitant to talk about his favorite food spots, citing the fact that “I’m not into food. I’m really not.” He doesn’t ‘do’ food writing and is more of the food is fuel camp. He seems to be a creature of habit, and says he does not like variety. “I don’t try out new restaurants.”

He revealed via phone interview that he considers the meat loaf dish at Blue Plate to be his version of fancy eating. “It’s not fancy for everyone, but it is to me.” He gives Blue Plate’s version of the comfort food staple high praise, saying that it is “definitely the best in the world. No way you’re going to find a better meat loaf than that.” Although he hasn’t gone out to celebrate selling the Adderall book rights to Franco, he says he may go to Blue Plate “when the check arrives.”

For a dinner alone, he heads to Bi-Rite Market for the soup. “It’s totally healthy, and costs five or six bucks.”


Elliott often works from the downtown Writer’s Grotto, and takes a lunch break with fellow writers Po Bronson, Isaac Fitzgerald, and Ethan Watters. The four head over to the nearest location of a Lee’s Deli, for sandwiches. “I eat at Lee’s Deli a lot,” Elliott confesses. For other hearty cravings, Elliott goes to Papalote, which has the “best salsa.” It’s where he satisfies a Mexican food craving. “I get the super steak burrito with refried black beans. They make a steak, and chop it up….”

Elliott doesn’t drink alcohol, but will go to a bar to watch football. At the Phoenix Irish Bar in the Mission, he “might have the Irish Benedict breakfast,” or burger. However, he feels Burger Joint next door serves “the best hamburger anywhere. It’s amazing.” For Indian-Pakistani food, you can find Elliott at Pakwan on 16th Street.

Although this writer has spotted him at Ritual Roasters and Four Barrel, he “really likes” Rodger’s Coffee, on 20th Street, between Valencia and Mission Streets. “But, it’s overpriced,” he protested, saying, “I buy a normal drip coffee there (and) it’s super good.” Batter Bakery is “unbelievable” when it comes to sweets on the go.