The sweet potato has become a year-round fave for many—especially when the words “sweet potato” are followed by “fries.” But the versatile root vegetable has so much more to offer, providing creamy comfort that can be both savory or sweet and that can also beautifully fill a menu for bleary-eyed early risers, late-night diners, and everything in between.
It’s also a staple of the Thanksgiving table, but don’t let that stop you from eating it before, during, and after. These restaurants from San Francisco to San Diego will give you some tasty, hearty options.
San Francisco (locations in Hayes Valley, NOPA, and the Mission)
You might not expect to find a stellar vegetarian dish at a restaurant that boasts of its “spit-fired meats,” but the roasted white sweet potato with garlic yogurt, chopped Kalamata olives, toasted walnut, pickled red onion, pea shoots, and mizithra cheese is so good you might forgo the rest of the menu.
Three words: Sweet. Potato. Latte. The Korean comfort drink is the house specialty of this bustling Japantown Café, and one sip will tell you why. Each cup is filled with one-third sweet potato puree and two-thirds milk, then frothed into a glorious concoction.
Perhaps it’s best to let Jason Fox, chef/owner of famed San Francisco farm-to-table restaurant Commonwealth describe the sweet potato with bone marrow salsa negra at Cala: It’s “just a great blend of smoky, sweet potato, with black mole using bone marrow,” he told CHEFSFEED. “Haunting, complex flavors, form a seemingly simple dish, that is great eaten with their fresh tortillas.”
Finch and Fork
This favorite Santa Barbara restaurant features daily seasonal specials from a delectable selection of creative offerings, but the short rib and sweet potato hash made the everyday menu. This favorite option is comprised of sunny side up eggs, fresh horseradish, and chimichurri.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Beverly Hills (also Pasadena, Woodland Hills, Irvine)
You may head to this venerable steak house for the tender filet, but don’t miss the whipped sweet potato casserole with a pecan crust. It’s a little piece of Thanksgiving heaven available all-year-round.
Tubs chili is the kind of place you just want to sink into and then stuff your face, just like Guy Fieri did when the spot was featured on the Food Network. The menu is filled with casseroles, hot dogs, wraps, and, of course, several chili options. You can’t miss with the vegan sweet potato chili, with black beans, turmeric, and a five-pepper blend.