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It's Not Just Burritos: Everything Edible in San Francisco Is Getting More Expensive

After the burritos came the burgers, and then the pizza, and even the pho. 

 

After yesterday’s alarming news about the pandemic of burrito inflation devastating the city, we carried a sense of cold dread, as if the worst were yet to come. Around 3 a.m. the terrifying truth hit us like a ton of bricks: What if it’s not just the burritos?

Reader, it's not. Last year's voter approved minimum-wage increase applies to everybody (hence the concept of a minimum wage), so of course it's not just the taquerias who have been stealthily raising prices the last six months. Everybody's doing it. 

In the mood for a burger? A Best Burger at Mo’s Grill has crept up from $7.50 to $8.25, while a Pearle’s Deluxe at Pearle's has gone from $6.99 to $7.49.

How about a bowl of steaming pho? Costs $0.80 more at Jasmine Garden and $0.50 cents more at Mau than it did last fall.

Pizza prices have hardly been spared: A margarita pizza from Pizza Hacker went from a weirdly specific $12.87 to $13.79. Strangest of all, Little Star Pizza added $0.75 to the price of pies that already cost $19 to begin with. Every little bit counts, we guess.

We searched high and low for at least one local favorite that had left well enough alone. A few promising leads yielded only disappointment: It looked like organic hot dog joint Underdog had not hiked prices, but they broke our hearts by admitting they are in the midst of a price increase now and just “hadn’t changed the signs yet.” They’re planning to make the sausages a little bigger so that people aren’t just paying more for the same, but did finger the minimum wage as the cause of it all.

Dynamo Donuts over on 24th street has left their non-gluten donuts at an encouraging $3, but prices on non-donut pastries, like the sticky bun, have crept up a bit since December. The owner wasn’t available to comment on whether this was wage-related or just bad timing. It seemed universal: The cold, hard realities of economics were dashing our hopes and leaving us hungry.

And then we found a great, golden savior, one covered in garlic and clams: Golden Boy, the North Beach pizza joint among North Beach pizza joints, has left prices flat in the wake of the election. (Although note that the menu attached to that link is years out of date. They've "been meaning to fix that.") It may not be the only place in the city still holding out, but it’s got to be damn close. “We don’t want to say we don’t care about money, because we’re in business here,” says Max, the owner. “But we’re a neighborhood place. We want to keep this a place for as many people as can come here. It just doesn’t seem like the thing to do.”

Maybe the math in Golden Boy’s ledgers benefits from some kind of amazing (golden?) mean where there’s always overhead costs to spare and other local eateries just aren't so lucky. Or maybe everyone else decided to err on the side of their bottom line and pull the trigger on prices now rather than take the Golden Boy approach of leaving it as a worst case scenario. Either way, they’re our San Francisco Restaurant Inflation Champion.

Garlic and clam slices: $4, now and forever. Or at least as close to forever as they can manage.

 

 

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Email Adam L. Brinklow at tamlinearthly@gmail.com
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