Eat Pigs Feet and Other Offal in San Francisco

We were supposed to be having dinner with a friend at San Francisco’s Water Bar restaurant. But, at the last minute he had to cancel and I am grateful he did. Not because we don’t love spending time with him, but because I would not have had the adventure of eating pigs feet and other offal otherwise. Screwed up priorities.

Offal is the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal that is used for food and is not a skeletal muscle. The gross stuff.

We decided to head to San Francisco sans our dining companion and dine at SPQR, a trendy Michelin starred restaurant in the lower Pacific Heights District. Without even an inkling there would be pigs feet on the menu.
SPQR Restaurant Interior
photo courtesy of SPQR

It was a Sunday evening, we didn’t have reservations and there were none available on Opentable. We decided to pull the trick we always use, showing up right when the restaurant opens at 5:30, hoping they save some seats for walk-ins. This trick surely would not work at a place like Northern California’s fancy French Laundry, but it has worked for us everywhere else. Every time. Tonight was no different.

The featured menu was littered with offal; blood sausage, veal tongue, sweetbreads, pigs feet and head. I wanted one of each.

The offal adventure at SPQR all started with the Veal Tongue Pastrami. It had the texture and taste of a dry pastrami and was served with fingerling potatoes. Not nearly as gamey as lambs tongues.
Offal Veal Tongue Pastrami

We moved on to the Pigs Head Pyramidi, a handmade stuffed pasta. The head inside was finely minced and the dish included hukrei turnip and sartori fontina cheese. Tastes like bacon.
Pig Head Offal Pasta Inside Pig Head Pasta

And after eating their daily-made fresh pasta that the Pigs Head Pyramidi was made with, we needed another pasta dish. Pronto.

The Bludnudlen pasta with Tuscan blood sausage ragu topped with pigs feet pangrattao peaked my interest and hit many items on the eating weird food criteria.

The short, curly pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and held the blood sausage ragu nicely. It was topped with toasted and crushed pigs feet. If you didn’t read the menu, you would have never known the offal inside.

We deemed this pigs feet dish the best we have ever eaten in San Francisco.
Pigs Feet & Blood Sausage Pasta

Not everything at SPQR contained pigs feet or other offal, there was a lump crab quinoa salad too.
Crab Quinoa Salad

We didn’t actually have a dessert, but I could only imagine what type of offal would be in it. Maybe a Pigs Feet Chocolate Mousse?

Sounds like an awful meal of offal, but we walked away thinking it was the most delicious meal we had ever eaten in San Francisco. Yes. It was that good.

Have you ever eaten pigs feet or other offal?


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2018-12-21T23:23:47+00:00January 17th, 2013|Categories: California, FOOD, North America, QUIRKY, TRAVEL|Tags: , , , |


  1. Ferreting Out The Fun January 17, 2013 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I can only imagine the pig parts I have unknowingly eaten in China LOL! That stuffed pasta sounds delish!

    • Annette White January 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      I am sure you have eaten them all in China!

  2. Dena Barrie January 18, 2013 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Yea, I'm thinking I couldn't do it.  Tripe was bad enough for me!  Yikes

    • Annette White January 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Offal is definitely not for everyone and some of it is not for me either 🙂

  3. ruth2day January 19, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

    OH NO!  just couldn't eat this food 🙂 

    • Annette White January 19, 2013 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Not even one itsy bitsy pigs foot? 😉

  4. Nico January 20, 2013 at 2:45 am - Reply

    I think this is a rather you than me moment.

    • Annette White January 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm - Reply


  5. Cole @ January 28, 2013 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Well done trying them all! 

    • Annette White January 28, 2013 at 8:42 am - Reply


  6. Kerry July 9, 2014 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Being unable to see what I was eating who knows what I could have been served in the past, but my sense of smell and taste are quite good. People sometimes try to sneak one past me though. It has happened before. 🙂 My grandpa and uncles used to butcher pigs and they were out in the garage after hunting deer. My grandma said we were having beef for dinner and it wasn’t until after we finished eating that she let it slip it was not regular old beef after all. I never really forgave her for that. 🙂

    • Annette White July 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      My grandma would always make weird animals parts and feed it to me without telling me what it was. By the time I was a teenager, I wouldn’t eat anything she ever made because you never knew what would be in it!

  7. Already Done – Marius på eventyr February 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    […] Blood Sausage […]

  8. Travelouts June 18, 2018 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Really tempting food pictures….. 😛

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