I've been to the location in Los Angeles and Waikiki and loved it so I HAD to check out the SF location when I heard Marugame Udon has a location there. Located in the Stonestown Galleria Mall in San Francisco, they have been open for a few years now. I went on a Saturday afternoon and didn’t have to wait too long in line; however, depending on the time and day, the wait can vary. Once you get inside, there are instructions on how to order. You choose which bowl/size you want and they have plenty of options including vegetarian options, have it made for you on the spot, then add freshly fried tempura onto a separate plate. It moves like a cafeteria line where you grab a tray, let them know what you want, then move throughout the restaurant until you reach the end. They used to have a toppings bar filled with delicious tempura flakes, cilantro, green onions, etc that you can scoop yourself but have been limited since then due to the pandemic.
I usually go for the beef udon with the soft-boiled egg and it reminds me exactly of the udon I had in Japan! The soft texture of the udon mixed with the sweet taste of the beef was amazing in the soup base. The soup wasn't bad; although I didn't drink much of it. The texture of the udon is freshly made so you can taste the bouncy texture of the noodles. I do wish the portions of beef were bigger compare to the number of noodles you get but the overall experience was worth it!
With their tempura options, the shrimp + fishcake tempura are the ones you can't go wrong with. Both were so light and crispy and they fried it right in front of you so it is freshly made. At the toppings bar, make sure to grab a little dish of tempura sauce to compliment your delicious deep-fried goodness! My personal favorite is definitely the fishcake since it is huge and when you eat and pair it with the udon, it is game-changing.
While this location was good, I think I still preferred the LA and Hawaii one although the San Francisco location is very comparable. I do feel that the other locations had more options because I got the Tonkotsu udon last time but didn't see it on the menu here.