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good, cheap restaurants in SF

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We are going to be in San Francisco for 2 days. We want to know some chowhound-type places to eat. I remember Tommy's Joint from a trip long ago. Is Yee Yun still there?? How about Sam Wo's?? We want good, honest, inexpensive food....even take-out would be fine. Thanks for your help. Our hotel is on Sutter.

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  1. If you like Indian, there's a great inexpensive place on Jones above Geary (you'll see large sign hanging above announcing "Shalimar"). The tandoori chicken is great, as are the chicken and vegetable curries (nothing misses here except maybe the lentil curry). The nan is also very tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jamie m

      Lots of fans of Shalimar on these boards. Here's a link to a recent thread debating the best in the Tenderloin.

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    2. A terrific experience of an ethnic neighborhood, plus authentic food is La Palma Mexicatessan. 2884 24th Street (intersection is Florida Street). Try the tacos with homemade tortillas and the pupusas. I've never been able to eat more than $5 worth of their specialties. Compared to the generic $6+ burritos at most other places, this is a real bargin. See the link for an earlier discussion. Enjoy the experience! Note that they close at 6pm most days.

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/writing/sftr...

      1. don't forget to have a Vietnamese sandwich during your stay....do a search for bahn mi....there are several favorites mentioned in different areas of the city....so you can indulge no matter where you end up.

        1. I would recommend that you check out Syre's recent rundown of Mission burrito places.

          Also suggesting the following places:

          Arizmendi Bakery on 9th and Irving for great pizza and chocolate things and other well baked breads (great if you're into sourdough).

          Sweet Temptations on Balboa and 36th Ave for the best Shanghainese grub I've been able to find here. I mentioned it here recently - stick to the shanghainese dishes and get the steamed dumplings (xiao long bao).

          It's seems that everyone has their favorite falafel place. The best ones I've been to are Truly Mediterrean on Haight (at Cole), Ali Baba on Valencia (around 21st St) and Sunrise Deli on Irving (near 20th Ave). King of Falafels on Divisidero is next to try on my list (thanks garçon :) ).

          I like the crepes at Galette on Fillmore, near California. While you're there, stop by La Boulangerie on Pine and fillmore. There's been lots of raves about that bakery recently on this board and they're all true.

          Good fish and chips in the dicey Tenderloin if you're willing to venture up to the Old Chelsea.

          If there's a few of you, get the claypot rice (that's rice cooked in a claypot with meats etc...) to share at Bow Hon in Chinatown (Washington and Grant, I believe).

          And not to be missed for dessert - Marco Polo on taraval. The best, most intensely flavored, as good as Florentine gelati I've had here in tropical fruit flavors (e.g. soursop, jackfruit, guava, lychee, coconut) that you can't get in Florence.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Limster

            Thanks so much for your suggestions. I can't wait to try them. I'm especially excited about the Mexican place and the bakeries. Any suggestions for breakfast??

            1. re: freddy

              for breakfast that's cheap and plentiful, you might try Kate's Kitchen on Haight. I like their chunky corn beef hash, though CBH traditionalists would probably balk. Chloe's on Church is a nice neighborhood (Noe Valley) place where I usually get the croissant french toast (as long as you have no aversion to butter).You might also try Home Plate in the Marina for good diner breakfast fare. As was mentioned before Boulangerie Bay Bread (I'm never quite sure of the name) on Pine just west of Fillmore has fabulous almond croissants (again, you can't have butter phobia) and Schuberts on Clement btw 6th and 7th has a wonderful morning pastry called a cheese puff.

            2. re: Limster

              i was walking by today. it looks like the old chelsea may be kaput.

              1. re: damon

                Bummer - good thing I just ate there a few months ago, or I could have missed it entirely.

            3. Swan's Oyster Depot! freshest oysters, best chowder (no flour thickening), most uncomfortable stools, singing bigmouth bass decor... the best.

              1. Here are some of my low-priced favorites in the Mission/Noe Valley area (which you should visit to get more of the town's character):

                - Taqueria El Toro (17th and Valencia) - cleanest, best, most varied San Francisco Mexican in town. My favorite order, a grilled vegetable taco with guacamole and cilantro is $2.65.

                - Pakwan (16th near Guerrero) - reliable, inexpensive Indian food (with Tandori). Tandori fish here is one of my favorites.

                - Eric's (27th and Church) - very nice (California) Chinese food. There is a $5 lunch special, and dinner prices are quite reasonable. Always crowded except for late lunch (2pm or so).

                - Slanted Door (17th and Valencia) - overpriced and impossible to get into for dinner, usually a walk-in for lunch. A bit overpriced for lunch too, but there are still some good choices around $7-9.

                1. There are many good ethnic places, as posted, but the hands-down best food bargain in SF is Original Joe's on Taylor St...dicey neighborhood at night, but they do have cheap valet parking. Good and plenty, and very reasonable. You don't stay in business for over 60 years in SF serving slop. Lunch specials are to die for.

                  1. If you like Vietnamese sandwiches check out Paris on Stockton St. between Washington and Clay St. The roast chicken sandwich is one of the best bargains.