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In SF this week... what are the best eats I should be sure not to miss?

  • Ali B Jul 31, 2006 06:22 PM
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I am coming into San Francisco from New York City this Tuesday through Friday for work. I am on my own for 1 breakfast, 3 lunches, and 1 dinner (and I'll squeeze in snacks if there are places I MUST try). I am willing to try absolutely anything... I haven't been to San Francisco in 20 years, so I need to make up for a lot of lost eating time!

My criteria:
I am staying in the financial district, so I would prefer places that are easy to get to on foot, by public transportation, or by a quick cab ride... and not too expensive ($40-ish per person max is preferable).

So, Hounds, where should I go?

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  1. Where precisely in the Financial District?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I believe the hotel is at Kearny St and Clay St

      1. re: Ali B

        That's great as you'll be near Chinatown and North Beach, which have more good cheap restaurants than the Financial District.

        Are you going to be right near there at lunchtime?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I believe I will be right around there at lunchtime, and I should have plenty of time.

    2. Bocadillos would be a good stop

      http://www.bunrab.com/yummychow/Revie...

      1. Dim sum for lunch.

        For breakfast, walk up to Caffe Trieste, or Bocadillos (opens at 7am weekdays only).

        http://www.bocasf.com

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yum... where should I go for the best dim sum?

          1. re: Ali B

            Dim sum in Chinatown, check out recent reports on Y Ben House and Gold Mountain.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Although I didn't have as much free time as I thought, I did make it to Y Ben House for dim sum. I think I've had better at some of the places in Flushing in New York, but it was definitely an experience, and I had a great time. I felt more like I was in China than when I was actually in China.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston

            What do you like at Bocadillos in the morning? Thanks.

            1. re: david kaplan

              Haven't been there that early.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I had the baked eggs with chorizo and manchego... it was pretty good. The chorizo was sliced very thin, but it had good flavor. Their fresh-squeezed OJ is really good, too. And since it was a block from my hotel, it was a great choice. Thanks for the advice!

          3. I would have to head to Tadich Grill for one lunch. Sand dabs are in season and are outstanding. Or, try the petrale sole, you can't go wrong with either one. It's just that "dabs" are such a local fish and oh so tasty.

            5 Replies
            1. re: rtmonty

              The sand dabs were really good. I have never had them before, and I always like to try something new. This place obviously has a lot of history to it. I get the feeling it has been around forever and they haven't changed much since the beginning.

              I also had the pleasure of sitting next to a man who I believe is the owner of the restaurant next door, Aqua. He said that Aqua used to serve sand dabs, and they were better than Tadich's, but they don't serve them anymore! Is there anywhere else in the area that serves them beside Tadich?

              He also said to go to Aqua and get the Classic Tuna Tartare (make sure it's the "Classic" -- i think they have several tartare options). He said it is their most memorable dish. I hope to get back to SF one of these days to try it... I think I am going to plan an eating trip back out there in the next few months so I might be hitting you all up for some more recommendations. Thanks everyone!

              1. re: Ali B

                Ali, thanks for the eating reports. The sand dab catch is highly variable so fewer restaurants sereve them since the supply is unreliable. Tadich prints its menu every day and I always feel lucky when I hit the right day. Others have reported recently on 'dabs at Lulu. The Cafe at Chez Panisse in Berkeley does a good job with them when available.

                One of the pleasures of Tadich is that it draws suits and blue-collar types alike. You never know who you'll meet at the bar.

                Tadich post -
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. re: Ali B

                  North Beach Restaurant also does dabs I think.

                  Wonder how Pacific Cafe handles them.

                  I was eating them at home 3x/week cuz they were so cheap. Breaded and baked, but not good for a candlelight dinner, cuz of the bones.

                  1. re: himbeer

                    Pacific Cafe is the first place, many years ago now, that I had sand dabs. They just lightly bread and saute them, very simply on the bone. Always was quite good.

                  2. re: Ali B

                    Fior di Italia keeps a call list for locals wanting to know when they have 'dabs. They call you in the morning if they'll have them that night.

                2. hi,
                  Globe on Pacific @Battery is excellent and open late, until 1 am-(that's late foe SF!)

                  1. Some more ideas in the vicinity -

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

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

                    1. Definitely Helmand on Broadway!

                      And go for the lunch buffet, at $9.95 its a good deal and you get to try more items (unless you go with a crowd).

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

                      1. Even though you're not going to be here for the big farmers' market on Saturday morning, there's a smaller one at the Ferry Building on Tuesday at lunchtime. You can graze through the produce and then supplement with some prepared foods from either the outside stands or the permanent shops inside.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          ...and then have a dozen oysters on the half shell, and a glass or two of Muscadet, at Hog Island Oyster Co.

                          1. re: rootlesscosmo

                            Do they still have $1 oysters for happy hour on Mondays and Thursdays?

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              I've never been there at happy hour, just lunch. I usually go for the package deal, a dozen oysters (pick your variety or mix 'n match) plus a glass of Muscadet for (I think) $22.

                        2. Thanks everyone. I will let you all know how it goes!

                          1. I may be too late, but here's some more breakfast ideas.

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

                            If I just had one breakfast in that area, I'd go to Mama's. However, you need to get there at opening or wait.

                            If Golden Gate bakery isn't closed yet for its August vacation get an egg tart there and a BBQ pork bun. Get some foccacia at Linguria bakery across the street from Mama's.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rworange

                              Liguria is closed until about the middle of August--vacation.