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New York CH heading to San Fran for honeymoon. Recommendations?

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Heading out to SF for my honeymoon next week. Looking for everyone's top 3 recommendations. We are real fans of fabulous foods for a fabulous price. (We are a young couple just out of grad school so we don't have the money for anything crazy, though we are willing to splurge a bit - honeymoon afterall!)

We are staying in the Union Square area, but are pretty adventurous and we would love to walk around neighborhoods and eat at places where locals would hang out, to get a real feel for a place. Recs for this? (Not just the typical touristy stuff.)

Also, what's the deal with the tenderloin? I keep hearing that it is a dangerous neighborhood, but the only info I can find is that there are a lot of pan-handlers. In NY panhandlers and homeless are often found in the most expensive neighborhoods because there is better food. So how dangerous is it exactly?

Thanks in advance.

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    1. Definitely take a walk down to the Ferry Building for Sat a.m. Farmer's Market. You can snack on samples, have some bbq oysters etc. and just take in all the yummy sights.

      I second Aziza and Incanto- but no reason to have sushi here- you have far better options in your hometown.

      The Mission is a great neighborhood to walk around and grab a cheap lunch. Do a search - there are lots of strings on best carnitas burritos etc.

      Giving a more specific budget and special likes also helps get more informed responses. Congratulations on your wedding and have fun in SF.

      1. Tadich Grill is a must for lunch one day, very old-time SF with great fish and cioppino. Go early, no reservations. A couple of good neighborhood places are Luella and Frescati, both are on Hyde so you can ride the cable car back to Union Sq. after dinner.

        We had an excellent dinner at Town Hall last weekend. It's big and noisy but has a vibe about it, large servings and a great butterscotch-chololate pudding for dessert.

        Have a great honeymoon.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rtmonty

          Tadich is also my "must" rec. As long as you stick with basic fish and don't order any of their "shrimp diablo"-type things. Except of cioppino, which is great. Also great house dressing on a dinner seafood salad (side dish size) and wonderful tartar sauce made from spuds.

          I'd also have breakfast at Canteen! Every day if I could. Wonderful lattes and great food. Even bacon and eggs is good.

          I third or fourth Incanto, and add Zuni. I'd choose that over Chez Pan. You could even go there for lunch = great raw oysters and clams and hamburger.

          I'd take BART over to Oakland's Fruitvale for Mexican. There's a BART stop right there and two great taco trucks within a block.

        2. Incanto and Aziza both have fabulous food at a fabulous price, thought it's easy to rack up a tab on wine and cocktails respectively. Those would be my top two choices for mid to high priced dining.

          For One Big Splurge I'd BART (subway) across the bay for dinner Downstairs at Chez Panisse. It's quintessential California, one of the most influential restaurants in the world and the price for the downstairs prix fix is quite reasonable, especially for a four star restaurant (between $50 and $85 depending on the evening and the number of courses). Oh yes, and the food is wonderful.

          If you can't make it to Chez, you might consider Zuni Cafe or coco500 for similarly styled food at a lower price point.

          In Union Square, go to Canteen for breakfast or brunch.

          incanto.biz
          aziza-sf.com
          chezpanisse.com
          coco500.com
          Canteen:
          http://www.jdvhospitality.com/dining/...
          Zuni Cafe:
          http://sanfrancisco.menupages.com/res...

          3 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Are Incanto and Aziza open for lunch? What are your favorite things on their menus? General location of each?
            Thanks!

            1. re: niki rothman

              No and no.
              Favorites:
              Aziza - Beef or Lamb Stew.
              Incanto - Braised Pork.
              Aziza is in the Outer Richmond.
              Incanto is in Noe Valley.

              1. re: niki rothman

                There are many, many reports here on Aziza and Incanto.

            2. If you're coming from New York, you probably won't find the Tenderloin very threatening.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Absolutely NOT true. NY has changed a lot since the last time you were there Robert. I have no problems walking around NYC at 4am and I have no problems walking around Spanish Harlem...and have done so many times. I would NEVER walk around the Tenderloin at night and during the day, I'd feel a little uncomfortable also.

                Back to food:

                1. The Ferry Building is a must. Go before 11am. Get coffee at Blue Bottle and have a heirloom tomato scramble at Rose's.

                2. I would try Canteen since it's unique to SF. Brunch or dinner are both great.

                3. I second Chez Panisse on a Monday to take advantage of the price.

                4. If you have a car, Koi Palace for dim sum. Dim sum in SF is much better than the dim sum in NY. Actually, Koi Palace for dinner also for amazing cantonese seafood if you can.

                5. Zuni Cafe for the chicken.

                6. Bar Tartine was Cal-cuisine style french bistro and some pretty amazing bread.

                7. By all means, forget sushi in SF. NYC has more variety and better quality.

                1. re: Porthos

                  Maybe I should say, if you developed street smarts in pre-Giuliani New York, the Tenderloin's no big deal.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    The Tenderloin is pretty loud and wild (last time I was there about a month ago for dinner), but nobody paid much attention to us. There were folks screaming at each other, but not at us. Weird people wandering in the middle of the street, etc. It was uncomfortable, but not really threatening.