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Pier 39

Going out with the girls to see "Menopause" at Pier 39 this weekend. Not familar with the city....is there anyplace good at Pier 39 to dine for dinner before the show? Anyplace within walking distance? We are a goup of older women, and like pretty much anything. Fun place for drinks? Help!

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  1. Wow, that is a tough one, especially if you won't have your walking shoes. Unless you want to go with one of the overpriced tourist spots, you may want to consider a short cab ride to say...Caps Corner at Green & Powell. It's home-style Italian with a fun bar.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Civil Bear

      Well, after having a horrendous "family style" dinner at Capp's years ago I never went back. If the lady has the time and she really cares about her chow I say take a quick cab ride to Osteria del Forno on the west side of Columbus near Green and have the porcini pizza appetizer and the pork baked in milk, and maybe the white bean and tuna salad if she's really hungry & a nice glass of wine. (Osteria is tops and it's inexpensive too)

      1. re: niki rothman

        L'Osteria del Forno is great, especially for the price, but it's problematic for groups (tiny place, small tables), and there's often a line.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I've never waited on line there. But I'm always going for lunch, not dinner. And these ladies want dinner. Maybe if they made it a really early dinner they would not have to wait. They could do that and just walk around and have a drink & watch the sun go down on the bay before their show. Times I've gone to popular restaurants around 5 p.m. there never is a line.

        2. re: niki rothman

          Sorry to hear you had a bad time at Capp's. We have been taking out-of-towners there for years and have always had a great time. I concede the food isn't up to Osteria standards, but it is the perfect pre-show environment, imo.

          1. re: Civil Bear

            I would never want to bad mouth an old family Northbeach standby. Osteria is really a cut above what one expects from oldschool Northbeach family Italian restaurants. But I must say, it's been over 20 years and I still remember Capp's Corner as one of the worst dinners I've ever eaten - and just never went back - we always joke about it when walking past even today, but perhaps they have improved.

      2. On the corner of Bay and Embacader there is Houston's. It's a chain restaurant, but it's not bad. They serve very American fare, steaks, ribs, burgers, etc. I'd consider that within walking distance.

        If you want to spend more dough, Ana Madera is suppose to be good, but I've not been personally. It's highend Vietnamese food.

        Pier 39 is really a culinary dead zone, nothing really for a pre-show special occuassion dinner. I'd try eating elsewhere then going to the show.

        You'd have much more choices either in downtown or North Beach area.

        1. Great....just what us chowhounds abhore...high priced tourist spots! Ok....how about North Beach...anything around there? That is "somewhat" close to Pier 39? Does the cable car go to Pier 39? Anything along the CC route? Thanks Chowhounds!

          1 Reply
          1. re: RenoRed

            Take the Powell/Hyde cable car from the bottom of Hyde near FW and go up to either Frascati or Luella. Actaully a cab would be cheaper since the cable car is 5.00 bucks a person. It's probably not even a 10.00 cab ride.
            Both are lovely neighborhod restaurants in Russian Hill on Hyde Street and you can find many positive posts about both if you do a search.
            I just ate at Frascati and had a wonderful experience. Great food, wine and service.

          2. Do locals ever dine at Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39. If so, where?

            5 Replies
            1. re: ilikefood

              As a rule, no, as they're all tourist traps. Places within a few blocks of FW area that locals like include Albona, Gary Danko, and Da Flora.

              1. re: ilikefood

                No we never eat there. No. Not. Ever. BUT...the Eagle Cafe is not bad at all. And it's not outrageously priced. And you know what, I'll tell you a shocker. An acquaintence, not realizing I was an eccentric snob about food took me as a surprise (boy it WAS a job acting pleased too) to of all places the Hard Rock Cafe - where given the choice I would not be caught dead. BUT, that being said, they make cocktails just fine. It is NOT expensive. The booths are big and comfy. They make a burger that is as good as any other chain restaurant, the chicken fingers with dipping sauces were really quite edible. And my caesar salad was really good. It is right next to your show too...

                1. re: niki rothman

                  I used to recommend Eagle Cafe, but from recent reports everything's gone downhill but the prices:


                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I ate there a couple of months ago. I really liked the old version of the place. The new one seems definitely to be aimed at tourists, and the prices are higher. That wouldn't bother me that much except that the food is way too fiddly now. Fancy plating and not very good. I won't be back.

                2. re: ilikefood

                  I've probably dined there more than most people and not for the usual reason that most locals eat there ... entertaining visitors.

                  Here's the results

                3. Go to Forbe's Island right next to Pier 39. Great quirky fun, and decent food, despite contrary reports here. I bet your group will enjoy it.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: NoeMan

                    If they are a group of older women who are not into walking, leaping on and off that little boat to Forbes item is not sumething I'd suggest. I know you and I disagree about the food there, but to me it is no better than anything at Pier 39.


                    1. re: rworange

                      Their call. They may be just the right age for old Forbes and his style.

                  2. hmmm...am i the only one that actually likes pier market restaurant?

                    well...i've only gotten two things there religiously.

                    1. clam chowder
                    2. crab melt

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: wchane

                      No, I think someone else besides you has said good things about the place, I forgot about it. I keep meaning to give it a try. Maybe if the ladies try it they can report back.

                      1. re: wchane

                        Ok...we arrived at Pier 39 with an hour to spare till show time. We went to the above mentioned "Pier Market". I had crab roasted in garlic...wonderful!! My friends had an assortment of fish dishs...all were happy. Food was decent, price was right. And we had told the waiter that we were seeing the show, and he was mindful to get us out on time. The show "Menopause" was hilarious...both are highly recommended. Thanks for all the tips

                        1. re: wchane

                          Where is Pier Market? I've never noticed it. Open for lunch?

                          1. re: niki rothman

                            Yep, open for lunch. It is the joint that is a fish market, sort of mid Pier 39 on the bottom level facing the Golden Gate Bridge .

                            Thanks for reporting back Renored. Nice to hear there is a decent place on Pier 39.