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Nov 22, 2006 11:20 AM

Need Dining Suggestions - Please Help!!!

My wife and I will be visiting San Fran. in December for the first time. We will be staying four days and we would love to chow down on some really good food. With so many choices, we have had a really hard time narrowing down where we want to eat. Thus, could anyone rec. any great places to eat? We are really open to any type of food in (almost) any part of town. We would prefer casual dining, but if there is somewhere that is amazing, we will certainly hit. Thanks so much for your imput!

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    1. I also highly recomend going to the Ferry Building for food treats. Go in the late morning to roam and shop. There are several places to choose from; anything from Taylors Refresher (burgers) to The Slanted Door (amazing Vietnamese) to a Tzar Nicoulai caviar bar and the Wine Merchant. Local breads and Cowgirl Creamery are also fun stops. I love the Ciao Bella Gelateria.

      1. I posted these for someone else- my suggestions

        Tartine- on 18th Street, great bakery and good coffee
        Croissant, Frangipane Croissant with brandy and almonds
        Pain au Chocolat with Scharffen Berger Chocolate

        500 Presidio Ave (Cross Street: California Street)
        Always a line but well worth the wait, one of the best breakfast places.

        You could go to the Ferry Plaza on Sat. several vendors have good breakfast dishes and get Blue Bottle coffee at their stand. We often do this on a Sat before shopping the farmers market.

        Zuni is good for lunch
        Swans Oyster Depo on Polk @ California street- best crab, oysters, I have been going here for 17 yrs. never get tired of it
        Saigon Sandwich Shop. 560 Larkin St (Cross Street: Eddy Street) BBQ pork Vietnamese sandwich about $3.50 super good

        Tadich Grill
        240 California St (Cross Street: Front Street- historical place, gold rush days.. I like sitting at the counter and getting the crab louey, good crab cakes.

        Mission neighborhood
        Bar Tartine-561 Valencia, very pretty place great food, lot's of good wines by the glass
        Dosa- Southern Indian on Valencia/21st street

        Above union square
        Bar Crudo
        603 Bush St (Cross Street: Stockton Street) excellent crudo, raw fish. Tiny, modern, cozy very San Francisco in my opinion. You can get a drink at the Tunnel Top bar near by an old time SF bar.

        Bong Su- SOMA good Vietnamese.. better than Slanted Door

        If you feel like taking a drive Mankas in the Inverness is spectacular. Here is the website I will let you marinate on this

        Near by Point Reyes Station- Best diner Pine Cone Diner, Cowgirl Creamery, there is the a great bakery in town Bovine Bakery-
        11315 Highway 1
        Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
        All walking distance.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Lori SF

          Unfortunately Bovine Bakery has gone downhill, nothing special about it any more.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I agree that certain things are not as good, like that coffee cake that use to be insane, very moist.. now it's very dry and too sweet. On the other hand we recently stayed up in Tomales and stopped in and had some yummy things like the cheese twist, blue berry scone and jalapenos cheese scone.

            1. re: Lori SF

              If you're in Tomales, Seaweed Cafe in Bodega Bay is a better destination than anyplace in Point Reyes Station.


        2. You must stop by the Farmer's Market in the Ferry Building. Not only is there local produce, bakeries and cheeses, you have an incredible selection of restaurants. Right there at the end of Market Street, in the Embarcadero.

          This will help to guarantee a delicious time in San Francisco.

          1. Such a great eating town....very spread out though. Be prepared to take public transportation/taxis/drive in order to hit a variety of places. Just some highlights that go beyond what you usually read about.

            If you like great French food, try Chapeau! which is a small restaurant located in the Clement neighborhood (near Golden Gate Park). The owners are present and social and create a wonderful Provencal dining experience. Be prepared to spend a few hours here; in the French tradition the courses are not rushed.

            On a recent trip, I visited A16 in the Marina. Also a small restaurant, this has great Sourthern Italian food. Homemade salamis, thin crusted pizza, melt-in-your mouth fresh Mozzarella, perfectly constructed housemade pastas. It is a loud but jem of a restaurant.

            Must check out the Ferry Terminal. Just about any food here is incredible for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Taylor's Freeze (upscale burger joint) serves great Ahi burgers. MIJITA is a taqueria that serves authentic Mexican food right down to the Mexican coke. Their fish tacos are savorly sauced and their pinto beans are warm and yummy. You will also see the abundance of locally available produce grown throughout the San Francisco region. Visit on a morning when the full market is in swing (definetely Saturday and one other day). It is a foodies delight. Both esthetically beautiful and delicious!

            As a side note, check out the food court adjacent to Bloomingdales. It is a great spot for lunch and so many incredible choices not found in your typical food court. Here you can have Thai food, Barbecue (The Buckhorn is my favorite), pasta, burgers, soup, crepes, etc. followed by some indulgent Gelato. There is also a Pete's Coffee which is a nice break from Starbucks.

            I look foward to seeing what other people post since we are within 1 hour of the city.

            2 Replies
            1. re: CharlaK

              Taylor's and Mijita have gotten more negative than positive reports here.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I have not tried the Taylor's at the Ferry Terminal, but I love the original(?) location up in St. Helena.