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Jan 3, 2007 02:39 AM

Help, never been to San Francisco and would love some suggestions of where to eat

I'm going to be in town on business and staying at the Fairmont. All I know is what I've read online, in my AAA guide or seen on the Food Network. I'm not opposed to the touristy type of thing, but would like to eat at some of the places the natives enjoy.

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  1. what kind of food are you looking for?

    2 Replies
    1. I like to try differnt types of cuisine, and I'm really excited about going to Chinatown. In the deep south we don't get a shot at much authentic cuisine unless it's fried or Mexican. I've tried Thai, Japanese, Indian, Veitnamese, Chinese and liked all of them.

      12 Replies
      1. re: bamagirl

        There's great Vietnamese in S.F., but most of the best are not in the most savory of neighborhoods. However, you should do a search on the board for the more upscale Slanted Door, which some people swear by. You'll be close to Chinatown, and though most of the better Chinese restaurants in town are in more residential neighborhoods, you'll probably get some reasonable suggestions. It's not a great Indian food town--most of the action is around San Jose, and I don't think it's a great Thai food town either. Actually, no matter where you go a good Thai restaurant is a needle in a haystack proposition.

        1. re: Peter Cherches

          There are plenty of "just OK" Thai places in SF, but there are definitely a couple worth mentioning. Marnee Thai (23rd & Irving and 9th between Irving and Lincoln) and Mekong (O'Farrell and Larkin)

          Some good Nob Hill spots - Ristorante Milano on Pacific between Hyde and Larkin, Rue St. Jacques, Frascati.

          1. re: mchan02

            Thai House Express in the Castro or the 'Loin are both good for
            Thai too. There are several reports on this board and on

            1. re: Candice

              The Thai House Express at Larkin and Geary is the best.

            2. re: mchan02

              King of Thai Noodle House is really great for Pad See Ew and fried rice. There are a few locations in the city. One is on O'Farrell by Union Square. I am also a big fan of Pakwan (16th street in the Mission district) for Pakistani/Indian--try the tikka masala or saag paneer. PPQ on Irving street has the best green papaya salad with beef-- if you want vietnamese. None of the restaurants I love are big on atmosphere or price.

          2. re: bamagirl

            i'm a huge fan of aux delices on polk - it's more of an upscale vietnamese than the general pho places. try the beef curry in a iron pot. it's my fave dish. and i wouldn't call russian hill an unsafe neighborhood.

            1. re: katg

              That place is good, but I was thinking of the concentration of places in the tenderloin.

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                Yep, Aux Delices is a 3-block walk for me and some dishes are good. But I head to the Little Saigon in the Tenderloin far more often.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Silly question, but what is the Tenderloin besides part of a
                  cow or pig?

                  1. re: bamagirl

                    It's a neighborhood in San Francisco that is just west of Union Square and east of Van Ness Avenue, roughly.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      The term tenderloin was used for a neighborhood in NYC in the 19th century. The S.F. Tenderloin developed after the 1906 earthquake.



            2. re: bamagirl

              As far as great Vietnamese in SF, you can find a couple of wonderful options in Inner Sunset, a safe and walkable neighborhood near the excellent DeYoung Museum and Golden Gate Park, both of which you may wish to visit on your trip. My personal standby for great, affordable Vietnamese is Yummy Yummy on Irving. The bun, pho, and crepes are all very good. The crab looks excellent but I haven't tried it.

              For a more upscale Vietnamese experience, there have been good reports about Dragonfly on Judah between 9th and 10th.

            3. Take time to go to the Tadich Grill on California for lunch or dinner. It's great, have fresh fish or cioppino, a martini and enjoy the oldest restaurant in SF.

              You're on Nob Hill so if you want some fun neighborhood places, read non tourist, try Rue Saint Jacque (Jackson and Taylor) for French bistro food, great cassolet, Luella, wonderful neightborhood place, Frescati, same, neighborhood place, right across the street from Luella.

              If you're by yourself and want a great upscale dinner, head to Boulevard, outstanding food and service, right on the bay. You can eat at the bar or back overlooking the kitchen which is a great seat.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rtmonty

                I second Tadich Grill, but be aware the last they will seat you is 8M. Don't mind the giant mob in front (no reservations) just press your way in and wait for a seat at the loooong counter. Get the Seafood Saute, the panfried Petrale Sole or the Cioppino.

                1. re: coconutz

                  I third Tadich. It hits every "must" --unique SF atmosphere, great food, quirky waiters, and great sourdough. Avoid the crowd, go for lunch and just get the clam chowder and their understated dinner salad. That thing has more shrimp than most shrimp cocktails.

              2. I'm delighted with any information you can give me since I will be there for 10 days

                1. I have a couple culinary friends coming to visit and they have never been to SF.

                  I'm planning to take them to SF Ferry Building to feast their senses: there are stores to shop for, you can smell food, you get something to eat or drink, etc..

                  Here's an NY Times article about it: