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One Night in San Francisco/Two Nights in Half Moon Bay

Help! My husband and I are heading west (from Durham, NC) and need some wonderful Chowhound input for lunch and dinner. We have a Monday night in San Francisco and Tues/Wed in Half Moon Bay. We're dedicated and interested eaters and would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks so much!

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  1. Love taking newcomers to Boulevard. It's not the fanciest, not the most upscale but it just has something that is outstanding. It's on the bay, can have a good view if lucky. The food and service is excellent especially anthing from the wood fired oven. Try whatever pork dish or lamb dish, you can't go wrong.

    1. Sounds like you have a car. Aziza on Geary would be good for Monday in SF. It is unique, has good prices, unusual drinks and a lot of positive posts on this board. Zuni is also a place I often take visitors. Get the baked chicken.

      Cetrella in Half Moon Bay. If you are riding down the coast there's Duarte's in Pescadero with a lot of interesting nearby places like Harley's Goat Farm (goat cheese ... the goat cheese in olive oil would last on a trip home) and Phipps Country Store that has an amazing selection of beans.

      There's not lots of change in HMB, so if you search the board on Half Moon Bay or HMB you should get alot of hits about the most likely suspects.

      I like San Benito sandwiches for lunch mainly for the fresh baked bread that the sandwiches are made with. I also like Flying Fish Taco for the fish tacos. Both have zero ambiance.

      Cafe Gibralter gets lots of thumbs up, but I've never been.

      Hope you'll report back on what you tried.

      1 Reply
      1. If you have a car - definitely check out Duartes in Pescadaro and even the San Gregorio Gen Store (hwy 84 e.) just 1 mile off the Hwy one - a very interesting place to stop for lunch and maybe hear come west coast bluegrass!

        1. Mezza Luna in Half Moon Bay...

          1 Reply
          1. re: LPCagain

            I second Mezza Luna, although the service can be off sometimes, especially if it's really busy. Try to not get seated in the bar side of the restaurant. Be sure to go down the coast to Duarte's (artichoke soup) in Pescadero and Phipps, just further down the road, for beautiful dry beans.

          2. My daughter lives in Half Moon Bay and our favorite restaurant there is Pasta Moon. Their pumpkin raviolis will melt in your mouth!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kaisgraham

              I second Pasta Moon. Reliable food, huge wine list, great room (with fireplace).

            2. At least swing by the Ritz Carlton for a cocktail! Sit in the conservatory for an hour or two, or if the weather is nice outside sit in the chairs that face the ocean, how wonderfully beautiful the landscape and seascape. You don't have to be a guest to partake and it is fun to watch the golfers.
              I can't swear that the food is the best. We kept it to appetizers, and it was ok, but the ambiance is really something.
              And if you stay, I can't say enough about how lovely the rooms are, but get your checkbook out, it is pricey....
              and Duartes it is just one of those must sees, the cream of green chile soup is soooo good, but no matter what time of day, get the wonderful bloody mary with the dilled green bean!
              It is the best bloody mary I know of!

              Then there is Phipps Country store, you will find any type of dried bean ever known. They have animals on the property sort of a mini zoo, and berries of all sorts. That is also a place to stop and check out.

              1. in HMB, if you like sushi, check out sushi main; up the coast a bit, maybe on your drive, stop at princeton by the sea, a charming fishing port and try the chowder and fish and chips at barbara's fish trap.

                1. Sam's Seafood on highway 1 by El Granada has fresh fresh fish with interesting side dishes, oysters and even lobster!

                  1. Cetrella and Mezza Luna are my votes for dinner,

                    1. And... Rogue Chef...

                      I am always surprised how many people recommend Pasta Moon - I have been there several times, the service was attentive but not professional and the food is just average -American Italian. It lacks the simplicity of "real Italian" (what I like Mezza Luna for).. on the contrary, most of the dishes are overly comples and often the tastes just don't fit (I am of course aware that we are talking tastes and opinions here). I once had ravioli with THREE different kind of meats!!

                      1. Duartes is a must for the artichoke soup at an old school California landmark.

                        I tried Sam's Chowder House last week and would recommend them for a drink and appetizer. It is one of the few restaurants on the water with a great view. The meal we had was less than stellar and the service was poor at best.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Brian

                          Yes, don't miss Duarte's in Pescadero, it's an institution.

                        2. Pasta Moon or Cetrella are good bets for dinner in HMB. Also, for lunch, I highy recommend Tres Amigos tacqueria. delicious!

                          1. When you order the soup at Duarte's, ask for "half and half". Artichoke and green chile side by side, artfully presented in the bowl. The fried smelts are good.