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Jan 25, 2007 01:28 PM

Foodie finds near emabrcadero?

I'm visiting SFO for a week, staying near Embarcadero Center and don't have a car. Looking for any little known, not-so-touristy foodie gems. As a former Gotham dwelling omnivore, I really miss hole in the wall ethnic finds. Any recommendations for restaurants or shops is much appreciated.

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  1. Err, that is EMBARCADERO . . .

    1. That's about the worst neighborhood in town for ethnic holes in the wall. Those that exist are mostly open only for lunch weekdays. Theres' not much open in the evening except more or less touristy expense-account places. Your best bet is to take advantage of public transit.

      1. Well for starters you should hit the Ferry Building. You'll find plenty to keep you busy and well-fed. Hog Island Oyster Co. is a definite must. Check out the website here:

        1. You won't find any holes in the wall on the Embarcadero (except Red's Java Hut) -- it's the high-rent district. The Ferry Building Market Hall is right across the street -- it's touristy, but it's a great foodie experience anyway. If you want to experience it like the locals, go at off hours, browse through the markets and pick up some prepared foods, and then go to the wine bar to eat them with a glass or two of wine.

          Don't dispair, though. That area is walking distance to both Chinatown and North Beach, plus you can catch several different kinds of public transit to almost any part of the city and the rest of the Bay Area.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Ok, so what are your favorite spots in C-town or North Beach?

            1. re: piggy

              Chinatown is a great place to graze: walk the streets and check out the various prepared foods, from dim sum to roast duck to Golden Gate Bakery's famous egg custard tarts. If you really like out-of-the-way holes in the wall, you might want to try Utopia Cafe. I like Great Eastern a lot, but I'm not sure what I'd order there as a single diner (okay, I do know: get the Salt and Pepper Crab). Capitol has the best fried chicken wings you'll ever eat, and the rice plates are probably pretty good. You also might want to check out Dol Ho for dim sum and Golden King, Golden Star or Golden Flower for Vietnamese.

              I don't know North Beach at all well, but if you do a search, you'll find more discussions than you'll care to read.

          2. Windy's "month of lunches" posts are a good resource for lunch in the area, but I don't know how to find them with the search in its current state.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Except that there were so few finds downtown!

              Definitely better ethnic holes in the walls toward the Tenderloin (Larkin is filled with treasures) and Mission (Yamo is two blocks from 16th Street BART and is pretty much my definition of ethnic hole int he wall). Or hop BART to Fruitvale for tacos.

              Here are a few of my lunch posts:


              (which links to the previous three months)