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First time to the area

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Hounds-
Im going to be traveling to the bay area all the way from Baltimore the last week of May and would like to enlist your help. I would love suggestions for breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner. Nothing too pricey but stuff that I really shouldnt miss. I am open to all types of cuisine and I know yall will steer me away from the tourist traps (why i love this site). My hotel is in Nob Hill but I will have a rental car. Im also going up to Sonoma for a night if anyone has any rec's for that as well. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Well, you should really do a search. One thing that is great about SF is that many of the best restaurants no main course is more than $25. I haven't been to all of these places, but to many. If you do a search you will find broad approval for: Aziza, A16, La Caccia, Delfina, Perbacco, Range, Slanted Door, Luella, nopa -- none of which are terribly expensive. I always send people to Zazu when they visit Sonoma -- it is one of the best restaurants in the area, very casual, and really has a Sonoma vibe going.

    1. Koh Samui ( Brannan and 4th) if you like Thai, Plouf for French, Piperade for Basque, Mo Mo's for American ( across from Ball Park) Delancey St has Crossroads for a nice brunch and you can take it outside. Scalas (on powell) is $ but great. For lunch walk to Ferry Building and along Embarcadero. Driving in SF is not easy, since pedestrians think they have the right of way and there are 20 signs to read downtown at any one corner! But dining is worth it. ( If you are interested in esoteric menus like Gary Danko and Michael Mina, my recommendations arent for you.) Have fun

      1 Reply
      1. re: Giselle

        Thank you both for all the suggestions. I will check all of them out online and try and come to some conclusions. I love thai food and have heard that the asian cuisine in the area is unbelievable. everything else sounds great too though of course. if driving isnt very easy, whats the best way to get around the city? Im not opposed to walking, i just understand that the terrain is very hilly.

      2. I would agree with whiner that Perbacco, A16, and Delfina are not to be missed. All of those places serve contemporary regional Italian food. A table can be hard to book so better reserve your table now.

        Ebisu is good for Japanese in the city. PPQ Dungeness Crab (Vietnamese) in the Sunset area of SF is very tasty and less expensive than Slanted Door, which can be more style than substance sometimes. But the interior of Slanted Door IS beautiful and there's a lovely view of the Bay. If you're a real foodie you can try and do Slanted Door for lunch at the Ferry Building and enjoy the Farmer's Market beforehand on a Saturday morning. It's a real experience. There are lots across the street so you can park there. Enjoy!

        1. For breakfast/brunch don't miss Dottie's True Blue Cafe on Jackson Street just down the street from Nob Hill. The made in-house muffins and scones are the stuff of legends. The place has all of the usual breakfast fixings but the real treats are to be found on the daily specials board. Whatever you order will be beautifully prepared and delicious to eat.

          1. I know it's across the bay in Oakland, but Mama's Royal Cafe on Broadway and 41st in my opinion is not to be missed!! But try to go during the week or go early and expect to wait quite a while if you go on Sat or Sun

            1 Reply
            1. re: Natiya

              Has Mama's gotten better? I didn't like it a decade ago when it was the hot spot to eat. I can't imagine telling someone to cross the bay to eat at Mama's.I live in the East Bay and won't eat there. What do you like so much about it? I might give it another try if it improved.

              In SF

              Breakfast
              - Another Mama's --- in Washington Square
              - Townsend
              - Boulette's Larder (kind of light though)