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NY'ers visiting San Fran

We are taking a last minute trip to S.F. this coming weekend. We love anything yummy (without too much cheese). We especially love "local flavor" -- white table cloths are not critical. Any suggestions for lunch/brunch and dinner? I found great things about Pacific Cafe. Also made a reservation at Town Hall. Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks so much.

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  1. Do you have a certain budget in mind? Are you sticking to the city itself, or would you travel outside the city? That'll help narrow down the bazillion options out here.

    BTW, the Town Hall creators opened a new place calle Salt House in the same area. The latter is getting better reports.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sgwood415

      Hi - we are staying at The Four Seasons. We're happy to travel for food. Budget not so important, but again like quality/consistent food rather than fine dining. Thanks for the Salt House tip - will look into it.

      1. re: grocerytrekker

        Here ya go ...

        ### Perfect Days in San Francisco

        Be sure to report back about where you ate and how you liked it.

    2. Town Hall has gone down hill. Used to be one of my favorite spots, now I avoid it. I'd hit Slanted Door, Ame, Range for 3 different but pretty SFy styles of cooking.

        1. We loved breakfast at Dottie's True Blue Cafe, on Jones. There is usually a wait on the weekends but it's worth it!

          1. Get a mission burrito for lunch. The usual recs are: La Taqueria, El Faralito, Cancun, LaCumbre and Pancho Villa. If I missed any, I'm sure a hardcore burritophile will jump in and set things straight. Do a search however -- most taquerias do one or two things well and the rest are only so-so with the rest.

            1. Some other popular places are: Chapeau, Myth, and Range. Hm...for local flavor, I guess Delfina.

              1. I vote nay on Pacific Cafe, mainly because the food is not all that special. I went Friday night and waited over an hour, had the expensive lobster tail and it did not have much flavor. I don't understand the big draw -- is it the free white wine while you wait? For tourists, be aware that it's at least 15 minutes from Union Square.
                Slated Door is wonderful, see if a res. is avail. Everything is great and their fish is always extremely fresh.
                Last week, I tried Kokkari for the first time -- really wonderful. Upscale Greek, gorgeous with high ceilings, I had a wonderful waiter. There were 3 choices of really fresh fish, my friend had their excellent lamb chops. Be sure to get one of the apps that includes their homemade pita -- they take res, too. I can't wait to go back. It's about a 5 min cab ride from your hotel.

                7 Replies
                1. re: walker

                  Thanks so much everyone. Walker, I made a res at Kokkari - it looks fantastic, just what we're looking for. We'll nix Pacific Cafe. We are going to be there this Thursday - Sunday, and Slated Door is of course booked...we will try the bar route...oh well, that's what you get for last minute planning! Range also looks interesting. To Grocery Trekker I was simply abbreviating (see NY'ers as well) and meant nothing bad towards your city - these boards are the place to abbreviate.
                  Thanks again everyone - I will report back.

                  1. re: gramercyfoodie

                    It's just that it sounds foreign that way.
                    A good abbreviation is SF.

                    Also check out Belden place (B44 or Plouf), which is within walking distance of your hotel.

                    1. re: grocerytrekker

                      I had a very mediocre paella at B44 last week and some of the slowest service. Are there better dishes I should be ordering?

                      1. re: chaddict

                        My favorite dishes at B44 are the xato, mushrooms, arros negra, romescada, baccala amb samfaina, and rabbit.

                      2. re: grocerytrekker

                        I'd skip Plouf. There are better options from other recommendations here that will be a more SF flavor and experience. Plouf is mediocre to decent French bistro. Not bad, but there are a thousand places like it in NY. You'll have a better SF experience at Slanted Door and the others.

                        1. re: sgwood415

                          Slanted Door is a good suggestion.

                          I mentioned Belden Place after Kokkari came up.
                          I do prefer B44 to Plouf. Plouf used to be much better about 6 years ago.

                          I offered Belden Place because of proximity and surprisingly good food. Plus the atmosphere, while "European", is now very much San Franciscan. I don't know of a single street in NYC which looks like it.

                          I used to frequent Plouf when I first came to San Francisco to live (Noe Valley). Then I saw it slide a bit. A few months ago, I did have a good stuffed trout with forbidden rice pilaf, all lemony and buttery goodness. A nice glass of ricard before the meal. But I do agree, OP should try the others first.

                          New York does have quite a few French bistros, but when I lived there, food of choice was either new American or Italian (plus delis and other cheaper options). Even Italian, I keep expecting greatness, and I keep getting disappointed. I was slightly disappointed with Ama (Pugliese) in October. I think New York wins in numbers, but less often than you'd think in quality, in my humble opinion.

                      3. re: gramercyfoodie

                        Yes, I think you'll really like Kokkari - ask for a seat where you won't feel the draft from the doorway. Also, I did not care for the greens "horta" that came with my fish -- next time I'll ask for potatoes, instead. (My daughter liked them ok out of the doggie bag, tho.) If you can, get Christopher as waiter, he was perfect, in my opinion.
                        Try to get to Slated Door BEFORE they open. I love the Imperial Rolls, fish, shaking beef is a must if you eat beef. Kathy Walker.

                    2. Since you're going to be here over the weekend, I would strongly recommend that you visit the Ferry Building Marketplace and Farmers Market on Saturday morning (that's when the outdoor farmers market takes place) for breakfast, brunch and/or lunch.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nancy Berry

                        Thanks so much everyone - will report back!