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Great food at mid-range prices?

Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 07:49 AM

Just discovered ChowHound yesterday....fantastic...so many generous folks out there with great suggestions!

I'm going on first vacation with the new boyfriend. Will be in San Fran for Labor Day weekend. Spending Cdn dollars so am looking for most of our meals to be in mid-range restaurants ($7-8 for appetizer; $12-18 for main). Really want to avoid the tourist traps! We're partial to Asian food (vietnamese, sushi, chinese) but also love Italian, a good steak, and 'californian fusion'.

Would welcome suggestions for Sonoma/Napa; Carmel, Big Sur & Santa Barbara as well....as we'll spend the rest of our two weeks travelling.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. PeterL RE: Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 08:08 AM

    Ruth, Canadian dollars are not that much lower than US dollars these days. But SF and Napa are both relatively expensive. $12 to $18 mains are consider mid to low price. You can get pretty inexpensive Vietnamese and Chinese food here in that range.

    1. Carrie 218 RE: Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 08:45 AM

      Must concur Peter - a $12 to $18 main course is very much an anomaly.

      However I would recommend Aziza for a single blow-out meal - a $50 prix fixe will get you an amazing soup, a great appetizer, a b'stilla, an entree of your choice, and a stunning dessert. It is seriously the best deal in town for the quality of food being served.

      1. m
        mchan02 RE: Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 10:02 AM

        my favorite sushi place (both for freshness and for price) is Sushi Zone at Pearl and Market. The only problem is you have to get there early and put your name in. My method: 1) put my name in, ask how long it will be 2) go across the street to the Orbit Room (Laguna & market) for a cocktail 3) call to check on the status

        For great and cheap Vietnamese, try Bodega Bistro in Little Saigon. For Italian, Ristorante Milano on Russian Hill or Incanto in Noe Valley are both excellent (Ristorante Milano is solid, homemade pasta and a nice quiet atmosphere- Incanto can be more bustling, and the food is a step above milano, but that's also reflected in price)

        For great Chinese, you should go to the Richmond District. I always end up at Spices II, but I'm sure others will chime in about other good places out there.

        for some reason only a few of these will link

        Ristorante Milano
        1448 Pacific, San Francisco, CA 94109

        Sushi Zone
        1815 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        1. Carrie 218 RE: Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 10:13 AM

          Actually, for a $12 to $18 main, consider Burma Superstar - definitely on the interesting level and more affordable for something truly different.

          1. Robert Lauriston RE: Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 11:00 AM

            $12-18 for a main dish is lower than the good mid-priced restaurants here charge, e.g. Incanto's mains are $17-22, La Ciccia's $20-22, Aziza's $18-24.

            The nicest places I can think of in your stated range:

            Angkor Borei (Cambodian)
            Bodega Bistro (Vietnamese with a few French dishes)
            Helmand (Afghan; won't be open at its new location in time)
            Mandalay (Burmese)
            Maykadeh (Persian)

            Lots more cheap good places, mostly zero-atmosphere:


            1. k
              kresge86 RE: Canadian_Ruth Aug 15, 2007 12:08 PM

              A few suggestions that aren't too expensive:

              1. Ton Kiang for dinner or dim sum.
              2. Michelangelo's for Italian in North Beach (touristy area, but not a tourist trap restaurant).
              3. Tawan for great Thai food in the Richmond district.
              4. Chow or Park Chow (if you like dessert, try the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream).
              5. La Vie for good Vietnamese in the Richmond district.
              6. Gaspare's for friendly, family-run Italian food in the Richmond district. Try the Bruce's Special pizza. Yummy.

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