Dining alone in SF
Hello SF chowhounds!
I've tried searching, but haven't found much for lone diners. I'm going to be in the SF area on business for a week & need some dining suggestions. I'm staying at the SFO Marriott but I'll be there over a weekend so I'm going to do some SF investigating (plan to check out sights I missed last time--mainly the Castro, North Beach, China Town, the Marina & Golden Gate Park)...so what am I asking? I am asking for suggestions for lunch & dinner around town where I won't feel uncomfortable dining alone & won't break the expense account (the $12-$20 range). I'm definitely going to make a trip to Ferry Marketplace.
I eat anything except Indian. I especially like asian, including sushi.
Oh and one night I will be staying in Vallejo so if you have any recs that would be awesome.
I look forward to seeing your suggestions!!
Thanks so much.
Personally, I would feel comfortable at a busy cafe-style restaurant, perhaps Delfina or Tartine, or a bar-style restaurant, perhaps Tadich Grill. Of course, just about all the sushi joints have a sushi bar, too. I'm not sure if your 12-20 price range will cover alcohol at any of these places. Vallejo can be dicey, so make sure you ask at your hotel before wandering around. It isn't too far up to the town of Napa, which is it what I would do.
Canteen is a great place to dine alone. They have counter seating. Dinner there would be out of your price range, but I think lunch would be doable - brunch is definitely doable in that price range. Wed-Fri, 11:30-2pm and Sat-Sun brunch from 8-2pm.
Swan Oyster Depot (Polk) is Bar Seating and a lot of people eat alone. Not to mention it's a SF Landmark place.
For a "grubbing" lunch, I head to Tommy's Joint on Geary. It's a Hoff Brau, so you grab your food and sit where you like, full bar as well. Lots of fresh cooked meats, including Buffalo. I like their hot pastrami. Not fine dining, but it hits the spot on a foggy summer day.
I also like to dine alone in counter top settings. After struggling with the faux-down home winking of Blue Jay Cafe, I have decided I like it as a place to grab lunch alone when I'm getting my hair did on Divisadero St. Nothing I've had there is *great* but it all rises to the seemingly impossible challenge of being very good: crisp, well salted fried chicken, buttery corn on the cob with cilantro, soft sweet biscuits with butter and honey and a huge slice of watermelon...for just about $6. When you combine the price and the quality, it makes for a nice quick lunch alone.