Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 22, 2007 02:38 PM

Will be in SF for 2 nights in Oct, where "must I eat at"?

My wife and I will spending a thursday and friday nite in SF on late OCTober. Looking for Italian or STeakhouse that is a must. ANy suggestions? What is SF famous for food wise, other than sourdough and Rice a Roni? (Yes that was a joke)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Perbacco on California Street is a new favorite of mine. Jardiniere on Franklin Street is great before Symphony, Opera and Balet. And for lunch Anjou just off Union Square is a very nice little french place.

    1. Personally, I don't think having a steak in San Francisco is a "must eat"... the city isn't that well known for steaks. You'd be better off with something a bit more unique... Nuevo Latino, seafood, Asian, etc.

      There are several different SF "famous" food styles, depending on which version of San Francisco you want. Old-school SF would be seafood at Tadich Grill (very simple style, straight-forward, no bold flavors, in a very traditional atmosphere). California cuisine SF would be Myth, and Postrio (one of the original California cuisine spots, owned by Wolfgang Puck). And then each ethnic group has its own picture of "their" SF.

      Too many choices, too little time!


      1. Steak's not a local specialty. Neither is sourdough so much any more.

        I think the following are the things we have here that should be high on most tourists' lists (depends on where you're coming from):

        - Afghan
        - artisanal bread
        - Basque
        - Basque tapas
        - Burmese
        - California (Chez Panisse, Zuni Cafe, etc.)
        - Cal-Italian (Pizzaiolo, Oliveto, Incanto, Dopo)
        - Cal-Moroccan (Aziza)
        - Cambodian
        - cioppino
        - dim sum (lunch only)
        - Ethiopian / Eritrean
        - Ferry Plaza farmers market (Saturday 8am-2pm)
        - Hong Kong-style Chinese seafood
        - Indian pizza
        - Mission-style burritos
        - Neapolitan Italian (A16)
        - Peruvian
        - pupusas
        - sand dabs
        - Sardinian (La Ciccia)
        - Shanghai Chinese
        - Sichuan / Szechuan
        - sushi
        - Thai (Thai House Express @ Larkin & Geary)
        - Vietnamese banh mi (lunch only)
        - wine bars
        - Yucatecan

        Well-known but skippable:

        seafood at Fisherman's Wharf
        soup in sourdough bread bowl
        It's It
        Hangtown fry
        Joe's Special
        Mitchell's ice cream
        Bud's ice cream
        Joe's ice cream

        Current topic on best Italian:

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          thank you for the info. i too am coming to SF end of october for a week. a couple of days in san jose and the rest in san fran. curious about the 'afghan' place.could you elaborate ? will definitely want to do that and also aziza. DH sounds excited too about the food choices.

          1. re: foodwich

            Helmand has been closed due to a landslide but will be reopening soon at a new location at 2424 Van Ness.


            In the meantime there's another place called Kabul City:


            1. re: foodwich

              If you don't mind going to a strip mall halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, Afghan Kabul on El Camino in San Carlos is very good and has a nice decor. It's not related to the one in Sunnyvale which isn't as good. I particularly like the kadu (pumpkin) or the combination plate which includes pumpkin, eggplant and spinach. For meat I prefer their dishes with ground meat mixed with other ingredients (aushak and mantoo) but that may reflect my personal taste more than the quality of the dishes. If you don't get kadu in your main course definitely get a side order.

              1. re: charliemyboy

                I love aushak and manti too, but I'll be honest - I don't think they're very good at Kabul.
                My review from June:

                Their kebabs are good, and it's an ok choice if you happen to be in the area, but I wouldn't recommend making a special trip to go there.

                1. re: daveena

                  Can you recommend an afghan place (preferably on or near the Peninsula) that has aushak and manti you really like? For a really good place Fremont would not be too far.

                  1. re: charliemyboy

                    I wish I could - Kabul's the only Afghani place I've tried in the Bay Area - my favorite places are in Manhattan :(
                    I promise to post if I do find good ones - it's a latent craving that's been surging recently -

          2. I really like Town Hall in SF. I have eaten there many times and I am always very pleased. I agree with the seafood on fishermans comment... not really the best.

            I also really love JUBAN in Japan Center. It is a hibachi place where you grill your own meats and seafood. The quality is impeccable, the amiance is nice... all around a great meal. (have the kobe for sure!)

            In the Ferry Builiding though.. there is a place called Hog Island. My favorite oytsers hands down. (also in SF)

            There is also a place in China town.. i apologize i dnot know the name, I am sure someone here does! It is supposed to be the chinese french laundry?

            If you are willing to drive out of the city (and this place is WORTH IT)
            Consuelos in San Jose (on Santa Row) is divine. Regional mexican food, sort of "Rick Bayless" in its style. Not tex-mex.

            6 Replies
            1. re: coconutgoddess

              There are great eats in San Jose, but I don't think that drive is a great way to spend 2-3 hours of a three-day trip.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                btw do recommend good eats in san jose too. thank you.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    thank you very much. will check it out.

                    1. re: foodwich

                      Robert started a Sunnyvale-Milpitas thread a few months ago that's my current go-to reference for South Bay eats (not sure how familiar you are with the area, but both of them are just north of San Jose):


                      1. re: daveena

                        thanks did check it out. very helpful.

            2. trattoria is absolutely delicious...I eat there every time I am home!! Also, try Betelnut(amazing Asian-influence food) or Cafe Kati.