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Visiting SFO-don't want to be disappointed!

s
spuyten Oct 1, 2007 11:31 AM

Hi. We'll be visiting San Francisco from Philadelphia in a few weeks and want to eat some great food. Seems like everytime we come to visit we get steered toward loud tourist traps with so-so food. Would someone please list a few places that maybe aren't known by everyone that offer yummy food? Atmosphere not too important. Coming from Phila, we can skip Italian places. Asian places most welcome. Vague criteria - just tell me where you go when you're sort of out of ideas for yourself. What are your standbys for good food? Staying at the W Hotel but willing to travel in a cab. Thanks!

  1. Ruth Lafler Oct 1, 2007 11:37 AM

    There are variations on this question several times a week on this board, so it might help to scan through the last few days of topics.

    The other thing that might help is telling us what "loud tourist traps" you tried that you didn't like. That will give us a better idea of what you might or might not like. Generally, the more specific you are, the better recommendations you'll get, as will telling us how long you'll be here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
      rworange Oct 1, 2007 07:10 PM

      In addition to searching the board for many similar queries, you might check out some of these restaurants
      http://www.chow.com/places/regions/1

      Hmm, looking at the one place you commneted on in your area, you might like Chapeau a lot. The food is good and the owner is one of the most pleasant people I've ever met. It is French, so probably not anything you can't get in Philly.

      Aziza is often mentioned for visitors. Breakfast joints that most people like are Mama's and Dotties True Blue. I'm a fan of TownsEnd's breakfast which is nearish W. BTW, skip the food at W. If you are here on Saturday morning be sure to stop by the Farmers Market at Ferry Plaza. Two restaurant is near you and gets positive mentions, but not sure if it is what you would be looking for. There's a Vietnamese restaurant at the corner of Third and Folsom ... a block from your hotel, but it is upscale-ish. Whatever you do, do NOT eat at Canton which is nearby ... oh, I know ... B&M Mei Sing is on 2nd. I always liked it when I worked in that area. It is not the pinacle of Chinese food but is nearby and an inexpensive lunch. Don't order off the steam table, order from the menu.

      Wherever you go, hope you will report back. It helps keep info fresh and it gives us an idea of your food preferences.

    2. Robert Lauriston Oct 1, 2007 11:39 AM

      You might also look at topics on the Moscone area (where that hotel is)--scroll down and look for topics with lots of replies.

      http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

      FYI, around here "SFO" means strictly the airport and environs.

      1. ChowFun_derek Oct 1, 2007 02:55 PM

        Also...when you say "Italian" are you referring to "red sauce", Southern-Italian/American food?
        Because we don't have these...our Italian is for the most part Northern Italian (think Polenta risotto etc. or "Italian" regional cooking.....(Naples, Sicily)

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChowFun_derek
          Robert Lauriston Oct 1, 2007 02:56 PM

          Or Cal-Italian.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            ChowFun_derek Oct 2, 2007 08:54 AM

            Good term Robert...very accurate! "Cal-Italian"!

        2. r
          RYP Oct 2, 2007 11:48 AM

          The highlight of our recent trip was the Ferry Building (best on a Saturday morning). We ate oysters at Hog Island and the Ferry Plaza Seafood Restaurant, had Sourdough from Acme, bought cheese from Cowgirl -- and don't get me started on the goodies from the outside vendors (I dream of the fresh figs).

          The other highlight was dim sum at Yank Sing. Expensive but the best dim sum I have ever experienced.

          And thanks to everyone on this board, we knew not to spend time at the Wharf (total tourist trap).

          1 Reply
          1. re: RYP
            b
            Bananna A. Oct 2, 2007 12:08 PM

            We just ferried visitors from out-of-the-county around SF, and they begged us to go to the wharf. Ugh. At least we got to see the barking seals, and we went late enough in the evening on a very cold day that we missed most of the annoying tourist "entertainers"/pickpockets. If only everyone would belive SFers when we say "No! Please not the wharf area!"

            Thank you for not feeding the wharf-trade.

          2. f
            foodie909 Oct 2, 2007 11:54 AM

            Incanto on Church Street (1550 Church) Jcar will take you right there.
            Burma Star, Chapeau! and a whole plethora of restaurants on Clement Street - that would be different than any Philly neighborhoods!

            1. g
              Giselle Oct 2, 2007 12:00 PM

              Try Koh Samui on 4th and Brannan. It meets your criteria! Also you may consider Piperade which is a healthy walk up Embarcadero. I may be shouted out of here but I find Ferry Building getting touristy especially on Saturdays.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Giselle
                larochelle Oct 2, 2007 12:15 PM

                "getting" touristy? Its been getting more tourists since it moved to the tourist convenient Ferry Building location -- but everything is relative, its a lot less obnoxious than Fisherman's Wharf. Its still a cool place to visit and a good, if pricy, resource for locals.

                1. re: Giselle
                  s
                  spuyten Oct 2, 2007 12:46 PM

                  Thanks for the suggestions. Will do my research and report back!

                  1. re: spuyten
                    sparkplug Oct 2, 2007 06:09 PM

                    Here's a link to my recent trip report. I researched this board for about 5 months to make sure I didn't make any bad food choices, and it definitely paid off. Have fun! http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441683

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