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Dec 14, 2007 02:52 AM

First time in San Francisco from London


My husband and I are visiting SF for the first time on Dec 19th!

We have one evening meal and one breakfast before we hit the road to start our road trip and love good food....

We're staying at the W San Francisco
181 3rd Street · San Francisco, California 94103 ·

Budget isn't an issue, we love oriental food, american, french, tapas......

Any suggestions for somewhere that I can wow my hubby....
Somewhere with great breakfasts/ bruch would also be good. I've read about Canteen - Are we near this place at all??

Thank you

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  1. Hi, you will be about a mile from CANTEEN. A fair amount of it is uphill.
    If you want to walk through the center of the SF downtown shopping district [Union Sq]
    for touristic purposes, it is reasonable to walk, but if you just want to get some food, you'ld
    best take a cab ... do they have those in London?

    I'm sure some one will recommend Slanted Door [Vietnamese high end] and the Ferry bldg
    [boutique food places]. I personally prefer ethnic food places in various "outer sections"
    of SF ... mexican/tapas in the Mission district, asian in the Richmond district [what's this
    "oriental food" :-)]. There is a tapas place right next to the W, Thirsty Bear, but they are
    a little passe. A lot of people like Bocadillos also downtown ... I didnt think it was that
    exciting... again about 1mi from your location. Near B'dillos, I often meet out of town
    people staying downtown at BIX for a drink. Closer to your homebase, and this is a little
    cheesey and less famous than Top of the Mark, is The View bar at the top of the Marriot, a
    long block away from the W ... nice view of SF at night. Also the bar just up the street at
    the Westin. For a quieter place, The Hidden Vine wine bar is nice ... but this is again
    closer to a mile from your hotel. It actally is a little hard to find, so you need specific direction
    to find it rather than relying on signage.

    If you arent set on Canteen [I've only been for dinner, not b'fast] you might consider
    DEEM SUM at Yank Sing [coming from London, and the with the dollar tanking the way
    it has been, the prices there should be ok for you :-). The Xiao Long Bao is The Standard].
    That is next to the Ferry Bldg, BTW.

    For french, there are lots of downtown "throw money at the problem", multi-hour meal
    type places ... Ritz Carlton Dining Room, Gary Danko etc. Ame [I have not been for dinner]
    is also next door to you and well-regarded by many. I like dropping in at TWO for their
    happy hour snacks and a cocktail. Also trivial walk from the W.

    Given the timing, if I were coming from london and was going to be in town slightly longer,
    I might try for something like an ASIAN CRAB preparation ... crab season now]. Maybe RG
    Lounge [chinese] is an downtown option there?

    Some of your choices may depend slightly on whether you want a quite venue or a
    livlier, people watching type place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: psb

      Asian for the British is Indian for us. Oriental is East Asian for us. OP may want to try R&G Lounge for a very good Chinese food experience within walking distance to her hotel, with a side trip to the first Chinatown in the US.

    2. Just an FYI on Canteen, they don't do breakfast/brunch during the week. T-F they do lunch/dinner (opening at 11:30am), Saturday they do breakfast/brunch and dinner & Sunday it is breakfast/brunch only.

      1. I don't think we're particularly strong in the tapas department.

        Are you adventurous molecular gastronomy/offal types or more classically prepared food lovers?

        If you want to have a real experience, you might consider Jai Yun for dinner, which is quite expensive by the normally discounted standards for Chinese, but the food really is expertly prepared in a multi-course format that's like getting the variety of a banquet in a tasting menu format for 2-6 diners. The style of food is on the aristocratic savory end of the Chinese food spectrum, not spicy. You can spend between $40 and $100 per person, depending on how many courses you want and how special you want the ingredients. Atmosphere and communication may be more difficult at Jai Yun--you just have to put yourself in their hands, but there's an excellent chance you'll get some of the wonderful Dungeoness crab that's in season as part of the menu, which changes daily.

        Aside from Chinese, I think our main strength is californian-Italian food. If you like more classic food, I'd go with Quince if you can get a reservation, if you like edgier food, I would go to Incanto. You can find plenty of information on each by searching the board. Both restaurants have fantastic wine programs. Quince is more international, Incanto is almost exclusively Italian wine.

        Our French is good, but I don't know that eating at the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton would be significantly different from equivalent restaurants in London. I think the same goes for Gary Danko and La Folie, the latter of which I can't recommend after a recent experience.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SteveG

          incanto and quince are both wonderful recommendations. can't go wrong with either one. consider taking mass transit, enjoy some very good food/wine and leave town feeling great about the foreign currency translation.

        2. I would suggest Ame for your dinner - it is in the St. Regis Hotel and very close to where you are staying. You could try canteen for an early lunch before beginning your road trip. Does this mean that you have a car? If so, you could leave it at Union Square garage, walk up to Canteen and leave from the garage. One can definitely walk from your hotel to Canteen, but it would take abit and my sense is that you want to be on your way earlier on Day 2. Getting reservations may be an issue, particularly at this time of year - try using Open Table. Enjoy your visit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dinnerout

            I was thinking Ame as well -- its French-Japanese fusion.

          2. A suggestion to "wow your hubby" (and perhaps yourself?)