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??
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.
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.
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.
Try Zuni, for excellent California Cuisine (this may satisfy your request for "American", which actually is a hugely broad category).
Our local cuisine is based on simple preparations and flawless execution of dishes featuring seasonal, local produce and meats. It's a style that was popularized by Chez Panisse, also worth trying if you don't mind venturing to Berekely. But closer to the W is Zuni, and it's fantastic.
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
if the point is to be adventurous, see the city, and have a good brunch at the same time, try making a trip out to fort mason and eat at greens restaurant, theres some little shops there, you can walk around the harbor and see the golden gate bridge.
my personal opinion is very few downtowny expensive places are really any good, i promise you wont be wowed at all. ya i promise, europe has way better fancy restaurants than here.
for your american food request, you'll be pretty close to mels diner, at 4th and mission, so that could be easy to complete. they also have breakfast. its not like omg wow or anything though.
by the way, san francisco has lots of neighborhoods each which has a few decent places, so a little rambling around the city would good. so like if you wander into china town, and do that whole tourist scene, i recommend brandy ho's. it's the best experience when you order up a whole bunch of dishes...after you've had a long day walking around.