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"hip & casual" near hyatt embarcadero / union square- dinner & drinks

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We (recently moved to south bay) are hosting out of town friends (from philly) for one night of dinner & drinks in SF. They will be staying at the hyatt on embarcadero and we will be at the mosser near union square. I have scoured the boards and have more links and recommendations than I know what to do with- so I thought I would ask for direct advice!

We are looking to stay centrally located to either of our hotels or somewhere in between- short cab rides are ok, driving and public transportation are not.

When asked what they wanted to do I got "hip & casual". My ideal situation would be somewhere we could sit for awhile for drinks and late dinner and then have somewhere not too far to go for drinks after. Mostly beer & wine drinkers. Late 20's, with some disposable income. Foodies- but not looking for cloth napkins or taqueria on the other end of the spectrum. We naturally gravitate more towards hipster divey bars than lounges or "hot" night spots. SO! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Also since I am asking...we are hitting up the MOMA the next day- any lunch/breakfast recommendations near the mosser/MOMA?

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  1. Lunch-wise for MOMA, I heartily recommend Samovar Tea Lounge -- I know they have changed their menu slightly in the past few months but I was there on New Year's Eve and the Indian lunch (sans a little dessert pudding) was still lovely and I don't need dessert anyway. It is a 2-minute walk through the Yerba Buena Gardens and so understated and lovely.

    For you "hip and casual" meal, I think Bar Crudo might be what you want. Unfortunately, the Hyatt Embarcadero is too close to Fisherman's Wharf to provide what you need -- a bit too touristy (even for Philly folks).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Carrie 218

      thanks for the lunch tip- that was not even on my radar and looked great :)

      Bar Crudo was one of the places on my maybe list as well-- I am starting realize that the area is a little limiting :)

      thanks!

    2. Slanted Door has great drinks, and would fit some of your descriptors other than having a place not to far to go for drinks afterwards. Canteen is a tiny place nearby with great food, but you'll have to go elsewhere for pre drink meals. I agree on Bar Crudo, but there's not much fun in that general area. If you widen your area a bit (and really, San Francisco isn't all that big), you'll have a lot more options for both dinner and afterwards. Nopa was my first thought when I saw "hip and casual" but I'm not sure what else is in that area, you can always go back toward your hotels for places to get a drink later. A16 would be great, and you might be able to get a reservation (depending on when your night of dining is) especially since you want to dine on the late side, and there are lots of places to go for drinks afterwards in that area. If you wanted to head towards the Mission (where you will find more hipster divey bars than you could ever imagine!) Bar Tartine or Foreign Cinema would be good (the former recommended more so than the latter) and the cab ride back home wouldn't take all that long. I hope you have a fun night!

      3 Replies
      1. re: JasmineG

        thanks! we are definitely ok with shortish cab rides- and the mission is the only place in SF I DO know! But I get the impression since we wont be getting to our hotels till at least 8:30 then starting the night that less traveling is good. I will pass your recommendations along to the group and see what they think!

        1. re: ohrachael

          How about Cortez? (jones and geary)........or le colonial?

        2. re: JasmineG

          Canteen and Bar Crudo both have nearby bars that fit the OG's descrip. Tunnel top (Bar Crudo literately next door) and Bakus Kirk or Zeki's (Canteen). And plenty more I'm sure that don't come immediately to mind.

        3. Third the rec for Bar Crudo. It's on of those hip and delicious neighborhood gems that will always wow visitors. Order the chowder. Great list of bottled beers designed to pair with the food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Another vote for Bar Crudo. And if you don't mind a short walk there are plenty of bars in the 'Trendy-loin' - Rye, the Ambassador (both will be loud and packed on the weekends though) the Hidden Vine (nice wine bar) Cantina

          2. Near the MOMA, for lunch, you can do far worse than Bong Su. Everything else decent takes you a bit out of your way. It's a little more upscale than you mentioned, but for lunch the price is right. It's a slanted door analog.

            Across the street from Bong Su is Chaat Cafe, which is faster and more informal, but still fun, depending on how rare chaat is in your diet.