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One Day in SF - What Shouldn't I Miss?

Hello Everyone, I have one day in SF coming up in early Feb. I was lucky enough to get a reasonably priced room at the Fairmont. Walking, cabbing or whatever is not a problem. Where should I eat lunch? Where would be a good place to go for drinks/dinner? What about after dinner? Music. Bar Scene. Whatever. By the way, I am male and 53 years old, but like to think and act young. All types of food are possible and not really over the top prices are preferable. Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. preferences?

    Lunch you could try Canteen or taxi down to Ferry Building and take your pick of lunch items down there - i'm sure there are many links on this board. Slanted Door or some take out at one of the many stalls (even more if your day here is a Saturday).

    Boulevard, Aziza, Alembic, Maverick for dinner (depending on your preference) - perhaps a stop at hidden vine for a glass of wine....

    3 Replies
    1. re: chutney

      Thanks Chutney. As far as preferences, is there something uniquely SF?

      1. re: Attknee

        well the ferry building shouldn't be missed.....you could also try Swan's Oyster Depot for lunch or perhaps someone can suggest a good taqueria in the mission - or there's samovar tea lounge (complete lunch) down by yerba buena which is close to MOMA and yerba gardens for a walk around...

      2. re: chutney

        If it's just one lunch, I'd second the Ferry Building. You'll get to browse/graze, look at stuff and have a choice of places to eat. It's pleasant and safe, although slightly sanitized but that's because it was completely renovated, ground up.

        If I had to choose the "SF" pick in the FB, I'd say Slanted Door and you should be able to get a seat at the bar.

        Among SF'ers it gets up-and-down reviews...but it does epitomize the mid-priced ($20-ish per entre), high quality/well-execute place which is the "sweet spot" in SF dining. There's many other places like this in SF in different variations/cuisines. SD happens to be the Ferry Building and has a cal-fusion/Vietnamese factor.

        A good second but perhaps not-as-SF is Hog Island Oysters...but again, high quality, mid-priced.

      3. If you are in the mood for seafood, I recommend having lunch at the Tadich Grill (200 block of California St.). It is an old-school seafood house that has a long counter, where you will feel very comfortable dining as a single. Order the excellent cioppino or whatever fresh fish is available grilled that day.

        It is not a far walk from Tadich to the Ferry Building, which is worth a visit even if you are not eating there.

        5 Replies
        1. re: DavidT

          >I recommend having lunch at the Tadich Grill (200 block of California St.)<

          I couldn't agree more. If you only have one day and want to experience the real San Francisco, at least the the-way-it-was San Francisco, you shouldn't miss Tadich.

          1. re: Mick Ruthven

            Tadich menu did not say their fresh salmon was farmed; I just assumed it was wild. (Salmon was in season then.) I remembered to ask when it was served and the waiter said farmed. I think they should state this on the menu. Petrale, Sand Dabs, shellfish platter, better bets. They are closed on Sunday and if you don't want to wait for a table (no res.) go for a late lunch or early dinner - they don't close in between lunch and dinner.

            1. re: walker

              OK. I will give it a try and report back when I return. I feel the same way about farmed salmon so I think I will try something else that looks good.

              1. re: Attknee

                One more vote for Tadich. Good food, old San Francisco classic ambience.

                1. re: Attknee

                  salmon won't be in season in February, so if it is on the menu then, it is almost certainly farmed (or previously frozen). Crab, OTOH, is in season and cioppino would be an excellent choice at Tadich.

          2. You shouldn't miss this link about how to get the best response to your post
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/469166

            In that area 1550 Hyde would be a good choice. Very San Francisco vibe, good food and the cable car runs right in front of it.
            http://www.chow.com/places/4512

            As someone mentioned the Tadich/Ferry Bulding combo for lunch. You can take the cable car there from the Fairmont.

            The Trappist in North Beach is a new Belgium Beer bar in North Beach that might be interesting ... again ... cable car to North Beach.

            Hope you will report back about what you ate and how you liked it.