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Feb 21, 2008 12:43 PM

Dining alone, Fri night in Union Sq

Bostonian who will be in the city for a night. Sounds lonely, but that's how attending conferences are. Any recommendations for places within walking distance from Sutter/Powell (less than 20 minutes)? How lone-diner friendly are places like Scala's, Cafe Claude, and Canteen (or any other places I should consider)? I'm not a wine drinker (!) so great wine selection isn't a factor. I'm not looking for a crazy singles scene, just a excellent meal to enjoy by myself.

btw, it doesn't have to be european/american cuisine (that just seems to be the kinds of places in Union Square). If there are suggestions, I'd also appreciate bahn mi, pho, HK-style congee/noodle or ramen places with the same walking distance criteria.

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  1. Canteen's hard to beat for a solo diner.


    Cafe Claude's nice but the food's not exciting.

    1. Canteen is ideal for a single diner. Bar Crudo would be great too.

      1. A quiet little spot with a French accent is Anjou Restaurant at 44 Campton Place. It is about a blokc from Union Square.

        1. order in delivery from BKK Thai and watch a bad movie on PPV. If they're still up to par it'll be there before you hang up the phone.

          1. I highly recommend Westfield Mall. Go to the food court at the basement.
            You can order food that is served on real china, flatware, wine serve in glass , beer and you can also pick up some food from the supermarket besides the food court. there are so many seats. after dinner you can either shop or go to the movie ; all under one roof.

            4 Replies
            1. re: foodiemonster

              I hope the OP doesn't go to the mall. Sure, it's all under one roof. And, yes, it's better than your average mall food court. But it's a mall. And it's mall food. And you're surrounded by mall chaos. In the mall basement no less! Why would someone go to a mall basement when they're in one of the best restaurant cities in the country, if not the world?

              OP, you are in the heart of the city in Union Square. You can walk to dozens of excellent "only in San Francisco" restaurants from your location. These include Michael Mina, Canteen, Perbacco, Plouf, Tadich Grill, Aqua, Anjou...the list goes on and on. If you are willing to take a short cab ride, you have literally hundreds of options available to you...without resorting to the mediocre chains in the mall. Please...Just Say No to the mall!

              1. re: foodiesf

                I tend to agree for the most part...and I think Canteen is an excellent choice, and look forward to OPs report. However, for others considering similar options, the one exception a solo diner might want to consider at Westfield Mall is Lark Creek Steak: the counter seats have a great view of the open kitchen and are great for a solo diner (especially if the solo diner is on an expense account).

                By the way, the domed roof at Westfield adds a bit of local character and is worth a peek.

                Lark Creek Steak
                845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              2. re: foodiemonster

                Westfield Mall could be in any big city in the world. Some of the chains are local and there have been reports of some good food but there are few places with less local character. Even Pier 39 at least has a view of the area.

                1. re: foodiemonster

                  Downstairs is Out the Door which is a version of Slanted Door -- good and usually not too crowded