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Feb 29, 2008 12:35 PM

In town for four days...what can I NOT MISS?

Hi all. I am coming in for a class/conference and I am looking for rec's about where to eat. Here's my situation. I am staying at the Fairmont which I hear is nice and would like to eat at some places that I can walk to from there. I am not that familiar with San Francisco (live in NYC and this is only my second trip there). My company reimburses for food but I don't have an expense account or anything - there are definitely limitations to how much I can actually spend on meals although I don't quite know what it is yet. So erring on the side of caution is how I am treating it. I am hoping for advice on a few different types of things so I can switch it up a bit at night. Any cuisine is fine.
In no particular order, I would like to know about.

1. At least one or two places that I can dine alone at the bar or just have a couple of glasses of wine and some appetizers or something.
2. A laid-back type of place that might be considered cheap-eats without being considered a dive.
3. Some place out of walking distance that you it worth it for me to find a way to get there.
4. Something you consider unique to SF/California that I wouldn't find so easily in NYC.
5. Coffee shop
6. Wine bar

If there are posts that have addressed these types of places, I would also love if you could post the links since sometimes searching Chowhound doesn't always yield exactly what you are looking for. Thanks in advance!

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    1. As an fyi, the Fairmont is at the top of Nob Hill, so unless you love walking up and down hills, you may not enjoy walking places, and not much is truly walking distance if you don't want to tackle the hills. One alternative is to take the Cable Car, which stops right outside, and if you do, then do a search for Union Square, which is not far (but down that steep hill).

      Here is a search to get you started, then ask some questions:

      1. Bar Crudo is only a few blocks away and easily meets requirement #1.

        1. Canteen is fantastic for a solo diner (for dinner or for brunch, if you're around on a Saturday), are both Bar Crudo (near your hotel) and Bar Tartine (not near your hotel, but in a fun and easy to get to area). Incanto would also be great, and SPQR has gotten excellent reports on this board (especially from solo diners).

          1. If you have a Saturday morning free, walk down California St. 10 or so blocks to the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market. Outside stalls and inside shops.
            Suggest taking cable car back up the hill.