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Fog City Diner...is it really that good?

My first trip to San Francisco and everyone says go to the Fog City Diner.
Is it really that good? Or a tradition? Is it a tourist trap?

And, in Napa, is there anything "new & exciting" that New Yorkers may not have heard about yet?

Looking forward to this visit and all the good food!

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  1. I've been to Fog City Diner 3 times in the past two years and all of the meals were great. Good, casual comfort food.

    1. I haven't been for years and years, because the operation changed a bit and started feeling more like a tourist trap, but I used to swear by their lamb sandwich with apricot chutney.

      1. Fog City Diner is one of my favorite places to go for LUNCH, thanks or reminding me, I think I will go tomorrow. I LOVE the Red Snapper sandwich with coleslaw (served lunch time only). The bloody marys are my favorite, served strained with no ice, but nice and chilly and tasty. Mmmmm.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sushi1k

          Hope you report back. This place doesn't get mentioned much. It was a hot spot when it opened decades ago, then there were changes and not so great for a while from what I was reading. Lately I've been reading more positive things

          Fog City Diner
          1300 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

          1. re: rworange

            Yeah, I still like like it. Definitely would only go for lunch, so many other options for dinner. The bloody marys are still quite tasty too.

        2. I haven't been to Fog City Diner in years, but wouldn't recommend it to someone on their first trip to SF. There are so many other great choices. I don't consider it a tradition among locals but others may have a different view.

          Go to Ubuntu in Napa and see what all the talk is about. And report back!


          1. I will dissent on Fog City Diner.... I've eaten there because it was near the office... but I wouldn't even get on a Trolley / Cab / BART to get to it... I don't think anybody should be recommending it to an out of towner.

            1. It's the home of the $15 burger. The food is pretty good. But SF has so much more to offer since the days this place became the focus of a Visa commercial in the 80s.

              Last time I swung by the front window, I came face to face with George Lucas dining in there. And just like Mr. Lucas, Fog City's heyday hasn't been seen since the 1980s.

              1. Its good for kitsch factor if you're a huge fan of "So I Married an Ax Murderer." Otherwise, you'll do much better elsewhere for food.

                1. I've got to agree with Eat Nopal. I go there a lot for lunch because it's near the office and it's great for that, but I wouldn't make a special trip for it and definitely wouldn't list it as a must do spot for an out of towner.

                  1. Would not seem like a trip to San Francisco without dinner at the Fog City Diner. don't let the word "Diner" fool you, it is not inexpensive. The food is really good. I have been goingthere since they first opened. DO MAKE RESERVATIONS!!!!!

                    1. As I mentioned here:


                      I think that it has its place. I end up going there about once a year with picky eaters or people with other such limitations. And it's been successful -- people usually like it.

                      But if you're looking for "new and exciting" in Napa, I would not recommend eating Fog City Diner while you're in the city -- sounds like you have a much more adventurous palate.

                      1. Isn't it part of a chain now? Same people who also own that gawd-awful Caffe Verbena in Oakland? Thankfully, Fog City Diner's food is not half-bad. I like the Cinnamon Vanilla Challah French toast with maple syrup. Absolutely yummy!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: klyeoh

                          I think it was always owned by a restaurant group, but yeah I do recall they were planning to open, or did at one point have another location.