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1 day in San Francisco- food must haves

Eating my way through San Fran this Monday,

I'd like to sample as much as I can in one day with an emphasis on inexpensive food that ral San Fran folks like to eat. Recommendations/specific eateries are appreciated. I have abitmore of a budget for dinner but would like to keep it on the cheap in the daytime. A few ideas:

good burritos
dum sum

thanks so much!


I am staying in union sq but am willing to travel all over the city.

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  1. burritos: my favorite (although you can get them cheaper and larger elsewhere) is La Taqueria at 25th and Mission
    dim sum: Koi Palace (in Daly City)
    seafood: Ame for the sashimi and the sake marinated black cod
    italian: Perbacco

    1. How are you getting around? If you only have one day, then the difficulty in getting to a place, or from place to place, is an important factor.

      1. burritos, take a look at: http://www.burritoeater.com/main.php

        If you don't want to travel to the Mission, try Taqueria Cancun at 6th and Market. 6th is a little bit hairy but if you stay on Market you'll be fine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          It's not hairy in the daytime, though. ;)

          1. re: jsteingarten

            Totally agree. :) It's not hairy to me at night, or by other big city standards, but I'm considering travelers.

        2. Where are you coming from? "Must haves" vary depending on what you can get at home. This topic's a good place to start:


          1. If you want a wide selection to "sample" from and don't need a sit-down place, I'd recommend the Ferry Building. Yes, it's super-duper touristy, but you know what? There's a reason for it. If nothing ELSE, you need to hit up Acme Bread there--it's also very affordable (I walked 1 hour and ~2 miles out of my way at 8 AM yesterday for bread.)


            1 Reply
            1. re: Pammeh

              well, if you're going to be in the Ferry Building anyway, make sure to stop by Frog Hollow Farms for some fruit and pastry.

            2. Two things:

              Sourdough bread

              (preferably together)

              1. Assuming you are doing nothing but eating non-stop ...

                Starting in Union Square ....

                - Stop by Dottie's True Blue Cafe for a freshly baked scone, muffin or coffee cake.

                - Walk down to the Blue Bottle Cafe for a cup of the house-roasted beans brewed in a $20,000 coffee machine from Japan

                - Walk or take the street car down Market street and stop at the Palace Hotel on New Montgomery Walk across the street to the Sentinel for a fabulous sandwich, soup or dessert (take out only). The chai is supposed to be terrific

                Walk down Mission to Yank Sing in the beautiful Old Post Office building. Order the xlb and an order of sesame balls While not inexpensive, you are only having two dishes there

                Walk a block over to the Ferry Building

                Stop by Boccalone Salumeria for whatever is being offered that day. Maybe see if anything on Mijitas's Mexican menu appeals. The meatball soup is supposed to be good. Have some oysters at Hog Island ... and sure ... the clam chowder. As long as you are in the building, check out Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery', Boulette's Larder, Out the Door, and Frog Hollow. Maybe stop for a glass of wine at the Wine Merchant.

                Maybe stop at Tadich for some sand dabs or cioppino.

                Go over to North Beach (cable car, street car, etc) and stop by Liguria Bakery and pick up some foccacia. This is the only thing this place makes. It has not changed a thing since it opened in the early 1900's ... not the shop, not the foccacia, not the family ... ok ... they got a new cash register in the 1990's. A huge sheet will be little more than $2. Ask for it cut into slices.

                Walk down the street to XOX truffles and get a free truffle with a cup of Graffeo coffee that is roasted across the street.

                Walk through North Beach to Grant Avenue and Chinatown and have a custard tart and baked bbq pork bun from Golden Gate Bakery

                Walk back to Market Street and grab a street car to the Mission. It isn't a burrito, but stop by Poc-chuc for some wonderful and reasonable Yucatan food

                Walk up Mission to 24th and walk up that street

                Some places to consider along that route: El Farolito, Taqueria San Jose, Taqueria Cancun, El Toyanese ... oh ... I suppose others will chime in with their favs. As long as you are in the Mission, stop over at Tartine for a pastry followed by an ice cream at Bi-Rite creamery.

                Take the street car back to your hotel and freshen up for dinner take advantage of happy hour at the wonderful new Orson

                Walk up the street and finish the day at Coco500 ... just because I like Coco500

                Waddle back to the hotel and post about what you ate.

                5 Replies
                1. re: rworange

                  I'm so stealing this itinerary for our next trip!

                  1. re: rworange

                    Thanks so much rworange, that's a great itinerary!! Can't wait to try everything in SF.

                    1. re: Ani

                      Great itinerary. I would suggest, though, that you do it in reverse -- since it's Monday you can hit Hog Island at the Ferry Building for their $1 oysters at Happy Hour (5-7). If you're there right at 5 you should miss most of the crowd and also still have time to toddle down to Orson for the rest of Happy Hour (5-7).

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        If you get to the Hog Island Happy Hour right at 5, the crowd is massive and you can often wait for a while to get seated. Show up at at least 4:45, or get there on the late (6:30 or so) side.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          The last few times I've gone to Happy Hour at Hog Island, I've gotten there between 4:30 and 4:45, and still had to wait at least 30-45 minutes to get a table for 2-3. And that was before summer tourist season.

                          I think it's a wonderful spot, and I always take visitors there, but happy hour might not work on a tight itinerary.

                    2. Just in case you weren't aware, I've had friends come into town looking for burritos and didn't know they were rather large. I would keep the burrito towards the end of the day so you might feel inclined to get half of it to go... If you eat a burrito (an entire one) mid day, you might not want to keep eating.

                      1. where i eat:
                        - Taqueria Cancun (on Mission)
                        - Saigon Sandwich
                        - Pakwan
                        - Bill's
                        - Panchita's #3

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: malachi

                          Those are pretty good. No one has mentioned Panchita's #3 for a while.

                          Saigon Sandwich Shop
                          560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                          Taqueria Cancun
                          2288 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          501 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102