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casual italian with teens

hi-I'll be visiting SF soon and would like to invite my son at stanford and a few of his friends to come to the city and buy them dinner. Any ideas as to what would be fun and good food? I was leaning to italian but am open to suggestions. I'd like to be able to make a reservation for 6 people. thanks!

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  1. Joey & Eddie's in North Beach would be a good spot for 6 people...dishes are served family style and is quite the bang for your buck.

    Tommaso is my favorite Italian in North Beach but they don't take reservations. If you don't mind risking it and/or possibly waiting a while for a table you might want to give them a shot.

    1. If you want to keep it logistically easy down in Palo Alto, students generally think that Il Fornaio is pretty stellar compared to what they're used to. It's levels above the Buca di Beppo they probably hit on group date nights. ...from one who has been there...

      1 Reply
      1. re: orezscu

        Keeping it in Palo Alto is a good idea. However, I'd suggest La Strada as it has better food. I also had a nice meal recently at Vero but Strada seems to have a livelier atmosphere as it is right on University with tables branching to the sidewalk.

      2. Your son and his friends will be excited to come to SF for dinner, no reason to keep it in Palo Alto. Foreign Cinema isn't Italian, but it's a good place for a group, and it's in a fun part of the city for college students and the food is good. Very different from Italian food, but I think that Slanted Door is good for a group -- lots of variety, food is served family style, good options for vegetarians, and the food is good. It's pretty loud, but it's a good treat your kid's friends kind of place.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JasmineG

          thanks for all the input so far. I will need to be in the city so appreciate suggestions for SF. I'll keep palo alto ones in mind for the future though.

          1. re: JasmineG

            I second Foreign Cinema for this group. It's a unique experience to sit outside and watch the film on the way and the food is solid.

            Report back!

          2. A16 would be my first choice. Unique in its exclusive emphasis on Southern (Italian) dishes. Also, young crowd, so they won't feel out of place at all. (I'd say 75% of the people there on any given night are 21-39 with equal distribution.)

            http://www.a16sf.com/home.html

            Another option would be nopa. It is very loud but also very good and a lot of fun. (Also, younger than average crowd.

            )

            http://www.nopasf.com/

            Delfina is more traditional great Northern Italian restaurant. Also quite a bit of fun.

            http://www.delfinasf.com/

            And I'll second the Slated Door reccomendation, though I'm not 100% certain you want to do the 'family style dining' type thing for this.

            http://www.slanteddoor.com/

            6 Replies
            1. re: whiner

              Yeah, A16 and Nopa are also great ideas, I thought about recommending Delfina, but it seems like it would be a little cramped for a party of six, but then I haven't been in a while.

              1. re: JasmineG

                Yeah,

                I agree that A16 and nopa would be my first two choices. With Delfina 3rd and Slanted Door sort of in its own category just because it is family style which may or may not work for this particular group, and also because it is now a bit more expensive than it used to be and than the other restaurants I mentioned...

                1. re: whiner

                  OK-I got some input from a hotel concierge who also suggested Kuleto's, Fino, Ideale, cafe de lucci., north beach restaurant...any comments regarding these suggestions. I've been to A16 and enjoyed it alot, also Delfina's and slanted door.
                  thanks! I love sifting through the info and will choose one asap. thanks to all of you who are helping out with this.

                  1. re: oncogirl

                    I would steer clear of Kuleto's. Although it's a classy environment and it's right on Union Square, I don't think that the food is very impressive (especially for the price). I'm also not sure that the area will be extrememly appealing to college age boys. Stick to North Beach for a fun, lively and casual environment. Both Ideale and NBR get reasonably good reviews. My personal favorite is Caffe Maccaroni Scuie Scuie- but it just reminds me so much of my grandmother's cooking that I might be biased. Good luck.

                    1. re: jdinsf

                      I kind of think you are underestimating college-age people. I mean *some* are still 14 in their food tastes. But many/most are super-adventurous.

                      Never been to Fino, Ideale, cafe de lucci, but I'm not the hugest fan of NBR or Kuleto's. If you are looking for something a bit more touristy like those, I would suggest Scala's in the lobby of the Francis Drake.

                      http://www.scalasbistro.com/

                      1. re: whiner

                        I agree, Scala's is better than Kuleto's, if you want to be in the Union Square area.

            2. I would think based on this post that they will be thrilled by anywhere you take them.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5499...