LA Chowhounder in SF for weekend
Ok, sorry if this offends some, but I DID do some searches, but I thought I might get better results by asking...
I am an LA CHer that will be spending the weekend in SF (Union Sq), and am looking for some (new?) suggestions. I actually moved down to LA from the Bay (Berkeley/Oakland), so I do know alot of places, but mostly Eastbay spots, so it'd be great to hear some SF suggestions.
What I'm looking for:
Burritos (god, how I CRAVE a mission burrito - can't get em down here. I have grown accustomed to LA burritos though). My current all time fav. is San Jose Taqueria, but the Oakland loc.; I think the Mission loc. is a good notch below in quality. I was also introduced to La Taqueria, which I thought was great as well. I love Al Pastor and Carne Asada (but am open to all meats, no seafood), but my SO is jewish and doesn't eat pork. (I may try and make it out to Tacos El Gordo, but TBH, LA has the taco crown wrapped up)
Pizza. I may try and get to Little Star (which I think is just a hair below Zachary's), but I do prefer NY slices. May swing by Cheeseboard or the NY pizza place just off of Shattuck and Center (I believe) before the Cal game (GO BEARS!!!).
Indian. I LOVE Indian. Prefer North Indian, but enjoy both. I know there are some Naan n Curry spots in the City, but if there are some better spots, I'd appreciate it. I used to really like Tandoori Kitchen in Berkeley off of Telegraph, but there was a period where they switched owners and it went downhill, and then the owners came back and it was pretty good, and well.... up and down i guess!
Thai. Don't really know any spots in the City for Thai. Old fav was Cha Am in Berkeley.
Any other "can't miss" spots are appreciated as well. Thanks!
I don't know if you're willing to go to W.Portal (the L Taraval drops you a couple blocks from the restaurant) but I really love Roti. It's popular, they take res., wonderful naan breads, best veggie pakora I've ever had. It's very good quality, pricier than the scruffy places in the tenderloin.
When did you leave the Bay Area? The burritos have remained very much in tact...however parts of the Mission have changed a great deal.
Best downtown burrito, IMO, is Cancun at 6th/Market...but as mentioned, the Mission is a quick BART ride away. You might want to walk around the Mission around Valenicia, Dolores between 16th and 18th. Bar Tartine for brunch or Bi Rite for ice cream.
Any way, if you're in Union Sq, you might hit the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market early in the Sat. morning. It's quite a scene. Of course that's game day...but you could leave the Berkeley munching to after the game. It's suppose to be a beautiful day. Also, downtown, Bocadillos has well priced tapas and no res policy.
The burrito scene has been remarkably stable over the years. Your old favorites are probably still here and in all likelihood are exactly as you remember (though La Cumbre continues to disappoint me, even though I continue to eat there ...) You'll have one or two options for burritos in the downtown area (Pancho Villa has a new outpost in the Ferry Building!) but avoid them. Not good. BART to the Mission is the only reasonable option.
For tacos you'll want to make a trip to Oakland. Search for the various taco truck threads here. I have no experience with LA tacos but I'd bet some of these are in the same league. If you're truly "open to all meats" then consider a trip to La Gran Chiquita in Fruitvale. They've got tacos made from pretty much all meats. Including some things that are hard to classify as "meat" even though it does come from animals.
The Cheeseboard has tripled in size recently. Pizza is as good as always. For your further searching pleasure ... The place on Shattuck is Arinell's. Nearby is Pie in the Sky which has its fans. Lanesplitter can be very, very good. Two locations, San Pablo just south of University and Telegraph near 48th in north Oakland.
Taqueria La Gran Chiquita
3503 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601
There are lot's of fantastic and inexpensive Vietnamese places near Union Square that you might want to look into but here goes my recs on the rest:
Burritos - Cancun, there's one on Market and 6th, not too far away.
Pizza - for NY style, Arinell's (but for really good and $$$ pizza Berretta or A16)
Indian - Dosa or Udupi Palace (very near each other on Valencia), usually a wait to be seated.
Thai - I haven't been keeping up on the Thai tip but I hope Thai House Express is still awesome.
Katana-Ya on Geary does a mean bowl of fried chicken ramen for about $10. It's not far from Union Square...
430 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Thai House Express
901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109
995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
509 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
1007 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
1003 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103