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Nov 30, 2008 06:37 AM

bay area, semi-cheap

I'm in San Francisco for 5 days in early March and want to eat fantastic stuff, relatively inexpensive (super inexpensive is great, too, but I won't hold my breath).
while in SF, we would love to have some delicious:
local cheese
mexican food
korean food
desserts (i'm a baker)

we have a car, if we need to drive for the goods. where should we go?

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  1. Perhaps you can find something on this thread. For local cheese not cheap, free tasting at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market Saturdays.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      thanks for your refs to old posts; i don't know how i missed the cheap eats/dives one! and thanks for all the goodies so far. awesome.

      1. re: eeejo

        That thread is Korean deficient and since you have transportation how about a trip to Oakland/Berkeley?

        1. re: wolfe

          Oh, yeah -- Oakland is definitely the place to go for Korean, for Mexican, too.

    2. You can do pretty well cheap on that particular list, assuming one of your five days includes a Saturday morning for the Ferry Plaza Farmers market. There will be local cheesemakers who will give samples, so it's free! There will also be local bakeries and charcuterie (Fatted Calf) at the market. Inside the Ferry Building is Cowgirl Creamery, Acme (they have great pastries they only sell at their bakery), Boccalone (salumi), Hog Island oysters, etc.

      For bakeries, here's a pretty comprehensive discussion from a couple of months ago:

      Beer -- Torondo (you can bring in sausages from Rosamunde next door to eat with your beer


      Oysters -- Hog Island has $1 oysters for happy hour on Mondays and Thursday.

      Would you consider salumi under "charcuterie"? Housemade salumi is very trendy in SF Italian restaurants these days. I can personally recommend Perbacco (the restaurant isn't cheap, but you could order a salumi plate and a drink at the bar).

      Mexican food is cheap -- there's lots of discussions of Mexican on that link wolfe gave you.

      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Hog Island Oyster Bar
      Ferry Building,, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Toronado Pub
      547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA

      1. For oysters, you definitely have to go to Swans Oyster Depot. They have the best quality oysters for reasonable prices (much better than Hog Island Oyster at the Ferry Building). Also, get their crab salad which has more crab than lettuce. Just be sure to get their early or go during a weekday becuase their lines are long and they don't do dinner. But if you are looking for a good deal, you can try Cafe Maritime's late night a dozen oysters for $13(after 11pm nightly). I think Hog Island Oyster has $1 an oyster happy hour during weekdays, but I still haven't checked that out.

        For Korean, you want either Brother's or any other place that does Wooden Charcoal BBQ. It's more pricey than the gass places, but the wood smoke adds a lot more flavor.

        Check out my English Photo Guide to Dim Sum for the iPhone at

        2 Replies
        1. re: tipatat

          Hi Tipatat --

          Can you help the iPhone-less few? I followed the link in your post and wanted that siu mai more than anything ... until I realized I wanted to see the entire collection.

          Please share, but take your time. I'm going out for dim sum now!

          Thanks -- Howard

          1. re: anyhow

            I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm actually working on making the whole list available online. When I was researching for the iPhone app, i was surprised there wasn't anything comprehensive online already. I haven't finalized everything yet in terms of design, but all the info is already there.


        2. For beer, you should definitely consider the Monk's Ketttle on 16th St. The beer selection is fantastic and the people behind the bar know their stuff. They have very good burgers and fancy sandwiches there too that aren't too pricey (the entrees are more expensive and aren't as good).

          For something off-beat, try Lolo's -- the best mexican turkish fusion you will find. More moderate than cheap, but fun.

          The Monk's Kettle
          3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          1 Reply
          1. re: SFDude

            When I went past Monk's Kettle a few weeks ago, there was a bouncer guy at the door and a line on the sidewalk. It's a small place.

            Looking at the beer list online, I'd consider it pretty good but toranado and oakland's Trappist are every inch as good - maybe even better - and I've never been turned away from either.

            Amnesia down the block on Valencia has an above average selection of Belgians too, as I recall.