Most fun restaurant for dinner in SF?
I am visiting the city for my birthday on the last weekend of January (nights of the 30th and 31st) with my girlfriend and I am looking for the most fun dinner experience possible. Of course, I want the food to be tasty, and I have a price range of about $50/person. But the most important thing is that I leave with a huge smile on my face, laugh a lot during dinner, and have a great time.
I don't mind noise too much, but I don't want to be the only couple in a place full of bachelorette parties. I also want to avoid a place completely full of tourists. It would be good if it was a little nicer of a place, but that isn't a deal breaker.
Some places friends have suggested are AsiaSF (though I know it will be mostly tourists, and possibly bachelorette parties... is it still good for a couple?) and Foreign Cinema (but I'm looking for something a little more upbeat.)
I'm open to any and all suggestions, but they should be in the city, and relatively easy to get to by car or muni. Also, does this match any of the DAT restaurants? (we'd be there Friday or Saturday night)
If you want even halfway decent food, stay away from AsiaSF. The poor quality will definitely affect how much "fun" you have.
My picks for great food and lively atmosphere are Dosa, Andalu, and Foreign Cinema. Yep, I think Foreign Cinema is entertaining. It's true! And I concur with Shane. Fun comes more from the experiences of those you're dining with, not the food on your plate. Unless you want a 7-course tasting menu. Then fun will cost you more $$$.
995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
3198 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103
2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Dosa on Fillmore
1700 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
They're going to SF though, so I don't think food quality is a concern of theirs, just atmosphere.
If food quality really is a concern (you don't plan on getting *that* soused) then I'd go with the earlier suggestion of Town Hall from the lot, the food is marginally above the SF average and the place bustles. However it is basically out of the way SOMa around the financial district which makes the surrounding area a bit bleak when you arrive and leave (though the Embarcadero is a short distance away for a post prandial walk).
"Fun" is so relative it's hard to really pin-point a recommendation. I guess it depends on what you think is fun. For me, fun has more to do with the people I'm with than the place itself. I had a really fun meal last night at Ramblas Tapas Bar in the Mission. But I think we would of had fun anywhere we went. What cuisines do you like?
Maybe a good food, loud atmosphere, casual place would fit the bill. Maybe something like Town Hall or Slanted Door. Tres Agaves might be a good choice if you like Mexican and margaritas. I hope that helps.
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111
Tres Agaves Restaurant
130 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Town Hall Restaurant
342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105
557 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
It will be interesting to monitor replies to this thread. The only two restaurants I have ever been in that could be considered fun were a pizza place with a good ragtime piano player, and a place in Dallas with scantily clad women swinging on a trapeze. And neither of these places had particularly good food or were all that much fun.