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Mar 12, 2009 09:12 PM

Best SF Value Restaurants

I read sooo many reviews that say "food is overpriced" or "too expensive" and the like. So I'm curious - what are people's recommendations for the best bang per buck? Places where the food is great, who cares about the decor and ambiance, and you don't go broke there, you don't have to splurge, it's not a special-occasion-only deal, you don't feel like you were taken advantage of. Probably no tapas places would qualify. I think maybe an example would be Woodhouse Fish Co. What do you think? TIA!

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  1. Genki Ramen on Geary has a $3.00 per appetizer Happy Hour, which includes chicken kaarage, takoyaki, potato croquettes, etc.

    1. I think the Park Chow places are a decent value.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cary

        I'll second Park Chow.

        Park Chow
        1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

        1. re: Civil Bear

          A third on Park Chow. Price and quality both covered...and family friendly for that matter.

          Also Chow in the Castro from the same people.

          La Vie out in the Richmond is very good Vietnamese and a nice but not fancy place.

          215 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

          La Vie Vietnamese Restaurant
          5830 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

      2. Actually, at least one tapas place would qualify -- the original Esperpento on 22nd near Valencia. Was there recently for the first time in many years, and the food was good and both food and wines bargain priced compared to many other tapas places. Fun atmosphere too. Interestingly, they have a lot of good veg tapas, more than one usually sees. I had some grilled artichokes that were outstanding.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Joan Kureczka

          I had a good experience at Esperpento a few weeks back as well. I like their main dish offerings which come with two sides; I had a breaded snapper that was very nice, light and satisfying. And a grilled calamari starter which was very good. Well-priced for this economy, for sure.

          1. re: Joan Kureczka

            Love Esperpento and their sister restaurant at 16th & Valencia. I think they provide good food at very reasonable prices, especially compared to the jother tapas places in the city.

            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              I agree! Wasn't very excited about trying it after reading lackluster yelp reviews, but I was impressed. Fried calamari and a gorgeous grilled vegetable platter with aioli were the highlights for me, along with some beautiful crisp garlicky green beans. Simple--also, I kept wanting to say, somehow very Spanish. Very different in kind from the more gussied up tapas at Lolo down the street (which I think is also good). Was amazed by the bill: $25 each, including tip, for a group of four--and we had a decent amount of sangria to wash our meal down.

              1. re: katielp

                I keep going back for that garlicky spread they provide with the bread. It also comes with the patatas bravas, some of my favorite in the city.

              2. re: Joan Kureczka

                I like Esperpento, but I think the menu's maybe 50-50 good items and not so good, and I have trouble remembering which are which. Great prices.

                1. re: Joan Kureczka


                  Esperpento Restaurant
                  3295 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                2. I love Woodhouse, but wouldn't call it a place for "value", though the bay shrimp entree salad is a deal at $8.50, I think. Nothing fancy, iceberg lettuce with tons of tiny bay shrimp, some grape tomatoes and a hard boiled egg with blue cheese or Louis, but it's tasty and filling. Actually I think the crab & melted cheddar sandwich with fries is a good deal at $8.95, and the seafood pasta at $12.50 is reasonable too.