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May 29, 2009 09:04 PM

Union Sq, fisherman's wharf...i know, i know.

Hey guys,

NYC hound here. My boyfriend is in SF this weekend with his parents and needs some suggestions. Hes staying at the st francis in Union square and will be doing the tourist circuit tomorrow and sunday (incl. fisherman's wharf). He's looking for some good, not too expensive ( under 18$ entrees) restaurants near Union sq and the wharf. I know this question comes up a lot, but please help me out! I'm sure you all are aware of the awful search function on chow :) If you come to NY, i promise to help ya in return!!!!


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  1. Visitng SF. Eat like a local not a tourist.

    That should give you some ideas. It helps not to wait till the night before to ask the question ... unless it was a surprise, unplanned visit ... ESPECIALLY Friday night which is one of the Chowhound dead zones.

    Scoma's for lunch in FW is one of the better options at LUNCH ... which lasts till 3:30. They have a three course prix-fixe for little more than $20.

    They might want to wander over to Beldon Place for dinner though it is sort of a shame to limit themselves to that immediate area.

    I hope they are planning to go to the Ferry Plaza farmers market ... much better and more San Francisco than looking at the mimes on the wharf.

    1. The only place that comes to mind in that location/price range is Colibri's Mexican Bistro. This is high end Mexican food. They are right by union square.
      I prefer Cortez a few blocks up; however, unless you share a bunch of small plates, they are out of your price range.
      FW, with the exception of Scoma's, is not a great place to find good eats. I would just stick to getting a sour dough bread bowl with clam chowder on the street. If they are going through China Town and/or North Beach, they will have a lot more options.

      8 Replies
      1. re: lrealml

        Please don't buy a sourdough bowl of clam chowder. Like Rice a roni, it is NOT the San Francisco treat. I can't think of many San Franciscans that go to the wharf because of the wonderful chowder. If you must eat something from a sidewalk stand, get a crab cocktail ... which at this time of year is crab from the northwest and depending on the vendor probably frozen. If they must do something aimed at tourists, get an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista.

        Even and In-N-Out burger is a better choicethan Wharf chowder.

        1. re: rworange

          Having been to the Wharf I would also agree with the In-N-Out burger, particularly if he's an East Coast native where they don't have INO. A double-double and animal-style fries is good and cheap.

          1. re: MandalayVA

            Third the suggestion for In N' Out. The bread bowls are fun to look at, but if you absolutely must, share one.

        2. re: lrealml

          FYI... NY is full of crappy "high end" Mexican places like Colibri that don't actually serve Haute Mexicaine (as served in Mexico)... not a good rec for a NYer that is probably already been suckered to eat at Rosa Mexicano, Pampano or any of the other crappy $$$ NY Mexican places that most Chowhounds in Mexico would not eat at if paid.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Thanks guys,

            rworangw: I realize it was last minute, but he didnt ask me to investigate for him til last night...if I was there and doing the planning, this post would have been up weeks ago.

            Eat Nopal- As far as the comment about Rosa M and pompano- we actually have not been suckered into those- and we have pretty good taste in food. If you have suggestions for more authentic mexican in SF, by all means, share.

            1. re: bastet212

              >>> rworangw: I realize it was last minute, but he didnt ask me to investigate for him til last night..

              Ah, lleave him then ... just joking

              Depending on their comfort level and and willingness to stray out of Union Square, Nopalito or Poc Chuc would be good selections for Mexican. Both are travel-time the latter would be comfort level. since it is on 16th.

              Hope that list will be some help as it covers a lot of the standard tourist route.

              1. re: bastet212

                Here is a recent thread where I linked to some Nopal's observations on Napa Mexican. I'm sure he will think of more when he gets up but it's very early morning in Hawaii.

          2. So, where did you end up?