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Sep 2, 2009 04:01 PM

Late(r) Dinner and Early Breakfast Recs?

Hi! I'll be visiting SF for 24 hours over a Saturday and Sunday as part of my birthday celebration in early October and I'm hoping for some recommendations:

#1) Late(r) night dinner on Saturday evening. We'll be in Berkeley for the day, but should be able to return to the city between 9 and 9:45 pm. I'm hoping to find a place that won't be shutting down the kitchen right at 9:30. I'm considering Ame, Perbacco, maybe Canteen. Like most everyone else, I'm looking for a "uniquely SF" meal (something we wouldn't necessarily find in Chicago.) Delicious, too.

#2) Breakfast on Sunday morning. Our flight leaves at noon from SFO, so we'll probably need to FINISH eating by 9:30-10am. Does Canteen usually have a long wait at 8am? We're staying near Chinatown and would either have our bag with us (light travelers) or would have it ready and waiting at the hotel to pick up on the way to the airport. Bonus points if you have any recs for "to go"/"for the plane" foods near the breakfast spot.


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  1. I've been to both Ame and Canteen and thought the food was great. That said Canteen's sittings run on the clock. The last sitting is at 9:00pm I believe so if you are looking for later then that might not be the place for you.

    You may also want to consider Gitane for late night dining. I believe the kitchen closes past 11.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gerbera

      Thanks gerbera. In going through several postings, I had not read about Gitane, but it looks like a great option, location- and timing-wise. We may still be able to make it to Canteen for breakfast if we can get in at 8am.

    2. Perbacco is an excellent choice. Consider starting with their house made salumi platter. A late night alternative to Perbacco is Globe, which isn't too far from Perbacco. Canteen's food is good and the atmosphere is fun, but the interior is quite bare-bones. For Canteen's prices, I want a bit more big-city glamour and sparkle. My vote for breakfast always goes to Town's End. It's location is pretty much on the way to SFO. It's not going to be as innovative as Canteen, but it delivers a great breakfast year after year.

      5 Replies
      1. re: DandySF

        "... Town's End. It's location is pretty much on the way to SFO"

        ?? Please explain. Or, perhaps you mean that it is only about five minutes away from I-280 South?

        1. re: Paul H

          For somebody who is leaving the city early in the a.m., it's not too far from the 101 on ramp, which leads to SFO. (Mercy, did I really place an apostrophe in the possessive form of its in my original post?)

        2. re: DandySF

          DandySF: Thanks for the advice about Town's End. I looked at the menu and it does seem like it will fit the bill. Do you think I would find parking there?

          1. re: camelliabean

            There's metered street parking--bring quarters in case they're enforced. You can also find free street parking on one of the adjacent streets. This part of SF is relatively easy to park in. As with anywhere in the city, always keep your luggage out of view, in the trunk.


            1. re: DandySF

              Thanks for sharing info about parking options near Town's End---this gives it a plus in the convenience column.

        3. Go to Nopa for dinner, their kitchen is open late (they say it's served until 1 am on their website). Delicious, and a very SF meal. Definitely Canteen for breakfast, you won't find a long line there at 8 am on a Sunday, and they are pretty quick, too, so you won't have a problem getting out fast.

          For to go foods for the plane, I would recommend getting food in Berkeley the day before, get some great cheese at the Cheeseboard, a few slices of pizza there, and some bread at Acme, maybe some salumi from Fatted Calf if you're there during the Farmer's Market, put the cheese in your hotel fridge overnight, and feast on the plane.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JasmineG

            Just what I was thinking, Nopa for late dinner. And you will have no problem at 8 am at Canteen (I love going there early just as they're setting up).

            1. re: JasmineG

              Nopa looks fantastic. (Little fried fish, mmm.) It's great to have a true late night option as Perbacco's kitchen closes at 10pm and Canteen's last seating is at 9:15. (Just in case we are caught in Berkeley past 10pm). Great ideas on plane snacks, too. Very helpful info all around. Thank you.

              1. re: JasmineG

                Nopa was excellent---drinks, dinner and most important, the late-night hours (I think we arrived at midnight, which would have made some of the other dining recs difficult). We were able to meet friends for dinner, so there was more food to sample. Fried fish, flatbread, hamburger, pork chop and chicken satisfied 3 1/2 robust appetites. Cocktails were original and delicious.

                Tried breakfast at Canteen and it wasn't crowded at all on an early Sunday morning. Service was relaxed and friendly, food dishes (eggs benedict, curry fish dish) were comforting. We also enjoyed the warm brioche rolls.

                It was difficult to be in SF for only 24 hours, because we wanted to try everything. We look forward to a return visit to enjoy some of the other suggestions.

                Thanks, everyone, for your guidance.

                560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117