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Sep 30, 2009 11:10 AM

Where to Eat Right Now

Just getting into th city for the first time in a while and starving.

Can someone please give us some recomendations on must eats for a moment like this?

Our budgets are flexible, our minds are open and our stomachs are achingly empty. We want a surefire hit and a bit of adventure.
Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.


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  1. Wow, that's a really open question. It would help to know why you're in the city, which neighborhood you're probably heading to, and what type of food you really love because the city offers so many interesting potentially fun lunches.

    If I wanted just a sandwich, then I would head to the Sentinel in SOMA just because I don't get to go there too often on a weekday and Dennis Leary does fancy sandwiches well (and soup).

    If I was in Chinatown, I would go to Bund Shanghai just for the interesting Northern Chinese pastries and noodle soups.

    If I wanted something relaxing and elegant, I might try Luce or St. Regis for the fine dining rooms with beautiful food.

    If I wanted pizza, which is the latest craze, I would try Flour + Water (although I don't know if they're open for lunch) or try that new pizza joint in North Beach (the name escapes me).

    See what I mean about the possibilities? ;-)

    Luce - InterContinental San Francisco Hotel
    888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

    The Sentinel
    55 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

    Bund Shanghai
    640 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA

    Flour + Water
    2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

    6 Replies
    1. re: singleguychef

      Note that Sentinel (1) has a line and (2) is just a takeout window.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Not many places don't have a line at lunchtime. I've never stood in The Sentinel's line longer than 3 or so minutes.

        1. re: JasmineG

          I just mentioned that because of the "right now" request. Standing in line looking at food drives me nuts if I'm starving.

          1. re: JasmineG

            A wait to order in Sentinel's line can sometimes take longer than three minutes, but it is not "just a takeout window,"--although there is nowhere to sit down, it is a pleasant little space, the people and the bustle are fun, and your food will often be ready in less than five minutes. The food is definitely worth the small wait, and you can take your food over to the steps at Market and Montgomery, down to Yerba Buena, or to the public spaces on Mission east of 2nd Street. Every out-of-towner I have taken here has loved it.

        2. re: singleguychef

          I believe that place in North Beach is Tony's Pizza Napoletana. A recent thread indicates that it's not destination dining:

          Love Delfina pizza.

          Pizzeria Delfina
          3611 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          Pizzeria Delfina
          2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

          1. re: Cicely

            I completely disagree about Tony's not being destination-worthy. Their truffle pizza is incredible. (Most expensive thing on the menu.) And he is a pizza artist, worth talking to.

        3. Porridge and fixings at Lers Ros thai
          Chicken pho at turtle tower.
          All you can eat buffet at Sultan.
          Dim sum at Hong Kong Lounge (I like their duck jaws.)

          Turtle Tower Restaurant
          631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

          340 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          Lers Ros Thai
          730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

          Hong Kong Lounge
          5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

          1 Reply
          1. re: sfbing

            Oh yeah, Lers Ros, another excellent lunch spot.

            Also Burmese Kitchen, which closes at 8pm.

            Memphis Minnie's for BBQ.

            Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
            452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Memphis Minnie's BBQ
            576 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

          2. A16, Zuni, Perbacco, Bar Bambino, Kokkari

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston


              Zuni Cafe
              1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              Kokkari Estiatorio
              200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111

              2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

              Bar Bambino
              2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

            2. First time in the city?

              I say get exploring and eat outside.

              Go to 14th and Castro, Courtney's corner store. Get a couple of their fantastic sandwiches, some green salad and/or potato salad and/or applesauce and/or other tasty little salad. They have other picnic materials too, dried fruit and nuts, hardboiled eggs, tasty juices.

              Then drive to the northwest corner of the city, and picnic at the ruins of the sutro baths, or ocean beach, both located near the cliff house (where you should not eat).

              You can also do your picnic in golden gate park.

              Cold out, you say? This is SF. Just make believe it's warm.


              5 Replies
              1. re: pauliface

                If you want to picnic, Dolores Park is probably warmer than the west side of town. Bi-Rite, a block away, has some of the best takeout in town.

                Bi-Rite Market
                3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  My dining partner is aching for a taco so we're going to hit Farolito and then Bi Rite, hopefully I'll catch one of those dim sum carts as that's more my craving. Is Tartine still good? Am wanting for something delicious and chocolatey...

                  Thinking about Nopa tonight and maybe Zuni for lunch on Friday.

                  Thanks again so much for allll the recs.

                  Now, to eat!

                  1. re: plumtart

                    Tartine hasn't changed.

                    Big Lantern is nearby and has dim sum.

                    Big Lantern Restaurant
                    3170 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Isn't there a new menu? Someone described it as "generic American":

                      1. re: Cicely

                        That's Bar Tartine. Given the context, I assume plumtart was asking about Tartine Bakery & Cafe.

              2. Oh yeah--this is San Francisco. Right now, there are dim sum carts on the move.