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First trip to San Francisco - need recommendations to fill in a few gaps

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I'll be in San Francisco in early May for essentially 2.5 days. I know it's not nearly enough time, I just got a good deal and didn't have to use much vacation time. I'd like to come back with enough time to get out of the city, but this will be a good taste! I've been reading this forum for the last few months, after having great help with great food in New Mexico through the Southwest board.

We're two women in our early 40s and we're both from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Overall, we like finding local favourites and great neighbourhood spots, and enjoy a variety of ethnic food.

I've been reading the posts from grayelf, halifax and most recently a citymate, raidar. We've made a tentative plan, and I would appreciate some suggestions to fill in the gaps!

Friday
We plan to spend the afternoon wandering around Mission neighbourhood so we'll likely try a few different places such as La Taquiera, Bi-Rite Creamery, Tartine Bakery - maybe Pizzeria Delfina but that's likely too much food lol! We're hoping our ongoing grazing will mean we don't need a full dinner, as we're going to Wicked. We may be looking for late night snack/drink spot and would welcome suggestions. So far I've noted Globe and Gitane.

Saturday
- breakfast at the Ferry Market
- might be looking for a lunch spot near Fort Mason, or we'll be happily snacking on treats from the Ferry Market!
- dinner: thinking ethnic, so far I've noted Burma Superstar, Mochica, Mandalay, La Mar and Poc Chuc. Edmonton has a good variety of Indian and Vietnemese, looking for something different. My go-to restaurant is always an Italian and I'd love to go to Perbacco, but with only a few days, I'm branching out to try something new!

Sunday
- breakfast - Canteen, Dottie's or Brenda's
- looking for a lunch spot in the Castro neighbourhood or near MOMA, would welcome any suggestions
- dinner at Zuni (I've sold my friend on the chicken!)

Monday
Our flight leaves at 9:30 a.m. and we're staying at Union Square, so I'm guessing that we won't find a breakfast spot open early enough for a sit down breakfast. Please let me know if I'm wrong!

I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks much for the help!

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Mochica
937 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Poc Chuc
2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Gitane Restaurant & Bar
6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

Pizzeria Delfina
2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

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  1. Let me commend you on doing such a good job on your homework!

    I only see a couple of real "gaps" -- I'll pull them out so people can see them:

    - a lunch spot in the Castro neighbourhood or near MOMA
    - breakfast early enough to catch a 9:30 flight (meaning being at the airport by 8:00 at the latest)

    Otherwise, you're just looking for some prods in a specific direction, and because you've put together a good list, it really comes down to preferences. I'd say that if you have good Vietnamese and Indian, you should go as "different" as possible and that would be Poc Chuc or Mochica. I think grazing in the Mission should be enough to get you through Wicked (I don't like to sit through a show on a full stomach anyway). If you want to do a preview on Zuni, it's open late and it's near the theater. There's nothing super chow-worthy near Fort Mason, so I'd go with goodies from the Ferry Building.

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    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Mochica
    937 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

    Poc Chuc
    2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    1. Only comment I'd make is that my favorite late night place is NOPA.

      1. Hi Silverwing,

        My husband and I received some excellent suggestions from fellow chowhounders a couple months ago for our last trip to San Francisco in February. I noticed that there are quite a few places on your list that we got to try, so I thought I would chime in. My favorites from your list are:
        Tartine- Everything I have every eaten here has been wonderful, but the constant line out the door is a bummer.
        Perbacco- This was our favorite dinner in San Franicisco. I can't wait to come back again.
        Brenda's- This is my new favorite breakfast place in the city. I have been to Dottie's, Canteen, Mama's, Boulettes Larder, Just For You, etc. and this one takes the cake!
        We didn't have the chance to try Bi-Rite Creamery as it was closed for remodeling, so we gave Humphry Slocombe a try and it was very interesting/tasty. We also tried Pizzeria Delfina and weren't that impressed. We planned on going to Poc-Chuc, but it was closed. Maybe next time. Have a great trip and don't forget to report back!

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        Perbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Bi-Rite Creamery
        3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Just For You
        732 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

        Pizzeria Delfina
        2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hopester

          Okay, I have succumbed to my love of Italian and the exceptional reports on Perbacco. I've made a reservation there for Saturday night and we'll go to Zuni after the walking tour on Sunday - it looks to be sort of along the way between Castro and MOMA. Then we'll do some type of ethnic food on Sunday night. Likely too much food in one day with breakfast in there too, but we'll have the plane trip on Monday to recover!

          Thanks for the suggestions so far. I would still be interested in a breakfast spot for Monday morning - or if there is a good spot at the airport. Otherwise, we might plan to pick up a few extra baked goods over the weekend and some fruit, etc. from the market to take with us.