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3 Canadian men in their mid-twenties looking to eat high and low, but mostly: heartily!

I hope this question is not too general. I am a Toronto Chowhound visiting SF with two of my old college roommates. We are 1 PhD student, 1 Indie band bassist, and 1 Vancouverite Video Game designer. We are visiting San Francisco from the 23-28th of June. We are staying at one of the HI downtown hostels--but which one escapes me. We are willing to travel and may have a car. Long trips on public transit/cab are no sacrifice for important eating.

My favourite restaurants are places like Lupa and Momofuku in NYC, Cochon in New Orleans, APDC in Montreal, and St. John in London. Places where you can eat well, eat large quantities of strange meats/raw seafood and not feel like it would be an inappropriate place to have dozens of cocktails and tell dumb stories about your undergrad days (St. John might not quite fit the bill on that one I know). I feel like we will mostly be interested in stuffing our faces at modest expense (I will do research on Mexican and burritos for that--we might eat some vietnamese, or chinese, but our home cities do those pretty well.) But I think we have budget room for a couple dinners where we spend about $75 each on food (considerably more if we drink a great deal) and where we will not have to dress in anything particular and where they might play Zeppelin IV but where local, seasonal, homemade-y (and meat-y) things are on offer.

I've searched "Momofuku" and "Manly" on the board, and am conscious of the fact that this does not exactly constitute due diligence in the "making sure your question is not asked every day" department. My apologies if that is the case.

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  1. Toronto oriented threads.
    Besides a report on where you go so we can help others I was hoping someone could report on the poutine at O My Dawg.
    O My Dawg
    463 2nd St
    (between Broadway & Washington St
    )Oakland, CA 94607

    1. I'm thinking Bruno's on a Friday or Saturday night? Excellent southern food from an interesting menu, good array of cocktail, and a nice vibe on the weekends (don't know about Zep IV though). The portions aren't huge, but the three of you can take your time, go through most of the menu, and still be on budget. Reservations a must on the weekends.

      Bruno's Restaurant
      2389 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. Well, a few of your criteria, you might try Zuni. \

        ood oysters, seasonal stuff and great chicken. For people not familiar, the Momofuku dinner menu

        Meaty and hearty doesn't translate in this area, but looking at the Momofuku menu, there are probably a bunch of places that would do it for you . I would have went with Espetus Churrascaria in terms of meaty, but not what you want. I don't think

        Zuni Cafe
        1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        Espetus Churrascaria
        1686 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. If you are looking for strange meats, Incanto is probably a good destination. It's in a residential neighborhood, a little removed from downtown, but right on a major transit line.

          Also there are a few vendors at the Ferry Plaza Building and Farmers Markets that offer artisanal cured meats.

          Toronto and Vancouver both have great food scenes, but I am sure you will find some unique things here and have a great time.

          Try searching for "offal" or "salumi"

          For more casual meals there are a number of places that offer gourmet sausages too.

          The combination of picking a sausage sandwich at Rosamunde and then going next door to the Toranado, with their incredible beer selection, is very popular. Those places are on Haight Street. Also, easy to get to on public transportation.

          Traveling by car within the SF city limits can be a pain if you don't know your way around. parking is often difficult and overnight parking at the major hotels is expensive. Public transit and cabs are the way to go. If you do decide to venture out of the city, just pick up a rental car for the day that you are actually going to be making that trip.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pamf

            Bump for everything recommended by pamf, especially Incanto. If your trip falls on a Saturday, have a late breakfast at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and hit up 4505 Meats, Fatted Calf, Roli Roti, and other protein-centric purveyors.

            You might also like Bar Tartine (stick to the bone marrow and simpler dishes), A16, or SPQR.

            2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

            Bar Tartine
            561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

            1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

            Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
            One Ferry Building, 200 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

            Fatted Calf
            644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

            4505 Meats
            1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, CA

            1. re: pamf

              Of course, you could also go to the new Rosamunde's in the Misison (very accessible by BART) and get your sausage and beer at the same place.

              While they're not exactly non-traditional cuts of meat, NOPA's pork chop and burger are delicious and hearty

            2. Load up at Memphis Minnies for some credible smoked brisket and carry your cache across the street to Toronado for a beer. Wonderful selection with many that I've never seen on my frequent trips to Toronto. Rosamunde, next door to Toronado has decent sausages.
              Go in the afternoon to catch happy hour and avoid the crowds.

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

              Toronado Pub
              547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA

              Rosamunde Sausage Grill
              545 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

              1. If you enjoy St. John on London, you should definitely check out Incanto. Fergus was there this month cooking with Incanto chef Chris Cosentino.


                Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
                1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                1 Reply
                1. re: Concetta

                  Thanks everyone for your helpful posts! Incanto looks particularly exciting.

                2. One place that has been on my to-try list for a while that I haven't been to yet but could fit your criteria based on what I've heard is Bistro Gambrinus

                  Bistro Gambrinus
                  1813 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA

                  1. Sounds like we have similar tastes. I'll throw out some cocktail places with great food as well: Beretta and Range are fun for both eating and drinking, though Beretta feels like more of a party. Highly recommend the newly opened Comstock- classic drinks, cool vibe and high end man food- it's in the "bar with great food" mold.
                    When my out of town college friends visit I typically try to spend one evening at Aziza- great drinks, they treat you well and the food is unique and perfectly executed gourmet Moroccan.

                    Notice that all of these places are within walking distance of a variety of great SF dive bars for that perfect blend of expertly crafted cocktails followed by post dinner drinking.

                    1. 15 Romolo for good bar food and great cocktails.

                      15 Romolo
                      15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133

                      1. You might be the right crew for THE TEE OFF in the Outer 'Mond. And if you are really feeling gluttonous, and like dumplings, could go to SHANGHAI DUMPLING KING beforehand.

                        These are at the modest end of the places mentioned here, so they could have occasional misses. So dont expect St. Johns.

                        Limited info here:

                        Agree with BRUNOs. I like both the food and the high standard cocktails at BERETTA,
                        but it's generally quite crowded, so it depends whether you are looking for yuppie buzz,
                        or want a spacious booth to yourself where you can linger and chat for hours.

                        If you are around on a Tuesday noon, you can do ROSAMUNDE SUPER TUESDAY BURGER and TORONADO AFTERNOON HAPPY HOUR. You need to get there by ~1:15 or so.

                        There are also the various OYSTER options, if you're into that.

                        If you guys are going to be out and about late, you can always do a 2am SUPER BURRITO or SUIZA QUESEDILLA or Tacos, rather than burn a "proper meal" on those ... say at EL FAROLITO or TAQUERIA VALLARTA [this is more of an experience than the finest food in SF].