Please review my plan for Fourth of July weekend.
My husband and I will be in San Francisco for 3 nights over 4th of July weekend (Sat-Tues). We have been to SF before and have eaten at Chez Panisse, The Slanted Door, and various places in the Ferry Building. We won't have a rental car so we'll either have to take cabs or public transportation if we go to restaurants which are not close to our hotel, which is near Union Square. We have come up with a preliminary list but definitely open to suggestions. We are more interested in casual/interesting foods and don't really want any blow-out meals (Quince, Coi, etc.). We'd also like to try a few bars for pre- or after-dinner drinks. Suggestions are much appreciated!
Saturday - we'll arrive early afternoon, and head to the Ferry Building to get some snacks. Dinner - I'm thinking Incanto - is it worth the trip? We'll probably want to go somewhere before or after dinner for drinks - maybe Water Bar or Clock Bar in the Westin.
Sunday - We're planning to go to Sausalito at some point during the day. I do want to try Bi-Rite ice cream, Dynamo Donuts, and Tartine - since they are all in the Mission District, I figured it might be good to try them all at the same time. Would it be possible to either go to Sausalito in the morning, then go to the Mission District for a later lunch? Or better to hit the Mission in the a.m. and then go to Sausalito, perhaps taking some pastries there for an afternoon snack? In the evening, we'll watch the fireworks at the wharf. Dinner - possibly Tony's PIzza Napoletana. We love pizza and have heard this is good, plus its not too far away.
Monday - We are going to visit the Disney Museum in the Presidio. For lunch, I am interested in Nopalito but again it is kind of far away. I also want to try Bar Crudo, maybe for dinner.
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709
655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
If you are intent on watching the fireworks from the wharf, Ana Mandara is right there, with a bar, and decent if not outstanding Vietnamese food - very fanciful preparations, but probably not as authentic as most (although neither is Slanted Door). It's a little Disneyland-ish, but if you're going to be in that area . . . and Waldrons is right: very good chance you will not actually see fireworks because of fog, and be prepared to walk ALL the way back to your hotel - cabs will never get through - with hundreds and hundreds of your closest friends. http://www.anamandara.com/
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111
Ana Mandara Restaurant
891 Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Unrelated to food, be aware of our normal weather in July -- mid- to high-60s during the day, with fog likely late night and early mornings. The fireworks are frequently obscured by the fog (sometimes even when watching from the wharf). You might consider watching the fireworks at Sausalito -- usually less foggy.
The line at Tony's on July 4 will be ridiculous -- normal waits at dinner time are 30-45 minutes (we go around 5 pm to avoid them). But North Beach and the Wharf are packed with tens of thousands of people on July 4.
Also, be prepared to walk back to Union Square from the Wharf after the fireworks, as the exodus ties up the streets for an hour or more afterwards. There will be literally thousands of people walking, and your hotel can show you the flatest route.
Dynamo isn't open on Sundays (I think your stomachs would probably have a hard time managing all three of those temples of deliciousness in one go anyway, and Dynamo's a long hike from Bi-Rite/Tartine). I would guess that everything else on your Sunday list will be open on July 4th, but you might want to email them and check.
Incanto is definitely worth it.