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SF w/ fiance (July 2nd - 8th)

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We're headed out to SF for vacation (staying in USW @ Hotel Nikko) and looking for some great recommendations (breakfast/lunch/dinner). Would be nice if was within walking distance but not opposed to jumping in a cab/tram for something good. We're younger (low 30s) and looking for something that is fun atmosphere with great food (but not to gourmet). Not too concerned at price. Only food we aren't big fans of is french cuisine.

Here's a list of some I've found - do any of these (besides Coi) need reservations in advance? Thanks in advance for the help!

o Bar Crudo ($) Seafood (best Sat. night)
o Snow Garden ($) Chinese
o Zuni ($$) Californian/American
o Pizzeria Delfina ($) Pizza
o Coi ($$$) Californian
o Towns End ($) breakfast
o Mamas on Washington square ($) breakfast
o Scoma’s Fishermans Wharf ($$) Seafood

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  1. For Bar Crudo and Zuni you'll want reservations.
    Towns end on weekends will be crowded but not as crowded as Mama's. You'll likely wait a bit at either Pizzeria Delfina locations.
    Canteen has great breakfast on the weekends (and closer to your hotel). is great bordering on amazing food.

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    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Bar Crudo
    655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

    Pizzeria Delfina
    2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

    1. Skip Scoma's seafood. The wharf is for tourists and much better seafood can be had at the likes of Bar Crudo (good that it is on your list), Alamo Square, Anchor & Hope, Swan's, Tadich Grill, Sam's, or Woodhouse.

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      Tadich Grill
      240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Bar Crudo
      655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

      Anchor & Hope
      83 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      Alamo Square Cafe
      711 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      1 Reply
      1. re: CarrieWas218

        If I am reading correctly, the OP will be a tourist and as a tourist probably should visit Fisherman's wharf at some point. Scoma's is not as contemporary as Bar Crudo and Anchor & Hope, but the freshness and straightforward preparation of their seafood is second to none, IMHO.

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        Bar Crudo
        655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

        Anchor & Hope
        83 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      2. Take something to read in case you get stuck in a long line at Mama's. We arrived around 12:30 on a Saturday and stood in line for two hours. Luckily we were there with another couple and didn't mind the long wait, but I was shocked the wait was so long at that time of day (we were there for brunch). Yes, the pancakes were probably the best we've ever had, but they were certainly not worth a 2-hour wait!

        +1 for Bar Crudo. I dream about their heirloom tomato salad with lobster and burata cheese. We're also big fans of their chowder and interesting beers that go surprisingly well with the chowder.

        5 Replies
        1. re: cvhound

          Between 11:30 and 12:30 on saturday and sunday are the prime times for all the good brunch places. "no one goes because it's too crowded".....

          I am surprised Snow Garden is on your list instead of Jai Yun, R&G, Yuet Lee, even Gold Mountain. What puts it over and above? And do the tourist thing of stopping in at a fortune cookie factory, if you haven't seen one before.

          I had thought about suggesting Delfina instead of Pizzera Delfina, but you've got Zuni on the list. Delfina's in a lively neighborhood so you can have drinks somewhere nearby.

          Speaking of which - cocktails are very good in SF. If that's of interest, you should make a list and hit a few spots, or bias your list to include some good cocktail places (the current list lacks in that direction, with the possible exception of Coi -- Zuni hasn't kept up with the recent trends and reports are of spotty mixing)

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          Jai Yun
          680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Delfina Restaurant
          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          Gold Mountain Restaurant
          644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

          SPQR
          1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          Snow Garden
          712 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. re: bbulkow

            Coi is beer & wine and that constrains their cocktail selection quite a bit.

            1. re: nocharge

              My mistake. I had misremembered, I thought the Lounge had full bar. In that case, the OP's list is very light on coctails.

          2. re: cvhound

            FYI: we got to Mama's half an hour before opening one Saturday, and there were already about 10 people in line ahead of us. We ended up being the second to last party seated in the first seating.

            By the time they opened, the line was down the street and the last people in line were looking at 2+ hour waits. This was Memorial Day Weekend, but still. That's some serious popularity.

            1. re: Pei

              And this is yet another three day weekend... So if the OP is considering going on a Wednesday, there will still probably be a hefty wait.