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Jul 26, 2010 11:58 AM

Nob Hill restaurants + neighborhood joints

My sister and I are coming to SF and staying on Bush Street at the top of Nob Hill. We love to eat, are adventurous -- and pretty cheap. Any ideas for good restaurants? We'd like to know about some near our hotel, and would also like to know about restaurants in neighborhoods we could travel to via trolley or bus. Thanks!

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  1. Hi kmarquez! As a fellow gastrotourist to SF who stays on Bush Street in Nob Hill, I am going to say there aren't a ton of good, cheap eats right hard by you. Try doing a search on Tenderknob or Tenderloin and see what you get instead. Both of these are nearby neighbourhoods with a lot more options for you (Thai, Vietnamese, even Burmese), though they are also "grittier."

    The closest cheap eats I've found is the little place that does tamales by the Sutter garage, name escaping me at the moment. It is more of a deli/takeout than a restaurant though.

    And you will deffo get more responses from the super knowledgeable local 'Hounds if you narrow your criteria a bit: state a price range, maybe the types of cuisine you seek, where you are from and what you can get at home easily, that sort of thing.

    Good luck and happy eating.

    PS Bush is not at the top of Nob Hill. You've got 2-3 blocks of heavy slogging straight up, and then you have to turn right and go up even further to get to the top (or you can take the Powell then the California cable cars -- what I think you are calling trolleys, though SF does have actual trolley buses as well -- like lazy me).

    6 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      Darbar: Tandoori Chicken Polk St

      Shenson's Ice Cream near Za. / Rarely seen anymore, Van-fudge ice cream is alive and better than ever here. Thick fudge veins./

      Cafe Zitouna Tunisian and Moroccan: the little seen Brik ( Moroccan breakfast deepfried pancake oozing softboiled egg). The spicy grilled chicken san'wich with michiwi (spicy green pepper onion relish). Pistachio cake (harissa- same name as the hotter than Hades pepper sauce) drenched in syrup). Chicken Tagine if you love strong olive flavoring and aroma.

      Bell Tower San'wich and a beer, polenta fries. Collegy crowd Polk St

      The Loving Cup 5 different rice puddings, changed daily, frozen yogurt with mix ins Polk St

      Cafe Zitouna
      1201 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      1338 Polk St, San Francisco, CA

      Loving Cup
      2356 Polk St, San Francisco, CA

      Bell Tower
      1900 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      1. re: stanbee

        Nice tip on the breek, stanbee -- I've been looking for an excuse to get Cafe Zitouna on my short list for our next trip and this is it. Here's a link to the menu page if you want to see their description. According to the guy I just spoke to they open 11 am to 8:45 pm T-Sat (2 pm Fri) and are closed Sunday and Monday, which doesn't entirely agree with the website so call before you go, OP.

        Cafe Zitouna
        1201 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

        1. re: grayelf

          Cafe Zitouna just reopened recently after closing suddenly with no word of whether it would open again or not. Has anyone noticed any changes?

          Chowdown report (2008):

          Cafe Zitouna
          1201 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Hmm I wonder if that is why I got a different answer on times from the fellow on the phone. Thanks for the link to your 2008 review Melanie. I clearly need to learn to read more carefully as it wasn't till I looked at it that I realized breek has cooked tuna in it, something I can't abide (love it raw though). Oh well...

            1. re: grayelf

              With the delicate nature of brique, I imagine they're filled to order. You can probably ask for it with just egg inside.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Thanks for that specialized info, Melanie -- Zitouna, back on the short list :-).

    2. I haven't had anything besides the pizza by the slice, but Victor's Pizza probably has my current favorite NY-style slice of pizza, and I know they have an indoor (but extremely dark!) dining area

      Victor's Pizza
      1411 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      1. Restaurant Jeanne d'Arc (in the Cornell Hotel on Bush St.) is worth trying if you are looking for classic French food reasonably priced. Depending where you are on Bush Street, you might want to walk east on Bush (towards the Financial District) and check out the restaurants in Belden Alley. Restaurants there include Sam's Grill (classic San Fran seafood place), Plouf (French seafood, excellent mussels) and Cafe Bastille (modest French bistro fare. There are also several Thai restaurants on Kearny St. just north of Bush St. Try Banana Leaf.

        40 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

        Cafe Bastille
        22 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavidT

          Check out Moussy's on Bush near Polk for a great happy hour and French vibe.

          1345 Bush St, San Francisco, CA

        2. Below is a link to a map & listing of "Bargain Bite" restaurants from the SF Chronicle. You can use the map to focus on places near your hotel. You should not consider their list the ultimate authority, but you will find some helpful info there: