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Jul 29, 2010 11:23 PM

Our Anniversary -- Union Square Area and Not the Cheesecake Factory :)

I had such great ideas from this board while in Boston and was hoping I could get some great ideas for my own back yard.

It is our anniversary and we splurged on a room in Union Square. We want a fun place to eat while we are there. I'm not looking for high end (don't want to relive Prom), just a great meal. My husband can eat, so large portions are a must. It doesn't have to be fancy or romantic, just not a chain. We like all types of food. We are taking Bart in and will not have a car. I have lived 45 minutes outside of Sf and have never stayed in Union Sq. or been on a cable car. I want to do some free tourist things like walk to the top of Coit tower, any ideas would be great. It's sad to say I make a trip in every two weeks to Rainbow to buy food but never dine there.

Early Lunch-- A good Dim Sum Place?

Early Dinner-- Large Portions. Fun!

Late Dessert and drinks-- The Equinox used to have this wonderful baked brie, is there something like this anyplace else?

Breakfast-- Great Italian Bakery in North Beach?

Oysters and sea food for lunch--- ?

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  1. I keep trying to research my questions on the board and just keep coming up with ideas outside of SF. We live outside of SF, we can try these places any time. We need places within walking distance of Union Square. We can walk to North Beach or Embarcadero or south of market. It shouldn't be this hard. Help please!

    1 Reply
    1. re: newstarr

      Here's the search result for spots in the Restaurants & Bars database that are tagged for Union Square. It's sorted by Most Discussed. You might Scan thru those to see what jumps out at you.

    2. You should probably do a "Search this board" search for Union Square as well. You will find many, many prior posts made over the past 6-12 months.

      1. You didn't specify what day of the week, which might make a difference.

        Since it seems like you want the real tourist experience (and why not?), then some of my suggestions would be:

        Dim sum: Dol Ho in Chinatown. Great little hole in the wall with good, cheap dim sum.
        Early dinner ... I'm going to say Perbacco.
        Oysters and seafood for lunch ... Swan Oyster Bar.

        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Dol Ho
        808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I have Dol Ho on my list, Thanks!
          We are getting there on Wednesday and just staying one night.

          Dol Ho
          808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

          1. re: newstarr

            If you click on the Restaurants & Bars links (in blue and also listed below the map on the upper right side of this page), you'll find additional info and archives. Such as, Dol Ho is closed on Wednesdays.

            Dol Ho
            808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Thanks for that! I think we might just do a grab and go place on stockton street. It's cheaper and no one judges if I eat 9 sesame balls! :)

        2. Since you said "drinks" and "walk to union square" I knee-jerk recommend Gitane. Bar is excellent, small plates are great, cozy yet busling atmosphere.

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: bbulkow

            I heartily second Gitane. I just made it there for the first time this week and was totally enchanted. And I'm not waxing poetic, it really is the kind of lush, opulent setting that seems totally magical when juxtaposed against the exterior surroundings. Sit at the bar, the bartenders are warm and friendly and will direct you through the very chic menus.

            photos to convince you:

            Zuni serves food, drinks, and desserts until pretty late at night. Whenever I go just for desserts, I find myself wondering why I don't go more often. The desserts sound simple on the menu, but when they come out I almost always marvel at how perfect they taste.

            Bourbon and Branch is really fun if you can reserve a table and only want drinks (no food).

            I second Perbacco for your meal. It's not a "big portions" restaurant per se, but if you order correctly you can end up with a ton of food. My husband, for example, ordered the stuff quail and had half left over. And I think the restaurant strikes a nice balance between fancy and fun.

            $1 oysters at Waterbar every day (incl. weekends) from 11-6. I would much rather sit with a glass of white wine outside under the patio umbrellas overlooking the Bay, or at the huge circular raw bar, than line up for an hour outside Swan Oyster Depot on dirty Polk Street, just to crouch on a bar stool and feel rushed to leave.

            1. re: Pei

              Waterbar sounds like it would be better than Swan. I think we will walk down there after we go to the Ferry Building Farmers market on Thursady.

              1. re: newstarr

                Even better, you could do an early dim sum lunch at Yank Sing in Rincon Center, walk one block to the Ferry Building for the farmers market, and then walk a couple of blocks along the Bay to Waterbar for oysters. It's a nice and scenic part of town to be in with lots of dining options. At Waterbar, I usually start by ordering a few of the $1 oysters to see how much I like them that day. (They are usually quite good.) I then decide the proportion of different kinds of oysters for the next order. (I like the Kumamoto and Island Creek on their current menu, but at three bucks, they are a different value proposition.) Many of the other dishes are quite good as well.

          2. The Cheesecake Factory is rarely recommended on this board except when a poster is looking for Navajo fry bread.