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Aug 13, 2010 06:06 PM

Leave tomorrow for Week in SF/Napa/Sonoma - questions/review please??


First, want to thank this entire board for having such a helpful list of posts, and for being so frequently updated. My wife and I are flying to SF from Manhattan tomorrow. First time in the Bay Area, first vacation since our honeymoon in March. We love all kinds of cuisine.

Here is our itinerary as it stands now:

Tomorrow (Saturday): Arrive at 10 am, head to Hotel Drisco and then hit the Ferry Building Marketplace. Get lunch there, walk around the city (coit tower, fisherman's wharf, ghiradellia sq, etc).
Dinner - the early flight and touristy day has me thinking somewhere near the hotel. thinking Marina area - Mamacita or Zushi Puzzle perhaps, both cuisines we like. Not commited though.

Sunday - our hotel includes breakfast. Eat there early, hit Golden Gate Park for a few hours
Lunch - Head to Zuni Cafe after the park. oysters, burger, bloody's all look great.
Dinner - something light and informal in an area fun to walk around. Maybe some Mission roaming. La Taqueria?

Monday - Breakfast, bike over Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, out to Tiburon and take the ferry back, grabbing a light lunch as we ride. Any specific deli's, grocer's people know along that way?
Dinner - currently have an 8:30 at Dosa on Fillmore (love Indian food), thinking it would be nice to walk around that area at night. Hitting a bar/pub with good craft beers & cocktails afterward would be great. Magnolia Pub maybe? Would starting with dinner at Aziza and then heading to Fillmore work logistically? walk/transit? (see 3 mile walk/ and/or ~24 min via transit. we love walking, being NYers, but is that a good walk?)

Tuesday - wake up and drive to Napa. Staying in Yountville. Have 11 am tasting at Failla. then lunch at the bar at Bouchon Bistro. Thinking downtime would be good for now. Busy days following. Any places to taste wine that are good in walking distance of Bouchon? How is Hope and Grace?
Dinner - 8:30 at Redd.

Wednesday - Drive to Healdsburg. renting bikes and riding around to a few vineyards.
Lunch - pickup on our way. Preference between Oakville Grocery, Jimtown store, Dry Creek General Store? other? This also applies for tomorrow's lunch.
Dinner - Barndiva has a "Wednesday's at the barn" family style that sounds intriguing, and my wife loves the decor. feedback on that meal?

Thursday - similar, ride around during day, pick up a picnic lunch.
Dinner - 8:30 at Cyrus.

Friday - drive back, hit something on drive. Fremont diner? maybe if we pass an In and Out burger? nothing too time consuming. want to hit Stinson beach/Muir Woods before taking the Golden Gate back into SF. Staying near Union Square at Galleria Park.
Dinner - 8 pm at Perbacco, have an 11 pm drink res at Bourbon and Branch.

Saturday - we have a 10 pm flight. would hitting Berkley via the BART in the morning/lunch be a good idea? too much time? Also, have we left out any parts of SF?? Swan Oyster Depot have a crazy line? Mama's for brunch? Yang Sing for dim sum since its close to hotel?
early dinner - if we do this, thinking near the hotel. Fish and Farm is possible. Waterbar for $1 oysters / outside seating?

Thanks in advance for any input, and if anyone needs NY rec's, I shall be more than happy to return any favor!

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Swan Oyster Depot
1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

La Taqueria
2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Fish and Farm
339 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Oakville Grocery
124 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Dosa on Fillmore
1700 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. It's a pretty solid plan. A little hard to comment on because it's so wide ranging, but a couple of thoughts:

    Fisherman's wharf area is compulsory sight-seeing for tourists, but no local would be caught dead eating there (how often do you eat in Times Square?)
    Aziza is one of the best in the city, but you wouldn't walk from there to Fillmore. Drive it or take the Geary St. bus.
    Walking around the Mission is a great time. Start at 16th & Valencia. Lots of good choices (not just Mex). Search the boards for recos, this is a well discussed area on here.
    I like Jimtown more than Oakville, which is touristy and expensive to me.
    In and Out is good fast food. But it's fast food, don't expect anything amazing. Quick and delicious in that area is Fish in Sausalito (expensive, but you get really good food).
    You can do a morning in Berkeley via Bart and make it to the airport for your 10pm flight. But I recommend driving because some of the stuff is a little spread out.
    Mama's is very good, but not worth waiting if there is a huge line (1 hour wait at times).
    If you are in North Beach (close to Mama's) head over to XOX Truffles for chocolate.
    Read the reviews on Yank Sing to see what to order and search dim sum for other recos.

    XOX Truffles
    754 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    Yank Sing
    49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

    1. Welcome to SF. Hope you are enjoying your visit so far.

      Personally, I'd walk around the Mission in the afternoon and go to Zuni at night, especially on a Sunday when there is less activity in the Mission. You might have lunch at Popul Vuh on 16th for Yucatan cuisine and then head up 24th Street where there's lots of good stuff. Stop by Philz for coffee and don't miss Humphrey Slocombe for ice cream. Then after dinner at Zuni, take a cab or bus to North Beach and do some strolling there. Lots of places are always open late in North Beach.

      Your post looked a lot like someone who was talking about biking to Tiburon, but I don't see it under your profile. So if you have things set in stone from another post, ignore this. I don't want to seem like I'm harping on the same subject.

      I hope you have your bike route mapped out. There are some decent ways to do that trip and some torturous ones.You will have to pass by the Strawberry shopping mall (with a Safeway) no matter what route you plan. There is a good local chain, La Boulange there. Nice quiche (especially quiche lorraine) and French sandwiches. As mentioned, Fish is a really good option and you might be interested in trying their red Portuguese clam chowder and comparing it to Manhattan red.

      In Tiburon, there have been positive reports about the pupusas at Casa Manana Casa Manana&type=Topic&search_board_id=1&search_boardgroup_id=1&tag=places_detail;related_discussions

      Just beyond the Strawberry Mall, after you take a right to the main road to Tiburon, there's the Cove Shopping center which has Sweet Things bakery and Foodniks which serves soups and sandwiches and some hot meals.

      Sam's Anchor Cafe at the ferry has a nice outdoor deck on the water but mixed reports on the food.

      I'd just hop a bus to Filmore Street after Aziza. I personally don't think it is that exciting a walk in the daytime and in the evening most of what is worthwhile along Geary is closed.

      Domaine Chandon in Yountville is lovely and frankly I'd rather have lunch there than Bouchon.

      Out the way of some of the Healdsburg vineyards is Tomato Heaven. This small unasumming stand grows hundreds of varieties of tomatoes with about 30-40 varieties available per day. It is tomato season and they should be fabulous.

      Speaking of produce, it is prime Gravenstein apple season. So on your way up or back from Healdsburg you might stop at Sebastopol and try this quickly dying breed of apple unique to this area. Here's a recent post and that has a list of farms and other food stops in that area. Screamin' Mimi's usually has Gravenstein ice cream and Kozlowski Farms had the best apples and cider I tried last year.

      In Healdsburg I'd pick Bovolo over the Jimtown or Oakville. Don't miss Downtown Bakery.

      That you can mention Fremont Diner and In-N-Out in the same breath is a sacrilidge. Hopefully you found In-N-Out at Fisherman's Wharf ... where it belongs ... and scratched that itch. If not, there one next to the Strawberry mall. There's also one near SFO, so maybe on Saturday night when you leave you might stop there.

      You mentioned in some post you grew up on pasta. If you are in Sonoma for Fremont Diner, you could stop by La Bodega Cheese and Wine shop in Downtown Sonoma.

      I do hope you are able to stop by Fremont Diner though.

      Definately no problem Barting to Berkeley in Saturday morning. There's the big farmers market there in the morning. Berkely Bowl is a great stop. Cheeseboard for cheeses and pizza is across the street from Chez Panisse. That is actually one of the best days, IMO, to visit Berkeley with most of the locals out and about. It gives a real feel for Berkeley.

      Posting on a Friday night is a slow time on Chowhound, so probably the reason for few replies. The best way to thank Chowhounds is to post a trip report at the end. That keeps info fresh and should you return to the area, we will know what you like and don't like

      Have fun

      Tomato Heaven
      2476 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        great replies everyone, thanks so much.

        Today, Ferry Building was a success for lunch, then we did our planned walk to the touristy places (Coit Tower, Wharf, etc). Grabbed two drinks at the Tipsy Pig and then some light dinner at Mamacita before hitting the hotel. Enjoyed both very much. Scene was very fun and the food and drinks matched up as well. we joked that our single NYC friends would be very envious of the meat markets on display :)

        good to hear that Berkley is doable for a Saturday morning, think we shall fit that in.

        Interesting about the suggestion to swap the Mission for Zuni on the dinner/lunch rotation. Since Zuni seems to pretty much have a similar menu all day, makes sense. Plus, we can walk around and see the murals in the Mission and enjoy the day, the settle down for dinner at Zuni.

        And re: Mission, on top of the savory suggestions ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe was on the list as well, place reminds me of the Bent Spoon in Princeton, NJ which I love (both had sweet corn ice cream this past month).

        had read about Big John's Market in Healdsburg recently as well, will have to check that out.

        re: the bike ride out the Tiburon, lifted our route of a bike riding site I use frequently,, so hoping/thinking its the most traveled/convenient path. Foodnik's is along the route and has my mouth watering. Excellent!

        thanks again for all the postings. will be reporting in here and there during the week, as well as a trip report.

        Zuni Cafe
        1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        Big John's Market
        1345 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        2317 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

        Tipsy Pig
        2231 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

        1. re: metfan630

          I forgot to mention , if your going to Preston they have a wood burning oven where they bake great bread. They also produce good olive oil. Have a great time

      2. Barndiva has really gotten to be great in the last year or so. Do they still have the Wed thing, you might want to check .
        The Jimtown Store really caters to bike riders and has more variety then Bovolo, which is very limited. If your out by Jimtown go there the food is great. Oakville fine,but Bovolo is more eat there
        not my choice to pick up things for bike ride. To be very honest , if i were recommending to someone where to pick up food for road I would send you to Big John's Market , they have a large deli counter and excellent cheese counter and prices MUCH better then Oakville. Also some great breads . Lots of local produce . You will be able to get all there.