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Aug 27, 2010 12:53 PM

3 days in SF: from NYC, first time


My husband and I will be in SF for 3 days in 2 weeks for a conference. Staying downtown.

Need three lunches, close to Moscone center
Need two dinners, preferably in different neighbourhoods so we can sightsee.

Looking for unique, only in SF cuisine. We love ethnic food.


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  1. Zero Zero is near Moscone and just started serving lunch. I've been twice for dinner and am a big fan.

    Only in SF? A couple of options: Namu, Aziza, Frances (though you probably can't get a reservation at this late date) and maybe Wayfare Tavern.

    439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    Wayfare Tavern
    558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Zero Zero
    826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

    1. About 4 blocks away from Moscone is Taqueria Cancun at 6th and Market. Small, hole-in-the-wallish...excellent al pastor burritos and quesodilla suiza. About $5 bucks a burrito. Eat there, lunch is best.

      1. Waterbar is outstanding, great view of bay bridge

        1. Not knowing your budget.

          Dinners: Ame (Japanese/Italian/French fusion) - pricy but not rediculous. A16 ("high end" Southern Italian). Note: A16 rec is based upon "only in SF" and "different neighborhoods" criteria. If only food were being considered, while excellent, I would have several other recs before it. Ame, however, is a true 'must' imo.

          Honestly, check out the Westfield Mall for lunch at least one day. Best food court in the country (world?) It is not possible, imo, to express to a non SF person what sort of quality our fast food is. It is akin to NYC residents trying to explain that their best fast food pizza is not analogous to what anywhere else makes. Really, you just have to experience it. In said food court, btw, I like the Korean place.

          If you can take a cab and get a bit away from Moscone (about 15-20 blocks) you must try a Mission burrito. La Taqueria is plobably the way to go. But Taqueria Cancun is also excellent and Papalote is great for non-traditional burritos.

          2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

          Taqueria Cancun
          2288 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          La Taqueria
          2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          6 Replies
          1. re: whiner

            budget is moderate (i.e. ~ $20 per entree or less for dinner).

            any unique seafood places?

            1. re: suetibu

              New York has better seafood than San Francisco. Aziza and Slanted Door are common recs for travellers from NYC.

              Slanted Door
              Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

              1. re: bbulkow

                Yes the Westfield Mall....great. Just back from San Fran, I enjoyed the Buckhorn Grill, I had the Spring Mix Fruit & Nut Salad with Char Roasted Tri Tip. Yummy. Loved the Honey lime dressing!!! hmmm would like another one of those salads.

                I had a great lobster dinner at R& G Lounge.

                1. re: Chocaholic


                  We are staying in Nob Hill.Husband's conf in Moscone center.

                  So we had our first lunch at Maya (my fish tacos were good, husband's flavorless).

                  Planning breakfast at Nob hill cafe and lunch at ferry building tomorrow. Dinner at friends house.

                  Dinner on Wed at Bar Crudo.

                  Need 1 more lunch, 1 dinner (tonight), 2 more breakfasts.

                  Thinking La Ciccia or ???


                  La Ciccia
                  291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                  Bar Crudo
                  655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  1. re: suetibu

                    or Namu / Zuni / La Mar Cebicheria

                    Zuni Cafe
                    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                    439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                    1. re: suetibu

                      For lunch at Ferry Building check out the menu at Il Cane Rosso (more selection than Porchetta, for example)

                      For dinner, maybe try 54 Mint in the Mint Plaza area near Market and 5th. If 54 Mint isn't open or no seats, then you can walk over to Chez Papa Resto or Thermidor (although food at Thermidor has had mixed reviews, the drinks at the bar are fantastic). These are all in that little alley area, which might give you a nice different view of dining in San Francisco.

                      Another possibility is Canteen, a unique dining experience. You might be able to get in last-minute if there's a cancellation (but I'm not sure if it's open on Monday nights). The chef Dennis Leary has other casual operations, including a bakery called Golden West near the Montgomery BART station that might be good for breakfast or lunch. His quick sandwich spot is called Sentinel.

                      Chez Papa Resto
                      4 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      54 Mint
                      54 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      Il Cane Rosso
                      1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94105

                      8 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      Golden West
                      8 Trinity Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104