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One Day in SF, barely.......Have a Plan, Help a Brother Out!

From about 1pm on a Saturday, I plan on something of a food tour. Unfortunately, leaving very early in the morning the next day. I will have a car.
My semi-formed plan includes,
1. Bakery/patisseries. Bread and sweets, it is a must. Based on limited time, perhaps I will only get to 2, possibly a 3rd. Much will be bought and kept for a day(let me worry about the quality holding up). Since I have never tried it, Tartine seems like a must(and because I hear about it from a former resident with similar tastes and 80% of the standards). Plan on ordering bread, picking up around 5pm from there. Others in consideration,

le bedaine
thorough bread pastry
la farine
patiss philippe
knead patisserie
la boulangerie

Thoughts, preferences, alternatives? Croissant and pastry quality, first off, since I will certainly acquire some bread at Tartine though I will take more if it is worth it.

2. Not sure if there will be lunch and/or dinner at a proper restaurant. Both would be mid-range, no fine dining. American/Euro cuisine, no Asian of any sort. Not sure I even want Italian but there are some in the list. Best food is the goal, here are some names that seem to fit the bill. Anything else, do tell.

flour + water
baker and banker
tadich grill

Note: I have a reservation for dinner at Canteen. A bit worried about the narrow menu for my mate. I have no issue cancelling for something better.

3. During the day, I would like to do some street food type grazing. Mexican(I will figure out which is best from the board), maybe a good kebab place(Zaki?, recos welcome), whatever else,hopefully, you get the idea. I think the Ferry building will be out of whatever the best prepared eats are there by the afternoon. No pizza, please. Sorry that I do not have this part of the day planned a bit better but I will.

Yes, a very greedy post(both for food and board space) but I hope to have a very specific plan with some assistance.
Those work out much better than roaming with limited time and a plethora of options.
My apologies if some/all of the above is poorly written and nonsensical.

Thank you very much in advance,


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  1. Eliminate everything that is not in San Francisco.

    1. Start your car engine at one o'clock on Saturday at the Ferry Building for grazing at Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery, Recchiuti Chocolates and more... Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building Marketplace has an espresso bar inside for New Orleans iced coffee (stop at their garage door kiosk on Linden for the Kyoto-style) or the affogato with scoops of Humphry Slocombe Secret Breakfast ice cream. Drive to the Civic Center/Tenderloin for beef and lamb pita or lavash sandwich at Eden Mediterranean at 552 Jones Street - south of Gearv Blvd. - and Saigon Sandwiches at 560 Larkin... read this http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/579480 -I like Thorough Bread for sweets... or, Baker and Banker Bakery at 1701 Octavia... on your way to pick-up your Tartine Bread order. or, after Tartine, stop at Four Barrel Coffee at 375 Valencia for coffee and Dynamo Donuts...or, go directly to Dynamo at 2760 - 24th Street (closes at 5 pm)... then, Old Jerusalem at 2976 Mission Street near 26th Street... before your dinner at Canteen - nothing's better than dinner at Canteen — Canteen's breakfast is divine - what time do you leave on Sunday morning?
      After dinner, drive to Green Chile Pies & Ice Cream at 601 Baker @ Fulton Street - closes at 9 pm - cash only. I hope you have a hollow leg?

      Acme Bread
      Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Cowgirl Creamery
      80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

      Old Jerusalem
      2976 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1 Ferry Bldg # 30, San Francisco, CA

      Blue Bottle Cafe
      66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      Four Barrel Coffee
      375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      8 Replies
      1. re: Cynsa

        Driving?... add Nightingale Breads to your Road Trip list — 6665 Front Street, Forestville CA 95436 in Sonoma County

        Nightingale Breads
        6665 Front St, Forestville, CA

        1. re: Cynsa

          Bovine Bakery in Petaluma is on the way. Ginormus scones and tasty bear claws.

          1. re: wolfe

            and there's also Wild Flour Bread Bakery in Freestone


            Wild Flour Bread
            140 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA

            1. re: Cynsa

              First, I am told that going to Berkeley is too much time spent and now you have me on my way to Sonoma.
              Actually, I do wish I could get to some of these, the baking looks like it is possibly superior. Now, you can make me feel better by telling me that SF and E Bay spots are just as good.

              1. re: dietndesire

                I think that what Cynsa and I are saying is that with your time constraints you should really minimize your travel whether you have a car or not. My comment, at least, is sarcastic or is it ironic?

                1. re: dietndesire

                  Well, you obviously need to change your life and spend a couple of weeks touring around here instead of half of a day!

                  Some of those Sonoma spots are pretty special (Wildflour is a very worthy detour/destination) for your next visit.

                  A Berkeley tour could be: Berkeley Sat. Farmer's Market (unique pretzel croissants, Frog Hollow fruit pasties, and other specialty bread vendors ++) or Beehive Market (Primo's Parilla alfajores and empanadas and Scream Sorbet) - if you can get to either before closing at 2pm - the earlier the better for selection (or you could contact a vendor and request that they hold something for you). Then (or if it's late, start) on Solano for LaBedaine and Xocolotl (a block away), and its just over the hill, not far at all to Berkeley's famous old-school "gourmet ghetto" to check out the breads/pizza of the day at Cheeseboard, lovely Masse's pastries, maybe a snack at Gregoire or a meal at Chez Panisse cafe (reservations needed); Crixa bakery is just across to the other edge of downtown (not far but gridlock if it's a football game day at Cal) and it is a half-block from Crixa to Berkeley Bowl (not sure if the baked goods are super remarkable, but the market as a whole is great). If you have magically slow clock and there's still time (and two hollow-legs), a mile or two towards UCB campus is a new Italian bakery PIQ and around the corner from there is Gather, which is in the newest generation of the gourmet-ghetto legacy, for a drink and a snack, and a mile or two east is "Ici" with great ice cream and cookies/dragees (but you need extra time as Ici always has a line). That's gotta be a million-calorie, but delicious, day!

                  Berkeley Bowl
                  2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                  Chez Panisse
                  1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                  Scream Sorbet
                  5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                  The Beehive Market
                  1701 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                  1. re: foodeye

                    Thanks foodeye I forgot about that Saturday football ball thing with increased traffic.

                2. re: Cynsa

                  I thought I was being cheeky with your cheekiness about all the far away bakeries.
                  Sorry that it was taken the wrong way.
                  Wild Flour does look noteworthy, though.
                  Good point about the game, foodeye. I will check the timing when it is announced.

          2. By La Boulangerie do you mean the Boulange on Bush that has several locations around the city? If so, don't bother. Most of the stuff they make is crap and comes out of a factory in South SF.

            1. Wolfe, will do when I look through further though I am willing to drive around a bit.
              I do not consider going to Oakland a problem for instance.

              Cynsa, no coffee for me, sorry. Don't really care for goods(as opposed to prepared foods) at Ferry. Acme does not impress me, cheese is the same though I might try Recchiuti. Seems all the prepped good bits have lines and run out early. The more I look around, the less the kebab thing seems worthwhile. Hoping to find other stop, pop and go type food spots, trucks, etc. And I lean away from falafel and hummus, more toward quality meat, grilled properly.
              Have put down Dynamo Donuts. Canteen is that good? Don' build anything up so much, it can only fall. Gone 7 or 8am on Sunday, so nothing can be done. Not so into pies and such but Green Chile will be put on the map.

              Rabaja, Xed off the list. Besides Thorough and Le Bedaine(original targets), the rest were cut and pasted, somewhat.

              Thanks to all so far.

              3 Replies
              1. re: dietndesire

                Oakland and Berkeley are fine but it's not the driving it's the time, of your limited time, you spend parked or hardly moving in bridge traffic. I happen to really like La Bedaine* but just don't think it's worth up to 25% of your visit.

                La Bedaine
                1585 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94706

                1. re: dietndesire

                  I've gotten to the Ferry Building late and had plenty of good prepared foods -- they always still have food at Primavera then (though probably not everything), Downtown Bakery will still have pastries at their stall, Chiccarones will likely still have burgers etc.

                  I love Canteen, but you haven't really said what you're looking for, so it's hard to say what you should pick amongst that group.

                  The places in Oakland and Berkeley are great, but if you only have a day and you're having dinner in San Francisco, that will put you in the car for a lot of your ride.

                  1. re: dietndesire

                    >>"Canteen is that good? Don' build anything up so much, it can only fall."<<

                    Nah, it's nothing spectacular. There are plenty of places in town serve more exotic / innovative / impressive food. But it's still the place my wife and I try to go whenever we're in town. You shouldn't expect to be impressed, but can count on eating very well.

                  2. You might want to stop by Paulette's in Hayes valley and pick up some delicious macarons.

                    And if you like sake, True Sake is within 2 blocks of there, best Sake store on the planet, tons of stuff imported from Japan + helpful staff.

                    Even though you have a car, parking is a pain and walking is delightful.
                    Since you'll be at Tartine at 5, you might want to think what's close by at suppertime.

                    Close to tartine I believe you'll find Delfina, bi-rite (people love their ice cream, have not tried it myself), Frances (10-15 minute walk, worth it for dinner if you can snag a table and they also take walkins for the bar but that's risky given your schedule), Truly Mediterranean (I love love their shawerma), and Bar Bambino.

                    1. Sandbox, Hooker's Sweet Treats, Baker and Banker. If you are going to the East Bay (and I don't think it is a good idea), Crixa.

                      Hooker's Sweet Treats
                      442 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA

                      1. I would aim to stop in one neighborhood and eat your way through it...
                        Having a car is actually not that helpful, as parking is troublesome and a time eater. If you are a person who does not mind walking you can easily walk around fillmore area/japan town or castro/mission and have lots of places to choose from. As Pauliface suggested these are nicely clumped:


                        You can also stroll through the Mission District and try Medjool, Foreign Cinema, Taco Trucks, or Tapas.

                        If you go to the Fillmore area there is Bay Bread on Pine Street, Fresca for Peruvian food, and lots of little shops and bistros (Japantown has crepes with ice cream).


                        Fresca Restaurant
                        2114 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

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

                        2522 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        Foreign Cinema
                        2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                        Bay Bread
                        2325 Pine St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        Picaro Cafe
                        3120 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: myst

                          ...and if you go as far up as Medjool or Foreign Cinema, I recommend Lolo's.

                          2522 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          Foreign Cinema
                          2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                        2. I like to spend the day in the mission and just walk around and get bites at different places. My recent one
                          El toyanse taco truck
                          Humphrey Slocombe
                          Hogs and rocks (Oysters, Cocktails, Ham)
                          Nombe (japanese izakaya)

                          2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          1. I might go to Oak/Berk or not, will see how traffic/time is that day.
                            I would like to have some options out there.
                            Honestly, I usually make my way through more on the to do list than most in the same alloted time. Not that I am doubting there are issues with too much travelling. I never drive anywhere wherever I live but it is something of a necessity on this day. So, where would be a good spot to park and then go around town for a few hours?
                            I thought I gave a decent idea of the type of restaurant that interests me for dinner but Jasmine says that I have not. So, I narrowed it down a bit more. Assume no leaning to any cuisine amongst the group, best food. Honestly, Frances has me intrigued and I might check the wait for bar seating. Another problem is that everything ends a bit early in this town. I do not plan on eating dinner at 6pm after going to Tartine at 5pm or so. Perhaps more around 9pm(I rarely see reservations much past 10).

                            Slightly revised list(additions/deletions welcome)
                            pizzeria delfina
                            flour + water

                            Narrowing down the Mexican choices, slowly. Other street food and such not looking so good.
                            Also, I will be on the wagon(and driving) that day so no sake houses for me but that was an inspired suggestion.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: dietndesire

                              Saying best food amongst that group doesn't really help, they all have good food. What kind of food do you want, and what kind of experience are you looking for? I would steer you away from none of those places, except for maybe Lalimes since it's gotten up and down reviews and I haven't been there recently.

                              1329 Gilman, Berkeley, CA 94706

                              1. re: dietndesire

                                if you are not crazy about doing italian, as you said in the beginning, or pizza, skip perbacco, pizzeria delfina, barbacco, incanto, spqr, a16, flour + water (which i would skip anyway). that whittles down your list to: frances, commonwealth (i did not like it at all, everyone else loves it), canteen (excellent food), piperade (ditto), lalime's (no need to cross the bay for it), and Range (this would be the toss-up for me, with Canteen. Love Range.

                                Mexican: try Poc Chuc for mayan, different than all the other mexican around here,

                                Poc Chuc
                                2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                1. re: dietndesire

                                  True Sake is not for drinking there, but rather for taking home, which we do now every trip. I doubt you will find a better selection of this beverage anywhere in the Americas. Last time, I brought back pink, white and blue sakes (they don't have red or I would have got that). The shop is a jewel to look at as well with all the vari-coloured bottles backlit.

                                  True Sake
                                  560 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                  1. re: dietndesire

                                    I am aware of which are Italian and I would not go there if I surely did not want that cuisine. I am only mildly slow.
                                    But I was casting a wide net for a few reasons. However, funny that I had narrowed down the list a couple of days ago to pretty much exactly as mariacarmen has it.
                                    I have a Canteen res, might swap it for Range. Lalime's is only if in the area and Frances might be a counter seating attempt. I do not have Commonwealth down either and Piperade is an outside shot.
                                    Not going to be lugging sake around. I can do that from the source, easily enough. I still thought it was a good suggestion.

                                    1. re: dietndesire

                                      If you're going to be in Berkeley and want to have dinner there, there are many places that I'd steer you to, but none of them would be Lalime's. It's not that Lalime's is bad, it's just that there are so many Berkeley/Oakland restaurants that are a lot better. What drew you to Lalime's?

                                      1329 Gilman, Berkeley, CA 94706

                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                        Not drawn to Lalime's. It just came up and it seemed to have decent word so I left it on the list as something in the Easy Bay in case. I would definitely appreciate any recs for street food/to go items in Berkeley. Quite sure a proper dinner(and thus Lalime's) are out in the area.
                                        And since I do not want to be a post hog(hopefully, a few chime in on this), Range, Canteen or Frances.
                                        Just the food quality, no experience factor, etc.
                                        If you ate the dishes in a blind, controlled experiment in a plain room, which is best?

                                        1329 Gilman, Berkeley, CA 94706

                                        1. re: dietndesire

                                          ooooh, toughie. i haven't been to Frances. Canteen is usually full of surprises - cold spinach soup with a dollop of oyster foam, olive oil poached salmon in tomato water - while Range is more conventional, but always very good. I think Range may just edge out Canteen as being consistently, evenly wonderful. With that said, I've eaten at Canteen far more times than I have at Range.

                                          If you'll be in North Berkeley at lunchtime, check out Gregoire's - a little French take-out place right near Chez Panisse. http://www.gregoirerestaurant.com/ the potato puffs are ethereal!

                                  2. Maybe you should attend the SF Fallfest at the Embarcadero Center. You can try a bunch of stuff without driving around town (food and wine)


                                    It's over at 4:00. You can then go to Tartine for bread at 5:00, etc after the Fest. Grab a late bite at Nopa if you get hungry later in the evening, I believe they are open until 2:00 am

                                    560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Scott M

                                      Not sure that will make the plan but that is a good idea, thanks.
                                      Is it a total, bloody mess with crowds and such like so many other large food/wine events are?

                                    2. I've been so disappointed with El Tonayense lately, I've eaten at both locations on Bryant (yes I know I think there are actaully 3+ trucks) and left saddened each time- the meat seems drier and less flavorful that it used to be (I swear it all changed when they painted the trucks in their new fancy design). Just saying. Although I couldn't offer an alternative locally, my favorite taco truck is at High St. and International in Oakland, and I think that one might have changed/moved as well.

                                      El Tonayense
                                      2598 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA

                                      1. Ditch the car and rent a good bike. Even on a Saturday, traffic will be a real obstacle and parking will be non-existent for much of the suggested itinerary.