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six nights in san franciso - my plans

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So, here goes with a list of some plans/general ideas and my plea for feedback. I am travelling for work, but have a friend in town at the same time for some of the nights. I am staying downtown in the Financial district.

Thursday night - I get in and need a good dinner spot for a quick dinner with a couple of co-workers. Casual and laid back setting is ideal, but we are all pretty young and not on the biggest expense account. Just a quick easy dinner spot near us where we can chat and catch up. Zuni or RN74 fit the bill for this?

Friday night - This is an "alone night" for me. I want to have a nice dinner alone somewhere. I am thinking in the Castro. Ideas on good Castro eats alone where I can sit at a table or bar and people watch without feeling like I am crammed in a bar someplace or like I am a freak...

Saturday - Group dinner, not too far from our hotel (Palace Hotel) or a group of 7. Once again, a nice night out, but not on an endless expense account for coworkers. Suggestions for this? We are a pretty young group (mostly around the 30 range).

Sunday - Dinner with a friend. She is a picky eater, wants pretty straight forward dishes, but also mentioned seafood. I want to get out the downtown financial area and check out someplace like Marina or Castro or some other cute neighborhood we could walk around after.

Monday - Plans being made for me for my dinner...My friend wants to go to Burger Bar, she loves the one in Vegas.

Tuesday - Last solo dinner. Thinking Italian alone somewhere. Incanto? Quince? Who has good solo dining but exception Italian food?

Sorry for the list of questions, feel free to answer any, one, all....

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

RN74
301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

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  1. Zuni and RN74 are not where I would suggest for a casual and laid back setting with a not that large expense account -- neither is that inexpensive. If you all like sharing, I'd actually recommend Slanted Door for your group -- it's a fun place for out of towners, and though it gets some mixed reviews on this board, it generally gets good reviews from visitors. And if you all eat family style, it's pretty easy to get out of there without spending more than $30 or so a person. That would work for your Saturday night dinner too, though I'll say that it's pretty noisy there, and with a group of 7 they'd seat you at a big round table which would make it hard for you to hear each other. You could also go to Wexlers, which is right near your hotel, or Barbacco -- very laid back and great food. For Saturday, I'd recommend Kokkari, which is nice for groups and not far from your hotel.

    Friday night alone, you should go to Frances. Castro, eating at the bar alone, great food, all in one.

    Maybe Nopa with your friend? Some straightforward dishes, but good ones for more complicated eaters too. Or you could try SPQR, if the menu isn't too complex for her.

    Don't go to Burger Bar, I've never seen a good account of it anywhere, see if you can convince your friend otherwise.

    Incanto or Quince are both great ideas for your Tuesday solo dinner, and I'd also recommend La Ciccia, though I don't know how it is for a solo diner there.

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    Slanted Door
    Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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

    Nopa
    560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

    SPQR
    1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

    RN74
    301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

    Barbacco
    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    2 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG

      Osha Thai - has multiple locations - the Embarcadero location is not linking, but the 2nd St local is also nice ambiance. Skip the other locations.

      www.thirstybear.com
      www.bocasf.com bocadillo's
      www.lime-sf.com lime
      www.johnnyfoleys.com johnny foley's
      www.ozumo.com ozumo
      www.absinthe.com
      www.hayesstreetgrill.com
      www.ButterflySF.com
      www.betelnutrestaurant.com

      Just adding some links. I have bad luck with the auto link. Sometimes because I don't spellcheck!

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      Osha Thai
      149 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: JasmineG

        My SO recently went to Burger Bar in Vegas and really liked it, so I can see why your friend wants to go there. However, the SO has also been dragged by friends to Burger Bar in SF and said it was one of the worst dining experiences he has ever had, with absolutely abominable service and mediocre food. Tell your friend that Burger Bar in San Francisco is not even close to the same restaurant as the one in Vegas.

      2. Thursday night - OSHA Thai in the Embarcadero Center or Thirsty Bear near the Moscone Center would be decent choices for something easy with good food and ample drink availability....

        Friday night - Castro maybe Lime? Kinda cool with small plates to snack and good people watching. Zuni is also nearby with very good bar for margaritas....

        Saturday - Group dinner- Perabacco, Boccadillos. If you can go to the Mission (its on BART nearby) try Medjool or Picaro (inexpensive sangria and Tapas). Lots of bars nearby. Or try Union Square area pub Johnny Foley’s for fish and chips. Ozuma is another option for Japanese, or Butterfly on the waterfront.

        Sunday - Dinner with a friend. Maybe Fresca for Peruvian. Fillmore area or Betelnut (fusion/cocktail) for Union Street evening. Hayes Valley is up and coming area to poke about so you may want to try Hayes St Grill or Absinthe.

        Tuesday - Last solo dinner. Kokkari is Greek, but has lively bar area and good small plates. Little Star has good pizza if you want to go that route. Mission area is very accessible as it has two BART stations.

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        Zuni Cafe
        1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        Fresca Restaurant
        2114 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

        Betelnut
        2030 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

        Medjool
        2522 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

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

        6 Replies
        1. re: myst

          I think I would feel very self-conscious eating alone at the counter at Frances. Same for Lime. That might be just me. I would be totally comfortable, however, eating at the bar at 2223, which is perfect for people watching (particularly if you get seated at the far end of the bar facing the room) and the food is solid. I like the Zuni idea as well but you can't eat at the bar there. Starbelly is another option I'd consider though I haven't been in awhile because I've been less than thrilled with the food.

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          Zuni Cafe
          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

          1. re: Frosty Melon

            I wouldn't feel self conscious eating at the counter alone at Frances at all -- I generally don't get self conscious eating alone at counters, but Frances strikes me as a place where solo diners at the counter are very welcome, especially with the small counter and friendly service.

            1. re: JasmineG

              Any estimate on a wait time for 2 bar seats on a Saturday night?
              How many bar seats are available?

              1. re: JasmineG

                I ate once at the counter at Frances with a friend and had a great time (and totally agree re: the friendly service). I just want to point out most counter seats face either 17th Street (which is pretty quiet) or a wall. It's not like eating at a "bar", which I'm totally comfortable doing as a solo diner, and which implies a lot more activity and/or people-watching and which I took the OP to be looking for.

                1. re: Frosty Melon

                  Did you happen to go on a Saturday night?
                  Curious about the wait time.
                  The situation of the seats is fine for me.

                  1. re: dietndesire

                    No, I went mid-week. Frances is a very in-demand reservation, counter seats included. Your best bet is to call them.

          2. Second on Wexler for your alone night, especially Friday night. Osha is good, but I've only been to the Mission District branch, and their atmosphere is fine.
            for a group I'd try The Sycamore - it's actually a beer/wine bar but has good food and has a fun lively atmosphere, and you can push a bunch of the tables in the front room together (did that for my bday for a party of 10.) http://sanfrancisco.menupages.com/res....
            I second 2222 in the Castro for food and people watching.
            La Ciccia is a great Italian for your second alone dinner, but I've also heard that Incanto is a good place to sit at the bar.

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

            1. Wow, all great feedback and comments and I have some choices to make! thanks a bunch!

              1. Thanks for the great info. Just heard from the friend and she wants to do seafood the other night that we have free. As mentioned, she likes simple stuff (she calls a lot of what I like "weird") and as mentioned, would like to get out of downtown Financial Distrcit hotel area and into a cute, but not too far, part of the city. So, straightforward seafood options?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Chargenda

                  Bar Crudo on divisadero is raw seafood weird?

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                  Bar Crudo
                  655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  1. re: Chargenda

                    See if Hayes Street Grill appeals to her (and you). Hayes Valley is cute, and not unreasonably far from Financial District.

                    http://www.hayesstreetgrill.com/

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                    Hayes Street Grill
                    324 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102