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Looking for three suggestions - dinner w/parents, romantic Berkeley bar, and Union Square weekday breakfast

violet42 Oct 9, 2010 05:25 PM

Hey all,

My parents and I are meeting up in SF in a couple weeks to have a little family trip. They are in their 60s and have never visited the city. They love food, beer and wine but nothing that is too "yuppie" or expensive. I've only been to SF a couple times - I loved Nopa, Delfina and Anchor & Hope but they all might be a little bit (just a little bit) too pricey and precious for my parents' tastes.

Can anyone suggest some places for dinners that have great Italian, American, or seafood (no Asian, Indian, Mexican, please) that have great food, entrees in the general ballpark of $15 to $25, not too much of a pain in the butt wait/scene, and decent sized portions (there's nothing my dad hates more than tiny portions!)

Also looking for two other suggestions for this trip:

- a romantic wine or whiskey bar in Berkeley

- a great place for a Union Square-area Friday breakfast... with little to no wait. No 15+ minute waits please. Any ideas?

Thank you!

  1. Pei Oct 13, 2010 07:50 PM

    Look up Sotto Mare in North Beach. It's a great deal, $19 for your choice of fresh fish simply prepared (and a LOT of it). I think it's one of the best deals in the city. The $27 cioppino looks expensive for an entree, but is enough to feed two hungry people.

    The place is lively, casual, has been there forever, and has friendly service. I also love the restaurants you've mentioned but would take parent-type people to Sotto Mare before any of those precisely for the reasons you've mentioned.

    Sotto Mare
    552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    1. j
      jean8298 Oct 12, 2010 09:43 PM

      For the Berkeley bar, A Cote is your best bet, even though it is in Oakland! You can make reservations on Open Table; great food, great service, and romantic atmosphere.

      A Cote
      5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

      1. escargot3 Oct 12, 2010 08:31 AM

        In Berkeley, the wine list at Locada de Eva is top notch. You can sit at the bar. And it's a lovely location.

        1. s
          sfgirl22 Oct 11, 2010 11:46 PM

          Scala restaurant at the Sir Francis Drake has a very good breakfast and is very comfy with big booths. Also a big fan of Cafe de la Presse. Both take reservations.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sfgirl22
            CG09 Oct 16, 2010 06:11 PM

            I second the Scala recommendation - I had brunch there on a Sunday two weeks ago and the atmosphere was very pleasant and my french toast was fantastic. Reservations can be made on OpenTable, too, if I remember correctly.

          2. Glencora Oct 11, 2010 04:09 PM

            Not sure about your definition of romantic, but the bar at Five in the Shattuck hotel has a glamorous vibe (for Berkeley),

            1. lucymom Oct 11, 2010 03:52 PM

              For italian I can suggest Pazzia. My husband took his parents there for lunch and they really enjoyed it. Good food, good portions and in that dollar range and I think you can get seated quickly. Nearby is also Zero Zero which Bauer just gave 3stars! It's focus is on pizza but I believe they have no pizza options as well. Another place, my husband was thinking of taking his parents but they had not started lunch service then. I've been, casual atmosphere and awesome pizza.

              A non-italian option that is a little more than your price range but I think the parents would enjoy would be town hall and kokkari. Generous portions, lively atmosphere and in general an older crowd. We've taken our in laws there and they've enjoyed it immensely.

              For union square brunch options, I would recommend Cafe De La Presse or Canteen. They both open early so if you get there early enough, I doubt there's a wait.

              For romantic wine or whiskey bar in Berkeley, nothing comes to my head but if you're up for heading to Oakland there's a new wine bar near Jack London worth checking out, Encuentro Café & Wine Bar. And ofcourse, close to Berkeley but in Rockridge, a great french bar/restaurant, A Cote, is definitely worth a visit.

              Kokkari Estiatorio
              200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111

              A Cote
              5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

              817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

              Cafe De La Presse
              352 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

              Town Hall Restaurant
              342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

              Pazzia Restaurant
              337 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

              Zero Zero
              826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

              1 Reply
              1. re: lucymom
                Steve Green Oct 17, 2010 12:34 PM

                Second on Cafe de la Presse for weekday breakfast (although I haven't been for years). Canteen however, only does breakfast on weekends.

              2. v
                violet42 Oct 11, 2010 11:24 AM

                does anyone have any suggestions at all? thanks!

                1 Reply
                1. re: violet42
                  sydthekyd Oct 11, 2010 11:36 AM

                  Okay - how about the sake factory tasting/tour in West Berkeley?

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