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Which SF restaurants have GREAT food but also generous portions?

Hi all,

I'm looking for some recommendations of restaurants in SF with Italian/Californian/American cuisine that have amazing food, but that also offer a decent portion for the price. I am dining out with my father, who loves food but who is one of those people who can't stand when you get four raviolis on a plate. I've heard that Barbacco may fit the bill. Looking for somewhere with entrees in the $15-25 range.

Any other ideas? Union Square or BART accessible is best. Thanks!

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Barbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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  1. Look into Caffe Sport.

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    Caffe Sport
    574 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    1. Capp's Corner...family style Italian, big portions.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ML8000

        Big portions but not GREAT food.

        Barbacco is likely to give you four ravioli on a plate. It's really mostly a "small plates" kind of place, anyway. Although the portions on the salumi platter are generous. But the prices are very reasonable, so if you think of it as the total cost per person rather than the price per entree it's a decent value.

        Tadich Grill isn't cheap, but the portions are generous and it's very "San Francisco."

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        Barbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Yeah well generous portions and great food at a reasonable price aren't always on the same page.

          If price and American/Italian is the biggest factor, perhaps somewhere like Chow or Park Chow.

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          Park Chow
          1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

          1. re: ML8000

            She said she wanted food that was "great" and "amazing."

      2. I am pretty sure this question came up in a thread within the past few weeks. Try searching and see if your question has already been answered.

        1 Reply
        1. re: artemis

          I did search first - didn't find anything!

        2. Zuni Cafe's chicken is meant to serve two. It's their signature dish. It hits your price point and affords you the pleasure of taking an historic street car (F) up Market Street.

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          Zuni Cafe
          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

          1. On the California side of things, Nopa, as well as Zuni, has great food and generous portions, though both are at about the top of your price range. Nopa isn't BART accessible, but Zuni is. I think that the portions are also on the good sized side at Delfina, which is an easy BART ride and also at the top of your price range; not huge, but definitely filling.

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            Zuni Cafe
            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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

            Nopa
            560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

            1. it's getting into a different price echelon, but there is also La Folie, which serves extremely generous portions

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              La Folie
              2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

              11 Replies
              1. re: vulber

                La Folie definitely serves relatively large portions, at least in comparison to other high-end restaurants. Their tasting menu leaves me uncomfortably full, possibly because it starts off with a large slab of very rich foie gras. Delicious, but honestly too much richness at the start of a meal. At least for me. Leaving some of it on the plate would be the wiser course, but so far I've been unable to do that.

                So La Folie definitely meets the OP's request for large portions, as well as excellent food. But it's also one of the priciest restaurants in town. Dinner for two plus wine can easily run $500, particularly if you go for the upsells (wagyu beef, shaved truffles). I'm not sure what the OP means by decent portions for the price, but I'd hesitate to recommend La Folie in response to any request that has the word "price" anywhere in it.

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                La Folie
                2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                1. re: johnq

                  Whoa wait a minute. La Folie is pricey, but that 'with wine' is important. I'm guessing that was half your bill.

                  Their food alone is very competitive with other high end places.
                  I mean, Coi for example charges $135 for their tasting menu.

                  Whereas La Folie (last time I was there) was $70/$80/$90 for 3 for or 5 courses. And, yes, 5 courses there will be more food than Coi's 10, and far more delicious if you ask me.

                  So I'd say La Folie fits the bill.

                  Another place might be Frances. I don't know whether it's big portions or just very rich food, but I left there absolutely stuffed. Two of us shared 2 starters, 1 main, 2 veggie sides, and 2 ice creams and I couldn't move afterward.

                  1. re: pauliface

                    Last week at La Folie: 2 tasting menus with wine pairings, one upsell to Wagyu beef (add $50); total incl. tip: $513.47. I don't know how much of that was wine, but we got the standard pairing.

                    I've had the tasting menu and wine pairing at just about every high end SF restaurant. La Folie is at the top of the price range. You can certainly eat there for less, and it's possible to spend more at other places, but I'm having trouble recommending La Folie for anyone who's concerned about price.

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                    La Folie
                    2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                    1. re: johnq

                      Great and amazing food with generous portions, sure...but a bit over the request for $15-$25 entrees.

                      1. re: ML8000

                        True. La Folie is a very odd recommendation given the original request. Great restaurant, though.

                        Personally, I'd second the Nopa recommendation. If you order carefully, you can get in and out of there for $25 a person, and the portions are ample. Plus, the food is quite good.

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                        La Folie
                        2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                        Nopa
                        560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        1. re: johnq

                          thank you so much for all the suggestions, everyone. I am doing Nopa for brunch, actually, and really looking forward to that (I have been there for dinner before and it was wonderful!). Still deciding on dinner - maybe Delfina will be the right option. I'm also considering the old-school cioppino places like Tadich or Sotto Mare... I'm not much for touristy scenes but maybe you have to do it just once?

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

                          Nopa
                          560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                          Sotto Mare
                          552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                          1. re: violet42

                            Sam's Grill is pretty much Tadich minus the tourists.

                            Sotto Mare serves classic North Beach dishes, but it's only been around since 2007.

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                            Sotto Mare
                            552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                      2. re: pauliface

                        my point was that la folie still costs less than gary danko or fleur de lys, and the portions are bigger

                        1. re: vulber

                          Thanks for the tip on La Folie... I will definitely try it someday, but with a date, not my dad ;)

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                          La Folie
                          2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                          1. re: violet42

                            Take the old guy to House of Prime Rib where you can get another slice or PR if you really want it...and if you order the portion that allows seconds.

                            Beyond that, reasonable prices, generous portions and amazing food but only American/Italian or CA...difficult combo to come up with.

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                            House of Prime Rib
                            1906 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94109