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What are the must see and eat food spots of San Fran?

d
devra Nov 19, 2010 06:03 PM

I'm a food writer in NYC who disturbingly has never been to San Fran. I'm coming in Feb to eat and see what's going on in the food scene, with the idea of possibly returning next summer for a stint on a farm or at a food organization. Any recommendations? Thanks! Excited to finally get to visit.

  1. f
    foodeye Nov 29, 2010 02:39 PM

    And Mission Pie is another one to check out, for the farm/educational/retail operations.

    http://missionpie.com/

    -----
    Mission Pie
    2901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    1. m
      ML8000 Nov 26, 2010 06:10 PM

      I'm surprised no has mentioned the Chez Panisse Foundation which is about education, school kids and food.

      1. z
        zippo Nov 23, 2010 04:39 AM

        here's a link to some video I took of Novella Carpenter about a year ago with her goats and chickens in West Oakland. You can hear Novella's voice in the background and first see her at the 47 second mark in a t-shirt talking to the visitors. She milks the goats in the utility room of her second-floor apartment which you can see at 1:11 in.

        http://vimeo.com/6349840

        2 Replies
        1. re: zippo
          t
          TopoTail Nov 26, 2010 11:01 AM

          It's not a farm, but you should definitely make a daytime visit to 18th Street between Guerrero and Dolores to visit Tartine for fabulous baked goods, Delfina Pizzaria for killer pizza, Bi-Rite for a remarkable local market that supports the best meat, produce, and cheese producers in the area, and the Bi- Rite Creamery across the street from the market for salted caramel ice cream.

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

          1. re: TopoTail
            d
            devra Nov 26, 2010 11:31 AM

            Thank you - I particularly can't wait to visit Bi-Rite.

        2. ankimo Nov 20, 2010 10:13 PM

          frances, commis, plum, commonwealth, marlowe will give you an idea of the top new american style tasty eateries that don't break the bank.
          lers ros thai, so (chicken wings), mrs and mrs miscellaneous (ice cream)

          20 Replies
          1. re: ankimo
            v
            vulber Nov 21, 2010 01:20 AM

            Given that Commis starts at $68 per person before tip or tax, I guess that "breaking the bank" is a relative term :)

            -----
            Commis
            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

            1. re: vulber
              ankimo Nov 21, 2010 01:46 AM

              you're right. guess that one doesn't fit -- wonder what people start thinking of as expensive...entrees at $30?
              the other top bay area must see and eat are probably morimoto, sumika, incanto, nopa, zuni, canteen, redd, alexander's, etc.

              1. re: ankimo
                wolfe Nov 21, 2010 07:11 AM

                How about throwing in Ubuntu down the block from Morimoto about 1/3 mile.
                PS I think the place link is case sensitive or do you small case on purpose?

                -----
                Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
                1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

                Morimoto
                610 Main Street, Napa, CA

                1. re: ankimo
                  bbulkow Nov 21, 2010 11:34 AM

                  The OP, who never replies to posts on chowhound, is interested in the current food scene, and didn't claim any price sensitivity. I would put Nopa and Incanto and Canteen on the map for the current scene, but direct someone more in the direction of Mission Street Food, PizzaHacker, Off the Grid, all the new ice cream places, Plum.

                  -----
                  Nopa
                  560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  Off the Grid
                  Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

                  1. re: bbulkow
                    m
                    ML8000 Nov 21, 2010 12:11 PM

                    I'm a bit weary of any Food Writer that can't do basic research, can't ask a question beyond "must see and eat" and never replies.

                    1. re: ML8000
                      b
                      budnball Nov 21, 2010 02:02 PM

                      Let's be neighborly and assume they did their homework and are asking us for the local perspective. Looking at our scene from the outside will often give you a rather stale and out of date view. We are no longer just Chez Pannise and Zuni Cafe and TFL. But these are what one hears on the other side of the world. Besides isn't this basic research?

                      -----
                      Zuni Cafe
                      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                      1. re: budnball
                        wolfe Nov 21, 2010 02:05 PM

                        OK, basic research done by RW.
                        http://www.chow.com/lists/1591

                        1. re: wolfe
                          b
                          budnball Nov 21, 2010 02:11 PM

                          Good one! non-sarcastic applause!

                        2. re: budnball
                          m
                          ML8000 Nov 21, 2010 02:19 PM

                          Okay, the neighborly thing to do is answer the question...but that's such a wide open question and of course subjective and contextual...thus the suggestion to ask a specific question.

                          The thing is, that question gets asked everyday in one form or another and there's any number of ways to answer it. Frankly a writer should know better. The quality of the answer will be related to the quality of the question or the conversation that you can draw out.

                          Basic research on CH = doing a search, read some threads for 10-15 minutes and ask a question besides what shouldn't be missed. Here's some examples:

                          What's seasonal that's unique to CA right now?
                          I just read it's crab season in SF, where would you go to get the best?
                          I've had Chinese and Korean food in the boroughs, I'd like to try some in SF, where?
                          I have 2 dinners in SF, staying in Burlingame, want to spend X amount and don't want (fill-in cuisine) and my best friends cousin's brother next-door neighbor is a vegetarian and will be treating...where to go?

                          1. re: budnball
                            Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 02:23 PM

                            Since you asked, basic research means looking at some of the zillions of existing threads and then asking specific, targeted questions. And honestly, any food writer who thought that the Bay Area is just Chez Panisse, Zuni Cafe and TFL would be completely out of the food scene loop, because SF restaurant trends are reported in the NYTimes, not to mention Michelin and Zagat.

                            -----
                            Zuni Cafe
                            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                            Chez Panisse
                            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                            1. re: budnball
                              d
                              devra Nov 22, 2010 07:08 PM

                              I sincerely appreciate your support on this one. I have of course started other means of research (reading san fran food stories in both national and local publications, emailed a couple of farms and been seeking out links to culinary school students who are friends of friends). I grant that the question I posed was incredibly broad but I figured I would start by casting a wide net and see what it drew in, then refine my search as things came to light and crystalized.

                              Here is a more specific question: I would like to volunteer on an urban farm that is genuinely concerned with education, both of its staff and of visitors. Does anyone know of a good one that is receptive to full-time volunteers?

                              Thanks.

                              1. re: devra
                                c
                                Chowrin Nov 22, 2010 07:15 PM

                                first, welcome and thanks for not "posting and running"

                                I ain't local, but I'll recommend Suzu's noodles in J-town.

                                -----
                                Suzu
                                1825 Post St, San Francisco, CA

                                1. re: devra
                                  mamachef Nov 22, 2010 08:10 PM

                                  See above. Ghost Town Farms. It's in the phone book for the East Bay Area. Also see Novella Carpenter's book, "Farm City", which is an absolutely marvelous account of an enormous "squat" garden in urban Oakland, complete with veggies, pigs and bees, and was the forerunner of the organization mentioned above. Oh, and Tadich grill is a pretty quintessential San Fransisco experience and the fish there is EXCELLENT without fail. Go at lunch and go early, or be prepared to wait or sit at the bar, which is great too. Don't forget to toss the dice cup to see who pays; management provides cups and dice.

                                  1. re: devra
                                    Ruth Lafler Nov 22, 2010 10:59 PM

                                    Check out City Slicker farms in Oakland. I did a volunteer day with them with some colleagues from work and it was interesting. They also just got a major grant to take the program to a new level. http://www.cityslickerfarms.org/

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                      d
                                      devra Nov 23, 2010 04:30 AM

                                      Thank you both so much. I'll look into Ghost Town Farms and City Slicker. I'll also track down a copy of Farm city at the library.

                                      1. re: devra
                                        bbulkow Nov 23, 2010 07:18 AM

                                        I would think most possible opportunities would be in Napa and Sonoma. You're getting an urban-focused slant here; don't give up on more rural opportunities.

                                        If you don't like writing out 'San Francisco', you can use 'the Bay Area' or SF. Now you're writing like a native!

                                        1. re: bbulkow
                                          mamachef Nov 23, 2010 07:22 AM

                                          Bb, the OP asked specifically about urban farms further on down the thread.

                                        2. re: devra
                                          cavolonero Nov 23, 2010 12:27 PM

                                          Also these are all in SF proper and have websites:

                                          Little City Gardens
                                          Hayes Valley Farm
                                          Alemany Farm
                                          Garden For the Environment

                                        3. re: Ruth Lafler
                                          mamachef Nov 23, 2010 05:05 AM

                                          Ruth, thank you for remembering for me what I couldn't remember for myself. City Slicker Farms is what Ghost Town Farm evolved into. Their focus (I don't know what direction this grant will take them in) was providing local organizations with volunteer labor and supplies for raised-bed gardens. I know several local drug/alcohol rehabs. (live-in) that have benefitted from their sharing - Chrysalis Women's Services is eating from the garden they built to this day, and I hear the ladies find it very very therapeutic to work the vegies.

                                          -----
                                          City Slicker Farms
                                          1724 Mandela Parkway Suite 5, Oakland, CA

                                          1. re: mamachef
                                            x
                                            xoHB Nov 25, 2010 05:18 AM

                                            Just a point of specificity: City Slicker Farms did not evolve from Ghost Town Farm nor the other way around. Though both are fabulous farming projects operating in West Oakland! City Slickers started with the use of one vacant lot at 16th and Center st. which was purchased by Willow Rosenthal in 2001. They do create Backyard gardens like the one you mentioned, mamachef. And they also operate several Community Market Farms. The $4 million grant they just received will go towards creating a new farm/park/community space in West Oakland. It will be the first piece of land owned wholly by the organization.

                          2. mamachef Nov 20, 2010 06:39 PM

                            The Ferry Marketplace is a must. As to the second it sounds like you might be referring to a farmstay? If a food organization includes people teaching people to plant and garden and grow their own foods, check out Ghost Town Farms; they're doing a world of good in very food-disenfranchised neighborhoods, but it's definitely not a farmstay. Not quite sure what you're asking, I guess...

                            1. bbulkow Nov 20, 2010 03:42 PM

                              Hi Devra,
                              You'll get a better response out of the board if you ask a more specific questions; do some homework.
                              Here's a start:
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7452...

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