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May 19, 2011 09:55 PM

One month + in San Fran! Stadium and Potrero recommendations, and general help

Hi all. I'm a longtime Pacific NW resident but will be spending 1-2 months in San Francisco for work, starting June 1. I have spent very little time in SF and am excited to explore. I'll be working a lot, so I won't have as much time to cook as I do here at home. I'm looking for help with the following:

1. Good neighborhood restaurants for solo dinners, ideally with some healthy options, that won't break the bank. Let's say $12-20 for an entree, a glass of wine for $10 or less. Some place I could sit with a book (I love to eat at the bar). My corporate housing will be near the AT&T/Giants stadium, and my work will be on Potrero Hill. I'm hoping to walk to/from work so that should give you the general boundaries.
2. Great spots for me to hit for lunch or dinner on the weekends, easy to get to via public transportation from the stadium area. When I'm not working on the weekend, I'd love to go to a new neighborhood and wander around, eat lunch, window shop, and/or have dinner. I'm going to research the "must do" places on this board but lesser-known spots would be helpful, since I'll be in SF for awhile.
3. Since I don't know the city and will be on foot/public transport for the most part, any red flags about dicey areas for solo women would be helpful. If there are any issues with me walking from Potrero to Berry Street, for example, I'd appreciate the heads up.
4. Finally, I am a Crossfitter and tend to cook/eat healthy when at home, so if anyone has recommendations related to those interests, feel free to weigh in! Looks like there is a CF gym in/on Potrero that I'll probably join short-term.

I'm doing plenty of searches here but am starting from scratch, so thanks in advance for your help! Can't wait to be in such a food-centric city.

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  1. Around Your Name Here Park, Marlowe, South Park Cafe.

    Where exactly on Potrero? That's a big hill with parts in five or six distinct neighborhoods.

    You should consider renting a bike.

    South Park Cafe
    108 South Park, San Francisco, CA 94107

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I'll be near the Whole Foods on Potrero. Not sure what neighborhood that is but it's the area around Mariposa & De Haro. It looks like there are lots of options on 18th.

      1. re: caraely

        That's sort of the edge of the Design District. There's a cooking school there, the students mob some of the cheaper lunch options. It's kind of dead around there at night except for a couple of live-music bars. 18th has a bunch of restaurants, but that's up a very steep hill, not as close as it looks on the map.

        Townsend is a major bike route, lots of bicycle traffic, so relatively safe for pedestrians.

        Live Sushi Bar
        2001 17th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

        John Campbell's Irish Bakery
        300 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        Pastel do Brasil
        290 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    2. Inexpensive place to hang out near AT&T Park: South Beach Cafe.
      Entrees around $10, $6 for a glass of house wine. Free Wi-Fi.

      There's easy public transportation from AT&T Park to the Embarcadero Station near the Ferry Building. From there, there are lot's of options, including taking BART to the East Bay or the Mission District. The Embarcadero itself is a nice area to hang out and there is a popular farmer's market at the Ferry Building on Saturdays. It's also a much nicer walk from the ballpark than Potrero Hill.

        good burger and music some nights
        sort of a hang out pub for local bands

        1. Let's see, I can answer the work things easier than I can answer your housing neighborhood, which may not help as much. :-S But in the area you're working in, there are a few good options.

          Sally's is a breakfast/lunch place at 16th and DeHaro, excellent breakfasts and the portions are HUGE.

          There's also a Pizza place next door (Pizza Nostro I think) but I haven't been there.

          Up the street there's a fantastic Sushi place, but the price range is a bit steeper. But reviews have been awesome, check out Skool (DeHaro and Alameda).

          As mentioned before, Live! sushi is right across the street from Whole Foods.

          Connecticut Yankee is a good homey bar with decent food. I have also heard good things about the food at Parkside, though I haven't been there either.

          The stretch between Potrero and Berry Street is pretty easy, I'd say 10 years ago you'd have to be careful but there's been so much development down there that I think it's fairly safe.

          One thing I can mention, the 21st Amendment is only 2 1/2 blocks from the ballpark, that's a nice option for a good beer and bar food.

          What types of food do you like? That may help narrow the search down.

          Parkside Cafe
          43 Arenal Ave, Stinson Beach, CA 94970

          Connecticut Yankee
          100 Connecticut St, San Francisco, CA 94107

          1725 Alameda St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          3 Replies
          1. re: stomsf

            stomsf, I like just about everything, food-wise, though I tend to favor Vietnamese, Mexican, French, and the fresh/local American/fusion places which seem to be the norm these days. I eat meat, eggs, dairy, no restrictions there, though I tend to avoid a lot of bread and pasta because it makes me feel terrible the next day.

            1. re: caraely

              For Vietnamese Sunflower just opened on 18th Street, though I visited their Mission location and was underwhelmed. Mexican I heartily recommend Dos Pinas (as mentioned by bladderdash below), which is only a couple blocks from the Whole Foods block.

              Dos Pinas
              251 Rhode Island St Ste 102, San Francisco, CA 94103

            2. re: stomsf

              Pizza Nostra is quite good, not a destination but a good neighborhood place -- though if you want to avoid pasta and pizza dough, it may not be your daily choice. They do a nice job with vegetable pastas and sides. A few blocks on the other side of Potrero Avenue on Mariposa you will find the Slow Club, as chuckl suggests, which is excellent. It's a block from my office and I've eaten there at least once a week for years; burger and fries, flatbread pizzas, daily fish and meat specials, Caesar salads, desserts, all are excellent, and the bar has a good selection. The Universal Cafe, a few blocks farther into the Northeast Mission, has a similar menu and is very good too. Coffee Bar, also on Mariposa, has good pastries and sandwiches although the food service can be very slow; they host pop-up dinners there which are worth watching for. These are all good solo diner places -- Slow Club and Universal have the rather loud industrial aesthetic, so you'd have a hard time chatting with dining companions anyway. The laptop brigade hangs out all day at Coffee Bar.

              Universal Cafe
              2814 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Slow Club
              2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Coffee Bar
              1890 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Pizza Nostra
              300 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA

            3. The slow club should be relatively easy for you to get to. Eventually youre going to want to hit the Mission district, along 16th street and valencia, and 18th street between mission and dolores park.