HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Must Eat Places in SF for a NYC girl

Hi folks!

I'm traveling to San Francisco this weekend...main goal: seek out the epicurious delights of this city!

The title says it all what are the must eat places in SF (probably won't be venturing outside the City)? I'm looking for something fairly budget conscious...$15-20 per person would be great.

I'm open to anything...whether it be a restaurant, a little shack, or street food...just needs to be delicious! :)

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Budget-conscious but yummy/fun restaurant(s): Monk's Kettle (Burgers + beer), Burma Superstar (Burmese - worth the wait), Little Star Pizza, Kan Zaman (Mid. Eastern), Nopalito (Mexican) , Puerto Alegre (Mexican), Tipsy Pig (comfort/bar food), Citrus Club (Thai), Polkers (American brunch/lunch), and Mama's (brunch - worth the long wait)... to name a few.

    Shack/Hole-in-the-wall goodness: La Taqueria (Mexican), Yamo (Burmese), Dynamo (donuts), and Sam Wo (if you're drunk and want Chinese food past midnight).

    -----
    La Taqueria
    2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Yamo
    3406 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Sam Wo Restaurant
    813 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

    The Monk's Kettle
    3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    Kan Zaman Cafe
    1793 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

    Citrus Club
    1790 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

    Puerto Alegre Restaurant
    546 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Tipsy Pig
    2231 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

    15 Replies
    1. re: MeredithR

      The closest thing to a "must eat place" I can think of is the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building on Saturday mornings. Other than that, there are a lot of interesting places and approaching it by cuisine might be a good approach, like Burmese, maybe Mission burritos, etc.

      1. re: MeredithR

        Burma Superstar's not worth the wait, the food at Burmese Kitchen is better.

        1. re: MeredithR

          Pretty good list except for Burma Superstar (touristy) and Citrus Club (Americanized). I would add Park Chow for comfort food, Inka's for Peruvian rotisserie chicken, Los Ros for Thai, Burmese Kitchen, Poc Chuc for Mayan, and just about any of the numerous Vietnamese Pho places around town.

          -----
          Inkas Restaurant
          3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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

          Burma Superstar
          1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

          Citrus Club
          1790 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

          1. re: MeredithR

            I Second and Third Little Star Pizza and Puerto Alegre. Both of these places have a few locations (but don't worry, we would not consider them chains, just neighborhood expansions :-)

            So now I'm going to tell you my favorite of these locations and I'm sure others will say differently, but I would go to Puerto Alegre @ 546 Valencia and Little Star @ 400 Valencia (of course Little Star @ Divisidaro has meatballs so perhaps that's a good choice too).

            Being a New Yorker, I highly recommend getting the Deep Dish pizza at Little Star... the thin crusts are good but it is the Deep Dish that is the star here (pardon the pun) and will show you quite a difference between the slices you get in NYC.

            For lunch, grab a locals sammy at Ike's Place @ 16th bw Dehon & Sanchez.

            -----
            Little Star Pizza
            846 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

            Ike's Place
            3489 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

            Puerto Alegre Restaurant
            546 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            1. re: billraymond

              The Divisadero branch of Little Star has meatballs? That's not on the online menu. I haven't noticed any difference in the food among the three branches. It might be the best deep dish pizza in the world (sorry, Chicago).

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Several yelpers mention the special meatball pizza in January this year. Maybe bill and they got lucky.

              2. re: billraymond

                The Valencia location of Puerto Alegre is its only location. There was once another Mexican restaurant with the same name in the Mission, but it is or was not the same place.

                -----
                Puerto Alegre Restaurant
                546 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: Frosty Melon

                  There is still a Puerto Allegre on Harrison near 25th. It's primarily a bar although they do have food.

                  1. re: Windy

                    Yes, that's the one I was thinking of. Thanks.

              3. re: MeredithR

                I checked out Monk's Kettle online and am curious enough to stop in. We are visiting from SD this weekend but are on a pretty tight budget for dinners out. We originally had reservations at Delfina but am beginning to suspect it is too pricey for what we want. Thanks for the recommendation!

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

                The Monk's Kettle
                3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                1. re: globocity

                  Delfina's not that expensive--just skip the entrees. The best items there are appetizers and salads, and pasta.

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

                  1. re: Windy

                    Agreed - that's always what I order when there. Never entrees, which are delicious, but not nearly as much as the pastas.

                    1. re: artemis

                      Good to know, thanks. I see pastas ranging in price from $10-$19. I made a reservation at Delfina based on my friend's recommendation and the rave reviews on Chowhound. My partner detests hyper trendy, loud places (good luck on a Friday night) but I am torn between Delfina and Monk's Kettle. I think since we have a reservation at the former, we'll stick with that. Cheers.

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

                      The Monk's Kettle
                      3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      1. re: globocity

                        Delfina isn't trendy, just popular and extremely consistent for 10+ years, which is very unusual in this city.

                        The food is simple compared to a lot of places. I mean that in a good way, but don't expect a lot of big surprises or bold choices. Hard to find a better salad than the campagna with radicchio and walnuts and parmesan and the tripe alla Fiorentina is always exemplary. And a fine place for fussy eaters, who can get perfect pasta with tomato and basil or roasted chicken.

                        I'm not sure where you've found raves on Chowhound except for Pizzeria Delfina, which is next door and not the same menu.

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

                        Pizzeria Delfina
                        2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        1. re: Windy

                          Windy,
                          I have read many comments about people recommending Delfina. Perhaps instead of indicating "rave" I should have written "consistently good reviews". Looking at the menu I found several options that sound intriguing. Nice to know it's not uber trendy. Thanks for the info.

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

              4. L'Osteria del Forno would be the closest to 'must eat' in your price range for me. (Great rustic Northern Italian hole-in-the-wall in North beach... no reservations, cash only.) A nice sit-down restaurant in your price range (upper end) would be Helmand Palace (Afghani). My favorite burrito in the city is Papalote, but La Taqueria and Taqueria Cancun are more classic Mission style. Barney's makes good burgers, fries, shakes, and salads... cheap, too. If you are from the East Coast and have never been to an In-n-Out burger and find yourself near Ghirardelli Square you can walk down to the Wharf and eat there -- some people swear by it, but they'll put mayo on unless you ask them not to and it is still fast food, just much better than the big national chains. (It is a CA chain.) For Thai, I like Benjarong.

                -----
                L'Osteria del Forno
                519 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                Taqueria Cancun
                2288 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                La Taqueria
                2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Helmand Palace
                2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

                Benjarong
                1968 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                5 Replies
                1. re: whiner

                  In-N-Out is a *Southern* California chain, in business for 50 years before they got around to opening branches around here. Going to one while visiting SF would be kind of like going to White Castle in Manhattan.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Fair enough it is SoCal. The only one in the city I think is on the Wharf. That said, if she has never been to one and wants good, cheap, fast food and is in the area...

                    1. re: whiner

                      There's no reason for anyone to go to the Wharf, particularly not someone on a short trip with a focus on food.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Sure, if the sole focus is food, skip the Wharf.

                      2. re: whiner

                        Thanks whiner and Robert - I've been to SF before actually and went to the In-N-Out at the Wharf already - but will definitely be going for another visit this time! It was super yums and somewhat reminds me of the Shake Shack burger in NY.

                  2. This topic is old, but the recommendations are still mostly current:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/359937

                    1. $15-20 per/person isn't much. You might look at this, the annual Bargain Bites from the SF Chron: http://www.sfgate.com/food/bargains/

                      Might also look at Off the Grid (food truck pop-up) at Fort Mason, on Friday nights. For taco, El Tonayense Taco Truck at the Best Buy at 14th/Harrison (worth a lunch or snack).

                      -----
                      El Tonayense
                      2598 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA

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

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ML8000

                        The Chron list is pretty awful. It misses a lot of the best cheap places that any Chowhound regular could tell you about and includes some that seem totally random.

                      2. When I lived in NYC, one of my absolute favorite things to do late at night was to grab some grub at the Halal carts. Alas, I no of none here in San Francisco that come close but if you are craving some mediterranean food while out and about (not open late), check out Oasis Grill @ Drumm bw California & Market.

                        -----
                        Oasis Grill
                        91 Drumm St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: billraymond

                          Oasis Grill's good for the Financial District but I think Truly Mediterranean has the best shawerma in town.

                          -----
                          Truly Mediterranean
                          3109 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103