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I’m looking for cheap/lower-cost but delicious food---how’s my list?

We’re staying near Union Square. We won’t have a car, but we are champion public transit users and walkers. I’ve reviewed many Chowhound SF threads and assembled this list of cheap/lower-cost places to eat during the 6 days we’ll be in SF (June 30-July 5).

Questions—
1. Should any of the places on this list should be avoided?
2. Are there are glaring omissions? (We like almost all kinds of food except sushi and Burmese ---I loved the Burmese dishes we tried on our last visit but my husband most definitely did not)
3. I’d like to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Is there a good place to eat near the bridge?
4. If we take the ferry to Angel Island, any suggestions for food? Should we just pack a picnic of foods from Ferry Market?
5. I need some suggestions for Happy Hours with good food at good prices. The only one on my list so far is Bar Crudo.

As you can see, we don’t care about ambiance or trendiness. Taste and value are what matter to us.

Ferry Market
We’ll be there every single day of our visit. I LOVE this place. What a treasure. Some of the things we’ll eat there include: bread from Acme, fruit from Frog Hollow, Cowgirl cheese and cottage cheese dumplings and cheese stuffed pressed sandwich and savory cheese puffs, Blue Bottle coffee, 4505 hamburger and Merguez and bacon-studded hot dog and bacon maple breakfast sandwich, Boccalone meat cone, Roli Roti quarter chicken and porchetta sandwich, Il Cane Rosso-cinnamon toast for breakfast and something with pork, Cap’t. Mike’s SF style Red Lox sandwich, Primavera chalaquiles and tamales, glass of good wine from the wine bar, and whatever else looks good.

Bakeries
Tartine
Arizmendi
Egg custard at Golden Gate Bakery

Pizza (if we are in the mood for pizza)
Little Star Deep Dish

Chinese
Ton Kiang in Richmond

For lunches/dinners
Poc Chuc
Turtle Tower for pho
Inkas or Limon or Limon Rotisserie—which is best?
Pakwan

For Italian
L’Osteria Del Forno or
Ideale or
Da Flora or
Restorante Bacco in Noe Valley

For Burritos
El Farolita
La Taqueria
Papalote
Taqueria Cancun

Higher Price (by my standards) but still on my list:
Zuni Café
Cotogne
Firefly?

For Happy Hour:
Bar Crudo

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Inkas Restaurant
3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Golden Gate Bakery
1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Ideale
1315 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Bar Crudo
655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Turtle Tower Restaurant
631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

La Taqueria
2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Ton Kiang
5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

Limon Restaurant
524 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Roli Roti
, Hayward, CA

Poc Chuc
2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Blue Bottle Cafe
66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Da Flora
701 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Taqueria Cancun
1003 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Arizmendi
1268 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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  1. I've put some comments in your text below. If I deleted a place, it is because I haven't (bothered) to go there, which is generally not a recommendation.
    
3. I’d like to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Is there a good place to eat near the bridge?
    Not really. Down the hill in Sausalito are quite a few options. But it is a long climb out.
    I believe there is a tourist thing that will rent you a bike (near Pier 39??) which you can ride down the water side of the bay and then over the bridge to Sausalito where you take a ferry with your bike back to the city. That might be what you want. Then you can check out the Sausalito places to eat. One example that is fun is Avatar's, kind of a fusion Indian-Mexican and quite good.
    
4. If we take the ferry to Angel Island, any suggestions for food?
    Nothing on the island (maybe a snack bar). There are a bunch of places on the water near where the ferry leaves for Angel Island at Tiburon. None of them great, but OK. Maybe others can recommend.
    Should we just pack a picnic of foods from Ferry Market?
    Yes. Great hike circumnavigating the island. Nice places to picnic. Not really worth going to Angel Island if you don't do the hike, because the views of the city are on the opposite side from where the ferry lands.
    Ferry Market 
We’ll be there every single day of our visit.
    Be sure to include Saturday.
    Bakeries
Tartine YES!
    Pizza (if we are in the mood for pizza)
Little Star Deep Dish good
    Also Pizzeria Delfina, and Paulines, and...lots more

    Chinese
Ton Kiang in Richmond
    There are many great Chinese. Ton Kiang is a decent dim sum place. But there are many more low cost ones mentioned on Chowhound SF threads. This is your best bet for cheap good food in SF. Examples: Hakka, Beijing Restaurant, Spices II, Shanghai Dumpling places on Balboa, for live fish in the tank: South Sea Village on Irving. Search on those.
    Since you do public transportation well, consider taking the BART out to the Millbrae stop. Walking distance from there are several great Chinese on El Camino. Search on Millbrae. Examples: Pennisula Asian Pearl, Flower Lounge.
    For Italian

 Da Flora good, not cheap
    
Restorante Bacco in Noe Valley Good but pricey.
    Best, and not really more expensive than either of these: Delfina.

    A new chef at Bar Tartine (owned by the bakery) is doing very good, great IMO, modern takes on Hungarian food. Same price range.

    For Burritos
La Taqueria
    I would add Taqueria San Jose, but there will be lots of opinions on these places.

    Higher Price (by my standards) but still on my list:
Zuni Café
 Yes. very San Francisco

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    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Spices II
    291 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

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

    La Taqueria
    2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Ton Kiang
    5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

    Bar Tartine
    561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Da Flora
    701 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    Pizzeria Delfina
    2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

    2 Replies
    1. re: Thomas Nash

      Thomas gave you a good run down. I'll add another voice against Ton Kiang, especially if price is an issue. The price/quality ratio is much better a couple of doors down at Golden River. But if you're going into Chinatown you should check out Dol Ho, which is delicious and cheap!

      Take BART to Fruitvale in Oakland for better Mexican. In addition to the much discussed taco trucks, check out La Torta Loca for a huarche de tinga and/or a pambazo and Nieves Cinco de Mayo for Mexican-style ice cream in unusual flavors (note lunch is the best time to hit these up -- they close early; La Torta Loca is closed Mondays).

      I don't see banh mi on your list -- Saigon Sandwich, etc.

      I think Inkas gets the nod over Limon/Limon Rotisserie.

      -----
      Saigon Sandwich Shop
      560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Dol Ho
      808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

      Inkas Restaurant
      3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Nieves Cinco de Mayo
      3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

      La Torta Loca
      3419 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

      Golden River
      5827 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Both Dol Ho (for dim sum, very authentic with old men reading their newspapers just like in Hong Kong) and Saigon Sandwich are excellent low cost lunch suggestions from Ruth.

        Someone else suggested Canteen, which is near Union Sq and excellent, but make a reservation. I would pass on Frances, very pricey, very good, difficult reservation, but never gets me excited.

        And consider going to Zuni in mid afternoon or very late at night when there are cheaper things on the menu like their hamburger. When it is not full you can sit in the beautiful windowed alcove near the front door with views of the street, a really wonderful space, but first come, first serve.

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        Saigon Sandwich Shop
        560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        Dol Ho
        808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2. DaFlora is unique and in a great neighborhood but you should move it to your higher price list.
      Moussy's in Alliance Francaise would be easy for you to reach from Union Sq. and has a good happy hour ( 20% off of everything on the menu)on well-executed French bisto fare. I forget the precise time for the HH. 5:30 - 7:00, I think.

      -----
      Moussy's
      1345 Bush St, San Francisco, CA

      1. You have a pretty good list. Poc Chuc, Turtle Tower, and Inkas are three of my favorite cheap places in the city. Little Star is also excellent.

        For Italian (Sardinian), have you considered La Ciccia? Definitely a board favorite and very reasonably priced (though not cheap per se). I like it better than Perbacco, which is the other (somewhat pricier) Italian place that gets recommended all the time.

        I like Zuni, and you're clearly aware that it's a higher-priced place - but I still might steer you away just because, among the more expensive popular places, I don't think it's a particularly great value. For a splurge, I'd rather send someone who's more budget-conscious to Canteen, or even Frances (or better yet to Plum, in Oakland).

        Also worth a mention is Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, a pop-up only open on Saturdays (10-2), for the best pastrami sandwich. They've recently moved to a new location, and I'm not sure if the Place link has been updated: 1270 Valencia St. (at the Heart Wine Bar).

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        Zuni Cafe
        1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        La Ciccia
        291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

        Perbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Inkas Restaurant
        3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Canteen
        817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

        Turtle Tower Restaurant
        631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

        Poc Chuc
        2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        Plum
        2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
        San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

        8 Replies
        1. re: abstractpoet

          La Ciccia is comparable in price to Ristorante Bacco; I wouldn't call either inexpensive, though both are good value, IMO. Bacco used to have price fix specials on weekdays. Not sure if they still do. It used to be my favorite Noe Valley neighborhood restaurant, with some great pasta dishes and outstanding risotto.

          Then La Ciccia came along, and I am afraid I neglected the one-time favorite neighborhood place, since La Ciccia quickly became one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. Both are easily accessible via the J Church muni (La Ciccia is right on the line, Bacco just a few blocks walk off of it, though hills are, of course, involved).

          -----
          La Ciccia
          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

          1. re: susancinsf

            well, there is a link to Ristorante Bacco, trying one more time to add it. So, as long as I am adding a reply: when I say Bacco used to be my neighborhood favorite (pre-La Ciccia), that was taking into account that Firefly is in the same nabe. A few nice items at Firefly, but not a destination for out of town guests, IMO. It is less pricey than Zuni, however (but I'd still take it off your list).

            -----
            Ristorante Bacco
            737 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

          2. re: abstractpoet

            Since this is the most recent mention of Wise Sons, I'll add my two cents... Had the corned beef sandwich and sampled the pastrami. Gotta say, that pastrami is killer. Both were on the lean side for my tastes, but the smokiness of the pastrami won me over. Both had excellent flavor and texture. Served on excellent rye with a squeeze bottle of good mustard on the table. Yum.

            1. re: BernalKC

              How is the new location? It's in a wine bar now, right? Their rye bread is fan-freaking-tastic.

              1. re: abstractpoet

                New location is indeed a wine bar, Heart Wine Bar. Worked well for us. Line up to order, cash only, find seating on common tables, there was a bit of a line that got longer behind us. Quite nice experience overall.

                And yeah, the rye was notable.

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                Heart Wine Bar
                1270 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: BernalKC

                  Noting another new location for Wise Sons, now at Beast and the Hare (22nd and Guerrero).

                  I've now tried the pastrami there twice. The first time they offered me a sample of it after I ordered a different item, and the bite I tried was mind-blowing, melting in the mouth. I think it had just been heated and carved right before they put it on the plate. Went back last week and ordered a pastrami sandwich, and found it not quite so good this time - the main flaw was that the fat hadn't really melted, making the texture overly chewy. My theory is that they were in a big hurry to feed the crowd and may not have had time to properly heat all the meat.

                  Has anyone tried getting the pastrami to go and reheating at home? Wondering if that would help ensure better consistency.

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                  Beast and the Hare
                  1001 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                2. re: abstractpoet

                  Nice but not Jewish style NY rye bread.
                  More Vienna syle.

                  1. re: stanbee

                    Disagree...Brooklyn/Manhattan boy here...the rye is as it should be...crusty on the outside (although I would like even more egg wash) and moist chewy within...excellent..
                    Had the Bagels from Schmendricks..these were also quite good, here I also would have liked a little more "maltish" taste and additional egg wash as well...but small quibbles..the texture was right and gave my jaws the exercise real bagels ellicit!

            2. Happy Hour:
              Farallon, 15 Romolo, Alembic, Nihon Whisky Lounge

              Burritos:
              El Farolito or Cancun

              Pizza:
              Tony's or Una - unless you only like deep dish pizza. Tony's has a slice shop next door to the restaurant if you're looking to just grab a slice or two.

              Higher price: Cotogna. Brunch and lunch menus are less expensive. Go to Zuni for Bloody Marys, snacks, and people watching.

              Ton Kiang is still going to be very expensive for dim sum. It might be a tiny bit cheaper than Yank Sing but it's really not for anyone seeking a true bargain.

              I'm not a fan of Poc Chuc, Inkas, Firefly, or Papalote. Thanks for letting me get that out there :)

              keep: Turtle Tower for pho (note that they close early), pakwan

              Inkas or Limon or Limon Rotisserie—which is best? Limon, either location is better than Inkas. Limon Rotisserie might seem less expensive but the plates are very small. We usually go to Mi Lindo Peru for their bargain lunch menu - but I wouldn't recommend that you come all the way over from across town for it.

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              Farallon
              450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

              Taqueria Cancun
              3211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              El Farolito Bar
              2777 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Alembic
              1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

              Nihon Whisky Lounge
              1779 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

              15 Romolo
              15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133

              Tony's Pizza Napoletana
              1570 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

              Una Pizza Napoletana
              200 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              Cotogna
              490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

              1. >>3. I’d like to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Is there a good place to eat near the bridge?

                The suggestion to walk down to Sausalito is good, there are a number of good places there. Search this board for Sausalito for information.

                The ferry ride back might be a lot of fun, if the weather is nice. This time of year the fog can roll in quite quickly. (Bring a jacket.)

                If you are going to take public transit, the number 28 bus
                http://transit.511.org/static/provide...

                will take you from the GG Bridge to Fort Mason. If you take your bridge walk on Friday afternoon, you can ride over to Fort Mason for the Off the Grid food truck event and then stroll around the Marina district.

                A little off topic but check out the Muni passes http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passp...

                You can buy a 1, 3, or 7 day pass which will save you money and make it very convenient to hop on and off the various city buses and streetcars without worrying about exact change.

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