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

s
soccermom13 Jun 25, 2011 05:46 PM

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

-----
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

  1. Robert Lauriston Jul 5, 2011 02:17 PM

    Arizmendi - not worth going out of your way

    Egg custard at Golden Gate Bakery - worth the wait in line

    Little Star Deep Dish - better than Chicago

    L’Osteria Del Forno - best in its price range

    Ideale - great

    La Taqueria - expensive for a taqueria

    Cotogna - great, maybe the best rustic Italian in SF now

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

    Ideale
    1315 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    La Taqueria
    2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Arizmendi
    1268 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Cotogna
    490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      s
      soccermom13 Apr 8, 2012 05:20 AM

      Okay, I am finally filing a trip report from our November, 2011, four day trip to San Francisco. Please excuse this very tardy response. I am truly grateful for your help, and I will be reviewing this thread again before our next visit to your wonderful, wonderful city in July 2012.

      Thursday-
      lunch at Ferry Bldg. Farmers' Mkt--Roli Roti Chicken and roasted potatoes--fabulous
      dinner at L'Osteria--roasted pork cooked in milk--fabulous
      dessert was an egg custard from Golden Gate Bakery

      Friday--
      am--Tartine bread pudding with fruit (berries? plums?) It was fabulous. DH had a scone, IIRC.
      We also got an Alfajores from the bakery at 443 Valencia. Good but not great.
      After walking from Tartine to the Pacific Ocean, we had a late lunch at Zuni---drink, hamburger. I love sitting outside at Zuni.
      dinner was a picnic in Union Square with Acme Bread, Cowgirl cheese and wine from Ferry Bldg.

      Sat
      breakfast at Ferry Bldg. Farmers Mkt.--chilaquiles from the vendor in back of the building--can't remember the vendor's name. They were wonderful.
      We were so full from breakfast that we did not eat again until having dinner at a party in Berkeley.

      Sunday
      breakfast was Kouign Amann (more on that later)
      lunch--Super Carne Asada burrito from El Farolita---I LOVE LOVE LOVE these burritos.
      dinner---a Cowgirl creamery sandwich which we ate at the airport as we waited to board

      As you can see, we made only the tiniest dent in sampling what your city has to offer.

      I was on a mission to find and sample Kouign Amann. We got one at Bi-Rite and one at the Coffee Bar at 101 Montgomery (where we met the proprietress, who is wonderful, charming, and knowledgeable). I liked these, but while they were good, I'd rather consume my calories in other ways--for example, I'd rather have a 2nd serving of Tartine's bread pudding. The Kouign Amanns were loaded with butter and sugar and just not quite superlative enough to warrant consuming that many calories....

      Again, thank you for so generously responding to my many questions. YOU RULE!

      p.s. Just realized I never reported on our JULY 2011 trip to San Francisco. I can't find my notes, but I know we ate at Cotogna, which was truly wonderful.

      1. re: soccermom13
        mariacarmen Apr 20, 2012 01:31 AM

        well, this was a great report! sounds like you really did it right. i love that you spent so much time doing little stops, picking up things and eating picnic style I just went to Cotogna my first time for lunch and found it wonderful too. better start planning that July trip now!

    2. c
      Courduroy Jul 5, 2011 12:11 AM

      For a great french bakery without the lines/price/attitude check out Thorough Bread on Church near Market...they have an amazing selection of pastries and breads along with sandwiches and other treats. The best part too is the awesome back patio/garden...a perfect refuge from the hustle out front

      5 Replies
      1. re: Courduroy
        josquared Jul 5, 2011 03:26 PM

        I stopped by here on Sunday morning for a perfectly fine coffee and a pretty darn good sticky bun.

        That back patio did look inviting, but I hung out in the main room instead, looking over the other goodies and debating if I should bring home some of that chocolate bread (I resisted the urge, but have a target for a second visit.)

        1. re: josquared
          c
          Courduroy Jul 5, 2011 03:34 PM

          I have not had the chocolate bread but the almond croissants (sp?) and the olive bread are oh do delicious

          1. re: Courduroy
            Windy Jul 5, 2011 03:57 PM

            Chocolate bread, multigrain bread, and baguettes are my standbys here. Skip the bagels.

            1. re: Windy
              c
              Courduroy Jul 5, 2011 04:02 PM

              Thanks Windy...good to know, though I generally skip bagels at French bakeries lol...speaking of bagels, any good recommendations for traditional NY style bagels? I went to the House of Bagels last week and they were pretty damn good

              1. re: Courduroy
                Windy Jul 5, 2011 04:33 PM

                There are hardly any NY style bagels left in NY. House of Bagels is probably the best around here besides maybe Panorama's (sold at Alemany Market on Saturdays).

                I tried Beauty's Bagels last Saturday at Wise Sons' popup deli, and liked them, as much for the size as anything.

                -----
                Beauty's Bagel Shop
                3838 Telegraph, Oakland, CA

      2. c
        cgs2011 Jun 29, 2011 08:32 AM

        Check out the Check Please Bay Area website! They review 3 restaurants a week and many are very budget friendly. http://blogs.kqed.org/checkplease/

        1. w
          whiner Jun 27, 2011 01:01 PM

          Italian: L'Osteria del Forno all the way. Just go. Remember, cash only, no reservations... but just so wonderful.

          Burritos are contentious. Taqueria Cancun and La Taqueria are more "classic" SF... but Papalote is easily my favorite.

          Higher price (by your standards) I would look at Perbacco and NOPA.

          -----
          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          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

          10 Replies
          1. re: whiner
            s
            soccermom13 Jun 28, 2011 05:08 AM

            So many good suggestions. Good to know that Google Maps is good for getting me to all these restaurants and "foodie pilgrimages" such as the trip to Berkeley Bowl. Also, 511 looks very helpful too. I learned about the trip planner BayTripper but I don't think it's available for Android :0(

            More questions:
            1. Lots of good comments re the Mint Plaza Blue Bottle. What makes it better than the BB in the Ferry Bldg? The fact that you can sit there (vs. take your coffee and stroll at the FB) ?
            2. Thomas--thanks for giving the thumbs up to Canteen. I was worried that I should have chosen Range or Nopa instead.
            3. Any suggestions for what to order at Cologna? Canteen? La Ciccia? (although I suspect that the menus change based on what's locally/seasonally available)
            4. There are chef demos at the Fillmore Jazz Festival this weekend. Will they be worth attending?

            Again---thank you, thank you, thank you.

            -----
            Berkeley Bowl
            2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

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

            Nopa
            560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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

            1. re: soccermom13
              a
              abstractpoet Jun 28, 2011 09:58 AM

              The singular characteristic of the Mint Plaza Blue Bottle is the fancy syphon bar that they have there for drip coffee. Read about it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/din...

              A neat experience to see in action, and coffee out of the syphon thingamabob really is very good (if $$) - but I wouldn't say you need to go out of your way for it if you aren't a big coffee geek per se.

              Also, if you go to an actual Blue Bottle shop, you can order a "secret" espresso drink called a Gibraltar (named after the small glass tumbler it's served in) - it's not so different from a cappuccino, but it's pretty good. I don't know if you can get that at the farmers market kiosk - certainly not in the proper glass.

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

              1. re: abstractpoet
                grayelf Jun 28, 2011 12:13 PM

                Unless things have changed, you can get a Gibraltar in the glass it is named after at all the BBC shops in SF. I have tried them all :-).

                1. re: abstractpoet
                  JasmineG Jun 28, 2011 02:47 PM

                  Yep, you can get that at the kiosks at the markets (the ones that have espresso machines). Love the Gibraltar.

                  1. re: JasmineG
                    s
                    saffrongold Jun 29, 2011 08:25 AM

                    Gilbraltar = YES

                  2. re: abstractpoet
                    Windy Jul 2, 2011 03:00 PM

                    BB Mint Plaza also has the Kyoto iced tea, slow dripped through IV tubing (or whatever). It's incredible, especially with one of their chocolate cookies or saffron biscotti.

                    I could watch the siphons all day; you don't have to order them to be fascinated.

                  3. re: soccermom13
                    t
                    Thomas Nash Jun 28, 2011 10:38 AM

                    Canteen has a fixed menu which changes daily (or at least frequently). Range and Nopa are excellent also, BTW, but not better than Canteen and not as near your hotel.

                    La Ciccia is good, but, even though we live nearby, we never seem to be motivated to go back. You should really consider Delfina. If you get there early (before 6 or 630) on a weekday, you should be able to grab a little table at the bar or at the counter. We did that the other night, just walking by. And the fresh wood roasted porcini salad was incredible, as were the stuffed zucchini flowers... In any event, you really need to see the gourmet ghetto on that stretch of 18th St. There's also Tartine's, BiRite grocery and its ice cream place (salted caramel) across the street, big lines when it is warm (above 59 degrees is warm here).

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

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

                    Nopa
                    560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                    1. re: Thomas Nash
                      l
                      lrealml Jun 28, 2011 01:33 PM

                      So I went to Canteen Thursday and both entrees we ordered were a miss:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/792426

                      There was also another recent not so stellar report:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785202

                      So maybe they are having some consistency problems.
                      I would stick with Nopa because it is more of a sure thing (haven't seen any bad reports lately).

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

                      1. re: Thomas Nash
                        s
                        soccermom13 Jun 29, 2011 05:03 AM

                        SF Hounds---YOU ARE THE BEST!

                        Thank you so very much for so graciously and generously sharing your knowledge. I love your city and now I feel better "armed" to find and enjoy some wonderful food.

                        1. re: Thomas Nash
                          bbulkow Jul 2, 2011 04:36 PM

                          This week is all about squash blossoms. I had a great dish at Revival in berkeley so far.

                    2. JasmineG Jun 26, 2011 02:44 PM

                      Just a note that while the Ferry Building is open every day, the market is not, and the big market day is Saturday (smaller markets on Tuesday and Thursday, Thursday is mostly prepared food). 4505, Roli Roti, Captain Mike's and Primavera are only there on market days, and Primavera is only there Saturday.

                      For pizza, I'd add Pizzeria Delfina to that list.

                      -----
                      Roli Roti
                      , Hayward, CA

                      Pizzeria Delfina
                      2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: JasmineG
                        s
                        soccermom13 Jun 26, 2011 04:09 PM

                        You guys are the best! What wonderful suggestions!

                        I've made reservations at La Ciccia and Canteen and Cotogna. (I hope I'm not devoting too many meals to Italian cuisine....)

                        I've crossed several places off my list, including Firefly and Ton Kiang.

                        Question re Dol Ho---do they serve only dim sum? When are they usually open? In my part of the world (Midwest), I believe dim sum is served usually at brunch hours.

                        Thanks for the info re when to find various food items at FM; we'll plan to eat some of the items on our list there specifically on Th-Sat-Tu.

                        The suggestion to go from the GG bridge to Fort Mason on Friday for the Off the Grid trucks is excellent! Now I have to read the O the G threads so I know what to buy from the trucks.

                        If you have more suggestions and ideas, send them my way. This is so helpful.

                        Thank you.

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

                        Ton Kiang
                        5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

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

                        Cotogna
                        490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                        1. re: soccermom13
                          s
                          soccermom13 Jun 26, 2011 04:26 PM

                          One more question---we may go to Berkeley and if we do, I want to visit one of the Berkeley Bowls. Which is easier to get to via public transportation?
                          Thanks.

                          -----
                          Berkeley Bowl
                          2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                          1. re: soccermom13
                            wolfe Jun 26, 2011 04:52 PM

                            Oregon St. walking distance(.3 miles) from Ashby BART.
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/89239849...

                            1. re: soccermom13
                              a
                              abstractpoet Jun 26, 2011 05:21 PM

                              Early on a Tuesday afternoon would be a nice time to go to the Oregon St. BB (though to me the new W. Berkeley location is even more impressive), since there's also the Berkeley Tuesday farmers market nearby (starting at 2pm) - not as fancy as the Ferry Building market, but arguably more enjoyable for doing actual shopping for produce.

                              Also nearby is Crixa Cakes, for fantastic Eastern European pastries and buns and - if you get there between 11am and whenever they sell out (sometimes pretty quick) - the BEST seasonal fruit pies. When pitted fruits are in season, as they are now, these are spectacular.

                              -----
                              Crixa Cakes
                              2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                            2. re: soccermom13
                              Ruth Lafler Jun 26, 2011 05:49 PM

                              Dol Ho I believe only serves dim sum and you're right, it's usually served from late morning to early afternoon.

                              -----
                              Dol Ho
                              808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                              1. re: soccermom13
                                bbulkow Jun 26, 2011 07:12 PM

                                Suggestion: have a backup for Off The Grid. I hear about 45 minute lines for the better trucks, and there have been some complaints about quality in the trucks with fewer lines. You might not have the same problems, or you might get lucky, but ... take a backup. I don't eat over on that side of town much - I think the last time was getting a sandwich at the Marina Safeway and eating on the grass. The Paxti's over there would be tasty if you've been wind-whipped across the bridge (but a long wait).

                                1. re: bbulkow
                                  m
                                  ML8000 Jun 26, 2011 08:54 PM

                                  I also heard about the lines and that some trucks were meh...or it would be reasonable if the lines weren't nuts. The lines however kills it from what I heard. Not much cheap eats around there, like Chestnut St.

                                  1. re: ML8000
                                    mariacarmen Jun 27, 2011 07:07 AM

                                    To give you the other side of the coin - If you get to OTG by about 5:30 you'll avoid the huge lines. We did it, never waited for more than 5 minutes, tops. had a wonderful time, we were done by 7:00 when most (but not all) of the trucks' lines started getting huge. Food was good to great, nothing was a complete miss. I'd definitely recommend this to out-of towners.

                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                      m
                                      ML8000 Jun 27, 2011 12:54 PM

                                      That's good info. Guess it's like weekend brunch in SF...leave the house by 11:30 and you're fine. Leave at noon and forget it.

                                2. re: soccermom13
                                  t
                                  Thomas Nash Jun 26, 2011 07:54 PM

                                  Dol Ho is lunch. Dim Sum is a tea thing, morning through noon hour. Very simple, small place. Go around noon and they will being stuff around to you to select from. Check what other tables are having and point. Not a lot of English spoken. Use chop sticks if possible. Dol Ho is very real.

                                  Canteen is not Italian, but a very good choice for you.

                                  Go early to the OTG on Friday. 5-6, it is generally a people zoo with big lines. Don't miss Chairman Bao (pork belly baked bun!!), Curry Up Now, and the Malaysian lady. There are other OTGs during the week at lunch and dinner hour at different locations. Two are near City Hall. Google it. Less trucks, also less lines.

                                  The old Berkeley Bowl is about a mile from the Berkeley BART stop. I don't know about the other. Not too far from the stop is the Cheeseboard, other direction, not to be missed! And Chez Panisse is there. Go to the cafe upstairs. Worth the splurge. Reserve.

                                  lso in Bizerkely is Vik's Chaat House, an amazingly good Indian snack place. I am sure there is a bus in that direction, but it is not near the BART stop. Really worth the trouble.

                                  BTW, google maps is very good on public transportation. Just enter your start and finish points and it will give you route options as well as schedules. Berkeley has lots of public transportation.

                                  -----
                                  Vik's Chaat House
                                  2390 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

                                  Berkeley Bowl
                                  2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                                  Dol Ho
                                  808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                  Chez Panisse
                                  1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                  Chairman Bao
                                  San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                                  1. re: Thomas Nash
                                    a
                                    abstractpoet Jun 26, 2011 11:22 PM

                                    Note that the Ashby BART station is less than half a mile from the old Berkeley Bowl (and from Crixa, the Tuesday market, etc.).

                                    The stop Thomas Nash is referring to is the Downtown Berkeley BART - two different stops. I wouldn't walk all the way to Berkeley Bowl from the downtown stop.

                                    -----
                                    Berkeley Bowl
                                    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                                    Downtown Berkeley BART
                                    2230 Shattuck Ave, C Berkeley, CA

                                    1. re: abstractpoet
                                      Ruth Lafler Jun 27, 2011 09:13 AM

                                      Right. I've walked from Ashby BART and it's just a couple of blocks -- I've done it on my lunch hour from SF, in fact (although it did take more than an hour roundtrip). I think Nash may have been thinking of Downtown Berkeley BART because you can walk from there to the Cheeseboard. But Cheeseboard is the opposite direction from Berkeley Bowl: you can't walk (well you can, but you shouldn't) from the Berkeley Bowl to the Cheeseboard -- better to hop on a bus.

                                      -----
                                      Berkeley Bowl
                                      2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                                      Downtown Berkeley BART
                                      2230 Shattuck Ave, C Berkeley, CA

                                    2. re: Thomas Nash
                                      susancinsf Jun 27, 2011 12:16 PM

                                      another option if google maps doesn't work:

                                      http://www.511.org/

                                3. pamf Jun 26, 2011 02:26 PM

                                  >>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/providers/maps/SF_1222201020400.gif

                                  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.

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

                                  1. scarmoza Jun 26, 2011 10:36 AM

                                    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.

                                    -----
                                    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. a
                                      abstractpoet Jun 25, 2011 11:40 PM

                                      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).

                                      -----
                                      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
                                        susancinsf Jun 26, 2011 08:37 AM

                                        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
                                          susancinsf Jun 26, 2011 08:49 AM

                                          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
                                          BernalKC Jul 2, 2011 02:16 PM

                                          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
                                            a
                                            abstractpoet Jul 2, 2011 02:50 PM

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

                                            1. re: abstractpoet
                                              BernalKC Jul 2, 2011 06:09 PM

                                              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.

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

                                              1. re: BernalKC
                                                b
                                                bigwheel042 Jul 19, 2011 11:28 PM

                                                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.

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

                                              2. re: abstractpoet
                                                s
                                                stanbee Apr 19, 2012 11:45 PM

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

                                                1. re: stanbee
                                                  ChowFun_derek Apr 20, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                  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. s
                                            saffrongold Jun 25, 2011 09:24 PM

                                            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. t
                                              Thomas Nash Jun 25, 2011 06:20 PM

                                              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

                                              -----
                                              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
                                                Ruth Lafler Jun 25, 2011 09:51 PM

                                                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
                                                  t
                                                  Thomas Nash Jun 26, 2011 10:34 AM

                                                  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.

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

                                                  Dol Ho
                                                  808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

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