Two foodies, one 14 year old, coming to town this Friday for a week - Restaurant Ideas???
My husband and I are coming into town for a week starting on Friday. We are adventurous eaters. My 14 year is less adventurous foodwise, but is a good sport about new restaurants. We'll be hitting most of the tourist spots, and are really looking forward to trying out some good food. For past trips, we've tried the guidebooks, the Gourmet magazine travel guide (when Gourmet was still around), and other foodie guides, and they didn't quite hit the mark. We're staying in the Yerba Buena area (understand that's downtown), but willing to travel within reason (we're from a big city too). Looking for good food where the locals eat. We're flexible on price/ambiance, and just want to taste the best of San Francisco. Open to all suggestions and excited by our upcoming trip.
Since you're looking for "the best", you're likely to get the standard top-20 kind of list. But you've read "the guidebooks".
What have you tried, and how didn't it measure up? Or, your favorites in other cities?
I drove by Walzwerk yesterday, and was reminded how much I've enjoyed the last few meals there. It's quirky, it doesn't get recommended, I wouldn't recommend it normally, but there it is ... one of my favorite places. Maybe if you can add some personal information, we'll have a chance at picking out some of your new favorite places.
I will still claim my favorite is Plum in Oakland, and it's right next to Bart, which has a stop a few blocks from your hotel.
Plum sounds pretty good. We're looking for somewhere memorable and warm The places that work for us don't alway work for her, but we aren't looking for burgers. In NY, we had a good time at one of the Batali restaurants (Del Posto?) In London a couple of years back, our most memorable meal was at the nose to tail restaurant St John. It was quirky (we like quirky) and the care taken with the food really came through. We generally ate well in Italy last year and encountered a lot of traditional food rendered well, once in a while we wished we had the insider recommendation that was more up to the moment.
If you liked St. John, than you should head to Incanto - quirky, yes, but immensely satisfying and fantastic food (I recommend the lamb neck, if it is available).
Also hunt out Burmese restaurants; from downtown, you are a few blocks walk to Burmese Kitchen aka Larkin Express Deli. Go there for lunch.
Express Deli and Cafe
325 S 1st St Ste B, San Jose, CA 95113
I would give Bar Agricole a shot for sure. Great farm-to-table ingredients being prepared in very inventive ways. The space is undeniable as it won a Beard this year for best new design, and the cocktails are just another reason to try it out. Also, if it is nice out they have a great outdoor patio.
355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Here are some that aren't top 20 guidebook places (except maybe for La Ciccia).
La Ciccia (no surprise - one of the board's favorites as well as mine).
Mission Chinese (some love it, some hate it. I really liked it and it's very different).
Lolo (very casual Mexican tapas, a fun environment and again a bit different).
I've been meaning to try Bar Tartine as they've been reworking the menu -- but I haven't gottent there yet.
Mission Chinese and Lolo may be more casual than you're looking for, but I like to have a change of pace on occasion.
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
L'Osteria del Forno (cash only, no reservations) -- Great pizzas and pork roast
Perbacco -- Northern Italian
Ame -- expensive Japanese/Italian fusion. World class.
Nopa -- casual New American.
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
L'Osteria del Forno
519 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117