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Foodie coming to San Fran with teenagers

  • p

Hi,
Am a serious foodie, own a catering company/gourmet food store in Toronto. I've been to SF many times, my kids have never been, 17 & 19 years old.. Staying Aug 4 - 12th. They have an appreciation for good food, can't kill them with fine dining though. Will make a trip to Chez Panisse, but beyond that would like more casual suggestions. Really good food, original, unusual. Daughter is a vegetarian, lol.

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Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

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  1. Well that's better than "daughter being a vegan." Several teenage links although yours are a little older.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/728297
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773717
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/792459

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Thanks. Both really do appreciate serious food, just can't make them sit through 6 3 hour dinners . Looking for great restos, not fine dining, per se.

    2. Well, if they don't appreciate Chez Panisse, go across the street and get a slice of pizza from the Cheeseboard. The cheese selection is worth checking out as long as you are in the area.

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      Chez Panisse
      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      1 Reply
      1. re: rworange

        Thanks. They will appreciate Chez Panisse, both looking forward to it. I just can't get them to go to this type of resto 6 nights in a row. Need fun, lively spots with really awesome food. Staying downtown, lunch suggestions welcome too.

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        Chez Panisse
        1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      2. I recently went to Gracias Madre in the Mission and had a really fantastic meal -- it's run by the same people as Cafe Gratitude, so the menu is entirely vegan. The homemade tortillas and guacamole were delicious, as was the fresh juice. You'll have a seriously happy vegetarian daughter on your hands if you make a trip there!

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        Gracias Madre
        2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        6 Replies
        1. re: operagirl

          As she would say, woot! many thanks.

          1. re: Prok

            If you're going to make several visits to the East Bay, get down to the other end of College Ave. Marica, a wonderful small basically seafood restaurant that somehow manages to keep its entire menu reasonably priced and even inexpensive. Friendly welcoming staff, all items fresh and solidly prepared and presented, reliable quality and sometimes bordering exquisite. Seared ahi, with a touch of corriande is generally one of their specials. Appetizers include a substantial bowl of fresh mussels steamed with a touch of pernod and all the crusty Acme bread you want, (5 dollars) or lightly breaded and pan fried calamari with jalapeno and ginger, vegetarian meals offered or prepared on request then a few blocks further on brings you to Piedmont Ave which is lined from one end to the other with exceptional restaurants, cafes and coffee houses and anchored at one end with the Michelin starred Commis and at the other end with Dopo, a salumaria wine bar or across the street, Fentons Ice Cream Parlor with really really good ice cream, or half a block down the street, Lush and a selection of home made and very good Gelato. And between these establishments, cheap and good sushi, more expensive and a a lot better sushi, a Taqueria offering" wow thats good" fish taco's, several Italian themed restaurants, a lovely little french cafe that is sometimes open and sometimes not depending on the mood of the very french owner, serving mostly a selection of Quiche, and on and on.

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            Dopo
            4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

            Commis
            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

            1. re: catfur

              The daughter is vegetarian, so sushi, fish tacos and a salumaria wine bar probably would not be the best choices, as good as they are. .

              I love Marica, but isn't really a " fun, lively spot" that a teen might appreiate.

              Good suggestions ... but what are your thoughts about vegetarian-friendly joints that would be fun for teens?

              1. re: rworange

                Sushi can be vegetarian and fun, Fentons for the dessert, I was really suggesting visiting the street, anchored by those mentioned establishments in between are antique shops, 2nd hand fashionable clothing stores, sundries, etc that would be fun to browse through, along with a very nice Ethiopian restaurant with a good selection of vegetarian meals, as do most other restaurants there, save Barney's Hamburger Joint..

                1. re: rworange

                  Another Mission recommendation -- Cha-Ya is an all-vegetarian sushi place. Went there a couple weeks ago and liked absolutely everything I tried. The seaweed salad in particular is unusual and good -- it has a thick, sesame-based dressing that you mix in at the table, and the seaweed was a cut above the typical melange.

                  1. re: rworange

                    The only places on Piedmont Ave. I'd send an out-of-town "foodie" visitor with a limited # of meals to are: Commis, Dopo, and Lush Gelato. And Lush has another location on Shattuck that's right by Chez Panisse.

                    It's definitely NOT a great or particularly fun window-shopping neighborhood, as most of the shops close ridiculously early, and the musty antique stores and 2nd-hand clothing stores on that street are the kind that appeal to the aged, not to teenagers. (I do love Dr. Comics and Mr. Games, but that's a pretty specific niche.)

                    Go to Valencia St. in SF if you want to combine tasty eats with fun, hip, vintage-y shops that would be appealing to teens. Udupi Palace would be a good veg-friendly pick in that 'hood.

                    Really, the only reason for the OP to go out of her way to hit Piedmont Ave. is if she wants to make a pilgrimage to Commis - something I certainly wouldn't steer anyone away from, but Prok did say she didn't want too many higher-end, formal places.

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                    Dopo
                    4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

                    Udupi Palace
                    1007 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    Lush Gelato
                    4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                    Commis
                    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                    Lush Gelato
                    1511 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                    Chez Panisse Cafe
                    1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

            2. How about Indian, Thai, Burmese - good choices for a vegetarian. Not up on the current favorites in the city but a search should help.
              the farmers market on Saturday at the Ferry building is a constant favorite - probably would be good for all of you;)

              1. you know what's a fun, not too-high end place that doesn't get much mention here (and i don't know why, i've never had a bad meal there)? Spork - formerly a Kentucky Fried Chicken building, with some of the design elements still there. great food, playful, a nice fun space. There are always one or two veg options on their seasonal menu, plus their inside-out burger, and a really good mussels and pork dish. http://www.sporksf.com/home.htm It's a non-serious space with, to me, seriously good but unpretentious food. Goat cheese croquettes, mashed fries, and delicious salt-topped buns reminiscent of the rolls you'd get at KFC, but much better. And of course, there's the spork!

                plus, as others have said, you'll be in the Mission, which is a very hipsterish, funky place to take teens, walking from 16th Street Bart up Valencia Street to Spork (which is between 21st and 22nd on Valencia) by all the shops/restaurants.

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                Spork
                1058 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                3 Replies
                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Many thanks for all the suggestions. What about food shops? Anything new/interesting open in the last couple of years?

                  1. re: Prok

                    walking along that corridor, on Valencia, there's a new cheese shop/wine bar, called Mission Cheese. and of course the Ferry Bldg. on Saturdays (but that's not new.) at 244th and Mission there's Arizmendi, a pizzeria/bakery that makes wonderful white pizzas, scones, muffins, etc. - it's a sister bakery to the Cheeseboard and the East Bay Arizmendi.

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                    Arizmendi
                    1268 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    Mission Cheese
                    736 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      Great - thanks! Of course plan to go to the Ferry Bldg, probably Saturday even though it will be evil crowded. It's one of my favourite places of all time, anywhere. Like the sound of Mission Cheese. My store in TO is arguably the best cheese store in the city, has been since 1984. Always on the lookout for new things, so thanks again.

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                      Mission Cheese
                      736 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                2. Off The Grid. Couldn't be more casual. Lots of fun. Lots of variety and choices. Even some good food! The link singles out the Fort Mason night, but there are other choices - like Upper Haight on Thursday nights.

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BernalKC

                    Second that recommendation. lots of fun, get to the Fort Mason one by 5, 5:30, and you'll get a jump on the lines.

                  2. I would go to Gather instead of Chez Panisse.. more fun and interesting.

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                    Chez Panisse
                    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jason carey

                      Thanks for the suggestion. Will look into Gather, not heard of it. Chez Panisse is on my list, mostly for the history lesson for my kids. May sound trite I realize. Have been a member of Slow Food for many years, AW an important part of the story. Not the whole story, I know.

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                      Chez Panisse
                      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                      1. re: Prok

                        Disagree on the above -- I enjoy Gather, and that vegan charcuterie dish is always incredible, but it is nowhere near as delicious as Chez Panisse.

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                        Chez Panisse
                        1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                    2. Una Pizza Napoletana is vegetarian and fun because the wood burning pizza oven plays center stage.

                      Thursdays food carts at the Ferry Plaza would also be on my list.

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

                      1. How about some Mexican like La Palma Mexicatessen, El Farolito, Taqueria Guadalajara or El Delfin? Or Slanted Door? Low key Italian like Trattoria Contadina, E' Tutto Qua, Sodini's Green Valley or Firenze by Night? SF classics like Tadich Grill, Sam's Grill and Swan Oyster Depot? Or maybe Foreign Cinema or The House?

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                        Slanted Door
                        Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        Tadich Grill
                        240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        Sodini's
                        510 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                        Trattoria Contadina
                        1800 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

                        Swan Oyster Depot
                        1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                        Foreign Cinema
                        2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                        El Delfin
                        3066 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        La Palma Mexicatessen
                        2884 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: scottca075

                          Wow - more thanks to all. Have been to Slanted Door & Swan before. Don't think I can sell Slanted (which I loved), but veg daughter loves oysters, so maybe Swan. So many places, so few days.....

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                          Slanted Door
                          Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                          1. re: Prok

                            If she loves oysters, consider Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building. Get an outside table if the weather cooperates and people watch. Their grilled cheese sandwich is incredibly rich, but is a nice thing to split and share along with a couple dozen oysters.

                        2. I haven't seen anyone mention Foreign Cinema, which would be very appropriate for your "kids". I would recommend a reservation on the patio later in the evening. Check our their website to see which movie is playing.

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                          Foreign Cinema
                          2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Peter Quigley

                            Hey Peter, check them glasses... I recommended Foreign Cinema :)

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                            Foreign Cinema
                            2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                            1. re: scottca075

                              Yes but it submerged under 12 other names. Maybe his diving goggles were fogged by the time he got that deep into your post.;-)