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Aug 7, 2011 01:33 PM

5 nights in SF- Lunch & Dinner for Limey!!!

OK, I'm a Brit over for the first time and will be one of those nuisance tourists who get in the way of the locals trying to enjoy themselves! I'm hoping some of you guys out there in SF will point me in the right direction for 4 good lunch & dinner places that tick all the right boxes for a first time visitor, i.e. sea food, ethnic, pub, & diner. Don't really want to go above $30 per head as we are on a VERY long road trip and as you know us Brits are now the poor relatives in our "special relationship" (;-)

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  1. You really should spend 10-15 minutes scrolling thru the many posts, containing hundreds of recommendations, that are already here for you to review. These questions you are asking get asked and answered here regularly. You can also go up to the right hand corner of this page and search for a specific topic.

    When you say ethnic, that opens up a wide variety of food. Are you interested in Thai? Vietnamese? Turkish? Indian? Mexican? Latin American? Burmese? Sardinian? Cantonese?

    The two traditional seafood restaurants in San Francisco are the Tadich Grill and Sam's Grill.
    Both are downtown in the Financial District and both serve lunch and dinner. Both get crowded at peak hours.

    Tadich Grill
    240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    1. Welcome to Chowhound. I see this is your first post. Reading this first might help

      This type of question gets the best response if people post a few restaurants they might be interested in. Letting people know you will report back after your trip also increases the response rate.

      As a starting point, what days of the week will you be here. Some places are only open on specific days. Will you only be in the city or visiting other areas?

      1. You might want to check out the recs in this thread: (Top Ten must eats -- budget version).

        Where else are you going on your road trip? What I'd suggest would be different depending on where else you are going.

        1. Also, are you a Londoner or from elsewhere in the UK? If London, we might want to direct you to things that aren't so common -- or are better, like Mexican -- than you can get at home.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joan Kureczka

            I'm sure that Mexican here is better than in the UK regardless of where in the UK he is from; however, since he is on a "VERY" long road trip, he may want to skip Mexican here if he is headed to or coming from Mexico or So Cal.
            So to the OP: Where else are you going on this road trip?

            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              I'm from the North of England Nr Manchester. To be honest the UK now has restaurants from many nations, some very good others really bad. My thoughts re SF were: sea food, Japanese (now starting to take off in the UK) Local specialities (American/Californian) I've highlighted a few café's (Blue bottle, Baker & Bank, Chilli & Pie & HRD Coffee Shop) but obviously I'll be in the tourist area's ticking the usual boxes but I hate the thought of herding, cattle like, into the mass catering joints. I'm willing to make that extra effort to sample some food the locals would appreciate. I do believe though we'll have to up our budget for SF to $40 per head per meal.

              HRD Coffee Shop
              521 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

            2. hello, when will you be visiting ? the northern california - raised vegetables, fruits, cheeses can be brilliant in their season, as well as the dungeness crab in early winter. If you wish to try ethnic foods from Pacific rim countries, you'll have a good variety to choose from at moderate cost. Are you staying in SF proper, and in which part of the city ? Depending where you are, there can be tasty bargains minutes from your door for your breakfasts or snacks.

              6 Replies
              1. re: moto

                Hi, Thanks for the reply. Sorry if I was a little vague on my posting (first timer!) We'll be in SF July 4th to 9th staying at the Hotel Drisco on Pacific Avenue. I know there are countless recommendations on this excellent site but I thought there might be a general consensus as to the "must not miss" places to eat. But as we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to food!! On the ethnic front I'm led to believe there is a decent place called the Slanted Door and when trying the sea food, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant and the Fog City Diner are the 2 to go for. On Trip Advisor it shows over 3000 places to eat, so I should find 8!!!

                Slanted Door
                Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                Fog City Diner
                1300 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

                1. re: burylad

                  Take whatever guidebook you're using for food recommendations, find some scissors, cut the relevant food pages out, and chuck them in the dustbin. Any guidebook that claims that a restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf has the best seafood in town is steering you wrong.

                  A few searches through this board should turn up numerous recommendations in the categories you're looking for. I would probably look for an ethnic option in the Richmond district, as that's relatively close to your hotel. You'll get very good food and within your budget, but the atmosphere will be a far cry from what you'd get at the Slanted Door.

                  Slanted Door
                  Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                  1. re: burylad

                    July 4-9 -- almost a year from now? If that's true, then stop planning restaurants right now -- the restaurant scene evolves pretty quickly, so two-three months out is more than enough lead time for planning. IIf you have a year, you should lurk on this board and follow what's new, what's hot, what's closing, and most important, what other visitors have enjoyed.

                    In addition, as people have said, what you should eat here is based in some part on where else you are going, where there might be even better choices for some cuisines in other places you're going.

                    There are very few places in SF I would characterize as a "mass catering joint" but some of the big places at Fisherman's wharf would qualify and maybe a few places around Union Square. San Francisco is physically a small city, which means that real estate is at a premium and restaurants tend to be small. In addition, neighborhoods are close together so there isn't a huge division between where locals eat and where visitors eat -- with the exception of Fisherman's Wharf. If you choose restaurants based on a guidebook, it is sure to be full of other people who chose it based on the guidebook.

                    Finally, there's no "consensus" -- people are opinionated! Read a few threads like the one I linked above and draw your own conclusions.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Thanks Ruth, I've been put firmly in my place!!!!!!!!!
                      Good advice with regard to waiting, so I'll check things out in the spring and also watch out for some good postings on this site.

                      1. re: burylad

                        Hey burylad, keep calm and carry on! The SF Hounds are an exacting bunch but a little patience will bring its own reward. Follow the advice to read along for a few weeks and you will soon get a feel for which threads of the many to follow. We travel to SF twice a year and eat very very well easily within your budget (with the odd wee splurge, like Canteen or La Ciccia), largely due to the opinions and guidance of the folks round these parts. They'll do well by a friend in the North come spring time.

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

                    2. re: burylad

                      I admire you wanting to plan so far ahead!
                      Just a note while traveling in the US, for finding good restaurants I've found that chowhound is the best (obviously), yelp can be quite useful (mainly when you are somewhere without a lot chowhound forum traffic), Trip Advisor (which I adore for planing other aspects of travel) is really quite awful (there are a ton of restaurants I've never heard of in the top ranking), and guide books (other than maybe Michelin) useless. That is my 2 cents... Actually even in London a few years back chowhound lead me to great food when all other sources (including a friend) lead me astray.