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San Francisco institutions...

Wife and I are traveling to SF in mid-July.
Wondering if SF has "must eat" establishments?!?

Type: patio dining, casual a must, and LOCAL, not a chain if possible.
Wine is required...

We are from Dallas/Ft. Worth and if someone called, I would have 2-3 places that locals consider MUST Do's…but I'm having trouble figuring that out for San Francisco.
Hard to even figure out the TYPE of food that you would eat without leaving, naturally some would say seafood, but that is too obvious likely.

Your thoughts welcomed…and sincerely appreciated.

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  1. Tadich Grill is an institution worth visiting, but no patio.

    1. Patio dining in SF during the summer can be a "be careful what you wish for" experience. There are low clouds or fog coming off the bay and cool breezes that can turn a visitor's skin to goose-flesh, with a blue tinge.

      My first thought was Zuni, which is something of a must eat, and has sidewalk tables. Food and wine list are good. If the weather's not cooperative, the inside is open and light-filled.

      The Ramp is a weekend breakfast/brunch spot that has standard weekend breakfast fare, but is almost entirely outdoor seating. It's along the Bay, but in the more industrial area, so your view is of ships in dry dock, moored sailboats, and the like. Not fancy, but a fun spot.

      Overall, if patio dining is important to you, you should look to Marin County, Walnut Creek, Oakland, or San Mateo County for warmer environs.

      4 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          Good tip, the second tip being...bring a jacket. July in SF can get cold.

          1. re: wolfe

            Yeah! Moules Frites at Plouf!

            1. re: Rapini

              dined at plouf saturday night. very nice experience.

          1. Patio dining is not so common due to the weather, we hate chains so they don't do well here, and most of us don't like to dress up for dinner so the vast majority of places are casual.

            So your criteria don't really help narrow down the selection. There are scores or hundreds of great places to eat serving dozens of different cuisines.

            1. fish. and Le Garage in Sausalito

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              Fish
              350 Harbor Dr, Sausalito, CA 94965

              Le Garage
              85 Liberty Ship Way Ste 109, Sausalito, CA