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tourist spots

Are there any " touristy" spots on SF that a local would reccomend to a visitor

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  1. The Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rapini

      I second this, it's perpetually on my list for visitors. I combine it with a cable car ride to get there (but hang on the outside for the best experience, don't sit primly inside). My dad and I actually enjoyed a freshly cooked crab and beer on the sidewalk at Fisherman's Wharf.

        1. re: rworange

          coming on a family trip and i feel like we will end up doing touristy things and if thats the case i want to make sure the food is at least tasty

          1. re: lk_nyc

            If that's the case, then if on a North Beach stroll, try a made to order sandwich at Molinari's, delectable cookies/cakes at Stella, pizza at Tommaso's. If in Chinatown, dim sum or visit the fortune cookie factory in Ross Alley.

            1. re: lk_nyc

              Yeah, that's different. How many people? What ages? What days of the week? What prices are you looking for? What kind of food do they like?

              As someone mentioned, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on a Saturday Morning is a place to stop. lots of good food vendors and a tourist attraction in its own.

              In North Beach, Mama's has a good breakfast. Get there early or there's a line.

              The bbq pork buns and Golden Gate Bakery are great. I guess others can give you some Chinese restaurants that are good in the area.

              Chow near Golden Gate Park is generally reliable. There are other good restaurants in the area depending on whether you have a car and the type of food you like.

              1. re: rworange

                Ok, it is not good board etiquette to do two posts within hours of each other. From your other post which might give more info that people can respond to

                "we'll be doing touristy things but would love some non-touristy options of where to eat.
                2 breakfasts/2lunches/2 dinners and some yummy treat options - staying at the omni. Also, you have a six year old with you as the title of your other post says.

                Mama's is still good
                Towns End is child-friend and along the Embarcadero

                Scoma's would work in the Fisherman's Wharf Area
                In-N-Out is a west coast chain that might also work at the wharf
                Norm's Ice cream at the Wharf would be a better choice than Ghirardelli
                Park Chow as mentioned before if you are near Golden Gate Park.

                i wouldn't do Scoma's or Tadich with a 6 year old. Neither take reservations. Scomas is expensive for dinner and Tadich often has a long line. I'm really not sure what I'd recommend in the tourist areas for dinner unless I know what the kid will eat.

          2. The Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings.

            1. The Tonga Room for drinks. Eat elsewhere.

              Belden Alley.

              Tadich is fun and you can eat well if you stick to a few safe items. I prefer Sam's, few blocks away, almost identical menu.

              The custard tarts at Golden Gate Bakery are worth standing in line for.

              Rulli, the cafe right in Union Square, is very good.

              1. Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Red's Java House. Pier 23 Cafe. have not personally tried the last two. but they are undeniably popular and receive national publicity. have eaten at Tony's and would go back, ideally at a time when the tourist crush isn't unbearable.

                for visitors who enjoy fine tea and intend to visit Chinatown or North Beach in any case, Red Blossom Tea on Grant -- there's usually tourists there when we go to taste and purchase teas.

                12 Replies
                1. re: moto

                  I'd say that Red's Java House is the burger equivalent of Arinell Pizza, in that both serve a particular kind of bad junk food that's hard to find around here, but that would be a slur on Arinell. Red's serves probably the worst food of any nationally-known restaurant in the Bay Area.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    and they've stayed in business through good and bad times (90 yrs. +?) keeping their prices affordable for unpretentious, old school, greasy/filling food.

                    1. re: moto

                      The food really does leave a LOT to be desired. They stay in business because of longevity and the location.

                      1. re: ML8000

                        They are living off the perception of inexpensive prices. Here's an old post about Red's slight revision in 2001. Double cheeseburger and beer were $3.70.


                        It never was the greatest burger but it was on a French roll and for the price a good deal ... and a nice view.

                        About that time when i was living in the area, I could get a plastic glass of wine for 50 cents. It was boxed wine long before boxed wine became semi-respectable

                        Here's my 2002 post that has the menu and prices at the time (under my original Chowhound id) Cheeseburger and cheap wine $3.20 total. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/20867

                        isn't that cute. I took the time to add the address and hours (now incorrect). There was no restaurant database at the time. If you don't want to go back to the good old days where there was no easy database to look up and update restaurant information, please post your support for the need of a database here. it is not just a feature but a fixture.

                        "Restaurants" Database To Be Eliminated

                          1. re: rworange

                            I believe "the Java House" and "Red's Java House" are two separate establishments.

                            1. re: DavidT

                              Edit; Never mind. I removed link to the website for Java House. Thanks. I was thinking Red's REALLY expanded the menu.

                              1. re: DavidT

                                the Java House is even older, going back to 1912. at one point, the founder of Red's Java House was a part owner, but left to start his own place, similarly located at the foot of a pier.

                            2. re: ML8000

                              Free parking on the Embarcadero and supposedly a double cheeseburger and a beer for around $5.

                              1. re: wolfe

                                A double cheeseburger and Bud was $8.40 plus tax in 2009.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  "Here, less than $5 can get you a double cheeseburger and a beer" see link
                                  "All I know is what I read in the papers" Will Rogers

                                  1. re: wolfe

                                    Crappy beer, crappy food, nice view