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Honeymoon Itinerary: In need of Critiques

Had a thread earlier to get some tips on where to eat for my honeymoon in SF(currently living in the east bay and fiancee will be visiting here for the first time). The dates are for February. Here's what I got so far:

Tue
8:55pm: Arrive at SFO
10:30: Arrive at Union Square(taxi? Bart?)
11:00: Dinner: Katana-ya(open till 1am) or Hana Zen (open till 12am)

Wed
7:30am Breakfast???
8:30 Ride Cable Car(Powell Hyde line) to Fishermans Wharf
9:00 Explore Fishermans Wharf : Buena Vista Café for Irish Coffee
10:00 Alcatraz
12:30pm Lunch: Boudin and other food around the Wharf??
1:30 Aquarium of the Bay
2:30: Shopping around Union Square
5:00: Hotel to change for dinner
6:00pm: Cocktails and Foie Gras at La Folie (opens @ 530)
7:45: Steak at Harris’s Jazz Lounge

Thur
10am: Breakfast/Lunch: Random food at the Ferry Building (Opens @ 10am)
1pm: Golden Gate Bridge
2:30pm: Golden Gate Park
5pm: 1st Dinner at Cha Cha cha
730pm: 2nd Dinner at Campton Place Bar??

Fri
8am: Breakfast (in hotel?)
9: Chinatown
11: North Beach Sotto Mare or Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
OR
Mexican: Colibri(Union Square) or Don Pisto’s (North Beach)
Afternoon: Going to Napa

We will be staying in Union Square at the Parc55. Originally i was gonna go to Waterbar one of the nights. I did check it out for a snack today and it doesn't seem that great at all. The tank is actually just a water filled pole and the place is really noisy.

Main questions I have for everyone is if they think everything is timed out well enough that it won't be rushed. Also, need some breakfast spot recs. We will have three times, to eat breakfast. I am not much of a breakfast person but I figure one day would have to be pancakes and waffles and one day something more like lox and bagels.

For the rest of the food, what is decent around fishermans wharf? After searching the board it seems that everyone says its a tourist trap to eat anywhere near fishermans wharf(other than Gary Danko). However, for lunch I figure Boudin would be good and I know my fiancee wants to eat crab around there. Any ideas?

Finally, Frommers recommended going to Golden Gate Park and checking out Cha Cha Cha after. Reviews on yelp.com seem good. However, I figure Campton would be a nice place to have another light meal and drinks later at night. Unless there is any better option near union square. Don't want to have to travel very far. Would it be worth it to go to Soma or Nob hill by taxi for better food? Would still want some type of more lounge type atmosphere with good food, drinks and dessert.

Thanks in advanced, this board never fails.

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  1. For one of the breakfasts, if you want a casual old school place, try Sears Fine Foods. It's right near where you are staying (on Powell at Sutter) and is known for their plate of 19 tiny pancakes. Place looks like it's barely changed in decades. It's not fine dining, but a good, fun breakfast. My wife and I actually ended up there a couple of days after our wedding when we were San Francisco. Also, if it's your honeymoon, you have to start saying "my wife." it's weird, I know.

    I'd skip Boudin and pick something up at one of the old Italian places along the pier next to it. They have stands with crab sandwiches and things like that. Yes, they are tourist traps, but if you're on you're honeymoon you probably don't care and Boudin feels kind of like food court food to me.

    Good luck.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Capone

      Yeah, I figure eating at one of the fisherman's wharfs tourist traps is just part of the experience.

      1. re: theFuj46

        Why settle for the "tourist trap experience" of mediocrity when there is so much better to be had?

        From the Wharf, you are relatively close to North Beach for some exceptional Italian which is head-and-shoulders above the Wharf food which is ostensibly so middle-of-the-road.

        1. re: CarrieWas218

          I don't know about that, Carrie. There are some pretty lousy red-sauce joint excuses for Italian food in North Beach. If you are just grabbing a quick snack for lunch, like a crab roll or the like, I'd still recommend grabbing something along that kind of honky tonk stretch if you are up for the kitsch and not looking for fine food. Otherwise, yes there are much better options relatively closeby. A-16 in the Marina comes to mind immediately, as does In Canto. Both highly recommended for dinner.

          1. re: Capone

            You can eat well in North Beach if you don't pick a restaurant at random. Ideale, BaoNecci, L'Osteria del Forno, Rose Pistola, Da Flora, Albona, Capp's Corner, Tommaso or Tony's for pizza, Maykadeh ...

      2. re: Capone

        If you go to Sears, stick to the pancakes. Next door to Sears (literally next door) is Luques. It's better for breakfast. 433 Powell Street between Post and Sutter 415.248.2475

      3. Thursday, recommend GG Park & coming back to hotel to rest a bit then drinks at Gitane & dinner at Barbacco or Perbacco. Gitane has great cocktails in a cozy yet sexy environment. Barbacco is casual & fun but in an uptown way. Perbacco is a little more formal but not stuffy at all.

        You can walk to the above places from your hotel & then catch a cab back to the hotel.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Why not? Reviews seem pretty good and the tapas style of eating is something we both like anyways. Have people have a lot of negative experiences there?

            1. re: theFuj46

              I guess at 5:00 there won't be an hour wait. In that neighborhood I'd go to Alembic or Eos.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611697
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/28549

              1. re: theFuj46

                Cha Cha Cha is not good. At. All. I like tapas, but not there.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Finally someone came out and said it. Every else has been kinda hinting at it, but I guess I will just skip Cha Cha Cha and find something else.

                  1. re: theFuj46

                    If you want tapas type food, you might head back downtown to Bocadillos for modern Basque tapas, near the Transamerica pyramid. I second that comment that Cha Cha Cha is not that good. I've also recently liked the offerings at B44.

                    1. re: Joan Kureczka

                      oh yes! i love B44. and it's a very nice place to while away some time, Belden Place is.

                      http://www.belden-place.com/

            2. Tue

              10:30: Arrive at Union Square(taxi? Bart?) Taxi. Seriously, it is your honeymoon. Damn poor way to start your marriage by having your wife shlep the luggage ... at night ... on BART. Or splurge and hire a limo.

              Wed

              7:30am Ride Cable Car(Powell MASON line) to North Beach. Tell them you want to get off near Washington Square.

              8 am Mama's in Washington Square

              http://www.mamas-sf.com/menu.html

              They open at 8 but it helps to get on line a little early

              Walk a few blocks to Fisherman's Wharf. and do a bit exploring. Mana's is on Stockton St and walking down it away from Washington Square will put you almost at the Alcatraz Boat stop.

              10:00 Alcatraz

              12:30pm Lunch: Scoma's at Fisherman's Wharf

              Scoma's has its own fleet and the fish is super fresh. They have a 3 course prix-fix that is a deal and includes a crab option

              http://www.scomas.com/?page=PrixefixL...

              1:30 Aquarium of the Bay

              Though frankly I'd skip this and go instead to the museum at Golden Gate park. when you are in that area.

              2:30:Buena Vista Café for Irish Coffee and hop on cable car across the street to go back to Union Square and do shopping.

              5:00: Hotel to change for dinner

              6:00pm: Cocktails and Foie Gras at La Folie (opens @ 530)

              I think foie gras has been banned in California

              7:45: Steak at Harris’s Jazz Lounge

              Why? Just for the jazz?

              Thur

              10am: Breakfast/Lunch: Random food at the Ferry Building (Opens @ 10am)

              1pm: Golden Gate Bridge

              2:30pm: Golden Gate Park

              5pm:Skip Cha Cha Cha, go to Aziza. Get a romantic booth in front and have some creative cocktails and amazing food

              http://www.aziza-sf.com/61637_cocktai...

              Fri

              8am: Breakfast (in hotel?) or Brenda's or Dotties. I have never been a fan of Sears long before they were sold and went even further downhill. Or have coffee and pastry at Ruli Cafe right in Union Square. Campton Place is an elegant restaurant for breakfast. Haven't been there in years so while I don't know if it is still good, I do know it is still $$$$. My guess is other than the luxury of room service for breakfast it would be better than Park 555

              9: Chinatown

              Get pork buns and custard tart at Golden Gate Bakery.

              11: North Beach Sotto Mare or Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

              Tony's can be noisy. Robert had other good suggestions

              SKIP: Mexican: Colibri(Union Square) or Don Pisto’s (North Beach)

              I think your schedule is a bit ambitious. I hope you will be able to let go of some of it and take the time to smell the coffee.

              How are you planning to get around town? Car? Taxi? Seriously not public transportation I hope. Good as it may be I just can't see getting to and from the Golden Gate Bridge to the park in that time frame on the bus. What exactly do you plan to do at the bridge?

              6 Replies
              1. re: rworange

                Thanks for the advice. As far as transportation, I was thinking of a limo, but worried about how punctual they are in SF. Figured the BART was ok since we are used to trains(in Japan we always use the train to go to and from the airport).

                I was also thinking the schedule is somewhat ambitious, at the same time I realized that SF is not that large fo a city. The other day I got off the bart at embarcadero and walked to the Ferry Building, had a light lunch/breakfast, and walked to fisherman's wharf, from there I walked through north beach, had lunch, and then went down to union square. It was still only around 2pm.

                On wednesday I plan to get around by the cable car and walking, if needed, taxi.

                On Thur I was thinking about renting bicycles and going around.

                Thanks again for the advice. I will look into Aziza. The main reason I was looking at cha cha cha is because Frommers recommended it and the reviews on yelp.com seemed to be ok to good.

                1. re: theFuj46

                  Ok. Bikes will work. BTW, congratulations.

                  1. re: theFuj46

                    Second the query about Cha Cha Cha. It is just okay and there is so much better in this town. Like some have mentioned, Aziza and I would also add Gitane, SPQR, A16, and Alembic - just to name a few...

                  2. re: rworange

                    Foie Gras is available in California until July.

                    1. re: CarrieWas218

                      After which it will be as hard to find as cocaine.

                    2. re: rworange

                      http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                      Dottie's True Blue Cafe is now open at 28 Sixth Street near Mission Street. 415.885.2767 for Breakfast/Lunch - Wednesday-Monday

                    3. if you have spent much time in japan (i think you mentioned you were from there?), the ramen at Katana-ya will greatly disappoint. i've never been to hana-zen.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Dustin_E

                        flour + water takes reservations until 10:45pm. this is probably the best food you get can this late. just take a cab to / from there. reservations are in general extremely difficult, but do-able if you book this far in advance and that late at night on a tuesday. definitely do this instead of katana-ya.

                        1. re: Dustin_E

                          Cotogna takes reservations until 10:30 and you can get late reservations pretty much any night of the week. But if my plane were due in to SFO at 9:00, I'd plan on someplace walking distance from my hotel.

                          Katana-Ya's good by local standards and a fun scene.

                          Anybody tried Ahn Sushi & Soju?

                          1. re: Dustin_E

                            I imagine Katana-ya cannot be that great. I already have low expectations for any ramen in the states. I really want to go to flour + water or A16 since I read about those places a lot. However, I really don't want to have to worry about traveling on the first night. I hate flying so I will be tired and irritated at that point and just wanna go someplace in walking distance from the hotel so I can just drink and go back and sleep.

                            1. re: theFuj46

                              King of Thai noodle house is another late night option near your hotel. Bocadillos is a nice place for tapas.

                              1. re: theFuj46

                                For real tapas, Contigo in Noe Valley. Cha Cha Cha is small plates with no particular regional focus.

                                1. re: theFuj46

                                  Another late night option is Ryoko (til 1a) on Taylor, closer than Katana-ya. It's sushi (fish flown in twice a week from Tsukiji) but served in a basement den and very un-restaurantlike. Sushi bar seating is key.

                              2. re: Dustin_E

                                I'd not do Katanaya or Hanazen if visiting from Japan. My pick would be Chabaa Thai that's walking distance. It's a long walk to flour + water or Cotogna if you are tired/jet lagged. I'd have said Lars Ros but not on your first night in the city late at night for your honeymoon due to the location....