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2 Days/2 Nights in San Francisco in early March

CarolineC23 Feb 13, 2012 02:30 PM

My boyfriend and I are coming to San Francisco for a few days in early March. We have 2 full days and 2 nights and are staying at least two of the nights at the Mark Hopkins. We won't have a car and this is my first time in SF (boyfriend hasn't been in 10+ years).

We are looking for breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner recommendations for both days. We're on a budget, the most we'd want to spend on dinner is $20 per person max. We love anything with a good atmosphere, fun crowd, attentive and friendly staff. Love local, hole in the wall places as well. Since we live in Texas, we're staying away from Mexican, and the boyfriend isn't big on Asian. One must have for me is some good mussels (TX has NONE.)

On our short list so far:

Bar Agricole for drinks/apps
Gamine for drinks/apps
Outerlands Cafe
Balboa Cafe
Pier 23 Cafe
Nob Hill Cafe
The Beach Chalet

Any feedback you all have on the above would be great, and also any new suggestions!

  1. d
    Dustin_E Feb 13, 2012 03:14 PM

    I'd suggest

    Sotto Mare

    for your two dinners if you don't mind that both are italian (by still very very different.) both are very good, and good value. What's your budget / what are you looking for for breakfast and lunch?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dustin_E
      CarolineC23 Feb 13, 2012 03:26 PM

      One night maybe we'd like to do a nicer dinner, the next night something more local. Probably $20/entree max. Totally open to all breakfast and lunch ideas...definitely want to have some seafood while we're there. Also up for brunch

      1. re: CarolineC23
        steve h. Feb 13, 2012 03:50 PM

        For your seafood fix: Scoma's has a $25 fixed price lunch; oysters at Hog Island make for a fine lunch; Swan Oyster Depot has it's lunch time charm (and huge following jockeying for a counter seat). Bar Crudo might be a fit for a seafood dinner. It's small plates and the fish is very fresh. You'll hit your price point.

        Barbacco and Cotogna are excellent dinner options at very reasonable prices.

        Edited to add: I like Pier 23. I go for beers and conversation. The views on the back deck are very good. It's not a food destination but a place worth visiting and well worth getting to know. The music's not bad, either.

    2. Robert Lauriston Feb 13, 2012 03:58 PM

      My favorite mussels used to be at Plouf, though A Cote in Oakland beats them.

      Unless the Beach Chalet has improved I wouldn't order food there. OK place for a beer with an ocean view on a nice day.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        DavidT Feb 13, 2012 05:26 PM

        Plouf does specialize in mussels and is likely your best bet for them for either lunch or dinner in SF. It is no more than a 10-minute walk from the Mark Hopkins.


        1. re: DavidT
          mariacarmen Feb 13, 2012 07:54 PM

          I agree - go to Plouf - all the varieties are delicious, and it's in a fun & festive area where you can sit outside if the weather is nice (night or day), have a glass of wine or a cocktail, and people watch.

      2. d
        DavidT Feb 13, 2012 05:44 PM

        L'Osteria del Forno in North Beach is quite good and fits into you price range.



        1. h
          hyperbowler Feb 13, 2012 06:27 PM

          By Asian, are you including Indian/Pakistani? There are lots of cheap eats in SF, but some of the best ones are Mexican and Asian! Do you have a sense of what you'll be doing and where you'll be each day?

          I really like Cotogna, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to someone on a $20-max budget. You need to make a reservation well ahead of time, and unless you like the items on their $24 prix fixe menu, you're going to wind up spending a lot more than you planned.

          I've noticed that you haven't mentioned any places in the Mission District. The Mission District has some of the best low priced latino food in SF, Mexican and otherwise. Limon Rotisserie for Peruvian, La Santaneca for Salvadoran & pupusas, Pica-Pica for Venezuelan derived (I love the yuca fries). Chile Lindo or Venga for empanadas.

          Old Jerusalem and Truly Mediterranean have good middle eastern in the Mission. Bi-Rite for Ice Cream.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hyperbowler
            Dustin_E Feb 14, 2012 11:38 AM

            re: cotogna, i agree. if you order incorrectly at $20/person max, you might end up starving.

            some of their dishes are very generously portioned (chicken), some are miniscule (egg ravioli)

          2. Robert Lauriston Feb 14, 2012 11:50 AM

            $20 or less, check out this topic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/804193

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              CarolineC23 Feb 14, 2012 12:55 PM

              Thanks so much for all of the great suggestions! Really looking forward to the trip now. Plouf may have to be a must try.

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