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Feb 14, 2012 08:22 AM

Any suggestions for St. Patrick's Day in SF?

Hello all,
We are a couple in our 50's traveling to SF in March and St. Pat's falls smack dab in the middle of our visit. Staying in the Union Sq/Chinatown vicinity without a car. Looking for suggestions for inexpensive to moderately-priced ideas for food. Prefer food on-the-go, not fancy or finicky. Is March too early for street food options?

With regard to St. Pat's, just curious about what to expect, suggestions of where to go for fun and people watching.

Any other suggestions for places not to miss would also be appreciated.

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  1. Welcome to Chowhound. It helps to fill out your profile page a bit which gives a feel for what you like food-wise. Putting an email in there somewhere also helps as there is no pm system on this forum.

    There is always the street food of San Francisco. It is never too early.

    The 17th of March is a Saturday and do not miss the Ferry Plaza farmers market. There is lots of prepared food there and some of the vendors might do some St. Patrick's stuff.

    The Irish joints are always packed, noisy and insane. The later you go, the more insane. For me it is not worth it. I will tho, depending on my mood indulge in an Irish coffee at Buena Vista knowing it will be nuts. Better get the Irish coffee the day before if you don't like being more packed than a sardine in a can.

    There is a parade which is ok, but not something i'd go out of my way for ... or i''d check the hours so you can be out of the way.

    You might bump this up closer to leaving and ask if there is any more info as restaurants will be announcing if anything is going on after that.

    1. You can hop on BART to downtown Berkeley, grab a bite at any number of places nearby (make a res. on Opentable for a moderately priced meal @ Venus or La Note--grab an inexpensive kebab @ Turkish Kitchen) and then go to a great annual St. Patrick's Day concert @ 8 pm, just around the corner form the BART station, @ the Freight and Salvage Coffee House, featuring wine/beer/snacks and wonderful Irish music by the Black Brothers (get tkts. on-line--they sell out)

      1. For St Patrick's Day it's best to stay in San Francisco. Inner Richmond District is the best area to celebrate and it's easy to get to on the MUNI buses. It only costs $2.00 and you never need a car in San Francisco. There are a few bars out on Geary and Clement Streets that are good to celebrate St Pattys Day and we also have a nice parade as well. If you want to stay downtown Lefty O'Doul's right on Geary Downtown is good too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: isewinsf

          I want to remind (warn) the OP again, those Irish joints in the Richmond district get insane on St. Pat's Day. There have been years in the past when side streets near them were closed down.

          Lefty O'Doul's isn't a bad choice for basic corned beef and cabbage and won't be as packed as it would be on a weekday when the office crowd might descend on it.

          1. re: rworange

            Yeah, there are places I would recommend avoiding on St. Patrick's Day, including the blocks where Harrington's and the Irish Bank are, unless your idea of fun is rowdy drunken crowds in the street.

        2. Yeah, no . . . drunken masses are not what we are looking for. Good to know what to avoid. Thanks to all for your help.
          p.s. I'm new to this chowhound posting and am curious. Does 'OP' stand for 'other posters' or something else?

          1 Reply
          1. re: VelvetBuddah

            Original post or original poster depending on the context of the sentence. It refers to the first post in a topic or the person who wrote it.