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Feb 22, 2012 11:00 AM

Short Visit to SF

I'm taking a short visit to San Fran (will be my 1st visit) in May. I'm from Philly. Looking for suggestions on must see's, do's... places to eat, drink... trails to hike... I'll be in town for 4 days. Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks in advance!


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  1. As you might imagine, questions like yours get asked (and answered) here on a regular basis. It would be worth your while to spend 10-15 minutes scrolling thru and reviewing the many similar threads already here. You will find dozens & dozens of helpful suggestions and recommendations.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      Thanks DavidT. I did spend some time browsing other threads and do have some ideas. But thought if i started my own thread and was sent an email with each productive repsonse I could spend less time browsing random threads and more time reviewing relevant/helpful responses. Work smart not hard. Personal thread = smart. Thanks again!

      1. re: JoeDec3

        You will get more and better responses if you are more specific about what you are looking to spend, where you will be staying, what kind of foods you like, what restaurants here interest you based on the research you have done so far, etc.

    2. Someone just a few days ago, from Philly asked similar questions. Take a look at that thread. Then let us know what you still need to know about food and drink in SF.

      7 Replies
      1. re: goldangl95

        Dustin & Goldangl95 - Thanks! Goldangl95, great find! That is a very helpful thread!

        I'm new to Chow so forgive me for not including personal interests.
        I'm 30. Going out for my BFs 30th. I will be staying at my boy's house right outside of SF. Not worried about money. Food - seafood, ethnic (Thai, Mex, Moroccan, Japanese...really anything). Nighlife - no dance clubs. Anything from a dive to an upscale bar but no raves or dance clubs. Daytime - wine tasting, hiking, museums, shopping, did i say wine tasting, fishing, other sight seeing...

        Thanks again!

        1. re: JoeDec3

          well, if money isn't a consideration i'd say these:


          jai yun
          kappa or sawa (but sawa only if you feel like driving to sunnyvale)
          saison or coi (whichever looks better to you) or manresa if you don't mind a drive.
          quince or gary danko (whichever looks better to you)


          swan's oyster depot
          mexican food in the mission or la mar -- whichever sounds better
          whatever looks good in the ferry building -- perhaps boulette's larder
          tadich grill

          1. re: JoeDec3

            Here is another poster who asked lots of questions, planned a *detailed* itinerary, and then reported back after his trip. Maybe you can get some ideas from his reports:


            1. re: pamf

              Thanks Pam and thanks again Dustin!

            2. re: JoeDec3

              "Right outside of SF" where, and how will you be getting around?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                A car or if public transpo is easier then by pt.

              2. re: JoeDec3

                This may sound snarky, but it's sincere: try Yelp. Yelp's home is in SF after all and there will be many reviews that hit the points you say are important to you. The folks on this board tend to be more crotchety and food-obsessed; rather than a night on the town we're more likely to stay in a place till they kick us out, endlessly deconstructing our meal and other meals we have had recently.

                Also, absolutely do not miss the Ferry Plaza Farmer's market on Saturday morning. But you should have found that out immediately.

            3. Although i agree with many of the posters in principle, I will try to be a little more specific. Try to look at Gayot website, also Food and Wine recs, among others. The last time I was in SF I got a very big thrill out of the farmer's market at the wharf. Lots of local produce,cheese,etc on display and ample opportunities for eating. The market is also right smack dab in from of The Slanted Door, a very publicized and popular Asian sort of place. We tried it and thought it very good. For a real whing dinger, at least for a country boy comme moi, make a res. and take the BART over to Chez Panise for a real eating experience and bragging rights. At least for lunch.

              Hope that helps.

              1. joe,

                it must be a full moon because i've never seen someone get so many negative replies. Usually people don't respond to threads like yours if they lack information rather than jumping all over them.

                Usually i ignore your type of request, but given such a sour intro i'll give you the two cent tour.

                if you are here on a Saturday morning you have to go to the Ferry Plaza farmers market. it is more than produce but some of the best vendors selling prepared food, baked goods, cheeses, etc. i've used the samples as Saturday breakfast many times.

                other places i like


                Slanted door

                zuni cafe


                xox chocolates

                town's end




                dottie's true blue cafe

                yank sing

                walk around the mission, particularily 24th street and enjoy.

                But it really would be to your benefit to read this thread and give some feed back on what sounds good to you


                also it helps to report back, as mentioned in that link. next time you ask a question on the board, people will be familiar with your taste.

                i kind of get what you might be getting at ... hoping to turn up something no one mentioned ... but that is more likely to happen if you mention some of the places that interest you.

                4 Replies
                1. re: rworange

                  Thanks! Once i put together a tentative itinerary i'll post it. Should be in a week or so. I'm really pumped to visit! I have been all of the country but never north of LA... at least along the coast. In my several trips to LA I am still not a fan. I do love all the beach towns south. Anyway, very excited for your city. Thanks again for all the responses!

                  1. re: JoeDec3

                    it was late and those were just off the top of my head because i was dismayed by some of the replies you got, now cleaned up by the mods. i don't know what happened. posters don't usually get that type of response.

                    you might also check out the sf digest which has good tips from the board.


                    If you sign up for the email, you'll get it weekly, but you can always find it on line.

                    Anyway, i'll have other suggestions and probably better when you put together your itinery. it is good to do this format







                    some stuff like the very worthy farmers market only happen on a specific day. other days restaurants might be closed. also, it might give a feel for how easy it is to get from one place to another. if you are eating on one end of town for breakfast and another at the opposite end, you might get some suggestions for rearranging stuff.

                    The best thing I liked when I lived in the San Diego area were those beautiful beaches. The scenery up north is beautiful too, only different. You might consider renting a car amd maybe doing a day trip or two. maybe one to napa and one down the coast to santa cruz.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Ha. I was suprised as well. You've been quite helpful. Thanks again! i will probably ask you more specific questions once I start gathering and considering all the suggestions/options. Saturdays Farmers Market has received an overwhelming response for a Must. Through other sources I was also told Rogue and/or Anchor is a must, mainly do to the fact that i thoroughly enjoy Rogue. Until later, much obliged!

                      1. re: JoeDec3

                        Book an Anchor tour early--- they're only open M-F

                2. Thanks again for all those who actually helped! It was a fantastic trip and I had some of the best food in all my 30 years. I arrived at 11am on Thursday, 5/10, and left Sunday, 5/13. Here’s a quick outline…
                  - Upon arrival my friend picked me up from the SF airport and we headed straight to Chairman Bao for a late breakfast/early lunch.
                  - Had 3 steamers – Spicy Chicken, Beef and something else. What a way to start the trip!
                  - Caught the 4pm ferry to Alcatraz. The audio tour was top notch!
                  - Grabbed the train back to Oakland to my friends and his fiancé house where I was staying
                  - Dinner we ate at Southie
                  - We split the Steak Tartar, a heady salad with large crispy chucks of bacon, poached egg and some other very complimenting ingredients… also split a rich and extremely delicious braised short rib covered in a spinach garlic crush over mashed potatoes. Washed it down with a few glasses of a CA native Malbec
                  - Golfed at some decent municipal course, the name escapes me, along the bay.
                  - For dinner we dined at the Wayefare Tavern, very good. We started with the Warm Asparagus Salad, half dozen local Oysters, the Organic Fried Chicken, Wild Mushroom Pappardelle and the Wayfare Burger for desert… The table next to us had it and it looked too good not to try so it only made sense to have it for desert.
                  - Stopped by Trader Joes to grab something for lunch and nibbles for the hike. We hiked the Matt Davis trail in Stinson Beach. A beautiful 7+ mile hike through some dense woods, red woods, open fields with views above the fog and pretty much ended at a spot overlooking Stinson Beach
                  - Grabbed some scrumptious Ahi Tartar and more local Oysters from the Sand Dollar
                  - Dinner we made some homemade pizza’s
                  Sunday was a pretty much a wash so nothing really to report.

                  In all very pleased with the trip and already looking forward to my next trip out and hopefully will hit up wine country.

                  Thanks again,