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May 26, 2012 09:55 AM

3 days in SF, non-fine dining experiences needed for this weekend

This will be our third time to SF and I am looking for establishments that are:

Not Mexican
Not Vietnamese
Not Fine Dining
Do not require reservations
Not tourist traps

I will be renting a car while we am staying in SF, so traveling to different areas of SF is not a problem. All other ethnic types of food are game. Hole-in-the-wall places are game as well. Don't let me down hounds :)

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  1. Angkor Borei (Cambodian)
    Burmese Kitchen
    Helmand Palace (Afghan)
    Lers Ros on Larkin (Thai)
    Mochica (Peruvian)
    Poc-Chuc (Yucatecan)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      HRD for Hole in the Wall

      Rhea's Deli & Market - for sandwiches

      Kippu for low-key Japanese - good for Lunch -
      1707 Buchanan Street in Japan Town
      -not high-end/excellent Ino, Sebo, Kiss, Aka Tombo-

      Old Jerusalem

      A la Turca
      Sunrise Deli for best falafel
      Shin Toe Bul Yi

      1. re: Cynsa

        I like the kfc chicken wings
        for a snack in-between-not-fine-dining.
        Go to 'hot sauce and panko' for wings and waffles
        Wednesday through Sunday
        1544 Clement Street between 16th and 17th Avenues

    2. Dumpling Kitchen, Taraval bet. 29th Ave/30th (Sunset District -- fairly easy parking). Closed Wed.
      Opens for lunch and then is open straight through to 9:30 pm (they don't want you to arrive later than 9, for sure)

      Terrific dumplings (be sure to get # 1 (soup dumplings) and # 8 (steamed won tons in chili oil). The Moo Shu is good. Generous portions, VERY reasonable. Everyone I've brought there loves it.

      1. "Not fine dining" - is casual upscale okay? If so, SF has very good Italian in Perbacco, Barbacco & Cotogna. First two have bar seating & last one I think saves half restaurant for walk-ins. Given the quality of food & service, Perbacco, is one of the best value restaurants in SF.

        Also, keep seeing recs for Z&Y...

        BTW, what did you like on your previous visits?

        2 Replies
        1. re: ceekskat

          Second on all those places, though Perbacco is definitely fine dining. Barbacco and Cotogna are much more casual, particularly Barbacco which has TVs with sports on. Cotogna may save space for walk-ins, but the wait can be over an hour.

          If those places aren't too upscale, Incanto, La Ciccia, Bar Tartine, and St. Vincent are all worth considering, if you can get in. Saturday night in SF without a reservation can be tough.

          Z&Y is great Sichuan with some very unusual dishes.

          1. re: ceekskat

            Unfortunately we went to all the tourist areas and ate at those locations. Food, as you would guess, was subpar at those locations.

          2. Tommy's Joynt, Grubstake, Red's Java Hut, Tadich Grill, Yuet Lee.

            7 Replies
            1. re: ML8000

              The food's below average at Tommy's Joynt and Red's Java Hut.

              It's possible to eat well at Tadich if you stick to the Petrale sole, Rex sole, and sand dabs.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                The fish and chips at Red's is o.k. and cheap, and the ambience makes it worth the trip, but otherwise Robert is right as usual. On the other hand it's hard to go wrong at Yuet Lee.

                1. re: little big al

                  Thank you guys for all the excellent recommendations so far!!

                  How about any breakfast recommendations?

                  1. re: jaime24g

                    If we're talking about next weekend, on Saturday go to the Ferry Plaza farmers market and get breakfast from the vendors there.

                    1. re: jaime24g

                      not-for-tourists'- Breakfast at The Cypress Grill, Harding Park Golf Course
                      Harding Park Golf Course Clubhouse
                      99 Harding Rd
                      San Francisco, CA 94132
                      (415) 664-4690
                      Mon-Sun 8 am - 6 pm


                      Brenda's French Soul Food

                      banana walnut pancakes at John's Ocean Beach Cafe
                      or the pork hash on the Specials Board -
                      It's a hole-in-the-wall.
                      2898 Sloat Blvd near the Zoo
                      San Francisco, CA 94116
                      (415) 665-8292
                      Tue-Sun 7:30 am - 3 pm


                      1. re: jaime24g

                        Just for You in potrero hill or Plow (long lines at plow, slightly shorter at just for you).

                        citizen's band (but more brunchy than breakfast). Pinkie's bakery is just next door.


                        On south park is Butler and the Chef. Amazing quiche, but the quiche doesn't come out until later in the morning.


                        1. re: jaime24g

                          I had a fine breakfast at Kate's Kitchen on Haight St.