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Aug 22, 2012 02:46 PM

Here's a tough one. Can anyone handle it?

We are flying into San Francisco on Thanksgiving Day.
We will be staying at a Union Square hotel and would appreciate a recommendation that is not Italian.
Also we will, with hope, be dining at Gary Danko's the next evening.
Is there any place you can recommend near Union Square that is a bit upscale?
Here is the problem. My mate is not an adventurous eater so any fancy, ambitious menus will not please him too well.
I know this is a tough ask, but maybe someone can come up with something to fit the bill.
My gracious thanks.

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  1. Maybe Elite Cafe, if they're open again this year? Two miles from Union Square, short cab ridge or straight shot on the #2 bus. Some more options:

    1. I would check with Canteen to see if they are open on Thanksgiving.

      1. A bunch of places will be open thanksgiving but most of the listings aren't posted yet.

        Certainly hotel restaurants (and there are some really good ones).

        One Market had a really nice looking menu last year. Classic. same with epic roasthouse (and scenic there).

        1 Reply
        1. re: margieco

          Epic would usually be great for a combination of adventurous and unadventurous eaters, not sure about the TG set menu.

        2. I think you should try Harris' buffet. SF is so small that the cab ride - especially on thanksgiving - will be over before you know it. Harris' will scratch that "home for the holidays" itch with dark wood and a bloody, bloody steak, as well as stiff drinks.

          The Plant is also doing a Prixe Fixe. It has a view, much lighter food. I've found it to be tasty enough but not high gourmet. Of the choices, not a bad one.

          OpenTable is showing that 469 of the usual suspects are closed that day.

          1. Of all the restaurants listed here so far, the Elite Cafe comes closest.
            It has a sort of Southern punch to it that sounds appealing. Wonder if it is open for Thanksgiving.
            We prefer charming, small restaurants to hotel restaurants. Steak places we can get in profusion at home.
            Thanks all for your help.

            10 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Robert, you've talked us into the Elite Cafe. It was a toss up between Farallon and Elite Cafe but that menu won us over.
                I thank you for your sage advice.
                What do you think of Sears for breakfasts? Over-rated or really worth standing in line for?
                Any other diner style suggestions near Union Square?

                  1. re: arepo

                    arepo, I'm going to say yes on waiting in line at Sears, but I'll be damned if I can explain why I enjoy overpaying for breakfast at Sears. I guess I just like the place. By the way, I've always found the line to move pretty fast, and once seated, the food comes out fairly quickly. And, if you are in a hotel at Union Square, well, you can't beat Sears' location. I think you will enjoy Sears for breakfast.

                    1. re: arepo

                      I'm a naysayer to Sears. It used to be a wonderful SF breakfast spot in decades past, but since the original owner sold, no more IMHO. May I suggest Blue Bottle Cafe on Mint Street, just south of Market as an alternative. Great choice of fresh brewed coffees, perfectly prepared organic poached eggs, waffles and french toast.


                      1. re: curiousgeo

                        Thanks y'all for the suggestions. I will check on Blue Bottle for my other breakfast.
                        What ever happened to Fog City Diner? Is it dead?

                        1. re: arepo

                          drove past Fog City Diner a few weeks ago, and it definitely looked open, so I don't think it is dead.....perhaps just irrelevant. Whatever you have in mind for FCD you should do at Piperade, which is located in same vicinty as FCD. I had a wonderful lunch there recently. Highlights were: piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese; seafood stew; calamari "en planche".

                          1. re: pinotho

                            Piperade's great, but it doesn't serve breakfast and serves lunch only on weekdays.

                            The same chef's tapas bar, Bocadillos, serves breakfast from 7am on weekdays.


                          2. re: arepo

                            Fog City Diner is still in business, though Cindy Pawlcyn left years ago. bbulkow just recommended it for brunch the other day. Some other reports:


                            I didn't even like Sears under the old owners. Now it's basically a branch of Lori's Diner, isn't it?

                          3. re: curiousgeo

                            Agree on breakfast at Blue Bottle Mint -- we hit it up at least once each visit, quite handy to Union Square and a lovely airy room with pretty topnotch coffee. Small caveat for the OP: seating is counter style in tall stools, so no lounging in here, but good people watching.