Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Oct 11, 2012 09:59 AM

Phx Hound 1st time to SF

Going to be in SF for the first time, and only have 3 days to get in as much as possible

First night will probably go for a nice dinner then the rest of the time kind of figure it out as we go

for dinner deciding between Benu / Gary Danko / Alt Crenn - leaning toward Benu however they only have a late booking 930-10 and wondered how long the tasting menu is and if i go that late are they going to "rush" service etc to get out of there for the evening sooner, i wouldn't think so at a 2 star but human nature and all - any advice appreciated there for those that have been to a later dinner at Benu

Then Fisherman's Wharf (i know it is touristy but have to go) is there any place in there that is a must try ?

Will def be going to PPQ for some Vietnamese Crabs - we will be there a big before the dungaress crab season opens, so hopefully they will have good crabs then

Going to hit up Smugglers Cove for sure 1 early evening, is there anything near there that is good to soak up some of the rum drinks afterwards...doesn't need to be fancy, something seafood focused would be good

What else is good for a first time visitor? Perhaps one of the 3 Chinese places mentioned in the other threads, there is not a lot of good Chinese in Phx - Is there one place that does Peking Duck the best? We both love duck

Is Heaven's Dog / Slanted Door worth the price? Also can you just walk in there or do you need ressies?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Starting from the bottom, you definitely need reservations at Slanted Door. I think if you're doing PPQ that doing Slanted Door is not worth one of your other few meals.

    The best Peking duck I've had in SF proper is at Z&Y in Chinatown. In addition, they're known for their Sichuan specialties.

    There are no "must eats" on Fisherman's Wharf although there are some places that are decent if you decide to eat there.

    1. if you're coming during a weekend, make sure to stop by the ferry plaza farmers market saturday morning. good food stands. and local produce you wont find in any AZ farmers market. the ferry plaza itself is a good place to check out even without the market.

      with limited time, i would not eat at fisherman's wharf - tourist heavy, nice to visit once, but nothing there that's worth a meal if you can help it.

      1. Regarding PPQ, make sure you go to PPQ Dungeness Island on Clement. The original PPQ location on Irving does not offer crab dishes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Civil Bear

          Thanks, for that, might have gone to the wrong one

          Does PPQ do crabs all throughout the day or just at dinner?

          In regards to the market We won't be there during the day Saturday, we will be able to check it out Tuesday morning though before we leave (if we are up in time) - is it worth checking out on a Tuesday or save it for a different trip?

          Decided to go with Benu with a later reservation for Saturday evening, then probably PPQ and Smugglers Cove Sunday - what is a good place to get something to absorb some tiki drinks close to Smugglers Cove? (or by Union Square that is where we are staying)

          Now just need a good choice for Monday...probably try to follow it up with Bourbon and Branch / Wilson and Wilson afterwards - any ideas?

          1. re: Dapuma

            Plenty of places in Hayes Valley. Suppenkuche is a fun, lively (high decibel) German (Bavarian?) beer hall and an easy walk (?stumble) from Smuggler's Cove.

            1. re: Dapuma

              There's Chez Maman West, very close to Smuggler's Cove. Lovely Bistrot, and I adore their mussels.

              On Fisherman's Wharf, I like the Franciscan for their ciopinno and the shellfish served on sizzling cast iron. It has a very nice view too. Most people will disagree with me about this, but I don't care. Buena Vista for and Irish Coffee is always yummy.

              For a quick afternoon bite near Union Square, try Daily Grill for their happy hour menu at the bar. Nice drinks and some yummy apps.

              I am not terribly fond of Slanted Door, but I am in a minority. And I don't like Nopa.

          2. Look, Fisherman's Wharf - go and have a late afternoon beer, around sunset, at one of the places with a nice view. Then skedaddle. Go anywhere else, knowing that you had the best of FW. AQ, Nopa, Frances, Flower and Water, Gitane, Zero Zero, ANYWHERE.

            1. Ok so here is the plan so far


              PPQ for lunch Vietnamese Crabs
              Smugglers Cove at some point in the evening
              Delfina Pizza after that

              Coi Palace for Dim Sum
              ???? - Dinner ???? - what San Fran specialty are we missing
              Bourbon and Branch / W & W

              Farmers Market - maybe? is it worth going on Tuesday v Saturday

              7 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Right. The Tuesday farmers market is, IMHO, not worth it on its own (especially in low season), but the Ferry Building is a worthwhile foodie destination, so if you go when there's also a farmers market that's a bonus.

                  There have been a couple of recent discussions about where to go on a Monday that you might want to look at.


                  From this list, I'd say Aziza.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Aziza is great! One of my favorite meals ever!

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      BC: I didn't realize there was that building where the market is, that is cool, we probably would have a couple hours to explore the farmers market and ferry building before we have to leave Tuesday morning

                      Oh thanks for that link Ruth

                      I am thinking Izakaya Yuzuki's - that should round us out with Vietnamese Japanese and Chinese - the 3 major food groups :)

                      1. re: Dapuma

                        Hog Island for oysters
                        Blue Bottle coffee
                        Gotts for the Ahi sandwich

                        Have fun!