Babymoon Dinners in SF
We are a month out from our babymoon/anniversary trip and want to nail down some of the details for our trip. First few days we will be driving up the North coast which may be fun considering all the pee stops a 6 month pregnant lady will need. I’m a big pasta/Italian lover so I know a lot of my choices tend to lean towards those types of restaurants. Not a huge Asian fan.
Day 1 – drive in from Mendocino, get settled into condo, walk to buy Muni pass
- Because we will have been driving around all day I chose to eat somewhere close. I heard many a recommendation for Acquerello and think I may give it a try since its close to our Nob Hill condo
Day 2 – do the tourist thing – go to Fishermans Wharf, hang out at Farmer’s Market, take the ferry to Sausalito
- Lunch – hopefully the Roli Roti
Day 3 – Mission/Haight – hit up Knead, go to Haight, quick easy lunch at Chow, hang at Dolores Park
So we need two dinners, one in Mission. I want y'alls opinions so I don't end up eating only Italian when I am there. I've heard some great stuff about AQ, Delfina, and Cotogna. I'm not big on communal tables and don't want too much of a bar type setting since I won't be drinking.
Big plus if y'all could recommend any open air/outdoor music venues. Even if it was at a bar I wouldn't mind. I'd love to sit outside and listen to some live music.
Is Day 2 a Saturday? If so, the Roli Roti will be there. At lunchtime, expect there to be a line and they will run out of food by some point (I tend to go before 10:30am, so somebody help me out regarding when that happens)
So, on Day 3, you're driving to Knead and then driving to the Haight? Those places are far from one another, but it's doable while driving. Geography-wise, you doing Church Chow or Park Chow? Chow is definitely a "safe" restaurant, but if you're looking for easy, it's a good fit if you're near Golden Gate Park.
Cotogna is great, but reservations are difficult. The time might have passed, but it's worth trying for them. Also consider Perbacco for pasta.
Right. The Roli-Roti/hang at the farmers' market is day-specific. There are farmers' markets on Saturdays (the main one) and Tuesdays (smaller, but still worthwhile in the summer time). In addition, there's a small "market" on Thursdays at lunchtime that's focused on "artisan street foods." Roli Roti is there Saturday and Thursday, but not Tuesday.
I'd add La Ciccia to your list of Italian possibilities.
Congrats on getting the Cotogna reservation!
Skip Knead. It'll be about 30-40 minutes from Nob Hill to Knead, then another 30-40 minutes to the Haight if you're taking Muni. Plus, Knead on weekdays has a limited selection and I've had them run out of their beloved Pomme d'Amour before 8:30AM! Also, their croissants are very inconsistent.
Roughly on the way from Nob Hill to the Haight is B Patisserie on Divisadero. I haven't been there yet, but there's been lots of good stuff written about them on here.
For reservations at Cotogna, Open Table takes them 30 days out and not a moment sooner. I calendared the date in preparation for my upcoming trip and was online at 6 a.m. EST--which I figured gave me a three-hour edge on the west coast folks. Even then, 7 p.m. was already booked, although I did snag a 7:30 reservation. Based on my experience, I'm guessing that they fill completely within 24 hours.
Sadly, it is too early for outdoor music yet - those don't start until late June/early July. It is still pretty cold in the city for such things.
However, for live music at a bar, consider heading to Western Addition: Yoshi's, Sheba's, Rassella's, and the Boom Boom Room are all within two blocks of each other and there is great food to be had in the 'hood - from State Bird Provisions to Fat Angel to Dosa. Eating at the bar in Yoshi's and listening to their live free music isn't a bad way to spend an evening and just wandering that neighborhood at night will give you a ton of great tunes.
From your list (except for Roli Roti), you are only looking at Italian so I'll go out on a limb and suggest avoiding Fisherman's Wharf (you nailed it when you said "tourist" = it is a trap and then some and not worth a lot of time).
My current favorite low-key eateries:
Day 2 is a Thursday. I'll make sure to get there early because I've been wanting that dang sandwich since I first heard about it. Boo about the outdoor music. We're already wearing shorts over here in TX but I forget how cold the rest of the country is. Thanks for the live music rec in Western Addition. We will definitely hit up those. I've heard of State Bird. I'll have to look at their menu as an option for one of those dinners. I know a lot of my list was mostly Italian. My pasta cravings are strong lol. If y'all have recs for places in Mission for under $150pp that aren't Italian, I'd appreciate it
Since you are coming from Texas, BRING LAYERS. I had a girlfriend come from South Carolina for July 4th weekend and I advised her to bring layers. She thought that meant multiple tank tops and we spent that weekend buying her a wool coat because it was in the 40s and 50s most of the time.
Many believe that because it is "California," that it is always warm but that is Los Angeles and San Diego - not San Francisco which is almost always chilly and can get foggy and colder even more quickly. You might have a bright, warm morning (in the 70s) but if the fog rolls in, it can hit 50 degrees within 20 or 30 minutes. Prepare for that.
State Bird Provisions is the "hot ticket" right now and is almost impossible to get reservations, if you search on this board, you will see that you would have to show up 30 to 45 minutes before they open and stand in line to get in. But if you do and walk the 'hood, you could end up with some great music venues after dinner. It is also near Japantown and walking up Fillmore can be quite fun.
I will add that State Bird Provisions business model may lead you to feel disappointed with your dinner. It's set up to be a neighborhood spot where you pop in to see what small bites the chef felt like making that day.
The problem is instead you have to be fanatical about making a reservation or wait for an incredibly long time for a walk-in seat (which I would not advise as a visitor - life is too short!). Then the food comes and some of what the chef felt like making is interesting and good some of it isn't particularly interesting or particularly good. Which would be fine if you didn't spend two months planning ahead/an hour waiting in line.