Exchange Student 3 Days [San Francisco] -
One of my foreign exchange students, male, 25y/o, adventurous, Korean with pretty good English skills is going solo to SF for a few days. I lived in SF for a few years after college but haven't been back for almost a decade. I gave him a link to a great Time magazine travel article, but he also wants to experience a few places I enjoyed. But my time was 69-72, so things are a bit hazy. What I do remember may be long gone, and I was with friends or co-workers not solo, so advice is sorely needed. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
There were many after-work type bars in North Beach including one with a horseshoe shaped second floor that put you eye-to-eye, so to speak, with the girl on the swing. Any current fun bars for a solo guy?
Last time I was there, a fish&chips place I liked was still in business. Take-out only but you could walk across the street or alley and eat it in a bar that had a Scottish or English theme. This was somewhere in the vicinity of Geary/O'Farrell - Larkin/Leavenworth. Anyone know about this place?
His two favorite American foods are pizza and burgers. I see a lot of folks on Chow like Tony's. Any other suggestions? Don't know the burger situation in SF, but months after visiting NY he's still talking about the Shake Shack. Can anything match or beat that?
To recap. Traveling solo. Limited budget. No car, so public transportation or walking.
Value and culture-wise, burritos are SF's equivalent of pizza and burgers. El Farolito at 24th and Mission would be my pick, but lots of others are cheap and popular.
Since he's adventurous, I'd recommend sending him to a pizza place that's a different style than what he would have eaten in NY. For a local take on Chicago style, he can grab a personal sized deep dish pie at Little Star in the Mission at lunchtime but not dinner time, for $8-$9. Tony's slice house, not the full service restaurant, is a good bet for something closer to what he had in NY and is affordable.
The closest thing we have to Shake Shack in terms of price, atmosphere, and offerings is the Super Duper mini-chain. It's not quite as good as Shake Shack, especially for drinks, so that might be a disappointment, but the free pickles are an extra treat. Do a search on the boards for the higher end burgers, but those might be out of his price range.
The kinds of bars in North Beach that currently have girls on swings might be a few hundred dollars out of his price range ... Send him to some after hours museum events-- lots of fun, cheaper museum entry fee, and booze available. He should book in advance:
Kronnerburger pop-up. He's often at Bruno's.
San Francisco in general and North Beach in particular is a lot more upscale than they were 50 years ago. The Mission, Haight, and Western Addition are where young people go out drinking after work today.
You can still order fish & chips from the bartender at Edinburgh Castle. It hasn't changed much.