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15 Iconic SF Greasy Spoons from EaterSF

hhc Jul 20, 2013 11:19 AM

I love list & haven't heard much about these 15 iconic SF Greasy spoons:

1. Joe's Coffee Shop
2. Art's Cafe
3. Lucky Penny
4. Tony's Cable Car Restaurant
5. Eddie's Cafe
6. Grubstake Diner
7. Golden Coffee Shop
8. Lafayette Coffee Shop diner
9. It's Tops Coffee Shop
10. Sparky's 24hr Diner
11. Orphan Andy's
12. Jim's Restaurant
13. Red Cafe
14. Silver Crest Donut's Shop
15. Tyger's Coffee Shop

Website link:
http://sf.eater.com/archives/2013/07/...

What do hounds think of them?

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  1. d
    dunstable RE: hhc Jul 20, 2013 12:37 PM

    I mean, they're greasy spoons. They are what they are. I have no strong opinions about the ones on this list I've tried, although I don't like Lucky Penny, even compared to other greasy spoons. The only thing I like about Lucky Penny is that they are open 24 hours.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dunstable
      r
      Rapini RE: dunstable Jul 20, 2013 04:18 PM

      I concur--they are what they are.

      When I was a young man about town, the attraction of Sparky's and Orphan Andy's was that they were open after last call. The sole attraction, really.

      It's Tops has a following that makes me think it may be a trifle better than the rest of the list. Grubstake used to get some mentions on this board.

    2. grayelf RE: hhc Jul 20, 2013 02:34 PM

      I've only tried two (we don't have many true greasy spoons left in Vancouver so we dabble when traveling), Eddie's and Golden. Both were fun and decent food but it's more about the experience for me than the grub. I wouldn't head to either just for the food based on one visit each.

      2 Replies
      1. re: grayelf
        mariacarmen RE: grayelf Jul 21, 2013 12:27 PM

        It's Tops, great for pancakes. Good 2 a.m. food. Grubsteak is not great, in my opinion. And Sparky's has really gotten bad.

        1. re: mariacarmen
          Cynsa RE: mariacarmen Aug 19, 2013 09:44 AM

          My 'go to' late night order is always the Portuguese Caldo Verde Soup - always satisfies me at Grubsteak. I'd stick to the Portuguese side of Grubsteak's menu.
          At Eddie's on Divisadero, I go for grits with eggs with smoked sausage.
          At Golden Coffee, waffle-strawberries-whipped cream, pancakes/egg.
          At Red Cafe on Mission Street/25th Street, chilaquiles, Platanos con casamiento, huevos, queso fresco y crema, and oatmeal pancakes.

          I could easily find 'one dish' at each of these greasy spoon finds, but I haven't yet made it to #14's Silver Crest Donut's. I'll get there someday, maybe, just to do the 15. I have favorites.

      2. c
        chocolatetartguy RE: hhc Jul 22, 2013 06:35 PM

        Is that Art's Cafe on Irving near 9th? It's not bad at all and they have Korean-influenced breakfast options.

        Orphan Andy's - went there for dinner one night during my January fortnight in the Castro when I was still getting over a respiratory virus. The meatloaf/mashed dinner was very comforting and the chicken soup was surprisingly rich. They serve you a huge amount of food.

        Jim's Restaurant in Alameda? - went there once for chicken fried steak. It was OK, better than Ole's which used to be good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chocolatetartguy
          mariacarmen RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 22, 2013 08:21 PM

          I think it's Jim's in the Mission, on Mission St. They make their own killer hot sauce.

          1. re: chocolatetartguy
            m
            ML8000 RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 22, 2013 08:28 PM

            Yes, Art's is at 9th/Irving. I prefer Howard's around the corner, still greasy but in a 70s vibe.

          2. s
            saffrongold RE: hhc Jul 25, 2013 04:18 PM

            I think Peter D's (est. 1959) at VanNess and Broadway deserves to be on the list

            3 Replies
            1. re: saffrongold
              Melanie Wong RE: saffrongold Jul 25, 2013 04:36 PM

              Did I read in the last couple years that the chef that garnered the rave from Gene Burns opened his own place?

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                s
                saffrongold RE: Melanie Wong Jul 25, 2013 06:45 PM

                Sorry I don't know

                1. re: saffrongold
                  Melanie Wong RE: saffrongold Jul 25, 2013 08:08 PM

                  No worries. I've googled a bit and can't find anything about the change. Oddly, the only mention left on the web for Gene Burns, then of KGO radio, proclaiming Peter D's the best breakfast is my old post from 2004. Guess it all went away when Burns' Dining Around departed KGO and with his passing.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3290...

            2. larochelle RE: hhc Jul 25, 2013 05:25 PM

              I've been to a few of these places in the last couple of years. Good without having to add the qualifier "for a diner" - Orphan Andy's & Grubstake
              Decent for a Diner- Jim's, Art's, Tony's & Eddie's
              Meh, but maybe you'll like it? - It's Tops, Lafayette, Tygers
              Don't Go (seriously even if you don't get sick, you'll worry about IF you finish your food) - Sparky's & Red Cafe.
              Haven't Been - Silver Crest, Joe's, Lucky Penny, Golden

              1 Reply
              1. re: larochelle
                v
                vulber RE: larochelle Jul 26, 2013 10:33 AM

                2nd on sparky's - it's all frozen microwaved stuff - and given that it's next to a 24-hour safeway, really no exuse for going there.

                kate's kitchen should be on here.

                i've always found red cafe to be tasty mexcian food when i've been (not the best in the mission, but still tasty) - are you sure you're not thinking of somewhere else?

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