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Sep 25, 2013 08:36 AM

Restaurant ideas for a group of colleagues next week [San Francisco]

Hi everyone-

I'm coming to SF for a conference with several colleagues (up to 10 people) next week, and I was looking for fun/hip/great food & drinks places to suggest. Ideally, it'd be nice if we didn't need reservations (particularly because it may be that we don't all go to every dinner). We'll be there Wed-Sun, so looking for Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat. dinner spots. We'll be staying in the area around the convention center, but obviously would be willing to go elsewhere for better food options/get away from the crowded area.

I've only been to SF once a few years ago, and enjoyed Slanted Door & Colibri, but it was just with 2 of us, so I'm curious about places that would accommodate more people. Cuisine could be pretty much anything: Mexican, Italian/good pizza (is Flour + Water still fun?), Chinese/Vietnamese/pan-Asian/fusion/Sushi, etc.

Thanks so much in advance!

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  1. I think that combining "fun/hip" with "walk-in with 10 people" is almost impossible, since "fun/hip" almost by definition means "crowded"! If you liked Slanted Door and Colibri, they might be good choices, since they're large restaurants than can accommodate a group that size (with reservations). Getting a table for a large group on a Saturday night with a week's notice? I'd go Asian. Maybe R&G Lounge or Great Eastern. Or Bodega Bistro for Vietnamese. If you want to blow the budget, maybe Hakkasan, which is an easy walk from the convention center.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Second fun/hip = crowded. The exception can be the financial district area which can empty out on weekends. None of these are favorites but: La Mar Cebicheria is a pretty large space and can accommodate groups. You may also get lucky with Perbacco, Barbacco or Ozumo.

      1. re: goldangl95

        Barbacco might be a good idea for a Saturday night. I've never thought of Perbacco as being "hip" or "fun."

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Fair point. I was thinking more hip in terms of foodie bragging rights - but the atmosphere at Perbacco is more business/90s formal.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Barbacco definitely needs reservations for that size of a party though. And if this is for next week, you may already be too late.

            1. re: bobabear

              For really large groups e.g. more than 6 people. You're going to have to call around and see. Barbacco doesn't fill up on weekends the way other trendy restaurants do - it's relatively easier to get a reservation (but it's also a small restaurant - as most in SF are)

      2. Zero Zero is in a quieter part of the neighborhood and walkable, but unsure if you can fit that many people in without reservations. I was there with a party of 10 on a Wed night and it was packed (we had reservations).

        Trying walking up to North Beach and trying Rose Pistola - they have live jazz some nights, good drinks and good food. You could probably get a table walk-in on Wed or Sun.

        Osha Thai on 2nd is kind of a chain in SF, but it has a nice vibe and fits lots of people walk-in.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bobabear

          Thanks for all the recs!

          One more request: Any good seafood? Not touristy (Fisherman's wharf...though I'm sure there could be good seafood there).

          OR, great sushi?

          For both of these, could be a smaller group of maybe 5-6 people...


          1. re: laurenpk

            Ozumo referenced above is decent sushi probably more towards good sushi depending where you are from (e.g. LA & NY people would find it average). It's large - you can usually get in around non-peak times without a reservation if you are 4 or less.

            Hog Island Oyster co. is a very casual oyster centric place.

            Otherwise: Skool is good but would need reservations or wait for awhile.

            1. re: goldangl95

              Skool is a good recommendation for hip and seafood. You'd have to take a cab. Hog island is great, but it's a long wait even if there are only 2 or 3 of you.

              Lauren, San Francisco isn't known for seafood. Fisherman's Wharf is a tourist trap largely full of fudge stores and chains. We do have great local crabs (not in season yet) and oysters. Your best bet for seafood is Asian or Peruvian restaurants.