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San Francisco & Napa Trip

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Heading to San Francisco and Napa from October 16-21st and would love to get some recommendations from you fine folks. I have never been to Napa, and not to SF since I was a kid (over 20 years ago). We will be a group of 3 adults for the first day of the trip, and then after that a party of 7 adults. We are foodies and are looking for awesome food that doesn't break the bank. Being from NYC, I am also looking for things that are done better in Cali - where is the best place to get Mexican in Mission, things like that.

I have about a day and a half in S.F. - 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and then about 3 1/2 days in Napa.

We have reservations for Friday night dinner at Ad Hoc (our consolation prize after striking out on French Laundry reservations - the one place I would have been willing to break the bank) and we will be cooking at the house we are staying at Saturday night. So in Napa - really looking for one dinner (Sunday night) and some lunch spots while we tour vineyards and breweries, which will mostly be how are days are spent.

We are open to both divey places and nicer establishments, and all are adventurous eaters who are fond of food crawls, if one place in an area just isn't enough.

I appreciate any help that you can give, as it is daunting trying to navigate such a great food scene.

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  1. I know there' a lot, but besides "doesn't break the bank," and "done better in Cali," there's not a lot for us to specifically respond to. Your questions get asked all the time, so search the board for recs that are unique to SF and browse the eater 38 etc.

    Also, for what it's worth, there are places I would much rather splurge at than The French Laundry (Benu, Saison, Meadowwood, Manresa).

    1. So some of these have come over to NY but still in SF

      1. You should get coffee (Blue Bottle, Philz, Four Barrel, Sight glass, Ritual etc.)

      2. You should go to a bakery ((B. Patisserie and Craftsman and Wolves come to mind (but maybe there's others now too?))

      3. You should get ice cream (Bi-Rite, Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous, Humphrey Slocombe)

      4. You should go to the Ferry Building's farmer market (check what days/times work for you)

      5. The cocktail scene is great in New York but we have an awesome one too check out Local Edition or Rickhouse or Hogs and Rocks or check out this list:
      http://sf.eater.com/archives/2013/07/...

      In terms of restaurants, we do the farm to table/ cal-italian thing slightly better and tons cheaper than NYC. It's not so much that you can't find it in New York so much as the breadth/depth for such a small city is awesome and is vaguely affordable:

      Cal-Italian: Cotogna, Incanto, Locanda, Flour & Water, Zero Zero
      Cal-Cal: Nopa, Frances, Baker & Banker, State Bird Provisions
      Seafood: Skool, Bar Crudo (may be slipping), Hog Island Oysters at the Ferry Building

      Latin American isn't quite as awesome as one would hope but Nopalito and El Techo de Lolinda can be tasty and fun in decent weather. For tacquerias probably Tacqueria Cancun or Tacqueria San Jose are the best bet. For fusion-y tacos there's always Tacolicious.