Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Oct 1, 2013 05:08 PM

Bernal Heights [San Francisco]

So after decades in the East Bay we took the plunge and are now in SF. Please help with some go-to staples for lunch/dinner?

Below are the places that were my go-to's in Oakland. What are the equivalents? SF Noob here.

Nido all the time for casual but delicious dinner, and lunch too
Haven for something a bit fancier, but still down to earth
Cactus was my go-to taqueria
Sierra Deli/Genovas/Bakesale Betty's for sandwiches
Golden Lotus for vegan vietnamese (sadly I think this might be unique to Oakland)
Shangri-La Vegan
Chai Thai Noodles (have heard Lers Ros is similar with good northern thai dishes?)
Shan Dong for delivery chinese
China Village for ma la (tried Z&Y but it's not as good. we'll make the drive; can't see finding a replacement for China Village)
Same with Miss Ollies - we'll make the drive
Saul's/Sunrise Deli for falafels

Really going to miss the east bay, and will be back for many many meals because I just can't see finding replacements for these and other favorites. But, would like to have some go-to's in the neighborhood here as well. Help a fellow hounder out! Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sunrise Deli has three locations in SF.

    House of Thai (formerly Thai House Express) on Larkin is where Chai Thai's chef used to work, pretty much the same menu but better. Lers Ros is excellent but different dishes.

    Miss Ollie's is unique. Front Porch might still use her fried chicken recipe.

    There's a vegan Vietnamese place called Golden Era.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks, I'll do a comparison of the Golden's soon. Also excited to try a better version of Chai Thai's menu.

      1. re: hungree

        I think Chai Thai has gone downhill since it opened, or at least it's not consistent, but House of Thai has if anything gotten better. Some tips on what to order:

    2. Are you looking for weekday or weekend lunches?

      I'm blanking on farm to table Mexican in the Mission. Try Nopalito in Nopa or in the Sunset

      Old Jerualem for falafel et al.

      Angkor Borei for Cambodian (they deliver)

      Sandwiches: meet Avedano's, your new butcher. I've not read any reports on their sandwiches, but they look promising:

      La Santaneca for pupusas (location at 3781 Mission St.) Balompie a few doors down is good too.

      Chinese: no great delivery to your area to my knowledge. Change regions of China.... make the short drive to Rice Valley for okay Shanghainese or Beijing Restaurant

      Here's what's to the south of you:

      3 Replies
      1. re: hyperbowler

        The Avedano sandwiches are good, but nothing incredible. A lot of them suffer from too much bbq sauce or some other strange element. They're not all that well composed.

        The OP should look into Blue Plate, and Spicey Bite, and the already mentioned Front Porch, for some nearby options.

        Alemany Farmers Market will be a short distance away for them. There's also Precita Park Cafe, and of course, everything in the Excelsior and Mission area.

        Not direct replacements, but maybe some new loves to explore.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          Might not exactly be farm to table Mexican, But Lolo is quite good:

          For Chinese delivery we use the Henry's Hunan on Church Street. Henry's Hunan has a particular salty spicy style that some people don't care for, but others like (including us).

          1. re: Calvinist

            Henry's Hunan really is a love it or hate it kind of place. Pretty greasy as well.

            Jasmine Tea House and Wild Pepper are both good in the area for more Americanized Chinese dishes.

        2. Lucca Ravioli on Valencia is pretty much the same style of deli as Genova, but probably has a better selection of wine and cheese.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            The sandwiches at Lucca are much simpler than the ones at Genova. Less veggies, more meat.
            You might also try Canyon Market in Glen Park or Pals in the Mission for sandwiches.

          2. Let's focus on lunches:

            903 Cortland is excellent. Hard to put a label on their food. Fusion definitely does not do them justice. Great for lunch.

            Paulie's Pickling offers really good sandwiches. I can't seem to get past their brisket, but I hear the other choices are just as good. Of course, their pickles are great too.

            In the same space as Paulie's, 331 Cortland, Anda Piroshkis are really good. A search here will yield other raves about them.

            Precita Park Cafe is another fun lunch option. You can find better food, better value, but on a sunny day its a nice place for lunch.

            Liberty Cafe is an institution of sorts. Its had some ups and downs with semi-recent changes of ownership, but the new incarnation seems to be solid again.

            Since you mention felafel, Good Frickin Chicken is decent. Not great, but decent. Their rotisserie chicken is inconsistent in my experience. When its good, its really good. But it can be overcooked.

            And if you broaden your search radius to about a mile, you get a wealth of 24th & Mission options: Rosamunde, La Taqueria, Tacqueria San Jose, La Cornetta (and many other taco/burrito options), Wise Sons Deli, Mission Pie.

            And dinner? Lots more to talk about.

            3 Replies
            1. re: BernalKC

              Awesome -- all these going onto the list. Will report back.

                1. re: BernalKC

                  I like Goood Frickin Chicken's falafel and also their chicken shawarma. I also like both of these from Old Jerusalem, not far away.

                2. Piqueo is not an equivalent match on your Oakland list.
                  We recently enjoyed an evening of small plates and easy parking.
                  830 Cortland Avenue between Gates & Ellsworth

                  fried chickpeas
                  red snapper Cebiche Pescado
                  Papa a la Huancaina
                  scallops Ficho with blue mashed potato
                  crab cake Peruano
                  beef hearts Anticuchones
                  baby octopus Pulpito Bebe/papitas dorados
                  Suspiro a la Limean/Dulce de leche

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Cynsa

                    This looks great -- like a Peruvian Nido :). We checked out Tacos Los Altos for the first night. Pretty good shrimp tacos, but stale chips, although the habanero salsa made up for it.

                    1. re: hungree


                      La Lengua Chronicles


                      Angkor Borei
                      Lotus Garden Vietnamese Cuisine
                      Poc Chuc
                      Los Jarritos

                      St. Francis Fountain & Candy
                      2801 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                      La Palma Mexicatessen

                      La Victoria Mexican Bakery & Cafe

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        oops - sorry, please note name change:
                        901 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
                        - formerly known as Los Jarritos

                      2. re: hungree

                        I know people in this neighborhood who despise Tacos Los Altos. Always has seemed pretty basic and non-offensive to me.

                      3. re: Cynsa

                        Piqueo's the same chef-owner as Mochica and La Costanera (in Half Moon Bay). My favorite dish of his is halibut tiraditos in aji amarillo sauce.

                        1. re: Cynsa

                          Piqueo was out of this world good. What Boca Nova wishes it was. Really loved all the seafood and the diversity of sauces / plating. Tastes as good as it looks, and they aren't shy about spice. We particularly enjoyed the pickled garnishes on many of the dishes. Will be back. Sat by the bar and had a great view of the kitchen. Nice neighborhood gem that is definitely worth a trip from anywhere else too.