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San Francisco Restaurant Reviews & Recommendations


Gil
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I like some of the suggestions so far. Piperade and Quince are both favorites of mine and I've reallly been wanting to try Aziza for awhile now. Boulevard may also be a nice option for impressing business associates although I haven't been there in a few years.

Has anyone been to Rubicon or One Market lately? They are both very nice, sleek, "city" restaurants that I've enjoyed in the past. Rubicon, One Market and Boulevard would probably fall under New American/Californian-inspired cusine.

Quince is Italian, but with strong influences from the Chez Panisse school. I've really enjoyed all my meals there. Another new Italian-inspired restaurant that is getting a lot of buzz is

http://www.perbaccosf.com/index.html]Perbacco.

Some reviews of Perbacco as well: click

I'm also a big fan of Zuni Cafe; an SF classic (California-Mediterranean) with a relaxed but elegant SF feel to it. I also like Kokkari, a high end Green restaurant in the Financial District. (I haven't been there in awhile either so any updates are helpful.)

edited to add: Please let us know how their dinners turned out, maggiejiggs. It would be great to hear the feedback on their experiences.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I will second Boulevard and Tadditch Grill

Michael Minna for high end....

I like town hall a lot but it is very loud

Old favorites like Postrio and Slanted door are great

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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  • 2 months later...

So my wife & I are taking a cruise. Vancouver to LA and then 3 nights in Disneyland. We're leaving September 24.

Turns out, one of the ports of call along the way will be San Francisco. We'll be disembarking sometime around noon on the Wednesday, and have to be back on board by 5pm.

I know it's not a long visit, but we'd like to enjoy a nice lunch, and perhaps a walk around Fisherman's Warf. We're thinking higher-end, but are not opposed to awesome food experiences of all price levels. Saddly, bi-valves are out (clams, mussels, oysters, etc.) due to an allergy.

Suggestions?

A.

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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My parents used to cruise a lot. The very last cruise they got to take was one that stopped here with exactly those same restrictions. At the time, I was living in Napa and my sister and I drove into the city to meet them and take them out for the day.

They actually requested Fisherman's Wharf which is not something I would ever recommend to a foodie tourist. It was fine for my 70-year old parents but there are no restaurants of any exception at Fisherman's Wharf. It is simply a tourist trap and we ate nothing but horribly mediocre seafood.

With good walking shoes, you can head south to the Ferry Plaza and have a truly decadent culinary experience (read through most of the SF threads - there have been a lot of pictures taken lately of the Ferry Plaza and all the places you can eat within the Plaza itself including The Slanted Door). Just across the street from the Plaza is Boulevard. Within walking distance of the Plaza is Perbacco, Town Hall, or Yank Sing.

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I just ate my way through Vancouver last weekend - there are a lot of similar style places in SF. Mid-day is hard, but you should be able to eat well in a few hours.

In general, I'd avoid fisherman's wharf like the plague, hop in a cab and run down to the ferry plaza then work your way around the city from there. I'd suggest Yank Sing for dim sum, but you'd be nuts to have dim sum in SF if you live in Vancouver.

Nothing higher-end is all that good during the day. Most of the more formal places are closed and the ones that are open are dishing up mediocre food. Good sushi can be had at the bar at Takara at lunch time (until 2 I think). Bahn Mi & sugarcane juice at Baguette Express - they're open until 5 (not very high-end though - $2.50 for a sammich). Pretty much all the tourist trap restaurants in the ferry building are open - of the bunch, I'd go for out the door (slanted door to go): they have great chicken buns and the daikon rice cake is good too. Bi Rite creamery can give Mondo a run for its money, get the coffee and the salted caramel - it's in the mission (pretty far from fishermans wharf). If you're set on something more fancy, Piperade is close to fisherman's wharf and they're open for lunch.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,

my wife and I (from NYC) will be in SF and Napa in early July. Can anyone recommend restaurants downtown SF and in Napa?

I prefer casual restaurants with a solid kitchen. I have a critical eye but after working 6 years in a 3 star Michelin restaurant what's on my plate has become more important than decor and service. One thing I do not like is pretentious service such as found at Per Se. I don't need a waiter to explain me how to eat a microscopic morsel of "legume" out of a silver spoon. See what I mean? :angry:

My wife is enamoured with WD50 and other cutting edge chefs. We eat out a lot, whether in NYC or Europe.

We were at Jardiniere 6/7 years ago and were not impressed. But we would be happy to try some smaller, hole in the wall restaurants. I have heard conflicting reviews from my guests about French Laundry. Any advice?

Can you help?

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We enjoyed REDD in Younville, Ad Hoc and Bistro Jeanty are also favorites of ours in this area. Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen is also good in St. Helena, wonderful food here.

Two of my favorite places in San Francisco are Farallon for the seafood and Boulevard by the Ferry Building Marketplace. Have fun! :)

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In San Francisco Farallon and Boulevard are both worth repeat visits. A great "hole in the wall" is Bar Crudo above the Stockton tunnel at 603 Bush Street. And don't miss Perbacco at 230 California Street for excellent Italian cuisine.

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What about the CIA? http://www.ciachef.edu/restaurants/wsgr/

I know it takes a bit of faith to eat at a catering college -but I really liked the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant.

The waiters are career professionals so it was no surprise that service was attentive and informed but right up to the first dish arriving (Today's Temptations, a taster of artful appetisers,) I wasn't sure if the food was going to be ok or not.

But everything about this meal was of a class to match top kitchens back in the city. Indeed so good was it that the meal we had the night before at Puck's Postrio looked rather anemic in comparison.

Nothing about the dishes suggested anything other than absolute professionalism, though I did suffer from food envy - the Greystone French Onion Soup one of our group had was amazing.

D.

Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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In San Francisco Farallon and Boulevard are both worth repeat visits. A great "hole in the wall" is Bar Crudo above the Stockton tunnel at 603 Bush Street. And don't miss Perbacco at 230 California Street for excellent Italian cuisine.

Bar Crudo is hardly a hole in the wall. I'm not particularly fond of their food, but the space is quite nice and dinner is likely to run $50+/person. Shalimar at Jones and O'Farrell... that's a hole in the wall.

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I will second Boulevard.

Also:

Slanted Door

Michael Mina

Myth

A16

Incanto

If you have eaten at Per Se and did not like it I doubt you will like the French Laundry given it is a very similar, though more relaxed, restaurant.

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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  • 3 months later...

Just back from the cruise & Disney. Thanks to all (both of you :laugh: ) who contibuted.

Lunch choice was A16 ... and we were extrememely happy with it! We hiked over from the top of Lombard after the cliché cable-car ride and spent a couple hours at the bar chatting eith the staff and a couple regulars.

We started with the house-cured ciccioli and salami, and followed with an amazing eggplant bruschetta (I begged for the recipe to no avail) and tripe Napoletana. A couple glasses of Tally Chardonnay for me, and a couple Bokisch Rosé for my wife and we were out of there for under $100 ... $102 Canadian that day!

An easy walk back to Pier 32 by way of the Ferry Building (nice, but I think I'd like it better on market day) completed the afternoon.

Next time I think we'll take more than 6 hours.

A.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everybody, I need your help,

I know that San Francisco as a ton of great restaurant and a lot of ethnic cuisine, but what is typical San Francisco, what is your own? The same as the deep dish (Chicago) or the Cincinnati chili... I'm sure many of you have an opinion, please share.

Thanks.

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Well, it's not my own, because I don't live there (nor anywhere close any more), but I'd put dungeness crab and sourdough bread pretty high on the list. Sand dabs.

A nice Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista cafe isn't to be missed, nor is Ghiradelli chocolate.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 2 months later...

We have had very good meals at Boulevard and Farallon. We also enjoyed a very nice, elegant lunch at the Ritz Carlton out on their back patio area. They offeed a 3 course lunch for around $25/pp which was very good and the Ritz is a beautiful hotel in San Francisco. :)

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i lived there several years ago and often dream of the best ice cream i've ever had at Mitchell's Ice Cream on 29th and San Jose... my best real meal there was at rubicon which was somewhat expensive if i remember correctly

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

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I'm spending May 13-16 in SF. Any suggestions for restaurants,breakfast, lunch or dinner? Middle range to mildly expensive. Any cuisine. Thanks

I love Zuni Cafe, and for a lot of fun Swan's Oyster Depot

You should also come check out the Napa Valley lots of great places out here

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Not sure if it is too late here but...

Definitely check out this thread with lots of suggestions, its a great source of current and past places from a local:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=79681

Unfortunately its locked now but it was always very helpful for me as a regular visitor of San Francisco.

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Not sure if it is too late here but...

Definitely check out this thread with lots of suggestions, its a great source of current and past places from a local:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=79681

Unfortunately its locked now but it was always very helpful for me as a regular visitor of San Francisco.

Second Swicks' suggestion re thread which is sadly closed (something to do with the reorganization??). I used it and other eGulleteer's suggestions before our last trip in November 2007 to great advantage. You can check out my ramblings about that weekend here if you're so inclined: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=110065

Also feel free to PM me if you want a list of restos I compiled at that time. We're heading back in mid-April so I'll be updating it before we go!

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We just got back from a long weekend in San Francisco and can highly recommend the following places for dinner...

Canteen - stellar food in an "interesting"space...i.e. an old coffee shop.

A 16 - been here before and will go again, it's so good and the wine list is great as well.

Incanto - would love to have a place like this in NY...great salumi, best service of the trip.

We also lunched at the brand new Water Bar, which, while a stunning space, was less than inspiring food-wise. Swan was packed the couple of times we went by, so we didn't get to eat there on this trip.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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