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Dining Alone in San Francisco


Artichoke
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I am leaving Sunday for a week in San Francisco where I will be attending a work related conference. I am staying at the Clift hotel. I am looking for suggestions of restaurants in the area that would be a good option for a solo diner (serving at the bar). I do not know if a similar thread already exists, but I could not find it.

Does the Zuni cafe serve dinner at their bar? I am open to all suggestions, I am simply looking for good food and good wine. Perhaps I should be more specific, but I have only been to San Fracisco once before so I feel I have everything to learn about the dinng scene. I will certainly be frequenting the Hog Island oyster bar at the Ferry Building market place where I had my best oyster experience to date.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

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I am leaving Sunday for a week in San Francisco where I will be attending a work related conference.  I am staying at the Clift hotel.  I am looking for suggestions of restaurants in the area that would be a good option for a solo diner (serving at the bar).  I do not know if a similar thread already exists, but I could not find it.

Does the Zuni cafe serve dinner at their bar?  I am open to all suggestions, I am simply looking for good food and good wine.  Perhaps I should be more specific, but I have only been to San Fracisco once before so I feel I have everything to learn about the dinng scene.  I will certainly be frequenting the Hog Island oyster bar at the Ferry Building market place where I had my best oyster experience to date.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

zuni does serve at the bar, and i have had excellent solo dining experiences there. first crush (cyril magnin st?) has nice apps to make a meal of, and great flights, and has a good bar for single dining as well. i haven't dined solo at plouf (belden place) but i would...i love that place. those are a couple that jump out---will post more if they leap to mind.

have a wonderful time--so many great places to eat!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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My experience at zuni was really lackluster and with all things considering, i would rather point you to Jardinere. Even if they are not serving foie gras anymore. *getting upset just thinking about it* The service was one of hte best i've came across, the food is good and it's a an experience in dining.

And I hear they do a killer cheese/wine tasting.

just get the late reservation time, it's calm and relaxed and you don't have to feel odd man out being alone. I dine alone 90% of the time so i know how it is.

Another rec. is just walk the streets in SF and find a place that looks good, you really can't go wrong in SF, and it's more fun that way :-)

http://www.jardiniere.com/

Isaac Bentley

Without the culinary arts, the crudeness of the world would be unbearable. - Kate & Leopold

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I have to add my 'two cents' as it were. Anytime someone mentions San Francisco I have to mention Citizen Cake. They have a full menu, which I have not partaken of. But their desserts. OMG!!!!! I went there last October. I had eaten dinner somewhere else (don't remember where exactly) then went to Citizen Cake for dessert.

I had four desserts, plus a cocunt banana tart togo for breakfast the next morning. (The best breakfast that I've ever had, by the way.)

I can not recommend Citizen Cake enough.

Also. D&G Chinese is very very good. I asked the concierge at my hotel to make a recommendation for a restaurant. She said D&G. Later I found out that it had been ranked among the top ten Chinese restaurants in the country by citysearch.com. It was great food for *VERY* reasonable prices. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Also, if you've never been to SF, you should go to Fisherman's Wharf. It's very touristy, but it's nice to see. And there's a gift shop that helps marine animals or something like that. And you get to take pictures of the sea lions basking in the sun. (Hey, it's 3 am, and I'm on my 5th glass of wine. I can't remember the details. Okay?!)

There is a really nice restaurant about 4 blocks up from the toursity area. You really need reservations, but I've heard that it's incredible. I unfortunatley, didn't get reservations. :(

And if you're looking for other things to do - non food related I mean. I would suggest the Cartoon Art Museum that's downtown. It's nice (disclaimer: I'm a cartoon/comic freak), but the gift shop is not very good. Also close by (an hour drive maybe?) is the Charles Shultz Museum. Which is AWESOME. Even for a non-cartoon/comic person, it is nice. I highly highly recommend it.

-Greg

P.S. Artichoke, feel free to pm me if you want more info about in general or about my trip.

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I would recommend the bar at Absynthe, a restaurant on Hayes Street, for food and drink. The bar area is very attractive and lively, with both bar and table seating. You can order any amount of food or drinks in either place. The specialty cocktails are wonderful(my favorites are the Ginger Rogers and the Perfect pear); the wines by the glass are usually excellent in quality, variety and value;

the cheese plates are delicious and come with fresh or dried fruit; the French onion soup is the best in San Francisco; the regular menu is very good and always includes some type of duck confit; a wide range of oysters is available; etc. There is usually an interesting crowd of people in the bar area. Also, they have superb bread and butter(a must in my book!). It is definitely fun to eat there if you are alone. Amphora, the wine store affiliated with Absynthe, is located just next door and offers a 10% discount if you buy a bottle of any of the wines featured by the glass in the restaurant.

Bon appetit!

Roz

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There is a nice small family-run sushi place right near your hotel... open late also.

Ryoko Restaurant and Bar 619 Taylor Street

"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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The specialty cocktails are wonderful(my favorites are the Ginger Rogers and the Perfect pear);

OOOOOOOOOH...those both sound yummy! Do you remember what is in them?!?

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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The Ginger Rogers has lots of fresh mint, gin, seltzer or 7-up, and lemon juice and is mildlysweet(I think)- very refreshing! I can go through those fast. The Perfect pear comes in a martini glass- I'm not so sure about that one- suspect pear liquor and vodka- it's more sweet and has more alcohol that the Ginger Rogers. We usually get one of each and share! They have many other delicious mixed drinks.

Salute!

Roz

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The Ginger Rogers has lots of fresh mint, gin, seltzer or 7-up, and lemon juice and is mildlysweet(I think)- very refreshing! I can go through those fast. The Perfect pear comes in a martini glass- I'm not so sure about that one- suspect pear liquor and vodka- it's more sweet and has more alcohol that the Ginger Rogers. We usually get one of each and share! They have many other delicious mixed drinks.

Salute!

Roz

YUM! Thanks for the details...will have to get there on my next trip. Cheers! :biggrin:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Zuni is one of my favorite places in SF, but as Painted said, many people think it doesn't live up to its reputation. And they're not necessarily wrong. But for oysters, it's the place to go. I don't think they have stools at the bar, but you can be served in the bar area.

Is the Chinese "D&G" mentioned above actualy the "R&G Lounge" at Clay/Kearny? If so, perhaps the best Chinese in the city. Pass on the tendy Betelnut/Elizas. Not very good.

Has anyone mentioned Danko? They serve the full menu at the bar and if you're willing to spend the time and money, it's the best bar meal in the city. Fifth Floor also serves at the bar, but I don't think its bar atmosphere is as nice.

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The two places I had fantastic service when I was alone was at Stars restaurant (10+ years ago) and Quince (sometime a couple months ago). I think the Stars people thought I was a reviewer because they kept asking strange questions like "You're from a newspaper right?" But the Quince waiter treated me like I was his daughter or something. He was really very kind. At both places I thought the service outshined the food, but I can't wait to drag a friend or two back to Quince and try it again. Stars, of course, is closed.

Gary Danko's bar is amazing too because the most interesting people eat there. last time I met someone who had just come back from Spain and she was a real wine geek and had been to L.A a lot too. Also, the food is pretty good. I like the lobster with corn and mushrooms. To my taste, the meat dishes are somewhat salt-laden, but I still like the lamb. The ahi tuna dish is very pretty (looks like a butterfly), but I haven't had it yet. I'm a big dessert person, but I dunno, theirs don't make me salivate the way I would normally.

Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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