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O/T: San Francisco Tourist Advice Needed..

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by alteredpilot, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. going to san fran for one night friday 10/6 and saturday half day...

    looking for recommendations on GOOD dinner, breakfast and lunch spots.

    we're staying on market street (theatre row). i'll have a car, and the BART stop is in front of the hotel...

    any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Be REAL careful if you pick up any "girls"! Do the Crocodile Dundee check first!
  3. Breakfast - Buena Vista restaurant, down on at the bottom end of Powell St. (I think) near the Ghirardelli chocolate HQ and at end of the Powell & Hyde cable car line.

    It's a great frozen-in-time 40's joint, birthplace of the Irish Coffee and Sloe Gin Fizz. Best place in the world to get an AM buzz going.
  4. SilentMind415
    Joined: Feb 20, 2006
    Posts: 330

    from Stockton

    What are you looking for? "White table cloth" style or "hole in the wall" as long as its good or somewhere in the middle?

  5. Prop Strike
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 651

    Prop Strike

    Tommy's Joint great food and cheap. Good for lunch.
  6. ahhh....good question...the answer is all of the above!

    for dinner we're usually somewhere in the white table cloth area, but my wife is 'fun' and loves atmosphere...any place with live jazz, n.o. jazz, blues, latin, dixieland, is a plus! $60-100 for dinner is reasonable, but i'd pay 20 and eat with my fingers to see my wife smile.

    let's just say we love going to restaurants...period...

    we LOVE hole in the wall type joints for breakfast and lunch...again...if it has atmosphere, unbeatable food or any combination of the two we're hip.

    oh yeah...
    what the name of the neighborhood that the civic center is in (we're staying right across the street)?
    i'm looking at zagat and i dont know any of the neighborhoods...
  7. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,940

    from indy

    I like pretty much everything at Pier 39. You get barking sea lions, powdered doughnuts (mmmm....doughnuts), a nice view of Alcatraz, and most importantly, I got to rent an off-shore power boat the last time I was there. It was a riot. That's some choppy water with a LOT of air time in a real off-shore boat. It's the most fun I've ever had in the water...and that includes that bath I took with Richard Gere.

    Lots of good street performers and humorous beggars too. I mean that, the beggars are creative there as opposed to the boring drunks we have here. The chocolate shop is there too. Lots of shopping there if you need it and the bridge is right there if you need to go get artsy across the water.
  8. racer756
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,324


    Go down to Union Square, On every block around Union square is a great place to eat, Mortons is fine, up the block from the St. Francis hotel is a old SF landmark called Sears( like the store)restaurant. great meals, killer breakfast. Buena Vista is also a great time. Scoma's at the pier is really good.SF has something like 10,000+ different places to eat. I dont think you'll starve. Have fun
  9. Yes
    Been there for ever.:cool:
  10. SilentMind415
    Joined: Feb 20, 2006
    Posts: 330

    from Stockton

    For breakfast I cant really help you, I almost never eat out for breakfast. The one place I do eat for breakfast on rare occasion is "Polk street station" its at [SIZE=-1]1356 Polk St and is an awsome (and cheap) breakfast joint, not to mention fast so you arent spending all day waiting for food. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. theres a ton of little hole in the wall joints like them throughout the downtown area. [/SIZE]

    For Lunch "Tommys Joint" as Prop Strike mentioned is an awsome place and usually pretty good food but its alos a tourist trap on weekends so go a little early or later in the afternoon if you dont want to wait around. open for lunch and dinner.

    Theres a ton of awsome dinner places on the warf but they are pricey and I avoid that area at all cost, its a tourist trap. You can also try The Cliff House, its expensive but not outragous and the food is very good. They are worth it for the view alone but are on the other side of town...
    [SIZE=-1]1090 Point Lobos Ave.

    In NorthBeach there are quite a few really good italian spots (its called little italy) My favorite is and you are also right by ChinaTown, if you go off of the main chinatown strip there are quite a few good places both cheaper and nice.

    As racer756 said Mortons and Sears are also very good spots.

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]Oh and as a general rule the further away from downtown or the warf is usually cheaper.[/SIZE]
  11. heyitsnate
    Joined: Apr 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,664

    from tacoma,wa

    if you are going to be here on friday for lunch,you can meet me in the beautiful mission district for the best burritos and tacos ever... the place for tacos is called la taqueria on 25th and mission.
  12. Bumpstick
    Joined: Sep 10, 2002
    Posts: 1,372


    For Friday night fun and drinks go to my brothers bar "The Knockout" in south mission. Where Mission and Valencia meet. Look for the sign with the lucha knockin' back a bottle. "Live bands, cheap booze, and purdy girls". Depending on the night it could be punk or roots rock-a-billy. Ask for DX or John. Have fun. -stick
  13. HemiDave
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 465

    from Austin, TX

    Eat at the pier at the place they searve the soup in the sour dough bread..pretty good! At night, you MUST go to O'Farrell's!!!!!! Awesome club! To call it a strip club doesn't do it justice!!

  14. Sean
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 718


    You could always hit the "Tonga Room" in the Fairmont basement (been there since the '40s) for drinks and then head across the street to the "Top of the Mark" at the Mark Hopkins for dinner.
  15. HotRod55
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 39

    from Omaha,NE

    Absolutely a GREAT place to eat at for scenery and food is McCormick & Culettos. It is a good place to eat, great Seafood Etoufee and if the server recommends the dessert, TRY IT!! I wasnt disappointed. I think with tax, tip, and a couple drinks it was close to $70 - $80 for one person, but I also got an appetizer too. I dont have the link to their website, but it was easy to find.
  16. keith089
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 377


    allioto's its on the water
  17. warbozz
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 720


    Like Sean mentioned, I like the Tonga room, but of course my wife (she's a S.F. native) and I went on one of our first dates there so it's got some memories for us. I've never been in a Tiki joint like it. The food is good, but expensive and not much of it- more like appetizers. They've got all the tropical style drinks, and their good and typical price for the Bay Area. The live music was good when we used to go there- mostly slow dance stuff.
  18. Slonaker
    Joined: Jul 21, 2005
    Posts: 523


    I love Tommy's Joynt. The food and beer are good, and reasonably priced. I like that they stay open really late. My wife and I ate there several times when we were there on vacation because they serve dinner late at night after most places are closed. That let us fit more tourist stuff into the day.

    I want to say Mel's Diner (is that right?) is across the street or close to it. One of their former locations was used in American Grafitti, and they have a lot of pics on the walls that were taken during the filming of the movie. I may be a little off on the details, but it was fun looking through all of the photos on the walls.

  19. Goozgaz
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,556


    If you want tacos and burritos the BEST place is Pancho Villas on 16th street between Valencia & Mission St (in the mission). It's a little bigger than your average taco place.. with interesting local artist on the wall.

    Just a half block up is my favorite Vietnamese (sp) restaurant called the Sunflower Cafe. Small place with meals in the 10-20 range. No white linens but clean and comfortable. There are two... one is a take out place on 16th street BUT the real restaurant on Valencia St between 16th & 17th (closer to 16th).

    Dinner ...try Izzie's steakhouse down on Steiner near Lombard. This a great local steak house with a real SF hometown crowd. Last time I went the wait was a little long so you should probably call ahead.

    Anything along the wharf is fine but it's more of a tourist crowd.

    Also the smaller restaurants in NorthBeach will never disappoint.

    Hope this helps.
  20. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,539


    It's a little drive but the brunch buffet at the cliff house is the best I've ever seen. I'm trying to think of the place on the pier that serves garlic crab. I ate there every night the last time I was in San fran.

  21. mrkerb
    Joined: Nov 3, 2004
    Posts: 126


    I agree with the recommendation for dinner at Izzies. But, for breakfast or lunch I like Louie's. It is on the great Highway right next door to the Cliff House. It has the great views of the Sutro Baths (now ruins) and the ocean and it is both cheap and really good.
  22. Brad B
    Joined: Apr 7, 2006
    Posts: 321

    Brad B
    from Nor Cal

    Go with Sean for old san francisco. Your wife will love it and it is part of San Francisco's history.

    have fun, it's a great city.
  23. tommys joynt never lets you down..try the buffalo stew over rice.

    dinner..lots of options all over town.for the live blues/jazz,head over to the wharf and go to Lou's pier 47.enrico's on broadway in north beach has really good food and an awesome bar.they also have live music nightly.the cliff house is another s.f. staple with great views and food,but one of me and the wife's favs is just down the great highway from there.its called the beach chalet and is right across from the ocean.excellent food and i believe they also have live can also sit outside downstairs(park chalet).all of these places have websites or try
    hope this helped
  24. SF is a great place to visit for sure...
    whether it be ChinaTown or the Wharf
    something as simple as the fish and chips at the Fisherman's Wharf is a real treat!
    As mentioned the street performers are entertaining too,just ;) pay them as I was not aware that completely painting yourself from head to toe with Aluminum roof paint was performing/art!:D
  25. Stoner
    Joined: Nov 3, 2001
    Posts: 491


    If you and your wife are anything like mine and me, "white tablecloth" in San Francisco should mean something kinda special:

    For upper end of the spectrum, I'd suggest Le Colonial. It's Vietnamese cuisine with colonial French influence and get a table on the veranda--you'll dig it and it's worth the money. Set in the original Trader Vic's (before TV moved to Emeryville), you'll know you ate a great San Francisco meal. And, it's in your hotel's 'hood.

    Speaking of Trader Vic's, they've opened one again in SF. It's on Golden Gate (also close to your hotel) and the drink list won't disappoint. The menu is good and it's a value for the money. The atmosphere can't be beat for vintage tiki in a modern setting. Who doesn't love a strong drink in a huge white skull mug? Good times.

    Breakfast? Grab a cab and have them drop you off in front of the crowd outside Boogaloo's on Valencia in the Mission. Write your name on the clipboard nailed to the door and enjoy the people-watching till your table's called. Order the "Tower Of Spuds." Enjoy.

    You want funk? After breakfast, go back up Valencia toward Market and get Bloody Marys at Zeitgeist. You'll stop counting individual ingredients in those damn things at around 20 or 21. Then go out back and hang with the bike messengers. Hang long enough and "The Tamale Lady" will show up with the best dang tamales for a buck-and-a-half you ever ate.

    You want jazz? Skip the dinner-and-jazz idea and get to the Boom Boom Room on Haight after dinner. Don't settle for second-rate dinner or jazz--get the best of both. Why not?

    Another breakfast option is "Just For You." It's off the beaten path down off 3rd Street in Dog Patch, but DAMMIT, they have the best chickory coffee outside of New Orleans. Order the "Greg's Scramble"--it says right on the menu, "Greg doesn't work here anymore, but that boy sure could scramble." They ain't lying.

    A GREAT cheap dinner is right up the hill from the aforementioned Knockout Room: Emmy's Spaghetti Shack is an amazing deal for the money and don't let the name fool you--they have one of the best combinations of funky atmosphere and great food/wine in town. Picture servers with full sleeves (guys and girls), funky laundry strung up across the ceiling and a DJ on weekend nights. It's a great time and you'll talk about it back home for months...

    If you want some more 'off the beaten path' type of neighborhood places that you won't feel like a tourist in, drop me a line at I could go on for DAYS...
  26. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,332


    If the Mrs. likes live Jazz and your into a 30's style Supper club, then Bix is a great spot. Band playing the corner, Deco decor, great people watching, and a real white tablecloth place- Good eats and music!

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