1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We have updated the board style and hope you like it. If you don't, you can switch back by going to https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/index.php?misc/style Select V Bulletin 3.0 style.

San Francisco Travel Tips?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by kylet3, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    I do like good Italian yes, but I don't have to go all out and pay through the roof, I'm not expecting absolute perfection.

    I'll be travelling to San Fran for my birthday. I'll be 28. :) as stated, I won't be driving, but it looks like there's no shortage of stuff to do. And Union Square will fix whatever shopping urges I have too. I'm not booking until September so we will see where we are then. :)
  2. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Don't worry, unless you go through the trouble of booking and getting to French Laundry, you should not expect absolute perfection! :D But there is definitely plenty of great food to be had here for less $ and hassle.
  3. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Clearly, you are not from San Francisco! :shuffle:
  4. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    SF really does make a snob/entitled foodie out of you. On my 3rd week in So. Italy I remember whining "I am TIRED of all this Italian food. Where is my sashimi/steak burrito/green papaya salad?" All they have is Italian food in Italy outside of big cities, go figure.
  5. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    Not from San Francisco, but I have a few suggestions I haven't seen upthread

    Nopa http://www.nopasf.com/ we took the bus there from downtown. I think we took a cab back, but that was because we were tired and didn't know the schedules.
    Scomas! http://www.scomas.com/ reminded me of a place in Tacoma (where I'm from) called the Harbor Lights. Very old school.

    Bars -
    Hard Water http://hardwaterbar.com/
    (I have more but I have to go - I'll come back and edit this)

    The Disney Family Museum

  6. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    That I clearly am not! Seriously though, there's tons of good advice here and sounds like some of the most amazing restaurants. I was fortunate enough to have dinner in the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel last year and they made an organic jidori chicken to die for! :swoon: Sadly though it's not on the menu. I also had dinner at the Ivy which was one of those campy tourist things and the food there was :scream: worthy.

    Restaurants while fun wouldn't be my main focus, I'm all about seeing what there is to do, touristy and off the beaten path as it were. I won't have a TON of time there but I want to take as much as I can in. It sounds like it will all be amazing whatever i do.
  7. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Reviving this thread a bit...

    So I'm pretty certain I'm going to go from October 9-13. The 13 is my birthday but there's no reason I can't celebrate my birthday. The only thing I'm struggling on is finding a bar (nightclub) in the Castro that would play some good top 40 music and would have a crowd around my age range? I'm thinking the 20-35 age range roughly, but it's not like there's a shortage of gay bars in San Francisco!

    I'm thinking for the Castro that I would visit the LGBT Rights Museum, the HRC store, and do the Cruisin' the Castro walking tour. Sounds like that will be really in-depth and informative about the background of the history of the LGBT rights movement in San Francisco.

    For shopping it looks like Union Square has me covered. I've got my eye on Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Prada, Gucci, Dior Homme (extremely rare boutique) and Yves Saint Laurent, so I'm covered well in-hand there!

    I've also got Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown penned in just to walk around and see what it's about. Something tells me I wouldn't be spending too much time in either place but just to do the touristy stuff and walk around.

    I'd also like to see the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square and get some good pictures of that area. The Golden Gate Bridge and bussing up there to get some good pictures from the south-end plaza, it looks like I should be able to do that. I'm also hoping to get along to Alcatraz and seeing that too.

    North Beach is probably something I'll end up skipping. I'm sure I'll end up on a cable-car at some point too!

    Hope there's not much else I'm missing! I'm sure there's tons more and anything campy and off the beaten path too that hasn't been mentioned I'm open to suggestion as well!
  8. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    You could ride the Powell/Hyde cable car from Union Square all the way to Ghiradelli Square, then walk back along the bay to Fisherman's Wharf. :cool:
  9. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    You've got all the right ideas, kylet3! Have a great time!
  10. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Just a quick update. I did go ahead and book my trip yesterday for the 9-13 of October.

    Has anyone been out to the Sutro Baths? I saw them for the first time on Looking (HBO series) and the views looked stunning. Has anyone else had a chance to go out there?
    kwanfan1818 likes this.
  11. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

    I have a few suggestions of my own. Grew up in SF and the East Bay, currently work in SF.

    - Italian, not extravagant, but good: Definitely Cotogna, next to Quince, as suggested earlier. $28 pre-set 3-course meal, casual but super good, really interesting inexpensive wine list. Shares the kitchen with Quince, which is fauncy fauncy. In a really cute alley shared with antiquarians, modern furniture designers, a tiny architecture bookstore, an interesting wine bar, not quite in North Beach or Chinatown but nearby. Basically one block from the Transamerica building. In the "Gold Coast" (or is it Barbary Coast?), where all the ol' whores hung out before the 1906 earthquake.

    - Ice cream: Depends what you want. If you're in to chi chi hipster-trendy but GOOD changes-everyday derived-from-seasonal-plants-and-fruits ice cream, yes, Bi Rite in the mission. But if you like traditional creamy stuff, Mitchell's or Lappert's. Or that weird 56 varietals of vanilla place on Valencia (I swear it's a drug front).

    - Coffee: Totally polarizing subject. If you're in to third wave single origin fair trade "hmm ... tastes like a declassified nebbiolo I once had!" there are sooo many roasters in town. Sightglass: On 7th/Folsom, great interior, chock full of stereotypical bearded otters in plaid discussing their latest start-ups or just stealth-clicking on Tindr, lots of coffee options. They tend to roast light. Blue Bottle: It's everywhere. The most fun ones are either in the old Mint on Jessie (giant siphons, big ass bowl of granola and yogurt), and unfortunately the top floor of SFMOMA is closed (they had desserts modeled after "iconic" contemporary art pieces). They're ... not quite up my alley, but up a lot of others' alleys. Four Barrel: Good stuff, good stuff. 14th/Mission. Overrun by fashion start-up hipsters, but still good. Ritual: I think they're on their way out. Not sure. Linea: Valencia/20th-ish - tiny cute little shop that had who lots of people called the best barista in the city (how is that possible?). La Boulange: Easy, everywhere, and great pastries, hullo. The Buena Vista (near Ghiradelli Square): Home of the Irish Coffee. I think the dude pours like 20 in a row across the counter.

    - If you're going to the Exploratorium and/or Pier 39 and/or Coit Tower and/or Filbert steps and/or bars on the Embarcadero and/or Ferry Building: All in the same area. Getting tickets to Alcatraz must be done FAR in advance, that will take up about half of your day. Step in to Tcho chocolate factory, next to the Exploratorium. Super duper good chocolate. Hilarious queen behind the counter. I think I just walked in looking for something and he shouted, "What's your favorite color? PURPLEEEEEE!" (hands up in the air presenting his imaginary crown)

    - Chinese food: Oh god. None? Amongst the best-liked: R&G lounge on Kearny for pepper crab. Totally near no other Chinese restaurants, not popular, but good: Red Jade on Church, right next to the Castro.

    - Sushi: Apparently Blowfish, and the ritzy Keiko. My favorite tiny, cute, next to the Castro, friendly-gay, slightly unusual in a good way: Sushi Town, down these tiny steps on Market between Church and Castro. For ramen: Ken Ken on 18th/Mission. For Japanese curry: Kare-Ken on Jones and Geary.

    - Bars in the Castro: Seriously, just walk around to all of them and decide which few suit you best. They're all within 4 blocks of each other. The Cafe has a lot of porn-sponsored events, but it's got the young dancey crowd. The Lookout is a big place, on Market, slightly older dancey crowd. Twin Peaks is known as The Glass Coffin, but hey, I've been told it's super friendly in there (older clientele staring out at the people passing by). I personally don't find any of them all that exciting (the more interesting ones are on Polk, but that's not nearby). I know there's a bar somewhere near 18th/Castro where John Waters hangs out basically every weekend.

    - Museums: SFMOMA is temporarily closed. If you go to either the De Young or the Legion of Honor, it's reciprocal membership for the day, so you can certainly pop in on the other for free. The De Young basement usually has a special exhibit of a fashion designer (I've loved those - they're amazing), and the Legion of Honor sometimes has a special exhibit of an old jewelry / decorative objects maker. They're gone through the most obvious ones, but check out what they're showing. Academy of Sciences: Right across from the De Young. It's great, but ... there's just so much other stuff to do, and it's like any other good metropolitan science / sea creature museum. If you end up going to the Disney Museum, that's in the Presidio, which basically has one bus that takes you all around. It takes you really close to the Golden Gate Bridge, and by these beaches (some parts nude!) - October is the warmest month of the year in SF! Oh yeah, there's also this place called House of Air where you can bounce on about 40 trampolines all stitched together.

    - Union Square shopping: I did not hear you mention Barney's. GO TO BARNEY'S. Nobody thinks of going there! It's ultra high-end stuff, not popular, and an AMAZING perfume / candles basement. And there's an Hermes shop, with all the scarves! If you like fabric, browse around Britex for a few minutes! 3 floors of designer's assistants gathering bolts for projects! If you end up going in to Nordstrom's (SF Center), there are a ton of stores there too, including Bloomingdale's, a great Japanese tea shop called Lupicia, and the top floor dome with La Boulange where Kristi Yamaguchi inaugurated the ceiling projections (she literally pressed down on a Wyle E. Coyote -like dynamite detonator to flip the lights on).

    - OK, so, public transit: Muni's hella frustrating. You can use 511.org on your phone, but times are never accurate and it's annoying to use. But it's the best we've got. If any of your traversing can be achieved by both BART and Muni, always opt for BART. Oh, and there are now city bicycles you can rent from self-service stands without having to go to a super touristy rental place. If you're going through neighborhoods, fine, but do NOT bike on Market without a helmet, lots of experience, and some aggression. If you're a walker, the city is not huge - you can walk through about 3 or 4 neighborhoods without breaking a sweat.

    - Sutro Baths: There's not much left of the ruins, but they're still kinda fun to walk around. The Musee Mechanique is not back yet, so all that's in the adjacent building is a restaurant and the Giant Camera (interesting camera obscura, takes about 5 minutes to absorb). The beach is nice but kinda dirty. However, it's a very different "feeling" in that neighborhood. Lots of long-timers, almost like a beach community. That beach is usually super cold though.

    - You're coming Oct. 9 - 13. That's when a lot of neighborhood cultural festivals are. Usually only on the weekend. North Beach will probably have a Columbus Day parade and perhaps the North Beach Italian Festival. There might be a ton of other culture and/or neighborhood -specific festivals. Which means lots of food and craft tents. Makes driving traffic slow, walking traffic somewhat pleasant.

    - Totally strapped for ideas? Go to sffuncheap.com. Daily updates on tons of happenings for all tastes. Mostly focused on food, booze, yoga, art, but still the best site for events.
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  12. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Wow thanks for all of the ideas!

    I've got a pretty good idea of what I want to do. On the ninth, I'll get into the city at about noon so probably to my hotel 1-1:30ish and then I'll have the rest of the afternoon/evening free. I'm thinking I'll just drop off my bags and then get up to the Golden Gate Bridge Park area to hopefully see that and get some pictures and then catching a bus to Sutro Baths to get some photos of the views. After that I'm not sure. Maybe Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown, that should all be doable I think for an afternoon and evening.

    Alcatraz a half day?? Hmm... That's left me with some doubts if I really want to do that then. Perhaps something to be done Sunday evening my last evening before I leave. I know there's a lot of history and such with it but there's a ton that I want to get done in three and a half days so a half day for Alcatraz might be a bit much.

    I think though that I should have plenty of time to do and see all of what I want to do though. I'm very much about getting out and seeing as much as I can in the short time I have.

    Another thing I'm thinking about doing but still debating is attending the Bay Area HRC Gala at the Westin St. Mark. Jason Collins and Laura Prepon attended last year, it might be a good opportunity to get dressed up and go and hob-knob, but it's very expensive to attend. In any event, still lots of time to debate and see. :)
  13. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Quintiple, you should write travel guides!
  14. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

    Ya know, I've always wanted to be a travel writer. But I've always thought, "Pfft, what do I know? And nobody wants to read about the weird sh*t I get in to."

    Kyle - Yep, I would agree; Alcatraz takes up a huge chunk of a day for such a short overall trip. Hell, you might not even end up being able to get tickets.

    And a slight little tip: Pier 39 I can pretty much say without knowing you that it might not be worth a huge chunk of your time if it's not near stuff you're going to see anyway. Basically it's a collection of t-shirt and glass art shops, with amusement park snacks and a really bad aquarium. The rest of Fisherman's Wharf is more interesting if you just want to wander on your own: Musee Mechanique, eating some crab, barking at sea lions, ferries around the bay, etc.

    Going back to the original post - you mention Alamo Square. Everyone wants to see the Queen Anne Victorians from the beginning of Full House (doo be doo bwap ba daa), and sure they're nice, but the house you've GOT to see is at the corner of Fulton and Scott (right at one of the corners of Alamo Square) - the Westerfeld house. So much history. What's NOT on the wiki is that Charles Manson lived there for a while with his cult, and Anton Lavay once lived there and kept a tiger in the upper tower! This gets mixed up because each of them respectively had their own other houses in SF as well. Apparently. I'm told. Because I participated in a seance there.


    The people who live there are a bunch of Burning Man hippies at this point, so you might even be able to contact them beforehand to take a look inside! If you're in to that sort of stuff.

    Oh yeah, and besides those painted ladies from Full House, yes, just walk around Pacific Heights. Jaw-dropping houses. Another area of jaw-dropping houses that you'll be near when you round the Presidio (Golden Gate Bridge) is Sea Cliff. That's way out there, but hey, if you're there.

    Are you in to traditional tea? That's always a treat. The Garden Court at The Palace hotel is amazing, and you can stop in for lunch or full service tea, or even just pop in on Market street on the way to Union Square to gaze at the ceiling! http://www.stanfordwomen.org/images/palace_hotel.jpg

    The Fairmont Hotel serves tea in what I would call a combination of a deco and Edwardian era room. Big on the cakes.

    If you're wandering around in the past-Golden-Gate-Bridge Sea-Cliff-y Sutro-Baths area -ish and you're peckish, another interesting tea is Tal y Tara on California. It's a polo shoppe that serves cream tea! But it's totally in the middle of nowhere, so you'd really only happen to be there if you're transferring buses just coming from Sutro Baths or the Legion of Honor.

    Lastly, bars with some of the most amazing views of the city:

    At the top of the Marriott on 3rd/Howard. They call it the Glass Jukebox. It's pretty much the most reviled building in the city, but a few people love it. However, if you're INSIDE, amazing views.

    But the most breathtaking view of all the hub bub of the city is definitely at the Top of the Mark, at the top of the ... Mark Hopkins Hotel, which is across from the Fairmont (with the Tonga room in the basement where this totally corny monsoon blows through every 30 minutes). The Top of the Mark has a huge drink list, all with middle-shelf liquor that you can totally get anywhere else for cheaper, but the VIEW.
  15. jl

    jl Well-Known Member

    I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, I DO!!!! These are awesome suggestions! I have so much more to try in SF now and I've been there at least five times!
  16. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Second the Palace Hotel High tea. It's practically a tradition.

    Quintiple, clearly, you are wrong about no one wanting to read what you write about travel. Now I am curious about other places you know well, as much for the tips as for the writing.
  17. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

    You know, IceAlisa, asking that question got me thinking. Maybe I've been a travel writer all along. Just a non-professional, unpaid one.

    One random Winter day, fresh out of college, my vegan straightedge krusty punk friend who almost never speaks a word asked me to take him on a tour to Oakland, since I beat him up here by a few months. He just said, "I'll be there in 30 minutes in a white Subaru." I whooped this up in about 20 minutes and we actually got every single thing on the list done in about 2.5 hours.
    Ben's Bootsy-Ass Tour of Oakland and Berkeley for Fil

    Yes, it's almost in code, based on loud-mouthed recollections of personal stories experienced at each site. And it was 2005, so nacent, now-outdated ghettoisms, and a lot of references to businesses that have since shut down. Now my grand tour of Oakland would probably be ten times as long and involve sneaking in to abandoned train stations, a gingerbread house, and the home of the 1906 earthquake governor, Pardee, for a conjuring.

    So to answer your question directly, oddly:

    1. Revised bootsy-ass tour of Oakland
    2. Hecka depressing places in San Leandro
    3. Wretched Manchester, UK
    4. Copenhagen (it's all tucked away in a journal though)

    Maaaybe Seattle. Maaaybe London.

    That's about it.
  18. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

    Loved Golden Gate Park, the Exploratorium, the tour of Alcatraz, the views from Cliff House, the Bay Cruise on a beautiful day, Muir Woods, a side trip to the Napa Valley, Bodega Bay, and the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio area
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  19. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    I second the motion that you become a travel writer Quintuple! There is so much intricate detail from everything that you've described it's just awesome! A girl that I work with has been to San Francisco six or seven times mentioned something about the Oriental Pearl in Chinatown? She also, like you mentioned The Top of the Mark for drinks because of the views. That might be a perfect way to end a Sunday my final night in San Francisco. Either way still four months to go! Lots of time to decide what to pick and choose. :)
  20. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I would love to read your musings on London and Copenhagen, Quintiple.
  21. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Yes, please!
  22. moebius

    moebius Well-Known Member

    Tcho is no longer in SF. It has relocated to Berkeley. Yay for me!
  23. Marney0612

    Marney0612 Member

    I'm going to San Francisco next week with my husband and young daughter, and I appreciated your suggestions. Can anyone suggest any reasonable seafood or Mexican restaurants? Thanks!
  24. mrinalini

    mrinalini Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately the San Francisco Ballet has finished its current season; if not, no one should miss the opportunity to catch the divine Yuan Yuan Tan in action.
  25. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Yuan Yuan Tan IS simply divine. Our absolute gem.
  26. UMBS Go Blue


    1) Download the Yelp app for your phone and use the periscope feature (pan your phone around your streetscape and it scans everything within sight to show you what places are associated with which storefronts) or search for various criteria (Mexican, seafood) and filter that search (within 2 blocks, 6 blocks, open now, less than or more than a certain price range, etc.) to explore new places on a whim.
    2) Here's a Yelp search for Mexican and seafood, sorted by rating. Look for the ones that seem least touristy and most authentic while fitting in your budget. Don't be afraid if it's a grungy hole in the wall.
    3) Avoid touristy neighborhoods like Fisherman's Wharf; the further inside the city you can get, the less touristy it's likely going to be, with the exception of seafood restaurants which are likely going to be in the Financial District or near the ferry terminal/Embarcadero. Still, avoid tourist traps like Fisherman's Wharf and get out and about.
    4) While I've found Yelp to be hit or miss in other cities, the company is based in San Francisco where it has its biggest and most discerning user base, so you should have at least a 2/3 chance of having a very good experience if you go somewhere rated at least 4 stars.
  27. UMBS Go Blue


    Places I would rate 4 or 5 stars on a Yelp scale if I had time to write up reviews:


    5 stars
    AT&T Park
    Bootie SF
    City Beer Store
    Club Level at AT&T Park
    Novellus (Lam Research) Theater at Yerba Buena
    SoMa Streat Food Park

    4 stars
    21st Amendment
    Beard Papa's Cream Puffs
    Bluestem Brasserie
    Box Kitchen
    Cat Club
    Contemporary Jewish Museum
    Crème Brulee Shop
    Da Beef
    DNA Lounge
    Ferry Building Marketplace
    Fog City News
    Freshroll Vietnamese Rolls & Bowls
    Gott’s Roadside, Ferry Building
    Hotel Utah Saloon
    HRD Coffee Shop
    King Street Carvery, AT&T Park
    MeMeli, SoMa Streat Food Park
    Press Club
    SF Old Mint
    Sightglass Coffee
    Super Duper Burger (Market St near Moscone Center)
    Super Duper Burger (Mission St near Moscone Center)
    Westfield San Francisco Centre

    Potrero / Dogpatch

    5 stars
    Triple Voodoo Brewery & Tap Room

    4 stars
    Speakeasy Ales
    The New Spot
    theLab (formerly Chocolate Lab)
    Trick Dog

    Chinatown / Financial District / Nob Hill / North Beach / Union Square

    5 stars
    Campton Place Restaurant
    Omni Hotel San Francisco
    Tout Sweet Patisserie at Macy's

    4 stars
    Hopwater Distribution
    Kennedy's Irish Pub & Curry House
    Nespresso Boutique Bar
    Ristorante Milano
    Stella Pastry & Café
    Sugar Café
    University Club of San Francisco
    Yan's Kitchen

    Lower Pacific Heights / Pacific Heights / Russian Hill / Marina / Fort Mason

    5 stars
    B Patisserie
    Bob's Donut and Pastry Shop
    Lyon Street Steps
    The Interval at Long Now

    4 stars
    Cellar Door SF
    Fort Mason Center
    Kara's Cupcakes
    Sandwich Spot
    YakiniQ Café

    Hayes Valley

    5 stars

    4 stars
    Blue Bottle Coffee (Linden)
    Nourse Theatre
    Smitten Ice Cream
    Two Sisters Bar and Books

    Tenderloin / Civic Center

    5 stars
    San Francisco Symphony
    San Francisco Opera
    War Memorial Opera House
    Warfield Theatre

    4 stars
    Amsterdam Café
    Barrel Room
    Bourbon and Branch
    Brenda’s French Soul Food
    Davies Symphony Hall
    Dottie’s True Blue Café
    Emperor Norton’s Boozeland
    Infusion Lounge
    Herbst Theatre (under renovation)
    Little Delhi
    Mikkeller Bar
    Philz Coffee (Van Ness)

    Lower Haight / Haight-Ashbury / Western Addition / Cole Valley

    5 stars
    Alamo Square Park
    Bacon Bacon
    Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
    Tank Hill
    The Fillmore
    The Independent

    4 stars
    Café du Soleil
    Café International
    Love n Haight Deli
    Rosamunde Sausage Grill
    The Ice Cream Bar

    Mission / Noe Valley / Bernal Heights

    5 stars
    Bi-Rite Creamery
    Chocolate Covered
    Dandelion Chocolate
    El Techo de Lolinda
    Humphry Slocombe
    Ritual Coffee Roasters (Valencia)
    San Francisco SPCA
    SF Armory

    4 stars
    Armory Club
    Bender’s Bar and Grill
    Clare's Deli
    Coffee Bar
    Craftsman & Wolves
    Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
    Flour + Water
    Flying Pig Bistro
    Gestalt Haus
    Gracias Madre
    La Copa Loca
    Latin American Club
    Mission Beach Café
    Mission Pie
    Mitchell's Ice Cream
    Namu Gaji
    Pi Bar
    Revolution Café
    Stanza Coffee
    St. Francis Fountain
    The Monk’s Kettle
    Thorough Bread and Pastry
    Truly Mediterranean
    Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen


    5 stars
    Castro Theatre
    Dolores Park
    Ike’s Place
    Robot Dance Party

    4 stars
    Duboce Park
    Hi Tops
    Mama Ji's
    Samovar Tea Lounge (Sanchez)

    Inner / Outer Sunset / Richmond

    5 stars
    California Academy of Sciences
    Golden Gate Park
    Golden Gate Park Segway Tours

    4 stars
    4th Ave & Geary Farmers Market
    de Young Museum
    Hong Kong Lounge II
    Joe's Ice Cream
    Kim Son Vietnamese Restaurant
    Lands End Lookout
    Legion of Honor
    Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream
    Purple Kow
    Social Kitchen & Brewery
    The Taco Shop at Underdog's
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    kwanfan1818 likes this.
  28. UMBS Go Blue


    Other SF foodie buzz on my radar screen:

    Yigit Pura's Hedwig Schmidt macarons at Tout Sweet Patisserie

    SF Street Food Festival to celebrate last year in the Mission (I've been the last two years and have blown $50-60 worth)
    kwanfan1818 likes this.
  29. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Seafood: Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building. If you want to go a step up in price, try Scott's or Scoma's on Fisherman's Wharf.

    Mexican: Roosevelt Tamale Parlor at 2817 - 24th Street.

    You can also get good seafood at any number of Italian places in North Beach and Chinese places in Chinatown, some of which specialize in seafood.
  30. UMBS Go Blue


    Of those 3 seafood places, Hog Island is perfectly OK, and being in the ferry building, allows you to stroll around and peruse the other restaurants and shops. Scoma's, however, is an old-school tourist trap, Fisherman's Wharf location aside. Also, there's no Scott's in San Francisco. There's one in Jack London Square in Oakland where I now live, but of all the fantastic places in JLS or even all of Oakland, I'd rank it towards the bottom.

    In general, I find anything exclusively seafood-themed here in the Bay Area to be utterly conventional, uncontemporary, and unadventurous, and most often geared towards a tourist or convention crowd. Better yet, I'd go for something completely offbeat - say, a Michelin-starred restaurant or a fusion restaurant - and picking a seafood item off their menu, or another entree that tangentially has seafood (like a seafood pasta entree). Or, go somewhere ethnic, like a Chinese seafood restaurant like Koi Palace in Daly City or Asian Pearl in Fremont, and go bonkers on their seafood offerings. There are too many good places - many of them new - to stick to just old-school ones.