Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area

Planning my first trip to SFO in August 2010.


Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

Planning my first trip to SFO in August 2010.

raidar | | Apr 16, 2010 10:29 AM

First. I know that the SFO board gets hit by a truck load of tourists (like myself), so I’ll try to be as helpful as I can on my end and thank you up front. We don’t nearly get the number of visitors/posts in our Prairie Provinces section here on Chow, so I can’t imagine the amount of repetitive requests you get. I hope this one makes sense….

My GF and I will be coming down in August from your neighbor to the north (Edmonton, Alberta); arriving around 1PM on Wednesday the 18th and leaving Sunday the 22nd around noon. This will actually be my first time to the Bay Area, so I have no pretense or experience to draw on.

I know it’s only April, and a few months away from touch down, but the food lover in me may already be on overload. There are so many shows, blogs and articles about California food that I figured it would be easier. However, instead of narrowing things down, it opened up so many options…where to begin!!

I know I want to hit a taco truck. We don’t get a great selection of taco’s up here, and I’m quite anxious to dig in. Cabeza, sesos, lengua, al pastor, name it. I need to try it. Really, any quality street food is on my radar.
•Will I find something good in SF still, or should I go to Oakland for tacos?
•Will I have to hit multiple trucks/carts to get both the offal and more normal cuts?
•Suggestions or links to help me narrow things down.

Being from the prairies, and loving everything seafood, I’ve wondered about both sushi and cioppino options.
•Are the sushi options light years ahead in SFO? My tummy is in love with well prepared sashimi, so I’m not really into the fusion/new age rolls filled with the kitchen sink.
•Are there a few go-to spots for cioppino? Clams, crab, oysters, squid..once again, you name it. I enjoy it. These treats are probably something I should indulge during my first visit no.?

Fine dining is something I’ve considered putting into the mix, and there is so much.
•French Laundry/Chez Panisse/The Dining Room/Coi/Gary Danko
•Am I missing something? Are these must-dos for a first timer, or just something nice?
•Are there better choices in the mid-price range?

Are there any gems or genres I’m not seeing in my initial planning stages. Neither of us have qualms about eating on a street corner or in a dingy restaurant, so feel free to cover the gamut with regards to what treats you have in your backyard. Any cuisine is welcome, but we have a lot of Indian here, so I wouldn’t worry about that. I think I read about good Ethiopian in Oakland??

I don’t have a hotel as of yet. I will be renting a car, as we are seeing a concert in Mountain View on the Friday night, and I’d also like to head up to Petaluma as the geek in me wants to see the TWiT Cottage and meet Leo (but this might not happen).

There will be so much to do in a short period for a first timer that involves more than food (travel the bridges, Alcatraz, the Pier, Union Square, Nob Hill, ride a trolley car etc…) so I’m trying to make the best of a food situation. And believe me, if there is anything else or some clarification I can give that will make your choices or suggestions easier; just ask! Thanks


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