I visited the Bay Area (SF and Oakland) from NYC this past week and spent my time with non-chowhounders. I went with no advance preparation, no requests for suggestions from this board. It was a low-budget trip and I managed to eat pretty well under $10 per person for every meal. This is what I ate:
Boogalooz (Valencia and 22nd). I went there for breakfast twice. Decent eggs with beans, yummy andouille sausage and polenta. Okay coffee.
Los Jarritos (South Van Ness) yummy chiles rellenos with the biggest glass of agua de jamaica I have ever had.
Greens. I went for a late lunch where you order from the cafe but can sit and eat in the restaurant. I had a good mixed greens salad with feta-like cheese, but it was looking out over the bay in a beautiful restaurant that made the meal. Oh yeah, delicious raspberry-lemonade.
I went to many coffeeshops but this are my favorites: La Boheme on 24th and Mission-relaxed atmosphere, get to overhear the conversations of many Latin American intellectuals.
Macondo -excellent coffee, a sort of time is standing still ambiance, and an incredible shrine to leftist guerilla movements set up in the back refrigerator case.
Lois the pie Queen--I love it, I went twice. Great hashbrowns (we can't get hashbrowns in NYC) and turkey-chicken sausage that was spicy and I could pretend it was healthy.
Pho 84- straight ahead, good Vietnamese. Beef salad appetizer was overrun with mint.
Jade Villa- yummy mango shrimp with deep-fried coconut cream things. Delicious seafood stuff fried tofu in a clay pot.
Cafe Calucci on Telegraph. The best Ethiopian collard greens I have ever had.
all in all, lots of enjoyable eating for very low cost.