I have to say thank you to everyone who has offered advice for this itinerary. I truly appreciate you took time to offer suggestions.
Here is the almost final itinerary (a couple more decisions to make and perhaps a little tweaking).
Your thoughts are welcome! I have starred a few areas that are still undecided.
Day 1 (Sat.)
Arrive late (9:30 pm - flight arrives), taxi to hotel (Holiday Inn Golden Gateway)
"Dinner" - Late night snack near hotel at Grubstake
Day 2 (Sun.) – Golden Gate Park
Breakfast – Brenda’s (crawfish beignet)(opens 8 am)
Sightseeing –Golden Gate Park (stop at the deYoung museum and take the elevator to the Tower for stunning views)
Lunch – Mandalay
Sightseeing - Ocean Beach and Sutro Baths
Late Dinner – Aziza (reservation 7:45) (plan to try at least 4 or 5 starters, and order flatbread and the basteeya)
Day 3 (Mon.) –
**Breakfast – Café Bean – then Bob’s donuts OR Café de la presse (Has anyone tried the Vanilla French Toast here? - The breakfast menu is small and not a lot of non-egg options for my husband.) Sears is also on the way from the hotel to Chinatown (or could be).
Sightseeing – Chinatown
Lunch and Sightseeing – North Beach (lunch at l’osteria del forno or Perbacco – Truffle Egg Yolk Ravioli?) Tadich Grill or Sam’s Grill
Coit Tower/Filbert Stairs
Visit Ferry building (have a bite to eat before ferry to Alcatraz)
5:40 – Boarding for Alcatraz
Dinner – Cab to Lers Ros
Day 4 (Tues.)
Breakfast –Mama’s (closed Mondays) (1701 Stockton Street) - get there early and while one of us is in line here, the other will be in line at Liguria Bakery for foccaccia
Sightseeing – Twisty Lombard (take cable car down the hill to Bart and head to the Mission)
Lunch – Mission District - Poc Chuc (salpicon de res) (and dessert at one or two of Humphrey Slocumbe/Bi-Rite creamery/Tartine/Dynamo Donuts)
Sightseeing – Mission District - walk along Valencia and stop at Tartine bakery (pick up breakfast/snacks for drive to Monterey)
** Dinner – Mission District - Delfina Pizzeria or Inka’s (and dessert at one or two of Humphrey Slocumbe/Bi-Rite creamery/Tartine/Dynamo Donuts)
Day 5 (Weds.) – Monterey/Carmel
Have breakfast at Brendas French Soul Food or Grubstake on way to get rental car (Dollar Rent-A-Car at 364 O’Farrell Street) OR get breakfast on the road (or eat pastries from Tartine and grab a coffee)
8:30 am - Leave for Monterey/Carmel
Take scenic route (route 1) along the coast to get there and take highways (or scenic route again, depending on weather) to get back. (If weather is not nice, go to Gilroy for shopping)
Lunch – If weather is nice go to Campagno’s and then eat at Asilomar Beach across the street. If not too windy, walk the trail on the bluff. (Other lunch option - PassionFish)
Sightseeing – 17 mile drive, Carmel beach, Monterey Bay Recreation Trail, Monterey Aquarium (will depend on time/weather what we do)
Go to Parker Lusseau at some point for pastries.
Check in at hotel and change for dinner.
Dinner – 1833 (8 pm reservation)
Day 6 (Thurs.) – Drive back from Monterey
Breakfast – in Monterey area (at Katy’s or First Awakenings) Toastie’s Café? (Or eat pastries from Parker Lusseau and grab a coffee)
** Lunch Options – Mingalaba, or Astaria in San Mateo, Central Park Bistro, also in SM (lamb chops and lamb-pesto pizza) or Vietnamese in San Jose (food court at Grand Century)
Arrive at SFO by 1:30 pm for flight home.