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New Orleans foodie visits SF

Mikey | Apr 5, 200405:17 PM

Wow! Visiting another city's chowhound board is indeed overwhelming especially a food city like San Francisco.I have not been in years and will be attending a conference at a Marriott Hotel near Union Square (Soma). So, two questions; good lunch places near 4th and Market and good dinner recommendations. For lunch, how about excellent gourmet sandwiches, soup or fancy salads within walking distance? For dinner, I will try and narrow down what I'm looking for and this doesn't have to be near the hotel. What is the area like anyway? Does it become deserted at night?
For dinner, I want to spoil myself with overpoweringly good food but with a lively atmosphere. Perhaps a small restaurant, intimate but not quiet, a posh, elegantly dressed crowd but with personality and character, laughter and ebullient conversation rather than whispers and soft talk, smart wait staff who don't draw their names on the white table paper. Does this help? French is a plus as is Italian but I do love Asian and Mexican too. Just excellent food with lively character. Views not necessary but dining alone at the bar or at a banquette table might be. Thanks to all!

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