Restaurants & Bars

SF Visitor Tip Sheet - v 0.5

Stanley Stephan | Feb 26, 200302:02 AM     14

This tip sheet is for visitors or new arrivals to San Francisco. Please use this as a starting point to post more detailed questions on the board.

Many time we get questions about 2, 3 or 4 perfect days in San Francisco that don’t get a good response because these requests get posted so frequently. We don’t want you to miss out on the good stuff.

For some good links to other visitor information about SF like hotels, neighborhoods and walking tours, scroll to the bottom.

To access to previous board discussions
- open another browser window,
- paste this URL into the address window
- replace the 00000 with the post number that follows each restaurant name (12345)



Some times a specific restaurant is discussed. Sometimes a neighborhood, sometimes category. So you will see pointers to discussions all over this tip sheet.

Use control-F if you are looking for one of the following categories.

For example, looking for restaurants with view, control-F & enter (GV)

Restaurants listed may be in the following category.
(CF) - Child Friendly.
(DF) - Dog Friendly. Due to health codes, dogs at outdoor tables only
(FD) - Fine Dining. The meal is upscale and pricey
(GV) - Good View. Note: usually a good view = bad food
(IE) - Inexpensive eats.
(OL) - Open Late.
(RO) - Romantic
(SF) - Uniquely San Franciscan.
(TO) - Take Out
(WB) - Wine Bar. Above average amount of wines by the glass

Because this tip sheet is aimed at visitors, most of the restaurants will be located in areas frequented by visitors. Nearby cities, for the most part, won’t be mentioned.

Use control-F if you are looking for one of the following areas.

For example, looking for SOMA , control-F & enter (SOMA)


Chinatown (19140) - (IE)

Financial District

Fisherman’s Wharf (44552)

Golden Gate Bridge - Neigbhorhoods on the way to the bridge or nearby. This would include the Marina and some of Van Ness

Golden Gate Park - Neiborhoods on the way to the or nearby the Park or Ocean Beach. Areas included would be the Richmond, Sunset and upper Geary Street restaurants.

Haight - Can be an edgy area

Hayes Valley / Civic Center (Opera, Symphony and events @ Herbst Theatre)

Japantown (47196)

Mission - Can be an edgy area

North Beach

SOMA - Slowly upgrading from edgy

Tenderloin - Some good (for SF) Indian food and cheap eats. Scary downtown area

Union Square (44386)

Upper Fillmore

AMERICAN <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Bacar (SOMA) (OL) (WB)
Campton Place (Union Square) (FD)
Chow (Castro) (IE)
Globe (Union Square) (OL) (44874)
Luna Park (Mission)
Memphis Minnie's (Haight) BBQ - brisket the star
RNM Restaurant (Haight)
Rosamunde (Haight) (IE)

ASIAN (see specific cuisines below) <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

BAKERIES <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Bread discussion (45006)
Cookies (44367)

Arizmendi (Golden Gate Park)
Bay Breads (Upper Filmore) Various locations
Citizen Cake (Hayes Valley) Also serves breakfast, lunch, dinner
Tartine (Mission)
Victoria Bakery (North Beach)

BEER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
21st Amendment (SOMA)
Eldos (Golden Gate Park) (46664)
Magnolia (Haight)
Toronado (Haight)

BREAKFAST <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(42935) (Union Square) (30093) (42297) (Mission)

Bechelli's (Golden Gate Bridge)
Chava’s (Mission)
Dotties True Blue Café (Union Square)
Eagle Café (Wharf)
Judy's (Golden Gate Bridge)
Kate's Kitchen (Haight)
Mama’s (North Beach)
Ti Cous - (Mission) (IE) crepes
Town’s End (SOMA) (DF)

CALIFORNIA CUISINE <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Absinthe (Hayes Valley) (WB)
Chez Panise (Berkeley) (FD) The birthplace of Cal Cuisine
Elisabeth Danial (44695) (FD)
Hawthorne Lane (SOMA)
Jardiniere (Hayes Valley)
Rubicon (Financial District) (WB)
Silks (Financial District) (FD)
Zare (Financial District)
Zuni (Civic Center)

CHINESE <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(42896) (for picky eaters) (41792)

Chef Jia (Chinatown)
Great Eastern (Chinatown)
Henry's Hunan (Chinatown)
R & G Lounge (Chinatown) Specific dishes only !!! (41808)
Sam Lok (Chinatown)
Utopia (Chinatown) (40036) (IE)

COFFEE AND TEA SHOPS <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Café Roma (North Beach)
Café Trieste (North Beach) cappucino
Steps of Rome (North Beach) cappucino
Imperial Tea (North Beach)

DIM SUM <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Golden Gate Bakery (Chinatown) (IE) Take out
Harbor Village (Embarcadero)
Louie's California Chinese (Chinatown) (IE) (39321) (41103) (39321) (38328)
Yank Sing (Embarcadero) (FD)

FRENCH <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Azie (SOMA)
Bizou (SOMA)
Café Bastille (Union Square)
Chapeau (Golden Gate Park)
Charles Nob Hill (Nob Hill) (FD)
Chez Spenser (Mission) (FD)
Fifth Floor (Union Square) (FD)
Fleur di Lys (Union Square) (FD)
Fringale (SOMA)
Gary Danko (Wharf) (FD)
Jeanty at Jacks (Union Square) (FD)
La Table (44934) (FD) (CF)
Masas (FD)
Piperade - Basque (44914)
Plouf (Union Square)

INDIAN <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Indian Oven (Haight)
Naan & Curry (Tenderloin) (North Beach) (IE)
Shalimar (Tenderloin) (IE)

ITALIAN <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(46272) (42454) (Union Square) (42055)

Delfina (Mission)
Gira Polli (North Beach) (IE) (TO)
Gold Spike (North Beach) (CF)
Ideale (North Beach
La Felce (North Beach) (CF)
L'Osteria al Forno (North Beach) (DF)
Pazzia (SOMA) (37589)
Pizzetta 211 (Golden Gate Park)
Scala's (Union Square)
Tomasso's (North Beach)
Ristorante Umbria (SOMA)
Venticello (Nob Hill) (42071)

JAPANESE / SUSHI <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hama-ko (Golden Gate Park)
Ino Sushi (Japantown) (39076)
Iroha (Japantown) (30346)
Juban (Japantown) (25772)
Kyo-ya (47215)
Minako (Mission) (46255)
Tanto(Union Square) ()
Takara (Japantown) (38988)

KOREAN <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

My Tofu House (Golden Gate Park) (OL)
Sahn Maru Korean (Tenderloin) (44298)

MEXICAN <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(39407) tacos
(39711) burritos

El Farolito (Mission) burritos
El Tonnages (Mission) (29291)
La cascarilla (Mission)
La palma (Mission)
La Tacqueria (Mission)
Los Jarritos (Mission) mole enchiladas
Tacqueria Altena (Mission) tacos
Tacqueria Cancun (Mission) burritos
Taqueria San Francisco (Mission) burritos
Tonayense taco truck (Mission)

Alma (Mission)
Limon (Mission)
Platanos (44768) (Mission)

SEAFOOD <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

(crab season) (44134)
Farralon (Union Square)
Hayes Street Grill (Hayes Valley)
Sam’s (Financial District)
Swan Oyster Depot (Polk)
Tadich Grill (Financial District) (30582)

STEAKHOUSES <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

SF is not known for steakhouses, but if you need beef, these are amoung the best in the area.

Acme (SOMA) (grass fed beef)
Alfred's (Financial District)
Harris's (Golden Gate Bridge)
House of Prime Rib (Golden Gate Bridge)
Izzy's Steaks & Chops (Golden Gate Bridge)

THAI <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(42452) (42997)

Jilted (Japantown)
Osha Thai Noodle Cafe (Tenderloin)
Suriya Thai (Mission)
Thep Phanom (Haight)


Even though your guide book sings praises of these places, avoid em.

House of Nanking (past it’s prime)
Julius' Castle (44776)
Sears Fine Foods (42948)
Stinking Rose (45281)

San Francisco does a very lovely California style pizza, but if you are looking for the East Coast version, you will be disappointed.

Jewish Deli should be avoided. (44344)

(44650) (44753)

K&L Wines (SOMA)
The Wine Club (SOMA)

VEGETARIAN <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(32522) (31991)

Golden Era (28319)
Greens (Marina) (FD)
Millennium (Civic Center) (32520)

VIETNAMESE <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
(28417) Starts out about Slanted Door and then general discussion)

Ana Madera (Wharf) (FD)
Crustacean (Polk) "roast" crab
Jasmine House (Golden Gate Park) "roast" crab
Sunflower (Mission) (29282)
Tu Lan (Tenderloin) (IE) - many pros and many cons
Saigon Sandwich - (Tenderloin) (IE) take out Vietnamese sandwiches
Slanted Door - (SOMA) (FD) (30013) (25704) (45309) negative
Thanh Long (Golden Gate Park) "roast" crab

Other tips:

1. A consise description of SF neighborhoods.

This is the link to the San Francisco newspapers as well. If you click on the entertainment link, you can search the reviews for the SF Chronicle and Examiner. Food writer Patricia Unterman is highly regarded on the board.


2. Would you like to see hotel information? The editorial reviews in city search, IMO, seem accurate. This holds true for the restaurant reviews as well. Also a good place to find addresses, links to websites and maps for restaurants and hotels. The user reviews … well, they are not Chowhound.


3. This is an outstanding pictoral walking tour of San Francisco.


4. To get the best information from this list follow the links given in this document for Chowhound discussions. A restaurant might be highly regarded by posters for a few dishes.

One of my personal favorites in North Beach is Gira Polli which IMO does the best roast chicken in SF with the best price. Except for the cannoli and biscotti, everything else is just average. I wouldn’t use the lamb as soles on my shoes.

5. Be sure to report back on what you ate in the city. We like feedback. Sometimes a perspective from an out of towner is vastly different than that from the people who live here.

And if you find this useful, contribute to Chowhound. You can always give a good will gift. Think how much you would spend on guidebooks for this information.

Also, with all the ethnic restaurants, a chow passport would be quite useful in the city. If you wear a chow shirt while touring the city, you might run into some fellow hounds.

Enjoy your visit.

Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/

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