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SFO newbie seeking chowder and coffee

iclee | Mar 12, 200804:00 AM

Hi to all the hounds here....

Joining husband for his biz trip to SFO and will be staying in Westin St. Francis this April 2nd week. I've read some of the blogs and SFO boards re: chowders and coffee but they simply made me more curious which one is the best. A lot of conflicting reports were mentioned so I guess it's a matter of taste. Let me tell you a bit about me so you'll know where I am coming from.

Been to California many times but most often in the Southern cities so this is my first time to stay in SFO. Have tried a lot of authentic cuisine from mother countries (meaning I ate in local restos) like Thailand, US (Chicago, New York, CA), Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam, Singapore, India, China (Shanghai and Suzhou) and of course my own city, Manila. I can say that after staying and dining in 5star hotels in these places sometimes the best food can be had in little holes in the walls. So, am not really after 5star locations but rather 5star quality of food whether served on a gold lined platter or a banana leaf.

I'd like the locals' input on what is good near my hotel since I only have three whole days to explore the spot. An outstanding coffee shop is a must so please recommend your best. I've heard nice things about Blue Bottle and Pacific Bay but not sure if there's any near my location. I'd like to feel like a tourist and see what the Wharf has to offer. Being a chocoholic I will surely try Ghirardelli's ice cream since I've been baking using their choco chips.

A nice date place wih my hubby where we can stroll safely afterwards would be fun. Again, good food is primary consideration not necessarily priced off the roof. Quaint but delicious spots are welcome. Prefer Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese if possible.

Waiting for your input....Thanks in advance :)

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