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Need suggestions for 5 day trip to SF/Napa Valley from NYC

chocokitty | Mar 2, 201207:26 AM

Hi SF 'hounders,

I'm from NYC and it's been nearly a decade since I've been to San Francisco. I've been reading and salivating over the years of the food scene in SF. Advance warning: I will be a bit all over the map as to what I really want to ask and plan from this posting.

I will be traveling to SF on 6/1 and depart on the late evening of 6/5. I will be traveling with my family (my parents and my sibling - we're all adults) and we're ethnically Chinese. I haven't really mapped out where or what we're doing yet but am willing to plan the activities around based on where we're eating. We are traveling around in a rental car.

Need suggestions:
- Good Chinese food (sadly, Chinese food in Manhattan's Chinatown is not as good as it used to be. Flushing is a different Chinese culture) but we don't really care for Taiwanese food

- Chinese bakeries (heard/read good things about Golden Gate Bakery for dan tats; I remembered enjoying Kee Wah Bakery (I also went to their shops in Hong Kong) and Sheng Kee Bakery)

- American/French-style bakeries (I really want to go to Tartine and eat their bread)

- Emblematic casual restaurants of San Francisco*

- Other notable casual restaurants (any cuisine but Indian/Middle Eastern - parents do not care for them, unfortunately)*

- Sushi restaurants

- A Mexican restaurant (Mexican food in NYC is pretty lackluster, imo)

- High end dining - I have some vague notions as to where I want to eat but not sure where to really allocate my time and money for this since I have one real splurge meal for myself (my family will be eating somewhere else since they don't really have the same obsession as I do for food). The ones I've been thinking about are Atelier Crenn, Benu, Saison, Coi, and French Laundry. Price isn't an issue and I'm not planning to pair with wines or any beverages. I just want creative, delicious food but not sure what are the differences of cooking styles between each restaurant except for Crenn (more molecular/Modernist I remember reading) and Saison (ingredient driven sort of like Roberta's in Brooklyn, NY).

*Ideally, we're looking to spend no more than $30-40 pp and not including drinks, tax and tip.

Any suggestions would help since, as you can tell by reading my lengthy request, I've been out of touch with the dining scene.

Thanks in advance,

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