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Two weeks in California

PhilD | Mar 3, 201209:08 PM

We are over in California in early April for our first non-city holiday: five nights in SF (staying on Union Street) to start with then up to Napa/Sonoma, across to Yosemite, then back up the coast through Paso Robles and Monterey. I have been studying the board and found TeacherFoodies long thread very useful, however I would like some advice on whether we have the best balance for our days in town. We are Australian, live in Hong Kong, and have lived in Paris - so Asian and European food isn't really what we want.

Our goal is to discover Mexican food (as we have only had bad to average in the past), get to experience some great modern californian food, and wallow in burger heaven. So far we have booked Manresa for our blow out (the FL was impossible) and Chez Panisse for their Monday dinner. So that leaves us three dinners and a few lunches. My thoughts and questions.

For Mexican I have Nopalito, Oaxacan, La Taqueria, Mamacita and Taco Delices on the list. I am going to have to probably pick three meals with probably two dinners and one snack lunch. Which three give me the best range of styles? Are these going to illustrate the best of Mexican food? Are any better for lunch or dinner?

I have described he burger hunt to my wife as the hunt for great casual californian cuisine in order to disguise its real purpose, again probably three meals with either two dinners and a lunch or vice a versa. I thought "in-and-out" sounded interesting (or should we save that for days when driving around the state?) and then I have Nopa, Bix or Zuni Cafe. From research they all seem to offer a good burger in a typical SF atmosphere plus the modern californian food needed to keep my wife happy. Which are best for a Friday or Saturday in terms of atmosphere (we want to see the town in all its glory). Do we book or do are we OK with a table in the bar? Waiting and sampling Californian beer and wine is not going to be an ordeal for us.

Grateful for any help, guidance or advice - are we missing anything obvious (we will hit the Farmers Market on Saturday). Appreciate visitors asking the same questions over and over again are a pain, but as a first timer it is tricky to get a feel for the place without a few specific question.

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