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San Francisco - Restaurants

Thanks for all the advice so far.

I would love some ideas on places to eat...not super pricey.

We do like to try local places, maybe seafood or whatever you suggest.

Also, maybe breakfast places

Thanks
Maria

Posted by
8291 posts

Possibly too expensive, but Slanted Door at the Ferry Bldg is my favorite.
Good for lunch or dinner. Too late for a dinner reservation, but if you get there at 5:10 and wait in the line you’ll get seated at 5:30. Amazing food. Great view.

The Ferry Bldg is very fun to walk through, don’t miss Miette Bakery and Blue Bottle coffee!

Tony’s Pizza in North Beach is also fantastic, and not expensive.

Capannina on Union St is very good Italian. $30 prix fixe menu 5-6 pm.

Sweet Maple on Sutter St, near Fillmore St, is a great breakfast place. Unfortunately, any good breakfast place in SF will have a long wait.
Mama’s in North Beach is also stellar.

Posted by
2560 posts

Well, its raining but SF still a great city. The Ferry Building makes for some nice wandering and The Slanted Door is good for dinner. Hog Island Oysters, also in the Ferry Building is good for lunch. If you are near Union Square Sears Fine Food for breakfast. Touristy, yes, but great pancakes. Wait in line like everyone else it moves fast.

Posted by
690 posts

I don’t know where you are staying, but here are my favorite breakfast places in San Francisco. Most of them do not take reservations, so expect a wait.

  • Outer Richmond: Marla’s Bakery: https://www.marlabakery.com. They have a very small breakfast menu, but they have a lovely weekend brunch. The baked goods are to die for, my favorite is the sticky bun—gooey, more of a butterscotch flavor than sweet. They are huge and meant to share, but I have to admit, I have eaten one myself. They have amazing egg dishes, bagels with homemade picketed vegetables, and one of my husband’s favorite hamburgers in the city. Entrees between $10-$15.
  • Tenderloin (not too far from Union Square): Brenda’s French Soul Food: http://frenchsoulfood.com/brunch. Amazing New Orleans food in San Francisco. The chef is from New Orleans and has brought the flavors of the Big Easy and combined them with local ingredients. Breakfast and brunch is a feast, pork belly with grits, beignets, as well as Banana Fosters French toast. This place gets really crowded and it is not in the best part of town, but is well worth the wait. Entrees $6 to $15
  • North Beach: Mamas on Washington Square: http://www.mamas-sf.com. This an iconic breakfast haunt in the city for locals and tourists alike. If you get there anytime later than 8, you will wait and it can be up to 2 hours. The owners are super chill and it is an instagram experience to wait in line. The food is good, better than basic diner food. My favorites are any of their French toasts and their vegetarian omelette. $10-$15 per entree.
  • Outer Sunset: Outerlands. I love, love this place. The food is hipster at its best. Chemix coffee, they have innovative egg dishes, but my favorite is the Dutch Baby with homemade ricotta. This place is small (takes reservations only for dinner) and breakfast can be a wait, but you are not far from the beach, so it is a great place to eat and then take a nice stroll by the shore.
  • Ferry Building: Brown Sugar Kitchen: https://www.brownsugarkitchen.com. If you love Southern Cooking and chicken & waffles, this is the place for you. This location just opened (and I haven’t been, I have been to the original in Oakland), but the food is similar. They have lunch also, breakfast is $5-$10 per entree.
  • Mission: Foreign Cinema: http://foreigncinema.com—while I would typically recommend this for dinner as eating and watching movies in an open courtyard is magical, their brunch is delicious. From the homemade, adult pop tart to the champagne omelette, or heavenly scramble with a Meyer lemon salsa, the food is California fresh with innovative flavors. The brunch is only on weekends and the Mission is a great place to explore art (Clarion Alley for street art), Mexican culture, and if you love ice cream, some of the best creameries in the city. Price for brunch range from $7 to $25 per entree.

There are also great dinner places with reasonable prices throughout the city, plus a robust food truck scene. If there are specific types of cuisine you like, let me know and I can make some recommendations.

Sandy

Posted by
3551 posts

On the lower price end 2 blocks from Powell and Market try Lemonade, very casual and quick lunch or snack. On Sutter Street nr FINANCIAL DISTRICT TRY la Boulangerie. Yummy french pastry, coffee drinks, quiche and similar. So reasonable and quick.

Posted by
8291 posts

So excited Brown Sugar Kitchen just opened in the Ferry Bldg!

But i don’t recommend going anywhere in the Tenderloin.

Posted by
4666 posts

One place I wouldn't recommend is Sear's Fine Foods. Admittedly whilst I haven't been there for breakfast (pancakes don't appeal to me) what I experienced at lunch was pretty bad. But there's your problem, one of us recommends the place whilst another doesn't. You know neither of us so what do you do, go with the recommendation or take the advice of the person who tells you not to go?

Posted by
849 posts

I will add a few:

  1. Le Marais bakery for breakfast or brunch. Excellent value. In fact, unimaginable prices for SF. 3 locations--i have been to two. The one on Sanchez and 18th in Castro district is beautiful (just like Paris). On weekends, don't go too late.

http://www.lemaraisbakery.com/

  1. Blue Plate on 3218 Mission is great for dinner. I love their seasonal menu.

  2. Mission Pie on 25th and Mission offers house-baked sweet and savory pies. A great budget eatery.

  3. Commonwealth on 18th and Mission is also an awesome dinner spot. Sit at the counter to watch the chefs in action.

  4. Skool on 1725 Alameda St is a new American-Japanese fusion seafood place. Prices are super affordable for their quality.

  5. Bar Crudo is a pretty good raw bar, but don't compare it to east coast or Washington counterparts. They offer happy hour specials. 1501, 655 Divisadero St

  6. Third Wave coffee places: Ritual, Sightglass, Verve (from Santa Cruz), Anytown
    I am no longer recommending Four Barrel due to the founder's sexual harassment scandals.

Posted by
1347 posts

I’m with Susan, I would not recommend going to the tenderloin if one is not street smart or experienced in going to gritty urban areas..

Near the ferry building is Osha Thai.

Cafe Madeleine in Union Square/financial district is nice for coffee, pastries, and lunch. Have the double mocha with chocolate whipped cream. Yum!

https://cafemadeleinesf.com

Posted by
6635 posts

I like Tadich Grill on California Street. A very traditional and old-fashioned seafood place. But I dont know what super-pricey is to you. Depending on where you are staying, Davids Delicatessen near Union Square is a good breakfast & lunch place. But its been a while since I've been to either.

Posted by
76 posts

We are staying in Union Square.

Thank You for all the great suggestions.
Which Brown Sugar kitchen would be best to go to? And where would we find the food trucks mentioned?

Looking forward to it all. Hoping the weather just stays cloudy and not to rainy.

Thanks a bunch!!!

Posted by
2560 posts

Go to the one in the Ferry Building (I did not know this had opened-great tip!). The Ferry Building is bustling with food places and places to shop. A great indoor activity on a day such as this.

Posted by
690 posts

You should go to Brown Sugar kitchen at the Ferry building. As for the food trucks, Soma has it year round, plus a list of the rotating list of food trucks. Here is the website with the details: http://www.somastreatfoodpark.com.

As for the Tenderloin, I agree it is a dicey area, but if you take an Uber to the place you specifically want to go, especially Brenda’s for brunch. There are a ton of people waiting to eat and it is relatively safe.

Posted by
2560 posts

Another tenderloin place (Uber is your friend in SF) is this wine bar https://www.resolutesf.com on Geary near Leavenworth. Great wines by the glass, special local beers on tap, small pizzas, cheese and charcuterie. Small place, mostly locals. Tell Justin hi from me!

Posted by
204 posts

I was in SF yesterday and although a very grey day, the scenery was dramatic, with the Golden Gate Bridge towers and Transamerica Pyramid disappearing into the fog & mist above. We passed Francis Ford Coppola's Café Zoetrope on a walk from Chinatown to Little Italy (we love walking up and down the steep steps on the hills near Coit Tower) and definitely want to eat there next time we are in town. It looks unpretentious and European in style, with a lot of history (many of his movies were edited upstairs, a sign on the street says).

Might be worth checking out, if you're in the area and are a film buff. There are plenty of other places to eat and you've gotten good suggestions; that one just caught our eye yesterday.

Oh, here's a delightful video of a Frenchman meeting Coppola at the café.

Posted by
204 posts

and yes, we usually take the ferry to SF, and the Ferry Building has great choices!

Posted by
1549 posts

Slanted door - ditto
A16 great Italian restaurant with real Italian food- take Uber as it’s in Marina district.
The Beach House on the ocean side of golden gate park. Great views, good for lunch and bloody Marie’s. Either Uber or the Muni line would get you within walking distance

Posted by
76 posts

I am so sad. We actually boarded the plane and 15 mins later the attendant told us one of the 3 of us had to leave because a minor had arrived an they reopened gates for him. Since we were on stand by we had to go. I never thought you could be asked to get off a plane once you board, nor did I think they would reopen a gate. So, we will try SF in the spring. I will keep all this fantastic info for then. And Laura, we live in "French" Canada Quebec so your clip was really cute!

Posted by
204 posts

Wow, I didn't know that could happen, either! Sorry about your trip. May should be nicer weather, though.

I'm glad you liked the video. We lived in a Francophone country for 7 years, so it was fun for us to watch and try to listen, also (in addition to seeing SF through an excited Frenchman's eyes). Can I ask what he says at around 2:05? It sounds like au téléphone avec mon souhait – but does that make sense? Thanks, if you see this ;-)

Posted by
8291 posts

Lauri, avec mon souhaite... with my wish.

Posted by
76 posts

No, it was Air Canada. I personally never imagined you could lose your seat after the gates have closed, not to mention have boarded the plane for 15mins

Since we are from a french province, we kind of like to get away from it and do local stuff wherever we visit.

Thanks!!!