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Combined Suggestions Tips (46)

No more white tablecloths: Best Holes in the Wall in San Francisco

I'm not going to give you tips about nice SF restaurants with white tablecloths, candles and all. You can read any guidebook on San Francisco and get the names those restaurants, if that is what you are looking for.

Expensive doesn't always mean best, and especially not when it comes to SF restaurants. I'm going to show you the BEST restaurants in town - this is where SF working crowd and locals go for great food.

The uninformed visitor will pass by these restaurants because from the outside they look too greasy spoon, too let go, too scary even, whatever. But after you read my tips, you'll know better.

karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
Jan 22, 2004

Java House Coffee Shop

Had a bad day but find yourself in-between paychecks? Find out when and where to get more bang for your buck. Happy Hour indeed!

• The 500 Club - The Mission
A dive with ample drink specials.

• Jack's Elixer - Inner Mission
Small crowds, lots of beer.

• Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House - North Beach - Indian food and $2 Guinness.

• Marlena's - Hayes Valley
Upscale 'hood, down-home drinks.

• Tommy's Joynt - Van Ness Corridor
Fill a pitcher on the cheap.

• The Front Room - Nob Hill
Pizza and pitchers for pennies.

• Jade - Hayes Valley
Try a Jade Cocktail for cheap.

• Mad Dog in the Fog - Lower Haight
Cheap stout, football on the telly.

• Red's Java House - The Embarcadero
Box wine and a view.

• Zeitgeist - The Mission
Doubles come in pint glasses.

Favorite Dish Java House Coffee Shop
40 Pier
San Francisco, CA 94107

$5.25 for chessburger on sourdough, fries and a beer!!

A throwback to a time when only dockworkers lunched along the Embarcadero. This shack is under the Bay Bridge (since 1956). Very fair for the portions.

Burgers on French rolls smeared with mayo and mustard; only comes well-done, but they're hearty and savory.

On sunny days, take your lunch outside and sit amid the dockworkers.

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Jan 29, 2004

Belden Street: Sidewalk Dining

Belden Street in the Financial District is a narrow alleyway that is closed to traffic and features sidewalk dining. Several restaurants line the old alleyway. A variety of culinary offerings are available at the different establishments. As you stroll down Belden, be prepared to be approached by the maitre d’s who try to entice you into dining at their restaurant. Most of the restaurants have their menus available for inspection. It can be fun to check out the various places before selecting one.

The restaurants primarily utilize their rare outdoor dining option at this pedestrian friendly alley. It is a great place for lunch on a sunny afternoon or a warm evening. As this is San Francisco, it is advisable to be prepared for a change in the weather to the cold side when dining on Belden.

SteveOSF's Profile Photo
Sep 24, 2008

Street Vendors at Fisherman's Warf: Eat the Bowl and All

Be sure to try the seafood chowder served in a bowl made from fresh baked sourdough bread, from one of the many vendors who line the street at the main entrance to Fisherman's Warf. It's a great choice for a quick, inexpensive lunch.

There will be a counter with a stool where you can eat right there on the sidewalk. With the sights, sounds, and smells of the warf, coupled with the yummy chowder and bread, it is a unique sensory delight.

Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
Mar 06, 2004
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Cheap San Francisco Eats - Part One

Gourmet Delight
Favorites: nade-to-order wok dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
At: 1045 Stockton (at Washington St.)

Yee's Restaurant
Gourmet Delight
Favorites: BBQ & roasted pig, duck, chicken
Cuisine: Chinese
At: 1131 Grant Avenue (at Broadway)

Civic Center & Hayes Valley
Favorites: sanwiches
Cuisine: Deli
At: 1695 Market St (at Valencia)

Saigon Sandwich Cafe
Favorites: sandwiches with dipping sauce
Cuisine: Vietnamese
At: 560 Larkin (at Eddy)

Embarcadero Fisherman's Wharf
Favorites: pita sandwiches, chicken kabob
Cuisine: Palestinian
At: 101 Spear St (at Mission)

In-N-Out Burger
Favorites: "double-double" burger, friesm shakes
Cuisine: American
At: 333 Jefferson (at Jones St.)

Boudin Sourdough
Favorites: sandwiches on sourdough
Cuisine: American
At: 156 Jefferson

Financial District & Union Square
Blondie's Pizza
Favorites: pizza by-the-slice
Cuisine: Italian
At: 63 Powell

Lee's Sandwiches
Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: Deli
At: 322 Kearney (at Pine)

Palio Paninoteca
Favorites: tuna sandwich, espresso
Cuisine: Italian
At: 505 MOntgomery (at Sacramento)

Specialty's Cafe and Bakery
Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: American
At: 22 Battery (at Bush)
At: 150 Spear Street (Mission St.)
At: 101 New Montgomery (Mission St.)
At: 369 Pine (Montgomery St.)
At: 505 Sansome (Clay St.)
At: 1 Post Street (Montgomery St.)

Haight & Coe Valley
Brother-in-Law's Bar-be-que
Favorites: ribs
Cuisine: American
At: 705 Divisadero (Grove St.)

Estella's Fresh Sandwiches
Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: Deli
At: 250 Fillmore (Haight St.)

Rosamunde Sausage Grill
Favorites: sausage with grilled onions
Cuisine: Deli
At: 545 Hiaght St. (Fillmore St)

Twilight Cafe and Deli
Favorites: pita sandwiches, stuffed grape leaves, "Twilight Special"
Cuisine: Middle Eastern Deli
At: 2600 McAllister (Stanyan St)

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Oct 17, 2004

Cheap San Francisco Eats - Part Two

Marina & Cow Hollow
Cafe Merenda
Favorites: handmade ravioli, sandwiches
Cuisine: Italian
At: 2760 Octavia Street (Union St.)

Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: Deli
At: 39 Mesa, Suite 108, Building 39, in the Presidio

Green's to Go
Favorites: chili, sandwiches
Cuisine: Vegetarian
At: Fort Mason, Building A (Buchanan St.)

Favorites: sandwiches, ravioli, everything!
Cuisine: Italian Deli
At: 2120 Chestnut (Steiner St.)

Mission District, Bernal Heights & the Excelsior
Dona Tere's Cart
Favorites: corn on a stick, tamales, fruit
Cuisine: Mexican
At: Corner of 21st and Alabama

El Tonayense Taco Trucks
Favorites: tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
At: Harrison and 19th
At: Harrison and 22nd

La Palma Mexicatessen
Favorites: homemade tortillas, carnitas
Cuisine: Mexican
At: 2884 24th Street (Florida St)

Lucca Ravioli Company
Favorites: ravioli, tortellini, pizza
Cuisine: Italian
At: 1100 Valencia (22nd St.)

Tortas Los Picudos
Favorites: tortas (huge sandwiches), "Vampira" (fresh vegetable juice)
Cuisine: Mexican
At: 2969 24th St (Alabama St)

Valencia Whole Food Market
Favorites: salads
Cuisine: Middle Eastern Deli
At: 999 Valencia

Noe Valley, Castro, Diamond Heights & Upper Market
Cafe Flore
Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: French
At: 2298 Marekt St (Noe St.)

North Beach
Favorites: sub sandwiches
Cuisine: Italian
At: 300 Francisco St (Stockton St)

Golden Boy
Favorites: pizza
Cuisine: Italian
At: 542 Green St (Columbus St.)

Juicey Lucy's Organic Juice and Food Bar
Favorites: juice, salads
Cuisine: Juice Bar
At: 703 Columbus (Greenwich St.)

Molinari Delicatessen
Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: Italian
At: 373 Columbus (Vallejo St)

North Beach Pizza
Favorites: pizza
Cuisine: Italian
At: 1499 Green (Union St)
At: 1310 Grant Ave (Vallejo St)

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Oct 17, 2004

Cheap San Francisco Eats - Part Three

Pacific Heights & Japantown
Bryan's Quality Meats
Favorites: sandwiches
Cuisine: Deli
At: 3473 California St (Spruce St)

Maruya Sushi
Favorites: sushi
Cuisine: Japanese
At: 1904 Fillmore Street (Bush St)

Vivande Porta Via
Favorites: pastas, roasted chicken
Cuisine: Italian
At: 2125 Fillmore St

Polk Street, Nob Hill, Russian HIll & Van Ness Avenue
East Coast West Delicatessen
Favorites: everything
Cuisine: Jewish Deli
At: 1725 Polk Street (Washington St)

Piccadilly Fish and Chips
Favorites: cod fillets from Ireland
Cuisine: British
At: 1348 Polk Street (Pine St.)

The Richmond
European Food
Favorites: hot dog, sausages, cheese blintzes, pork loin sandwiches
Cuisine: Jewish Deli
At: 3038 Clement (31st AveNue)

Favorites: piroshki, try the "Zakuski" buffet of salads
Cuisine: Russian
At: 5801 Geary Blvd (22nd Avenue)

Haig's Delicatessen
Favorites: everything
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
At: 642 Clement St (7th & 8th Avenue)

New World Foods
Favorites: hot "plov" (beef with fluffy yellow rice)
Cuisine: Russian Deli
At: 5641 Geary Blvd (21st Avenue)

Seakor Polish Delicatessen
Favorites: sasusages
Cuisine: Polish
At: 5957 Geary Blvd (23rd Avenue)

South of Market, Third Street & Portrero Hill
Brain Wash Cafe
Favorites: Chinese chicken salad, pizza
Cuisine: Cafe
At: 1122 Folsom St (7th and 8th St.)

The Sunset
Palio Paninoteca
Favorites: premade half or whole sandwiches (have it grilled)
Cuisine: Italian
At: 500 Parnasus Avenue UCSF Milberry Union)

Sunrise Deli & Cafe
Favorites: pita sandwiches
Cuisine: Middle Eastern Deli
At: 2115 Irving St (22nd Avenue)

Favorites: beef or lamb "wraps" (Arabic sandwiches)
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
At: 721 Irving (8th & 9th Avenue)

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Oct 17, 2004


On Lombard Street: La Barca* (Mexican, worth coming just for award-winning margaritas, good food & atmosphere)

On Chestnut Street: Cozmo's Corner Grill; Yukol Place Thai Cuisine

On Chestnut Street (5 Stars): Andale Mexican Restaurant, reasonanbly priced, popular local hangout, excellent food, nice people watching, and loads of atmosphere (eat-in or take-out)

On Fillmore Street: Balboa Cafe*; Pane E Vino

Also in this District: Greens (best vegetarian); Isa; Merenda; PlumpJack.

Favorite Dish Lucca Deli (pictured here)

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Jan 10, 2006

Top 5 San Francisco Writers

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"Bagdad by the Bay"
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"San Francisco - My Favorie City - By Default"
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"San Francisco - "It's a free-for-all up there!""
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"SFO ... a declassé love letter to the CITY"
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"San Francisco: Why this heart never leaves"
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Sam Lok serves traditional Szechuan with all of its peppers and spices. It's located on Jackson Street between Grant and Kearny. For more information, call (415) 981-8988.

Yank Sing serves delicious dim sum in a comfortable parlor atmosphere. It's located on Battery Street between Clay and Washington. For more information, call (415) 781-1111.

Also worth mentioning:
Yuet Lee
Brandy Ho's Hunan Food
Hunan Home's Restaurant
Great Eastern


Sam Wo's ! Eat the "House Chow Mein", beef, pork, chicken, and shrimps.

Favorite Dish - walking tours in Chinatown (free) every day led by volunteer guides, covers everything from the mansions of Pacific Heights to the murals of the Mission. I counted 51 different walking tours in their schedule. Every day there are at least three or four, and sometimes as many as a dozen to choose from. They're all free. You'll learn, for example, that there are two Chinatowns (41 back alleys): (1) the tourist Chinatown, marked by upturned red rooflines and dragon lampposts, and (2) the residents' Chinatown, along Stockton Street and those back alleys. In those alleys you'll hear the clacking of mah-jongg tiles, see bok choy being dried on balconies and encounter bins of geoducks and durians outside the markets - For a current schedule of free walking tours led by City Guides, visit or call (415) 557-4266.

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Oct 13, 2003

Over the Water

For a great sunday brunch combined with a sightseeing trip take the ferry from across to Sausalito and have a brunch in a restuarant built up over the water with fantastic views across the bay to San Francisco, not to mention having a satisfying meal while doing it.

pmarshuk's Profile Photo
Feb 20, 2003



Best Sushi/Japanese
Kiss (1700 Laguna 415-474-2866

Maki (1825 Post 415-921-5215)

Ebisu (1283 9th Ave. 415-566-1770

Best Chinese
Eliza’s 2877 California 415-621-4819;
1457 18th St. 415-648-9999

Koi Palace 365 Gellert
Serramonte Plaza 650-992-9000

Best Italian
Vino e Cucina 489 3rd St. 415-543-6962

Sociale 3665 Sacramento 415-921-3200

Best Mexican/Taqueria
Taqueria Can-Cun
1003 Market 415-864-6773;
2288 Mission 415-252-9560;
3211 Mission 415-550-1414

Pancho Villa 3071 16th St. 415-864-8840

Best Thai
Thep Phanom 900 Waller St. 415-431-2526

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Dec 22, 2002


Best Breakfast/Brunch
Ella’s 500 Presidio 415-441-5669

The Lark Creek Inn
234 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur 415-924-7766

525 Laguna St. 415-252-9289

Herb’s Fine Foods 3991 24th St. 415-826-8937

Marina Sports Bar and Grill
2400 Lombard 415-318-8730
(Bloody Marys and popcorn!)

Best Vegetarian
Fort Mason, Bldg. A, Marina at Laguna

Golden Era
572 O’Farrell 415-673-3136

Best Indian
Indian Oven 233 Fillmore 415-626-1628

Best Bakery

West Portal Bakery 170 W Portal 415-681-0972

Arizmendi 1331 9th Ave. 415-566-3117

Stella 446 Columbus Ave. 415-986-2914

Eastern 720 Grant St. 415-392-4497

La Boulange de Polk 2310 Polk St. 415-345-1107

Luques Restaurant & Bar
433 Powell St. on Union Square

(For $200 you can stay in the Chancellor Hotel
for a night – champagne and truffles included
– and have dinner for two at Luques. They serve
bread that comes from a bakery.)

Best Middle Eastern
La Mediterranee
2210 Fillmore 415-921-2956
288 Noe 415-431-7210

Best Pizza

Pizzetta 211 23rd Ave. 415-379-9880

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza
5801 College Ave. 510-655-6385

Best Barbeque
Brother-in-Laws Barbeque
705 Divisadero 415-931-7427

Zeitgeist 199 Valencia 415-255-7505

100ACRE's Profile Photo
Dec 22, 2002

Things To Do Near San Francisco

Things to Do

Barbary Coast Trail

The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking 3.8 mile trail using 170 bronze medallions and arrows embedded into the sidewalks connecting 20 historic sites. The southern end of the Barbary Coast Trail begins...
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Things to Do

Fort Mason

Many people pass by the low water landscaped west side of the Fort Mason grounds, where there is also a wonderful expanse of lawn and great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Here there are two (at...
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Things to Do

Crissy Field

The Former Airfield of the Presidio is now a mixed use area for the public now, Crissy Field is anchored by Marina Green on the east side, and Fort Point on the West. The park is home to a multitude...
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Things to Do

Ripley's Believe it or Not!

I was skeptical. Not much of an indoor explorer. But, I truly wanted to say that I had been to Ripley's in San Fran so we got the ticket and went for an adventure. I was not disappointed. It is one...
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Things to Do

49 Mile Drive

In 1938, The San Francisco Downtown Association created the 49 Mile Scenic Drive to highlight the city's beauty and to promote it as a business and tourist destination, so the route began at City...
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Things to Do

Market Street

What Street has given both history and Modernity in San Francisco than Market Street? Market Street is the back bone of San Francisco. To walk the length of the street is to travel throughout time and...
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Getting to San Francisco


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