forget the flowers
July 28, 2009 12:14 AM   Subscribe

So I'm 6 hours into my 4 month stay in San Francisco and I need recommendations for places to while away the hours. I'm staying in Nob Hill. Can anyone recommend low-key (and inexpensive) pubs, restaurants, etc that are easily accessible from here? FWIW, I moved here from Carroll Gardens/Boerum Hill in Brooklyn - so that's the kind of environment I'm accustomed to. Many thanks!
posted by fingers_of_fire to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried Qype? I've been using it a bit lately to find good reviews on restaurants as well as hotels and nightlife. I think it is more Euro-centric, but it does seem to have quite a few reviews for SF.
posted by chillmost at 3:16 AM on July 28, 2009

I am not familiar with Brooklyn, but ... you're right around the corner from Edinburgh Castle, which is a great pub on Geary St (near Larkin).

If you take the 38 Geary West (towards Ocean Beach) and get off at 5th Avenue, there's a pub called Abbey Tavern that is a cool place to hang out. There are tons of restaurants out that way also and if you go one block north to Clement Street from the Abbey, you'll also find tons and tons of restaurants.

Mad Dog In the Fog is fun too, although I haven't been there in awhile. You might have to cab it over there.
posted by gt2 at 4:13 AM on July 28, 2009

Is The Hyde Out still at Hyde and California? (South east corner, across from Albertsons)
Is the Cafe Royale still at Post and Leavenworth? (North west corner)
Have a look at Polk Street between, say, California and Broadway - there are lots of pubs and cafes there.
Have a look at Fillmore Street between Geary and Pacific.
From Nob Hill, you really are within walking distance of a lot of downtown, Pacific Heights, and Japantown, so do take some time and explore.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:25 AM on July 28, 2009

O'Reilly's at Columbus and Green is a good Irish bar, not a plastic Paddy place. Fiddler's Green, at the Wharf end of Columbus is a little more downmarket, but a little more lively. Either place is great for someone hanging out on their own.
posted by Jakey at 5:40 AM on July 28, 2009

Back when I lived in San Francisco (~8 years ago), I used to frequent the Grubstake. It's a restaurant/pub on Pine St. built out of half a rail car. At the time, there were very few restaurants open late in the city. The fact that the Grubstake was open until 4am greatly appealed to my nocturnal nature. As I recall, the food and prices were both decent, but the atmosphere and hours were what made it an enduring favorite. They make a good (if massive) club sandwich. The clientèle tended to be a bit on the unusual side, but that only added to the charm.
posted by dephlogisticated at 11:05 AM on July 28, 2009

Oh, shit - Nthing the Grubstake.

Also, hop on the 49 on Van Ness and take it down to the mission to check out Amnesia near 20th and Valencia. The gypsy jazz band on Wednesday nights is amazing.

Nick's Crispy Tacos up on Broadway and Polk has some decent grub, and the taco stand/nightclub mash-up is weird enough to warrant a look.
posted by Pecinpah at 1:53 PM on July 28, 2009

Seconding the Edinburgh Castle. Tonight is pub quiz night, if you want to go and make some new friends and eat fish and chips at the bar (delivered from the Old Chelsea round the corner) while you're doing it.

Henry's Hunan (several restaurants in the city) offer cheap and spicy food. Or you could just wander down into Chinatown and see what grabs your fancy there.
posted by vickyverky at 2:09 PM on July 28, 2009

Yelp is pretty popular in the bay area for business reviews. Most reviewers are pretty overly-critical in my opinion, often demanding massive portions and/or absurdly cheap prices, so I tend to discount the extremes somewhat, but it's a good way of sorting through a lot of places and finding those you might want to visit.
posted by zachlipton at 2:19 PM on July 28, 2009

Seconding getting down into the Mission and going to Amnesia (my friends own it). And just getting down into the Mission in general. Nob Hill is not very fun. Four Barrel is where I'd go for coffee down there (15th and Valencia). Lots of (cheap or pricy) food and shops and cafes on Valencia and Mission. Yelp is a useful tool for figuring out what's near what, as zachlipton pointed out.

San Francisco is small, and you can walk a lot of places- I've walked from Nob Hill/Tenderloin to the Mission many times. The Tenderloin is crappy, but not really that unsafe, IMO. Most of the crazy lives on a different plane.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:26 PM on July 28, 2009

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