Looking for Union Square Restaurant Ideas
July 27, 2016 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Coming to San Francisco next week for a conference and staying near Union Square. Looking for restaurant ideas for quick breakfasts, hour long lunches, and long lingering dinners within walking distance. I eat everything, and while cheap is good, good is more important. The only other time I've been in the city your recommendations for Bi-Rite and Tartine were spot-on, so let me know where I should go next.

Also if you have suggestions for stuff to do in town other than Strandbeests at the Exploratorium (doing that already) that can fit into an afternoon, I'll take those recommendations as well. Also, I've seen a couple questions near to these lines, but most are pretty old, so update me!
posted by craven_morhead to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The best meal I had in San Fran was at Sotto Mare.
posted by raisingsand at 10:51 AM on July 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

farm:table (Yelp listing) is tiny but very very good for both breakfast and lunch.
posted by asterix at 10:54 AM on July 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was just there on business a couple weeks ago and stayed in Union Square.

For quick breakfasts and good coffee, I walked down to the Blue Bottle in Mint Plaza

I had a very good pizza with nice wine at nearby Montesacro Pinseria, which looks and feels like walking into an old Roman shop - definitely a hipster place.

Most of my meals honestly, involved hopping on a BART to the Mission and gorging on Mexican food.
posted by vacapinta at 10:57 AM on July 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Cocotte in Nob Hill is a lovely little French restaurant that we used to like to go to when we lived near it.
posted by radioamy at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2016

I have had some good meals at First Crush on Ellis. It's not a destination restaurant, but the food is good and they have some nice wine flights.
posted by suelac at 3:14 PM on July 27, 2016

Rue Lepic is worth the walk up the hill. Tiny restaurant, seats maaaaaaybe 15, amazing French food. Or go walk down to Van Ness and eat at Zuni Cafe.
posted by zebra at 5:09 PM on July 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

You may like 54 Mint. It would be a long-ish walk, the other side of Market but not far down the other side. The food is worth the travel if you like Roman food.
posted by jet_silver at 6:07 PM on July 27, 2016

Kuleto's is great for long lingering dinners.
posted by Phssthpok at 10:40 PM on July 27, 2016

Things to do: The recently-reopened Museum of Modern Art. The Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Places to eat: Ajisen Ramen in the Westfield shopping center. Volta on Mission near 5th was a nice Scandinavian French spot. Seconding Sotto Mare for Italian seafood. Liholiho Yacht Club.

Take BART to 24th Street. For Mexican food, La Taqueria or pretty much all the places with a line outside. (So much good Mexican food....) Go to the Mission for Guamanian food at Prubechu.

Have a great time.
posted by blob at 5:13 AM on July 28, 2016

Seconding Kuleto's in that immediate area. Reviews aren't the best, but I wonder if that's because it's not the New Hotness. I also like Tropisueno over there.
posted by cnc at 2:56 PM on July 28, 2016

Eater SF is still the best local overview.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:06 PM on July 29, 2016

Excellent, thanks all; I'll report back.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:55 AM on August 1, 2016

I'm back!

Blue Bottle: Found this on my one other quick trip to SF and I went there every morning for snobby coffee. I preferred the Financial District location to the Mint Plaza location.

Farm:Table: Not as many options as I would have liked for lunch, though the salad I had was pretty good.

Liholiho Yacht Club: Nice trendy joint; I sat at the counter for dinner. Really enjoyed the cocktails, and the poke and the octopus were both excellent. Recommended, if you can handle the trendiness.

Volta: Did a dinner here with a big group, and got kudos for the recommendation. Tasty dishes, all executed well, and pretty significant portions as well; I was a little worried everything would be tiny and twee.

Others, not recommended here:

Good Mong Kok Bakery: Take out dim sum joint in Chinatown that almost always had a line. Best BBQ pork buns I've ever had, and everything else was tasty and super cheap. $5 lunch is easy here.

Shorty Goldstein's: Modern Jewish deli; the pickles were great but the pastrami had less smoke than I like.

E&O: Trendy asian fusion joint that was close by with a pretty solid happy hour; try the punch.

I also enjoyed getting down to the ferry building and buying a beer and a few oysters at the liquor store and fishmonger, respectively, and eating them out on one of the piers.

I made it over to In Situ at SFMOMA for lunch in their lounge and was pretty underwhelmed; the food was way too twee/precious for me, and that's saying something. Skip it unless you feel a huge draw to try it out.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:18 AM on August 8, 2016

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