Yet another request for SF info
September 28, 2006 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Yet another San Francisco question (bear with me) but it's more specific and of course there's

Okay. I've read through the threads and I've been to SF a couple times before. Already did the Wharf and Alcatraz. I don't have a lot of dough (hitting MOMA tonight for half-price admission) but want to see and eat some good stuff before I go. I've got tonight, tomorrow from 4pm on and Saturday til noon. Not much time. Someone had mentioned the Ghost Tour -- thinking about doing that tomorrow night.

I'm in scenic Nob Hill with the 45 degree hills and would
like recommendations on restaurants with interesting menus that aren't $40 per person. Regarding styles -- anything but sushi. Had a great sushi meal this week already and want something new. Mexican, Spanish, Italian, French, Ethiopian -- doesn't really matter.

Regarding shopping -- I had hoped to get to Berkeley yesterday but United nixed that. Thanks, guys. Are there any areas with really funky shops? My last visit to the Haight was disappointing and I don't know where else to go. More specifically, my wife is into home furnishings (pottery or something I can bring back on the plane), handmade jewelry and art. I realize that while I said "more specifically," this is still vague.

Are there any street markets on Saturday? I had a great time at the markets in London and will be going there next week so there's no real pressure to bring back The Gift of Gifts, but I'd like to at least window shop an area that isn't department stores and chains.

Thank you for your patience.
posted by Atom12 to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (16 answers total)
For some good food, might I recommend a new place out at 29th and Mission called The Front Porch- just had a fantastic meal there last night. Best fried chicken I've ever had.

For shopping, maybe Valencia Street (from around 16th up through, say, 24th) or the area around Church and 24th.

And as for markets, I'm afraid not really-- certainly nothing on the scale of your typical London market...
posted by hwickline at 7:49 AM on September 28, 2006

Bocce in North Beach has pretty good Italian food and great atmosphere. Its also very reasonablly priced. Its never disappointed friends and co-workers when I have taken them there.
posted by mmascolino at 8:25 AM on September 28, 2006

Another idea for shopping would be Hayes Valley. (That link seems to be a bit dated -- Powell's Soul Food, for example, has closed and reopened elsewhere -- still, lots of funky shops there.)

For good cheap food, there's Shalimar for Paki/North Indian. Also Tu Lan for delicious authentic VietNamese and zero atmosphere.
posted by trip and a half at 8:27 AM on September 28, 2006

I'll second Hayes Valley for funky shops. For cheap(er) eats, you could look around Hayes Valley, Mission, or even the Richmond.
posted by gnutron at 10:32 AM on September 28, 2006

Catching the MUNI to Ocean Beach to watch the sun set over the Pacific is a really cheap option.
posted by teleskiving at 10:50 AM on September 28, 2006

On Valencia look especially for Therapy (furniture and funky stuff), Paxton Gate (garden ornaments, beetles on pins, taxidermed giraffes) and 826 Valencia (eye patches, treasure, other pirate booty). Great inexpensive food at Phoenix Bar, Burger Joint and Cafe Ethiopia.

Hayes Valley is great, too, but I love Valencia.

For something really off-the-beaten-track try Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights. Heartfelt is full of stuff your wife would love; Cafe Liberty does memorable chicken pot pie; Little Nepal and the new Aura (French Vietnamese) are both amazing. Have a beer in the garden at Wild Side West.
posted by rdc at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2006

The Ferry Building host a farmer's market Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. I also second Valencia Street for strolling and shopping.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:13 AM on September 28, 2006

Zantes Indian pizza will be the best thing you've ever put in your mouth! Seriously, you must try this... it is a ritual for me now whenever I got to the Bay area.

3489 Mission St (Cross Street: 30th Street.)
(415) 821-3949
posted by RoseovSharon at 11:53 AM on September 28, 2006

I don't know San Francisco but there's free admission on Saturday only to at least two SF museums: the Exploritorium (usually $13) or the Museum of Craft & Folk Art (usually $5).
Since you only have a half a day, free admission might make it worth your time.

You will need to print & fill out the Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day pass.

They also provide a list of participating museums so you might find something else you like in the area.
posted by jaimystery at 12:41 PM on September 28, 2006

I really like the Nob Hill Cafe, on Taylor between Sacramento and Clay. It's friendly and low-key, and the food is very good. Here is their menu. The offerings are not unusual, but the specials often are more adventurous. Unfortunately, the wines they serve by the glass are not worth their prices.
posted by wryly at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2006

Definitely Valencia St area has great stuff and it's not outrageously priced. I loooove Ti Couz for authentic French crepes - then hit one of the zillions of bars in that area, and go back a couple hours later for dessert crepes.
posted by radioamy at 4:14 PM on September 28, 2006

You may be interested in checking out the Feria Urbana, and lucky for you this once a month thing is this Saturday! I've not been, but I'm guessing it's pretty good w/ all the creatives in SF.

Also, recommend Valencia for strolling and shopping.
posted by lannanh at 7:56 PM on September 28, 2006

Oh, and if you go to the Urban Fair, let me know how it is. NYC had a bunch of these, I miss 'em.
posted by lannanh at 8:16 PM on September 28, 2006

Response by poster: First, thanks for all the responses. I hope to get to Valencia later today. And that urban fair sounds really cool. Unfortunately I have to leave right when it starts.

MOMA was amazing -- glad I did that last night.
posted by Atom12 at 1:00 PM on September 29, 2006

Response by poster: Hit Valencia. I swung by the pirate store and picked up a cool pirate flag for the neighbor kids that watch our dogs. Saw some really cool stores -- I think my favorite was the one with all the weird antique signs and medical posters whose name escapes me. Made sure to grab a burrito while I was in the area as well. Walked up to Haight and stopped in the Mad Max/David Lynch-looking bar and had an amazing beer. It was a great afternoon.

Thanks AskMefi!!
posted by Atom12 at 9:05 PM on September 29, 2006

Response by poster: Okay, last post. The Ferry farmer's market was absolutely great. Excellent food (butternut squash tamale, fresh oysters and a breakfast pastry that was so good I was able to hit the high notes on "Let's Stay Together") and a spectacular view.
posted by Atom12 at 11:05 AM on September 30, 2006

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