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Old 10-14-2006, 09:31 PM   #1
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CA - San Francisco?

Just found out that we will be traveling to San Fran in January. My husband will be helping to man one of the booths at MacWorld. I will be on my own for most of the daytime hours.

Is anyone here from the area who can give me some info? I guess I'm just a small town girl & I don't understand the concept of different neighborhoods in big cities! MacWorld will be held at the Moscone Center. I expect that our hotel will be nearby - what neighborhood will we be in?

Any advice will be appreciated! The only place that I'm sure I want to visit is the Winchester House.

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Old 10-14-2006, 10:18 PM   #2
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SF is a great town. Go to china town and explore. The waterfront is wonderful. Great shopping and people watching. Dress warm, it'll be cold!!
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:23 PM   #3
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Corrine,
I've been to SF many times, but I'm no good with the areas. I hope you will get a chance to see the Wharf area, the Japanese tea garden, even a look at China town..San Francisco can give you a day's worth of enjoyment just standing on the curb watching the people I dearly love the Wharf tho, traffic is a misery, but to me well worth the juggling to get about. If you enjoy fish there is no better place as far as I'm concerned...Some of the views are breathtaking. I hope you enjoy a look at the place I wanted to live as a young woman and still enjoy visiting.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:34 PM   #4
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I lived in SF years ago. When I go back for a visit, my favorite place to eat is the Cliff House restaurant.

http://www.cliffhouse.com/

In January SF will be cold, but no more so than the rest of the country. If you go in June, however, it will be absolutely freezing! (Tourists in shorts, with blue legs, on the Embarcadero...)

Have fun!
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:21 AM   #5
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even in January, I would still have crab and Chardonnay at Scomas on the wharf! That's the first meal I ever ate in SF! I also second Chnatown, but if you are a smalltown person, I would recommend you take a tour. You can definitely get lost down there, and miss the highlights. On your own, with no knowledge of what is where, it's just another kinda seedy looking neighborhood.

You'll thrill to the market in the Ferry building. That IS down on the wharf. So much good good and great eats!

I'd recommend dinners at Zuni Café -- a real culinary landmark, and not super-priced, nor trendy food, and The Slanted Door -- an upscale and wonderful Vietnamese restaurant. I also love Moose's in the Union Square district. good food, no pretensions.

I wonder whether you'll have the opportunity for a day trip down to Big Sur or up to Napa Valley. Either would be delightful ways to spend the time while your husband is busy with meetings. He might even want to play hooky and join you! If you're a golfer, Pebble Beach is a not-to-miss landmark that is accessible from there, as well.

Weatherwise, it will be warmer than Chicago or any of those super-cold places in the middle of the country or northeast.... but not balmy like San Diego.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:58 PM   #6
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Check out this site http://blogs.kqed.org/food/

That is a link to a public television show, "Check, Please! Bay Area". You can stream the archived shows on your computer.

On this show they have the host, and 3 regular people (new people every show). Each person picks a restaurant in the bay area that they recommend and each of the 3 people try all 3 restaurants and give their review.

They also show footage of the actual restaurants, and many dishes.

Most of the restaurants reviewed are in SF!

BTW

If you wanted to check out the Winchester Mystery House, it is about 50 miles from where you will be in SF.

From the Winchester Mystery House website.
From San Francisco and the North Bay: Take I-280 South to San Jose. Take Winchester Blvd. exit. At stoplight, turn left. At next stoplight (Winchester Blvd.), turn left. Proceed two stoplights, and the Winchester Mystery House will be on your left.
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:12 PM   #7
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you HAVE to have the sourdough bread down by the wharf...
AWESOME!!!!
forget the name of it...it was the only one down there though.
But it's been a while since I've been to the city.
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:17 PM   #8
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What made it better than all the other sourdough bread in San Francisco? I found it pretty much everywhere!
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:26 PM   #9
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truthfully, who knows?
it's the only place I know of!!!
don't go to the city much, hubby hates it over there.
used to go there with a friend and she always said it was the best.


It's all good in my book, even what they sell down here in the valley!
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:51 PM   #10
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The Moscone Center is near Union Square. Loads of shopping there. Also a cable car turnaround. Don't miss taking the cable car to the other side of the hill (can't remember if this one ends up at the Wharf, but one does). A bit touristy, but an excellent tour in and of itself.

You can take the trolly down Market Street or the bus (i think) to Golden Gate Park for easy exploring.

I second and third a trip thru Chinatown. It's big, diverse and much cleaner than NYC. Cool for a foodie. There is some excellent Chinese food in SF. Great Eastern is an excellent Chinese seafood place. I also echo June's rec of the Slanted Door. Was only there once, but it was very good.

If you are a baseball fan, you aren't too far away from the cool stadium where the Giants play -- where balls are hit into the water.

The tour of Alcatraz is actually very interesting. You need to reserve in advance, I am pretty sure.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:26 PM   #11
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The Ferry Terminal Building is my favorite place in the City. Bob and I can happily spend a whole day there. There are wonderful places to eat, great shopping (perhaps for a romantic snack at the hotel???) The wine shop is a great place to sip a glass of wine and "people watch" or buy a wonderful bottle or two of wine. Tsar Nicolai Caviar sells wonderful caviar from farm raised fish - not all of it is expensive. Bob and I fell in love with their wasabi caviar (18.00 for a jar). The Creamery sells beautiful cheeses, Atas bakery has bread. There are chocolatiers, olive oil and vinegar companies. Far West Fungi has amazing mushrooms and truffles or truffle products (two words "Truffle Salt").

You can take a ferry to Sausalito - lots of great little shops and some very good restaurants. Napa is a short ride from San Francisco and perfect for wine tasting. I used to love to go to Bodega Bay when we lived in "the City". January should be perfect - fresh crab, a loaf of good bread, and a bottle of wine make a perfect picinic on the beach.

If you're going to be here over a weekend give me a pm and perhaps we can get together - we could meet you in the City or you could come up this way and see the beautiful Delta, (great wineries here too, especially old vine Zins).

There are lots of great things to do in the Bay Area - the weather is milder in the winter.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:34 PM   #12
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Definitely go to china town. there is a multi-story department store there (on Grant Avenue) with two basement levels with all kinds of great stuff. Also, be sure to eat in china town.

Be a tourist and go to Ghirardelli Square and have a hot fudge sundae at their ice cream parlor.

Go to Fisherman's Wharf and get some steamed crabs to go from a street vendor and take them to a nearby park bench for a real treat.

Check out the North Beach area for fine Italian food.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:14 AM   #13
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The Winchester House??? In San Jose?? There are so many better places not to miss in S.F. than this (imo)

Also, you might like to try lunch at Cha Cha Cha's - oh my the food is great!! And, I agree the wharf - fun! Yes to the Alcatraz tour and take a ferry ride...so much to do and see and eat in this wonderful city!!! have yourself a ball!
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:46 AM   #14
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I've spent so much time in San Francisco I might as well live there.

Thre are just too many really good restaurants to be able to hit even the majority of them in one trip. I still haven't hit all the ones I want to try. I'll give you some highlights and you can decide if you want to try any or all of them on this trip.

Breakfast: Dotties, and the newly reopened Sears Fine Foods will both be close to your hotel. Anyone that works in the hotel can direct you.

Lunch: Zuni Cafe and Fog City Diner. If you find yourself at Fisherman's Wharf at lunch time, Boudin Bakery has great lunches at reasonable prices, including clam chowder, soup, or chili in a sourdough bread bowl. They have a walk up booth at one end of Fisherman's Wharf and a sit down restaurant more towards the middle, in a small strip mall, upstairs from their actual bakery. I recommend the sitdown. Be sure to go back there just before you leave to get some baked goods to take home with you.

Dinner: Within walking distance of your hotel would be Original Joes, an Italian place in the Tenderloin district and a mainstay in San Francisco, or on the Embarcadero, near the baseball stadium, is a place called DeLancy Street Bistro that has excellent food, reasonable prices, and valet parking if you are crazy enough to have a car in San Francisco.

In Chinatown, you just HAVE to go to Sam Wo, on Washington Street off of Grant, just once, to experience it. Otherwise, The Golden Dragon, which is directly across the street from Sam Wo, has excellent food at reasonable prices (they all have reasonable prices. It's Chinatown!) plus a bit of HISTORY to it, and the Grand Palace Restaurant in the 900 block of Grant has the best Dim Sum in Chinatown. They even have a big banner across the sidewalk proclaiming it!

On Ghirardeli Square is ANA MANDARA, a high end Vietnamese restaurant that I can't recommend highly enough for the quality of their food, excellent service and Hollywood movie set ambience. Co-owned by Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, and the restaurant's Executive Chef Khai Duong, who is Cordon Bleu de Paris trained, this palce served me, by far, the best meal I ever had in San Francisco that I didn't cook myself.

Now, if you want a night of excitement and entertainment that you can't get anywhere else, Call now and get reservations at ASIA SF!, a restaurant/Nightclub that is pure San Francisco.

Well, I could go on and on, but this will give you a sampling of a foodies trip through SF. I plan my restaurants just like I would a trip to Alcatraz or a boat ride under the Golden Gate Bridge. BTW, you can go on line and buy advance tickets for Alcatraz, and I recommend the night tour over the day tour, but dress REALLY warm! It gets colder than a well digger's belt buckle out there at night.

Have a fantastic trip! I can't wait to go back again, and again, and again.

ETA: If you are going to be there over a week-end, be sure to sign up for the CHINATOWN GHOST TOUR
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:03 PM   #15
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Man I loved SF when I was there. I only spent a couple days there unfortunately. I plan on going back for a long weekend sometime. The only thing that didn't thrill me was the Wharf. Seemed kinda like a terrible tourist trap to me. I loved chinatown though. I just about exploded after about 3hrs walking between dimsum restaurants. I visited a couple wineries to the north, but never made it to The French Laundry. Probably wouldn't have gotten in anyways without a months in advance reservation...

I want to plan a return trip around a reservation at TFL. The only other cities I've visited that even approach SF for foodie paradises were Seattle, Las Vegas, and New York. Las Vegas to a lesser extent - but there are always a lot of bold restaurants there with cutting edge stuff and oddly enough, the best ingredients you can get. Had a hot/cold surf/turf Kobe/Toro appetizer that was to die for at a Japanese restaurant there.

Anyhoo, have a great time in SF!
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:43 AM   #16
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Used to live and work in SF. Wonderful, fascinating city.

Worked at a Chinese company right on the border between Chinatown and the Italian section, which meant on one side of the street we could go get steamed pork bao for coffee break, and on the other side, fresh panettone. That's really how suddenly neighborhoods can break there, which means lots of fun when it's Chinatown and Little Italy ... but a little less so when you wander into the Tenderloin unawares! Keep your wits about you and pay attention to your surroundings.

However, a cafe latte with a thick Sunday paper out on a sunny North Beach terrace with a view of the Bay ... unbeatable!

Enjoy. Great city, great public transportation, easy to get around.
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Old 10-21-2006, 03:34 AM   #17
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
In Chinatown, you just HAVE to go to Sam Wo, on Washington Street off of Grant, just once, to experience it. Otherwise, The Golden Dragon, which is directly across the street from Sam Wo, has excellent food at reasonable prices (they all have reasonable prices. It's Chinatown!) plus a bit of HISTORY to it, and the Grand Palace Restaurant in the 900 block of Grant has the best Dim Sum in Chinatown. They even have a big banner across the sidewalk proclaiming it!
It pains me to report that the Grand Palace restaurant is no longer open. I guess we'll all have to find another place for dim sum.
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:57 PM   #19
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This thread just made me even more homesick! Wahhhh!
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:47 PM   #20
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We just a week in SF over Xmas... and found it to be indeed a truly great city! Agreed, we didn't find much of interest (except the history itself) at Fisherman's Wharf. (The only thing I felt I missed there was the fresh crab at the stands.)
Spent the week walking and walking... goggling at the fabulous architecture throughout the northern peninsula area, and enjoying the parks and wonderful weather (crystal clear and cool then.... having a bad spell now though). Had a superb dinner at Postrio... so good, that we returned, for another equally superb one! A very nice dinner also at Cortez. (A couple of mediocre ones elsewhere, which I won't go into.) I regret not committing to the Xmas eve dinner at Fleur de Lys (I balked at having to provide my credit card number for a reservation, hick that I am... I would guess that this policy only applies to set menu events, though.) Never made it to Farallon either, sigh... nor many others I'd love to try. Ah well, next trip...
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