Please tell me more!
The food at the Buena Vista isn’t bad–I had a pretty decent French dip a couple of weeks ago.
First time we went to Buena Vista long (long) ago was to get to know San Francisco, and it was worth it – indifferent meal or not (can’t remember any complaints among us). While we’re moderately aware of what’s trending, we’d rather get to know the new destination’s history than catch a current wave – hence, seconding R&G, Sam’s, Buena Vista, House of Shields, before the names of more recent moment. Needless to say, places that have endured through thick and thin are plenty “authentic”, regardless of what’s trending, so Buena Vista checks that box. What’s not to like about Mr. Nolan’s career choices.
I remember the days when anytime a friend or business associate came to town, the night ended by taking a cable car to the Buena Vista. Also great for weekend breakfast/brunch with a view. Weekdays, you may be able to spread out at a table with the dailies over breakfast.
Since your free day is a Saturday, start it early with a visit to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building.
SF also has good Asian food. Here are some picks:
Wow! Thanks. I found this.
Worth going to the Ligurian bakery. When you step into the business. You will gaze at the oven that is over 100 years old .
What’s great is the terse ordering from the family. Wrapped in butcher paper and tied with twine .Not to miss for the focaccia.
Is this it?
Sabor de San Miguel Mayan Kitchen closed early in the pandemic
+1 to the Poc Chuc suggestion if you get the specialties discussed in the linked post (the menu has some filler items: btw, it’s listed as closed on Yelp, but a recent post says that inaccurate).
El Buen Comer is my pick for well-rounded Mexican menu with lots of masa items. Donaji is a good pick for a solo diner and is closer to 24th St Bart (start with Oaxaca Totopos, then get cochinita taco, quesabirria and/or chicken taco, sides of seasonal vegetales and beans, and buy jars of salsa macha if you’re checking in luggage).
If lunch sandwiches are your prerogative, La Torta Gorda’s tortas are top tier (Rajas con queso FTW), but for the rest of the menu, I feel the above restaurants are stronger players in their respective niches. Also, they’re closed by either 6:30pm or 4pm.
Or there’s the short version: the Treasure Island ferry is just 10 minutes. You could leave at 9:50 and be back by 10:25, enjoy great views of the City and get a taste of being on the Bay.
That’s Part A.
Part B: Before enjoying the other worldly focaccia, walk two minutes to Molinari for salami, anchovies, cheese, olives . . .
Fantastic rec! Go for the aroma if nothing else. And if you want a snack, have them cut your purchase into pieces and take them to the park across the street. Go early because they are open until they sell out, then pull the shade.
Zuni is the one institution I was about to recommend, too.
However, the thing to get there is the chicken over bread salad, and I believe it is only served for two people, so imo much better to go with someone.
I live in the South Bay, and while I wouldn’t want to live there (!! - though I’m nowhere near alone on this these days), I agree wholeheartedly better to stay in S.F. the whole trip for your first time.
Carmel is great, but doesn’t offer enough imo for the time and effort it would take you to go there vs. exploring more of S.F. Plus this time of year doesn’t necessarily have better weather than S.F, and might actually be worse.
While the rest of the Bay Area has plenty to offer, I still think as a first-timer you’re better off staying in S.F. Only wine country (Napa, Sonoma) IMO worthwhile to add to a first-time trip, and only then if you specifically want to do that.
Have a great time!
Am I guilty of loving the East Bay too much?
Pacific Cocktail Haven is fun and about 1/2 mile from your hotel.
If you like tiki Smugglers Cove has top notch cocktails.
White Chapel for gin nerds (er, connoiseurs).
Bar Agricole used to be rhum focused but since they re-opened cocktails seem broader.
Personally I really like Trick Dog and True Laurel for some of the most unique cocktails with the benefit of good food/snacks.
San Ho Wan and Nari are the two restaurants I personally want to go to for my next reservations meals if I can ever get it together to plan in advance.
I’m also going to second the recommendations for the Ferry Building on a Saturday (the Roli Roti porchetta sandwich is definitely worth waiting in the line) and maybe Hog Island for oysters and chowder.
Molinari’s deli in North Beach is a favorite as well and definitely qualifies as a San Francisco institution for an Italian sandwich with high quality cold cuts - get the Molinari Special with everything, add roast red peppers and don’t forget to grab a ticket to the right of the front door when you go in so you don’t get bumped back in line.
3rd this. The line usually isn’t that long, and absolutely worth it.
This thread is giving me the yen to make the trip up one of the next couple Saturdays!