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Old 02-15-2007, 03:58 PM   #76
KJS
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

No trip to SF is complete, for me, without hitting Amoeba Records. They have one on Haight St and one on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley. Reserve several hours.

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Old 02-15-2007, 05:41 PM   #77
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Hayes Valley has some really good burger joints, too. The name of my favorite is escaping me at the moment, however.
Flippers? that place is great.

I live in hayes valley, and yes there are some solid places around here, although it does seem to cater more to yuppies than some other neighborhoods. (Of course theres a tranny bar right next to flippers). I often end up in the mission for dinner, because there is no good mexican food in hayes valley .


My addition to the list: Suppenkuche.
Its a very good german restaurant in Hayes Valley, which naturally also serves a wide selection of amazing german beer on tap. They have a 2-liter boot and a 3-liter giant stein as well, if you want to drink out of those, although if somebody else is already using it you have to wait for them to finish. It is always very crowded, so go on a weekday. Expect to be seated at a table with people you dont know, because there is space there. I think its a cool concept, leads to meeting new people and sharing some beers and laughs over your delicious german food.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:44 PM   #78
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Very good recommendations. I especially wanted to highlight one: Tartine - just an amazing bakery.
The new Bi-Rite Creamery right next to it is awesome also. Great block to get fat on now (dinner at Delfina).
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:38 PM   #79
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

El_D:

I just moved to 18th and Dolores. The block between Dolores and Guerrero on 18th is a pretty sweet block. Bi-Rite Creamery (pretty decent/ funky ice cream, but pricey). Bi-Rite Supermarket-- over priced but nice to have. Delfino Pizza, supposedly excellent, but I haven't had a chance to eat there, and of course Tartine. Further to your point about Tartine -- there is an article in German in the window that says they have one of the 3 best breads in the world.

Thoughts on tapas places? I've only eaten at Cha Cha Cha's and Ramblas. I think Ramblas probably has supperior food, whereas Cha Cha Cha's has better Sangria.

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Old 02-15-2007, 07:00 PM   #80
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

My favorite thing to do in San Francisco is something that my father and I do every summer whenever I get to come into town. We drive up very early in the morning on a Saturday, launch his sailboat, and sail into the downtown slips. We get out and walk to a Giants game and get bleacher seats. Usually sailing back just in time for sunset.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:02 PM   #81
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

All,

Eating and all other indoor stuff is great, but there is a severe lack of outdoor ideas in this thread. Please don't forget that San Fran is one of the most picturesque cities in America, with, IMO, the most beautiful skyline of any.

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Old 02-15-2007, 07:09 PM   #82
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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El_D:

I just moved to 18th and Dolores. The block between Dolores and Guerrero on 18th is a pretty sweet block. Bi-Rite Creamery (pretty decent/ funky ice cream, but pricey). Bi-Rite Supermarket-- over priced but nice to have. Delfino Pizza, supposedly excellent, but I haven't had a chance to eat there, and of course Tartine. Further to your point about Tartine -- there is an article in German in the window that says they have one of the 3 best breads in the world.

Thoughts on tapas places? I've only eaten at Cha Cha Cha's and Ramblas. I think Ramblas probably has supperior food, whereas Cha Cha Cha's has better Sangria.

Claude
Is Timo's still in the mission? I liked the food there a lot better than cha cha cha. I lived near cha cha cha and didn't go there much. Oh yeah, that reminds me of the hooka place, Kan Zaman just down the street in upper haight. Pretty good food. Fun place to take a date with the belly dancers and everything.

Same with the Thai place, Ploy II accross the street, which is upstairs like in a house. Thai food was pretty good. But the sticky rice and thai custard is one of the sweetest, tastiest deserts I've ever had.

Also I just remembered the fish and chips at Edinburgh Castle. Personally I think a lot of upscale pub-like places get too fancy with fish and chips. I like them old school crispy greasy like Edinburgh's. Reminds me of growing up with Arthur Treacher's and H-Salt fish.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:19 PM   #83
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Jihad,

Outdoor stuff. I'll let others write more on hikes. Tons of great hiking in all directions.

Heading up the coast a bit both south and north there are tons of great day or weekend trips, like Bodega Bay to the north or Monterey (and the aquarium!!!) to the south (or Santa Cruz or Carmel).

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and there are a few great things to do. One is hiking - again, I'll let others cover that, I am very much a novice. A simple but incredible thing to do is to drive around to the bridge overlook area on that side right when you get to the other side. You can then walk up to the bridge on that side and get incredible views and pictures of the bridge and SF. Or keeping going a bit and drive down to Sausalito. Great little casual restaurants and bars along the water, plus they have some cool street fairs. And a great sushi restaurant, Sushi Ran is there. Also great fun on a sunny day is going to Tiburon and have drinks at Sam's. A classic way to do that is to ride your bike over there from the city, then drink all day and take the ferry back.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:27 PM   #84
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

If you ever need to train for strenous hiking or climbing in a hurry, put a backpack on and go up the Temelpa trail on Mt. Tam. It's basically a rain gully that goes straight up the side. The workout you get is freaking insane if you go fast, but a helluva feeling when you get to the top and clamber over the rail--drenched in sweat--to startled looks from all the lazy suckers who drove up.

I did the Temelpa trail 3 or 4 times before I went on a 3-day hike in Yosemite with a bunch of super-in-shape mountain bikers. I know that training is the only reason I made it through, w/o needing to be airlifted out of the park.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:28 PM   #85
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Diablo,

Bodega Bay was a childhood vacation destination for me, both camping and rental homes. Just you mentioning it brings back so many memories. Wonderful coastal town.

For hiking, if you can get out to Angel Island and get to the top, there is no better view on the planet.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #86
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

suzzer,

Edinburgh Castle gets their fish and chips around the corner at Old Chelsea. I actually prefer the other place in the area, which apparently is called "Piccadilly Fish and Chips" but for years they had a sign w/ no name that just said "Fish and Chips" which is what we all call it. Anyway, they are as simple as it gets. Big vats of oil and you just tell them what battered stuff (they have a decent variety) you want dropped in it. Super cheap, super grimy, and super deliciously greasy.

Kan Zaman is pretty sweet. Getting a hookah here is a must.

Thai Places. People love Thep Phenom, but I think it's overpriced and not as good as the reviews (though it is quite good). I like Manora's in SOMA quite a bit. Neecha Thai on Sutter near Fillmore is perhaps my favorite. Their crispy tofu in sweet chili sauce w/ caramlized onions is the best tofu dish anywhere.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #87
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

All of the beaches between SF and Santa Cruz on highway 1 are outstanding. All of the beaches in Santa Cruz are just as outstanding. There are tons of parks and awesome hiking trails in the santa cruz mountains. As you drive along highway 9 in the santa cruz mountains there is a river with a ton of trails around it. the mother of all swimming holes is called "the garden of eden". It is about a 2 mile hike downhill, through the river, around a bend, and all of a sudden you are on a little beach, looking at a giant boulder with a small swimming hole around it surrounded by GIANT redwoods with the sun peeking down through them. This is quite possibly my favorite beach ever. Especially since it is a hotspot for nude sunbathing and cute girls werent too shy about doing it. theres my fun bay area outdoors place!
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #88
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Jihad,

I was just about to edit my post and write that taking the ferry from SF to Angel Island and just hiking around there (it's really more walking than hiking, very easy) and having a picnic there is a really incredible daytrip.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:42 PM   #89
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

claude,

Cha Cha Cha's is only OK tapas. Timo's that suzzer mentioned is closed, they were pretty good. I think Ramblas is decent but a little on the pricey side for tapas.

I like Picaro on 16th/Valencia, especially when going with larger groups. Cheap and tasty and fun atmosphere.

Esperpento on 22nd/Valencia is a little more cozy, good for going in groups of 4 or less.

Andalu on 16th/Guerrero is more upscale tapas w/ lots of non-traditional small plates. Worth trying it out.

I usually hit Picaro or Esperpento.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:44 PM   #90
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

The aquiarium is awesome, but I always seem to have more fun walking around in the tide-pools that are accessible from 17-mile drive.

Also, for a great place to take children fishing, checkout Loch Lomond Recreation Area in the Santa Cruz mountains. Great place.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:51 PM   #91
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

second the loch lomond. the tidepools in santa cruz at natural bridges are better though.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:14 PM   #92
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

re: outdoor in San Francisco Bay Area the sheer volume of things to do outside in the bay area makes it difficult to create a list of what's good to do. ANYTHING is good. Head North, South, or East and you'll find something awesome.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #93
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

I like Esperpento.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:49 PM   #94
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

a few more outdoor things...

Kitesurfing in Alameda (great place to take some lessons and just fly around the bay with the cityscape behind you)

Mountain biking like anywhere... but might as well rip all over Mt Tam where the sport was invented!

Sail out the gate and explore the farallons.

Roys Redwoods for some frisbee after a nice brunch at the Two Bird Cafe out in west marin.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:17 PM   #95
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

I might have missed it somehow, but how has no one mentioned Chez Panisse ? While I think it has gone a little bit downhill in recent years, it's still an incredible dining experience.

As for my other random culinary favorites in the Bay, I really, really like Legendary Palace in Oakland Chinatown, St Francis Creamery in the Mission (couldn't find a link, but it's quite the popular spot), Kirala in Berkeley for Japanese food, and the gem of them all, Cinque Terre Restaurant , which is unquestionably the best value for Italian food in all of North Beach, and comes close to rivaling some of my fave spots in Boston's North End.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:21 PM   #96
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Oh, and I should mention that if you are after a serious espresso, try Cafe Nefeli in Berkeley , which routinely ranks in "Best of" Espresso lists for the United States.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:05 PM   #97
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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i would just add that for those flying to sf, oakland is one of the 5 best airports in the us, sfo is probably one of the 5 worst.
why? Oakland rocks but I haven't really had problems at SFO and I fly a lot.

I'd like to add Slanted Door to the list of good restaurants. Pricy vietnamese/fusion in the ferry building on embarcadero. delicious.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:07 PM   #98
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

My wife and I used to live at Mason and Clay, and I miss the Saturday routine of waking up after a Friday night that concluded with a Hurricane nightcap at the Tonga Room inside the Fairmont (yeah, pricey, but the water feature is pretty cool and it was a block from my apartment). Walk to down to Stockton and see the craziness that is Chinatown on a Saturday morning, up to Green with a stop at Little City Meats to pick up some sausages and a steak for Sunday. Walk up to the Ferry Terminal Farmer's market, get a roasted chicken and a grilled peach and eat it on the south side of the building. Catch BART to the Mission and stop off to get a haircut from one of the cute latinas that give the best $15 haircuts in the world, then do the week's vegetable shopping since the veggies are 1/3 the price of those at the farmer's market or Whole Foods. Stop at La Taqueria for a Carne Asada taco, then catch a cab back to the apartment.

The afternoon was filled with going to the beach, or Golden Gate Park, or Angel Island, or a Giant's or A's (I know, I know) game. Dinner at either Nob Hill Cafe, Italian food in North Beach, or at Bow Hon at Grant and Washington, which is one of a very few places where decent Chinese food is available on Grant street.

Saturday nights we spent in North Beach at the bars.

San Francisco is awesome.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:47 PM   #99
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Quote:
i would just add that for those flying to sf, oakland is one of the 5 best airports in the us, sfo is probably one of the 5 worst.
why? Oakland rocks but I haven't really had problems at SFO and I fly a lot.

I'd like to add Slanted Door to the list of good restaurants. Pricy vietnamese/fusion in the ferry building on embarcadero. delicious.
I was hoping you were talking about civilian flying! If anybody is interested in it, I'll be in the Bay Area around late April and I'll have a seat open. I plan on doing some flying into the SF area, but pretty much just an aerial vineyard tour and possibly, depending on what plane I get, some beach touring. Obviously, I would like to add that flying in the Bay Area and especially into the Napa Valley is absolutely incredible. I fly a lot faster and stupider almost every day, but I wouldn't trade a single minute of that stuff for my Bay Area experiences.
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:11 PM   #100
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Crepes on Cole in Haight Ashbury is great.

I've heard Phoenix Hotel is very hip but it's in a horrible neighborhood - (Tenderloin district)
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