Friday, January 20, 2012

San Francisco...Plan My Day

I haven’t had a San Francisco business meeting in a decade. Then suddenly the billable-day Gods shined on me and I’ve been sandwiched into the agenda for a conference downtown.

So here’s my question for you. What would you do/where would you go if you had one free day downtown and no rental car? Where’s the low-brow place that you’d send me for lunch? Tell me about the eclectic old vintage bookstores. Is there a museum or gallery exhibition that would be tragic not to see?

Plan my free day for me. And I’ll even take a suggestion or two for proper cocktails and dinner.

Talk to me. Butcept not about Top of the Mark, Cable Car Clothiers or Wilkes Bashford. Been there done that. And I’m not doing the Alcatraz tour  boondoggle thang.

ADG II            Traveling


Patsy said...

Go to London Sole on Maiden Lane and buy LFG a pair of darling ballet flats.

Anonymous said...

I heard amusing stories regarding my coworkers visiting hippy City Lights bookstore (Ferlinghetti's shop) during my bookselling days:

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Tadich Grill for lunch or dinner.

British Bankers Club (Menlo Park) for a cocktail.

The Hound.

Cable Car Clothiers.

Pictures, please.

If you hang around the Financial District, be on the look-out for workers in Brooks Brothers, Press, and other classic clothing.


Patrick said...

You MUST go to the Musee Mecanique!ée_Mécanique

usoniaboy said...

For lunch, go to Wong's in Chinatown. The restaurant is on three levels. Oddly the first level is the kitchen. You actually have to walk through the kitchen to get to the seating on levels two and three. Food is hoisted up to your level on a dumb waiter and served to you. The food is great and the experience is slightly other-worldly.

UWO said...

Have a martini at the Pied Piper Bar. If they have postcards send me one (they were out last time I was there) so I can frame it with my postcard from the King Cole Bar. I enjoyed lunch at the Wayfare Tavern, bourbon at the Rickhouse, all near each other in the financial district, along with the Alden Store. On The Fly is a men's store shop in the Embarcadero Center that's worth a stop.

UWO said...

Have a martini at the Pied Piper Bar, if they have postcards (they were out last time I was there) send me one so I can frame it with my postcard from the King Cole Bar. I enjoyed lunch at Wayfare Tavern, bourbon at the Rickhouse, all in the financial district near the Alden Store. On the Fly is a men's store in the Embarcadero Center that's worth a stop. Of course molasses chips from See's Candies for your best girl.

Anonymous said...

Tadich's Grill!

LPC said...

For good Chinese food, you've either got to go out to the Sunset/Richmond areas, or go to R&G Lounge. I will ask my brother about places beyond M.A.C. in Hayes Valley for shopping, and dinners etc. for that matter. How about the Asian Art Museum? Not that I've been yet, but it is the top of my list. If you want American food, probably my favorite place is Canteen, where you can sit at the counter and watch the chef cook. As for drinking, oh damn, I love the St. Regis bar but there are better cocktails to be had, I understand, and San Francisco magazine is always talking about one or another.

BTW, it's raining. I hope it stops for your visit.

Anonymous said...

Shoes? Arthur Beren Union Square, of course. (corner of Union Square and Maiden Lane) Ask for Ken and tell him Niki sent you.


Antiquarian Bookseller--John Windle is legendary
49 Geary Street #233 closes at 6 PM 415-986-5826 Calling is advisable

In the same building is: Brick Row Book Shop space # 230 415-398-0414

Argonaut Book Shop
786 Sutter Street
closes at 5 PM

I have enjoyed the Asian Arts Museum exhibit--Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts 200 Larkin Street 415-581-3500 The rest of the museum is a jewel, as well. Great collections.

No one comes to San Francisco for clothes, Silly.

Steve said...

Boudin Bakery for some great sourdough bread (traditional loaves and interesting designs- e.g., lobsters). The North End for an Italian flavor. I personally like The Stinking Rose, but I am a garlic fanatic.

ADG said...

Thanks everyone...for the great suggestions.

The Sluice Box said...

Sam's Grill has a film noir style that I love. It's a good spot for lunch or dinner. It is not fashionable, which is also why it's one of my favorites. Tadich's has a similar vibe.

Young Fogey said...

There's an Alden store in SF.

Sears Fine Food near Union Square (across from the Francis Drake Hotel, I think) for breakfast.

Other than that, there's not much to do in SF.

yoga teacher said...

Last time I was there we walked to The Exploratorium, then gathered swan feathers from the nearby nests. (Can you guess who my "date" was?)

Anonymous said...

Do not miss mamma's for breakfast. There will be a line but worth it. Tadich for lunch, again may be a line. Get the Grilled fish. And human homes in Chi town for a low key but excellent dinner.

Scot Meacham Wood said...


Maybe spend some time poking around the new Ferry Building at the end of Market Street - some great little places for eats. For some fun shopping. maybe cruise around Union Street out in the Marina . . . Cafe Des Amis is out there - great food - or maybe Izzy's off Chestnut (Marina as well) for something a little more casual.

Have a great time in our beautiful city,

Anonymous said...

1. For lunch you must, must, must go to Maki, which is in the kinakunya building in Jtown and is just across the hall from kinakuniya bookstore (also a must. This one is better than the one in midtown Manhattan). The place is nothing to look at. It is, in fact, bland as all "you want fried rice with that?" But the katsu don is the best katsu don I've ever tasted and that includes the many I've tried in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. They also make their own noodles, which are called inaniwa udon. Trust me, you won't regret it [to hell with touiristy Tadich "Its-a-like-mymama-used-to-make." grill. In fact, skip most of the italian stuff (I am an IA from brooklyn who lived in sf ten years, so bit of a bias here)]. The place seats 25 at most.

2. Ferry building to a The Slanted Door, which is a vietnamese joint, or Hog Island Oyster, which has the best grilled cheese sandwich in the city.
3. Tartine in the Mission District for brunch

The Hound, as someone suggested, is okay, but not worth it if only in town a day.

Lastly, just walk. It is a beautiful city to walk; you can cover a good deal of it just a day. SF to me is a city to live in more than one to visit. The best things about it are the suprise nooks you encounter while walking, so a peak of the bay between two houses on a hill (Union street toward North Beach is great for this), for example.

Have fun.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity you won't have a car as the best place to go is Muir Woods in Marin County. There are tour buses that go there, but then you'd be surrounded by tourists. I just remember my father in law coming to the bay area for our wedding visiting there and remarking for years afterward how special that experience was to him.

JMW said...

San Fran is my favoriate U.S. city. Last time I was there is was St. Patrick's Day - whew, did we have fun! Besides some of the usual spots we visited, we hit Biscuits and Blues for some good live a music, and a total hole-in-the-wall bar that was run by a transplanted Kentuckian. So, he and I bonded over some excellent Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, such fun. Enjoy your time there - very jealous!

Anonymous said...

I really love Town Hall. It's a great place for American Comfort food.

David Cooper

BetaGoat said...

I always enjoy lunch at Tadich's, either solo or with company.

Anonymous said...

Japantown for a soba noodle soup lunch. I also second UWO for the Pied Piper. Touristy, but then you're going to be tourist, the view of the city from Twin Peaks.

Chris said...

You could always visit the old Armory (NSFW).

Chris said...

You could always visit the old Armory ;D [NSFW]

Sartre said...

Shoot...hope I'm not to late to get in on this...but I wanted to second the recommendation of Hog Island Oyster in the Ferry Building. A dozen kumamotos, glass of champagne, grilled cheese sandwich -- very satisfying. There's a gourmet chocolate place in the building, too, for a bit of dessert.

Anonymous said...

Tadich Grill is always a "must" for lunch when I am in San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Bix restaurant in the alley off Montgomery St. for chicken hash and martinis. After work stop for financial district types -- lunch or dinner.