San Francisco Feature


Dining in Pacific Heights, the Marina, and Japantown

One of the city's best public transit rides is on the 22-Fillmore trolley bus, from the edge of Japantown at Geary Boulevard and Fillmore Street, up through mansion-lined Pacific Heights, then down to Cow Hollow and the Marina. We recommend jumping on and off the trolley, stopping for treats along the way.

In Japantown, which covers about six city blocks, start with a green tea latte at the pillbox-size Tan Tan Café in the Japan Center (Kinokuniya Bldg. 415/346–6260 2:F6), or an ice-cream-and-fruit-filled crepe next door at Sophie's Crepes (415/929–7732 2:F6).

Up the hill, Lower Pacific Heights is all about shopping. But growling stomachs can find relief in a Vietnamese lunch at the chic Out the Door (2232 Bush St., near Fillmore St. 415/923-9575 2:E6) or a baguette sandwich at La Boulangerie (2325 Pine St. 415/440-0356 2:F5).

Italian Wine Bar

A simple bite and a glass of Dolcetto d'Alba may be all you want after a long day of scaling San Francisco's hills. The small, delightfully rustic Ottimista Enoteca (1838 Union St. 415/674-8400), pictured at upper right, offers just that, with more than two-dozen wines by the glass and small plates like baked olives, saffron-scented arancine (deep-fried, fontina-stuffed rice balls), and bruschetta with seasonal toppings. For something more substantial, try the tagliatelle with Bolognese ragout. If you're out late, end on a sweet note with a glass of Vin Santo and biscotti, served until 2 am on weekends (it can be quite the hot spot).

And for Dessert

The father-daughter team at Fillmore Bakeshop (1890 Fillmore St., at Bush St. 415/923–0711) is baking contemporary European-American treats, and winning over the neighborhood with their Danishes and almond-pear croissants. There isn't much seating—so you may have to nab something portable.

Another pastry case that will tempt your willpower is at La Boulangerie (2325 Pine St., at Fillmore St. 415/440–0356), chock-full of classic French pastries and cookies like cannelés de Bordeaux, madeleines, and grab-and-go sandwiches. Just look for the bright blue exterior.

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