Inexspensive Eats in San Francisco

Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Inexspensive Eats in San Francisco

I'm the king of frugal travel and I'm looking for some help for my trip next week to San Francisco. Here's what I've found from travel guides and other sources as great inexpensive places to eat:

House of Nanking
Brandy Ho's
Little Jo's
Sears Fine Foods
Cha Cha Cha
Il Pollaio
Napa Valley-Julia's Kitchen
Delancey St Restaurant
Pasta Pomodoro
Slanted Door
Thep Phanom
Rose Pistola

Any advice on this list or any other suggestions? I'm also wondering where the best place for Asian Fusion would be.
MikeB is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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My idea of inexpensive:
US Restaurant (Italian) on Columbus. (Especially on a Friday for the calamari special)
Ceaser's on Bay.
O'Reilly's on Green.
Cafe Pecatore on NoPointe in the Tuscan Inn.
Kal is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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We just ate at Slanted Door and you should take it off your list of cheap restaurants!! With cocktails at $9 and entrees at 18 plus, I think moderate is more accurate. Great place though! Just not cheap.
We went to Sam Soh in Chinatown (815 Washington) and loved it. Cheap and yummy. It is described as a rabbit warren and it does take a deep breath to jump in but well worth it!!
StephW is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:46 AM
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The only place on the list I've been to is Rose Pistola. Since I've heard great things about it, I'll probably be the only one that wasn't very impressed. Well, we only had appetizers, but I really didn't see much on the menu I liked. It was late and I was a little tired so maybe it was just me. We sat at the bar and the bartender entertained us. She was very interesting, gave us a lot of tips while we were in SF. The live jazz was good.

There's a little Italian restaurant next door called Cafe Delucchi where we had dinner one night. Food was different from what I'm used to, but very good (my husband's Italian and is funny about his Italian food and he liked it), romantic, little place.

A place we both hated was Caesar's in FW.
Jeanna is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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Hi, Rose Pistola is not really inexpensive. It seemed like a very nice atmosphere in there, but I passed it by because the dinner entrees were closer to $20. A great restaurant about a block up in North Beach is Cafe DeLucchi. WOnderful trendy atmosphere and my entree was about $14 for veal saltimbocca. Pastas were cheaper.
We also pased by US Restuarant because it kind of looked like a whole in the wall.
karebear4567 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:52 AM
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or maybe it was next door, i can't remember and i was only there a week ago
karebear4567 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 07:05 AM
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Karebear, you may be right, could be a block away, maybe 2 or 3 doors down, but it's somewhere around in there!
Jeanna is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 08:49 AM
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Mama's is FANTASTIC!!!! It is my favorite breakfast place in San Francisco!!!! Best sangria at Cha Cha Cha!! Eliza's is great!!! (A little out of the way from tourist areas). Pasta Pomodoro is a chain--you can probably find better Italian. It is reasonably priced though. I always like Michaelangelo's in North Beach but there are TONS of others in the area. O'Reillys has great shepards pie!
kikahead is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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Try Tu Lan off Market on 6th ST
if you like Vietnamese and like an
adventure. The place is a dump in a very shady area but the food is GREAT & VERY CHEAP.
Look it up on Google & you'll find all the info/buzz on this place...
pahko is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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Good call Pahko!!!! The area is HORRIBLE but the food is the BEST Vietnamese food in the city. I never go in this area except to eat here--it is that good!
kikahead is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Tommy's Joint on Geary at Van Ness (Cathedral Hill). Very informal, great food, unique ambience.
dwooddon is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 02:45 PM
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Never passed up Sears Fine Foods while in SFO. Great breakfasts, good prices, great wait staff. Love those ladies!! Most of the time there is a wait, but you can share tables, and make new friends. Excellent pancakes! There is a little Chinese restaurant in a dead end alley that has been in Chinatown for years. As I remember it is called the Potsticker or something like that. Very inexpensive.
jimcolorado is offline  
Jun 24th, 2003, 04:09 PM
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Check out "TinPan" in the Castro at 2251 Market. Asian Bistro food <what'll they think of next?> Great atmosphere, reasonable prices and awesome garlic longbeans *yum*
Corina is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Slanted Door is very expensive! Best Cheap Eats in San Francisco is L'Osteria Del Forno (not sure of the spelling); it's a cute Italian joint in North Beach.
mondrian2 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 01:15 PM
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All thse recs are excellent - and may I add Zagats - they are accurate about inexpensive places. Use them constantly for my 2-4 trips to SF annually. Never failed me.
Jul 17th, 2003, 01:19 PM
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Complete cheap dinner - Le Charm French Bistro. They have price fixe dinners that are excellent.
SFImporter is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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Check out You can buy $25.00 gift certificates to many restaurants for only $12.50, so you eat for half price! The certificates print out right on your computer. There are restaurants for all cities throughout the US. When you bring up the website, just put in San Francisco. Happy eating!
MarciaK is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 06:05 PM
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I think Sear's is unattractive and not as good as it had been in the past. I've been here for over 30 years and have eaten there recently; was very dissapointed. Go to Mama's--the good is so much better.
gailscout is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 10:23 PM
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As far as geography goes, these are all over the place suggestions:

Pearl City at 641 Jackson (Chinatown) has tasty and cheap dim sum.

Dusit on Mission near 29th St has great, cheap Thai food. And it's a short hop to Mitchell's ice-cream at San Jose and 29th.

Shalimar on Jones at Geary has kick-ass, very cheap Indian food.

Eliza's (18th St and Connecticut) is great--also very good is the apparently unrelated Eric's at 27th St and Church. $8-12 per entree, but they also have set price weekday lunches. Three of us never spend more than $30 altogether on dinner (including rice and appetizers).

Next door to Eliza's, Thanya and Salee Thai is good, too and easy on the wallet. Drinks can add up (they have cocktails, wines and beers).

In various locations, Hahn's Hibachi is fairly cheap given that you get a LOT of meat--between $8 and 14 for dinner.

Savor at 24th St and Sanchez has big plates of crepes, omelettes, etc.

Just for You in Dogpatch (I think it's on 22nd St but am not sure) has huge and relatively inexpensive brunches.

La Mediterranee (Fillmore and Castro/Mission; Berkeley) has the cheapest breakfast/brunch I have ever seen (from around $5-7 for a pile of food that will keep you going for hours) as well as tasty and inexpensive lunch and dinners.

Cheapish in a per pound-of-food way is Walzwerk (German food) on 15th near South Van Ness. We've split several entrees between people before.

And: hardly gourmet or original but Wolfgang Puck in Macy's basement saves my life after too much shopping downtown with it's $2.95 soup and $2.50 hulking mound of mashed potato.

If you want fancier and bargain rather than flat-out cheap, look out for set menus on weeknights. A number of 24th St restaurants seem to have these deals--around $25 (or is that ow?...!) for three courses). I'm sure there's the same elsewhere.

BTW, Pasta Pomodoro is cheap, but it's more like Pasta Pop-a-Jar-Open: nothing special and basically nothing you can't get from Safeway at home.

I hope these help--and would love to hear about any other finds you come across.
EmilyR is offline  
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