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San Francisco Restaurant Tips, From a Picky Local


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If you're going to San Francisco, forget the flowers in your hair. Take it from a local-these are the restaurants to try:

-Heading to the AT&T Ball Park for a Giants game? If your love southern and soul food, or are a Golden State Warriors fan, try Big Nate's Barbeque: Former Golden State Warriors Nate Thurmond opened the popular Memphis-style barbeque joint in 1974. Carnivores say the oak-smoked ribs are addictive. Take out, eat in, or they deliver. For more info: 1665 Folsom St, San Francisco, (415) 861-4242
Open Mon-Sat 11am-9:30pm; Sun 12pm-9:30pm

-For traditional San Francisco low-key power-dining to impress the boss, granddad, or potential in-laws, or if you are in the Financial District on business, don't miss the nearly 160 year-old Tadich Grill. Opened in the Gold Rush days as a coffee stand, it's the oldest restaurant in San Francisco. The dark wood walls, white linen and enclosed booths give it the feel of a men's club. Try favorites: fried calamari, Dungeness crab cakes, sand dabs, cioppino, and creamed spinach is a favorite too. Arrive early because they don't accept reservations. Located on the California cable car line at 40 California Street between Battery. 415/391-1849

-Swan Oyster Depot: This atmospheric spot on Polk Street has been a fixture since 1912. It's casual and perfect if you're walking all over the City. Hop on the California cable car line and get off at Polk and you're there. Sit at the marble counter and dig into crab, oysters, sour dough bread and sauvignon blanc. 1517 Polk St. 415-673-1101
Mon-Sat 8am-5:30pm. Cash only.

-Molinari's Delicatessen has been in North Beach since 1896 making quintessential take-out 5-star Italian sandwiches. NYC can't beat this slice of Italy. 373 Columbus Ave (between Grant Ave & Vallejo St) 415-421-233 Open 9-5 except Sundays.

-The Absinthe Brasserie & Bar is located in the popular Hayes Valley neighborhood, near the Civic Center. It's a popular choice for classic upscale French fare for lunch, dinner, or late-night café after the nearby symphony, ballet and opera. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. The bar offers over 500 domestic and international wines, and Thursdays are their popular “Flight Nights" from 7-12M. Visiting hipsters, go here. 398 Hayes Street. Check it out:

-Farallon-If you and your sweetie are hitting the upscale shops in Union Square and want an equally impressive dining experience, Farallon is your fantasy spot. Named for our offshore islands, Farallon is one of the best and most beautiful restaurants in the country. For more information:

-Hog Island Oyster Farm. Just above San Francisco in the Tomales Bay is a vibrant oyster community and the famous Hog Island Oyster Farm. This is their bay view eatery in The City located in the historic Ferry Building a short walk from Pier 39. Lively, fun, a place to take the kids. Check out the website for information on the beach picnics at their farm at Point Reyes north of The City.

-The French Laundry. An hour above The City in Yountville, in Napa Valley, is one of the ultimate restaurants in the world. Reservations are required as far as two months in advance. A favorite choice of the Napa Valley honchos and visiting celebrities from around the world. Dinner is served 7 nights a week, lunch on Friday-Sunday. 707-944-2380. Don't miss their website, and especially not this video:

Bon appetit.

© 2008 -Suzanne de Cornelia. All worldwide rights apply. This article may be reprinted on websites as long as the entire article, including website link and resource box below are included and unchanged.

Suzanne de Cornelia is a freelance writer. Her novel, “French Heart" is a wickedly funny romance that takes readers on a heart pounding roller-coaster ride through glamorous settings as a former CIA-agent and her cohorts battle global racketeers to uncover the secret to love, riches and environmental transformation. “French Heart" will be launched in December 2008 along with brand merchandize including “French Heart" private label wine, organic cotton spa-wear, and signature charm bracelets. Please sign up for a one-time book announcement on her site:


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