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  1. #26
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    I actually love going to Alcatraz. The tour is fun, you can buy drinks on the boat and the views are sick. We also drag most visitors up to Coit Tower, Twin Peaks and up around the headlands to look back at the City. You can do all of this in one night. Our family rule is no park after dark. Not in a car, not on foot, bike, Nada. Also, avoid 6th St from Market and East four blocks.

    Barbary Coast is a pretty sweet dispensary, and has a huge lounge to enjoy your goodies. Grass Roots is my go to, and It's a ton of fun to go to the Wharf, watch the seals bark while your'e stoned and trek around the Embarcadero late at night. If you go to Fairmont, grab a scorpion bowl at the Tonga Room, then walk out in the garden in back and enjoy more goodies. Redford has a $50 Moscow Mule that's 96oz. Good deal for happy hour. Also, Fieldwork in Berkeley is pretty great,

    If I had to put together a hit list for food, in no order whatsoever:

    Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Ramen Shop is also really good.
    DTF in Santa Clara since you're down there. Reasonable and classy Chinese soup dumplings.
    Sol Food in Mill Valley on your trip to North Bay(My favorite restaurant in the entire Bay Area - Mill Valley is not as busy as San Rafael)
    Taqueria Rincon Alteno in Sac is always worth the detour. Best taqueria I've ever been to.
    El Grullense is all over the Peninsula. Solid greasy Mexican.
    La Victoria in SJ has a really great pink lard sauce. I could chop it into a rail and snort it.
    We prefer El Farolito in the City.
    Kelly's French Bakery in Santa Cruz, Mr Holmes in SF, or Tartine Bakery.
    I don't prefer chains, but Left Bank is pretty fun for French lunch.
    We had the tasting menu at Morimoto, and it was fucking amazing. It's in Napa, though.

    If you want to really blow it out for a meal, or if you want something specific, let me know.

    Last word on BART/Muni/going to the City. Last CalTrain leaves the City at 12:01. Miss that, and get ready to be screwed. If you do miss it, consider a hotel. A reasonable tactic is to drive to Outer Sunset, park near the beach, MIND the street cleaning signs, then take the N or the T downtown. Most of the restaurants that are hot are fairly easy to get into at 2100-2130. Sometimes you can even get a tasting menu from the bar with no res. I did Michael Minna that way a few months back, but don't expect to do a 14 course tasting menu at 2100 and make a 1201 train.

    PS: There's no reason to spend your trip in traffic. Don't be driving during peak times, don't give yourself two hours to from SJ to Sac at 7am. Go up the night before or leave at 4am. We've been going to a pizza spot for dinner in East Bay for almost 3 years. You go over the bridge just before 5, hang out for three hours and drive back without traffic.
    Last edited by BS720; 03-19-2019 at 02:56 AM. Reason: Traffic
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  2. #27
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    Wow! Looks like y'all have armed me with a wealth of info. Can always count on you goons for the inside scoop no matter where on this planet I go. Haha. Most excellent write-up bs720. Thanks for putting that together

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using TGR Forums mobile app

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post

    We prefer El Farolito in the City..

    I was always preferential to Taqueria Cancun myself...better salsa, imho.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    I actually love going to Alcatraz. The tour is fun, you can buy drinks on the boat and the views are sick.
    Came here to say Alcatraz.
    Really enjoyed our meal at Fior De Italia (oldest italian restaurant in the US i think).

    Play the 9 hole course at Pebble Beach. It was like $30 for unlimited play when I was there. Rent their clubs (bag, putter, 9, & wedge is all you'll get/need). Most immaculate course I have ever played on.

    Stop in to Russian River Brewery if you get up to Santa Rosa.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skidog View Post
    Pics including altimeter reading or it didnt happen.

  5. #30
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    Austin better have a prolific trip report featuring some of this info!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by neufox47 View Post
    What DJsap said, you arenít going to have time to do anything but sit in traffic. Looks for things close by where you are or are waiting for traffic to die down. A drive from SJ to Sac and back may very well take you 6-9 hours.
    Youch. Hoping to avoid the heaviest stuff by arranging meetings in between rush hours or late evenings if possible. Then head back at night. Mornings should be free to tool around. No set itinerary so we'll see how things go!

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using TGR Forums mobile app

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    Austin better have a prolific trip report featuring some of this info!
    That's for sure! Zero excuses if I don't do this right. Haha.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using TGR Forums mobile app

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorboy View Post
    Stop in to Russian River Brewery if you get up to Santa Rosa.
    Skip the old spot in Santa Rosa go to their new main facility in Windsor.

  9. #34
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    Aug 2013
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    Seems like bs720 and I have pretty similar taste:

    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    I actually love going to Alcatraz. The tour is fun, you can buy drinks on the boat and the views are sick. We also drag most visitors up to Coit Tower, Twin Peaks and up around the headlands to look back at the City. You can do all of this in one night. Our family rule is no park after dark. Not in a car, not on foot, bike, Nada. Also, avoid 6th St from Market and East four blocks.
    These are all touristy things that are all very worth doing (unlike say, fishermanís wharf/ghirardelli square). Iíd add that biking JFK in golden gate park is fun, especially on Sunday afternoons when they close it to traffic. You can also hit the de young and academy if sciences along the way if so inclined. Thursday nights at the Academy of Sciences can be fun. Live music, drinks and such.

    BS, you donít drive MLK through the park to go north at night? I feel like thatís an essential route but maybe since you live right on the beach itís less necessary.

    Barbary Coast is a pretty sweet dispensary, and has a huge lounge to enjoy your goodies. Grass Roots is my go to, and It's a ton of fun to go to the Wharf, watch the seals bark while your'e stoned and trek around the Embarcadero late at night. If you go to Fairmont, grab a scorpion bowl at the Tonga Room, then walk out in the garden in back and enjoy more goodies. Redford has a $50 Moscow Mule that's 96oz. Good deal for happy hour. Also, Fieldwork in Berkeley is pretty great,
    Tonga Room is super rad if you have any interest at all in mid-century tiki culture at all. Too bad they donít take their drinks seriously, but if they did it would turn into something else I guess. Top of the Mark around the corner is a little corny in a different way, but can be fun with nice views.

    If I had to put together a hit list for food, in no order whatsoever:

    Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Ramen Shop is also really good.
    DTF in Santa Clara since you're down there. Reasonable and classy Chinese soup dumplings.
    Sol Food in Mill Valley on your trip to North Bay(My favorite restaurant in the entire Bay Area - Mill Valley is not as busy as San Rafael)
    Chez Panisse is still worth the trip, donít listen to the new chron critic. Overall I prefer going to the upstairs cafe more than the more formal restaurant downstairs. I think they still do a weeknight $25 steak and glass of wine special after 9?

    Ramen shop (chez panisse alums) is my favorite restaurant in the Bay Area fwiw. Doesnít mean everyone will love it but for me it hits the sweet spot of great food I can eat over and over, good cocktails, sweet wine list, good service, affordable enough, etc. If you want to blow a lot of money on rare whiskeys that is a very good place to do it as well. Ramen shop is near the comic book shops dooks mentioned btw.

    Iíve never been to the Bay Area location, but yeah, din tai fung is the shit. I think the lines are still insane though, so beware.

    I work near sol food sometimes and have eaten there possibly hundreds of times over the years. Super good roast chicken. For Marin Iíd add Fish in Sausalito; itís a place you can eat on the water thatís actually crazy good and not overpriced. They get much/most of their seafood from local boats and list which particular one each dish comes from.

    I think the best way to eat dungeness in SF is to go to Thanh Long in the outer sunset and get roast crab and garlic noodles. They also own Crustacean which is a more convenient location probably. Thatís an easy rec because itís awesome and uniquely SF, although I guess the family has now opened spots in LA and Vegas.

    Tartine Bakery.
    Hell yes, Iíve yet to have better bread anywhere. Tartine Manufactory has less of a line if you just want to buy bread/pastries or want a proper meal. Pastries are also elite level. Neighbor bakery in dogpatch and b patisserie are also stupid good for pastries.
    PS: There's no reason to spend your trip in traffic. Don't be driving during peak times, don't give yourself two hours to from SJ to Sac at 7am. Go up the night before or leave at 4am. We've been going to a pizza spot for dinner in East Bay for almost 3 years. You go over the bridge just before 5, hang out for three hours and drive back without traffic.
    Yeah, pretty much expect slow traffic on 280, 101, 80 and 580 any time except for very early morning (before 6, maybe 7) post morning rush/pre-lunch and after 8pm. Iím surprised bs hasnít hit traffic on the bay bridge before 5pm. In my experience it usually sucks anytime after noon and just gets worse. Traffic is worst on and anywhere around any bridge basically.

    Keep in mind too that people are down to wait in long lines for things here, so pretty much bank on that.

  10. #35
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    Jan 2008
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    Standard tourist stuff is worth it. Walk across the GG bridge (can be faster than driving). Take Red and White cruise around the bay (there's also a sailing catamaran cruise). I like the arboretum in GG Park, and the Japanese Tea Garden--and have the tea and cookies--very relaxing. Ocean Beach, or if you don't mind a busy drive--Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach. You'll notice that all of the things I mention are relaxing and calming, which you will need after dealing with traffic. If you like art museums the DeYoung and the Legion of Honor are both good, if you like plants the GG Park conservatory. If you like natural history the museum in GG Park.

    There's nothing in Sacramento worth coming early or staying after for, but if you're stuck there between meetings the Capitol and Capitol grounds are nice and the train museum if you're into that kind of thing. Old Sacramento if you're into T shirts.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    I was always preferential to Taqueria Cancun myself...better salsa, imho.
    I ended so many drunken nights at Cancun back in the day! Tuesday nights at the makeout room followed by super carnitas burritos at Cancun was almost a weekly ritual.

  12. #37
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    Bay Area Intel for Tourons

    Ya , getting onto/bridge traffic is basically 1-7pm these days

    And a new tartine is opening on 9th between Irving and the park soon for your bakery lurkers

  13. #38
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    Dooks, you donít like cellarmaker? I donít nerd out on beer like I used to but I still think itís my favorite local stuff. Probably better to direct people to temescal though, since the beerís almost as good, itís usually warm enough to sit outside, and you are much less likely to feel suffocated by annoying tech people.

    Speaking of drinking outside, a quintessential SF experience is to grab something good at birite on a warm afternoon and sit in Dolores park people-watching while drinking/smoking. We just had our first warm spell of the year and more will be coming soon.

    I still love this city despite the incredible amounts of bullshit you have to put up with living here.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    I ended so many drunken nights at Cancun back in the day!
    Same. Always a soft spot in my heart for that place. We'd frequently grab a bite there and catch the last Bart train back to Rockridge / Berkeley.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    Ya , getting onto/bridge traffic is basically 1-7pm these days

    And a new tartine is opening on 9th between Irving and the park soon for your bakery lurkers
    Ok, fine, dick. You had to tell me. Just don't tell my wife. She didn't know croissants before Tartine.

    MLK??? Hell no!!! My Uber rides take 7-10 minutes longer when the drivers dip into the park. To get to the bridge, I go up Great Highway to Heart, turn on 33rd and go through Lincoln Park and follow the ocean. To work, I go Lincoln or Fulton.

    Oh, I forgot to mention Ice Cream Bar. Try the Morello Cherry and creme Fraiche. Never had better ice cream anywhere.

  16. #41
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    Bay Area Intel for Tourons

    LOL

    Don't understand the MLK thing at all. It runs east-west and is always slower than Lincoln Blvd.

    Ice Cream Bar is very popular but I find it over priced

  17. #42
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    Feb 2008
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    Driving to/from Fresno? Detour through Yosemite. Adds 2-3 hours of driving but worth it even if you can only stay for a little while.

    I'd steer clear of SF but I'm jaded. The coast is nice both north and south of the city.

    If you want a true Bay Area experience, rent a Tesla and then get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on 101 or 880.

  18. #43
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    So much good info in this thread. Wish I had this when I still lived in the area.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    Dooks, you donít like cellarmaker? I donít nerd out on beer like I used to but I still think itís my favorite local stuff. Probably better to direct people to temescal though, since the beerís almost as good, itís usually warm enough to sit outside, and you are much less likely to feel suffocated by annoying tech people...
    Must admit that I am not familiar with/never heard of Cellarmaker.

    I lived in the City from 1999 - 2012 and am thankful that I left once it started to get douchey with annoying tech people and prices started to soar (sorry if I offend any of you newbie SFers posting here... ). When I left I was paying $1800 for a 4-bedroom flat in Duboce Triangle with 2 roomates (so $600 each). And the traffic was half as crazy as it is now. I rarely trip into SF on visits anymore.

    When I get down that way these days I primarily stay on the East Side (Berkeley and Oakland).
    On the brewery front I've hit Ghost Town in downtown O and it was decent. Also hit Original Pattern, which has a really great brewery/taproom down near Jack London Square, but I found their beers at the time to be kinda lacking.
    Both Temescal and Novel have been brewing/releasting solid beers each time I've visited.

    The Oakland Ale Trail is something on my hit-list:
    https://www.visitoakland.com/restaur...and-ale-trail/

    Zachary's Pizza on College on the Oakland/Berkeley border is pretty damn bueno. The crushed tomato and spinach pie is the one to order.
    Also The Cheese Board, which is right across the street from the oft-mentioned Chez Panisse (but expect serious lines). I, personally, would opt for Arizmendi instead.
    Vik's Chaat and Market is pretty solid on the Indian food tip, but again can be a cluster of hipsters and whatnot. I also dig Picante.
    And Fieldwork Brewery is THE BOMB. Lottsa outdoor seating and plenty of tasty hazes.

    Two of my all-time favorite dive bars are in Oakland: The Alley on Grand Ave. and Cafe VanKleef down on Telegraph. I have not been to The Alley since Rod Dibble (their piano man) passed away, so it might have lost some of it's charm.

    And on the comic book nerd tip (I already mentioned The Escapist and Dark Carnival), but Cap & Cowl in downtown Oakland is a clean, well-organized shop that I often hit up.


    If you're gonna head north (Santa Rosa area) I would recommend Hen House Brewing. While I have yet to visit their brewery, their beers are solid. Also Ernie's Tin Bar in Petaluma (my buddy's sister owns the place).

    If you dig The Dead, Terrapin Crossroads is a cool spot in San Rafael. Good food, fairly decent beer list, usually live music, and a great outdoor patio. Also in downtown San Rafael is The State Room. The "Franlin's Tower" IPA is mad tasty. (For the record, I am not a DeadHead, but both of these spots are good).
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  20. #45
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    Oh, the city was plenty douchey well before 2012...

  21. #46
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    Came here to say Zacharyís and Cheeseboard for East Bay pizza.

    Go early for Cheeseboard, as they sell out quickly sometimes. I think they open at 11?

    Zacharyís is some of the closest to Chicago pizza youíll get this side of the Rockies. +1 on the spinach. I usually go to the one on Solano, not the one near the university.

    Fatapples for a solid breakfast/hangover brunch.

    I like Ajanta for Indian.

    Disclaimer: I donít/have never lived in SF, but I visit my sister a few times a year for the last decade.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    Came here to say Zachary’s and Cheeseboard for East Bay pizza.

    Go early for Cheeseboard, as they sell out quickly sometimes. I think they open at 11?

    Zachary’s is some of the closest to Chicago pizza you’ll get this side of the Rockies. +1 on the spinach. I usually go to the one on Solano, not the one near the university.

    Fatapples for a solid breakfast/hangover brunch.

    I like Ajanta for Indian.

    Disclaimer: I don’t/have never lived in SF, but I visit my sister a few times a year for the last decade.
    I have eaten Chicago-styled deep dish in Chicago at Lou Malnati's and I didn't like it: too greezy, they used cheddar cheese, and it was doughy. I much prefer Zachary's West Coast interpretation. Then again all my East Coast (NY, Conn, NJ, PA) folks think my taste in 'zza is wack.



    Ajanta is no joke. Solid. Heck, Solano Avenue is frickin' cool just to stroll (Pegasus Books, Schmidt's Pub, etc.). There was a sweet story in the SF Chronicle about Nepalese food recently and they name-dropped a spot on Solano.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyk View Post
    So much good info in this thread.
    For real!!! I asketh and teh TGRs provideth. Solid, solid stuff, folks. The only trouble now is that there's way too much awesome stuff to check out! With the overflowing wealth of information you guys have hooked me up with in this thread, I might have to make a pleasure trip out here someday just to do a food tour alone!!!

    Gonna throw a bit of a curveball now. I got bogged down with work in San Jose all day with one last meeting to go. Dinner meeting with an associate so it's all good. So now I shall task the collective with "What's for dinner?!" I'm pretty much by downtown/airport area. I'm not a tech baller, so no Morton's or anything $$$ for me tonight since I can't expense meals like the big boys get to. Haha.

  24. #49
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    Bay Area Intel for Tourons

    Supermoon - great call with fat apples. That used to be a seriously local go-to spot when I was going to school in Berkeley but havenít been in several years.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    I'm not a tech baller, so no Morton's or anything $$$ for me tonight since I can't expense meals like the big boys get to. Haha.
    I've actually been deriving great humor from a number of the dining suggestions on this thread as the recommendations come off like most of the folks posting here are recent immigrants to SF/Bay Area and they must be $$$$ making tech fools (they're suggesting Michael Mina and Chez Panisse) and not actual locals.

    In this regard, I'm actually surprised that nobody told you to hit up The French Laundry!

    Honestly, quite a few of the spots that have been suggested are super hipster spots. For example, Bi Rite is mad trendy. OG SFers will go to Mitchell's for ice cream.


    But in regards to what you should eat tonight and not having a business expense budget?
    Del Taco Austin, Del Taco!
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

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