Carmel Is Carmel -- and Pebble Beach Is Steps Away
Memorial Day Railroad Days in San Francisco

Hot, Affordable San Francisco Dining

For San Francisco dining, add these to your palate/palette of the best but exceptional and affordable restaurants. Let's face it, the embarrassment of riches in San Francisco makes it easy to settle for less. Here are some of our recent top pix where from an insider's view you'll do far better than the ordinary:

  • Pesce. This seafood/tapas restaurant in super-casual Russian Hill is no secret -- in fact there were lines at its opening. But it's not what you think -- small, local, no frills -- and extraordinary quality. Park within a few blocks on the street or in neighborhood garages. We savored: linguine (not your usual), paparadelle, capesante, zucca, pecoroino tosca. Dig into the menu and find out the details! They're partners with Piqueo's if you're in that part of town amd  La Costanera in Half Moon Bay. Peruvian cuisine rocks for classicism, sophistication and flavor.
  • Mohica. South of Market, super-hip but "downtown" Peruvian fusion. Don't be deterred by the neighborhood (a bit industrial) nor the misunderstood Yelp comments -- just do it!
  • Ferry Building. This is a dilemma but a fortunate one. Chefs from local eateries shop at the Ferry Building Farmers Market Tuesdays and Saturdays. Or make it easy if you're visiting and peruse the shops and eateries inside.
  • Here's the list of Ferry Building restaurants and food boutiques, but my favorites are: The Slanted Door (major),Cowgirl Creamery (for cheese from West Marin a la a marketplace in France), Hog Island Oyster Co. (also a la West Marin near the ocean,where they're grown onsite and everyone orders for haute parties), McEvoy Olive Oil (you can't live on this stuff but you can buy for guilty pleasures),and Scharffenberger Chocolates -- you gotta have it for late-night experiences and gifts. They love this on the East Coast.