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Trip List by ObsidianSnow

San Francisco 101-the route - where to shop, eat, drink and find quality service

12 Jun 2008  up-and-coming area that tourists are not told about, especially when Union Square is all that they know
4.5 of 5 stars based on 3 votes

Eating and drinking along Polk & Van Ness from Market to Union St.; along HWY. 101

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: San Francisco
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Shopping, Never been before, Repeat visitors, Sports buffs
  • Appeals to: Business travellers , Couples/romantics, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travellers , Tourists, Pet owners
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Tonic (bar) 2360 Polk Street @ Union

  • 2. Greens Sports Bar 2239 Polk St @ Green
    Greens Sports Bar, San Francisco, California

    drink specials on weekdays

  • 3. Shanghai Kelly's (bar) 2064 Polk St @ Broadway

    Drink specials change constantly; themed sports parties; fun decor

  • 4. The Buccaneer (bar) 2155 Polk Street between Broadway and Vallejo Streets

    Dog-friendly dive bar for neighborhood residents. It has a pool table and it has a jukebox.

  • 5. The Bell Tower 1900 Polk St @ Jackson
    The Bell Tower, San Francisco, California

    Local gastro pub, casual atmosphere with Bloody Marys and outdoor tables. http://tinyurl.com/4xae7h

  • 6. The Jug Shop (beverage store) 1590 Pacific Avenue @ Polk

    Family-owned -operated wine, beer, and distilled spirits store; tastings available on a regular basis. Check the calendar. Shipping is available.

  • 7. Square Meals and Batter Bakery 2127 Polk St btwn Broadway & Vallejo Sts (415) 674-1069

    local and organic ingredients; cooked from scratch
    delivery available for a flat rate of $15 for anywhere in San Francisco with a minimum order of $40

  • 8. The Real Food Company 2140 Polk Street @ Broadway/Vallejo

    since 1975, food is from organic, sustainable farms. Discounts to seniors on Tuesdays and beauty discounts on Wednesdays. open 9am-9pm 7 days.

  • 9. Yoppi Frozen Yogurt 2125 Polk St @ Broadway

    Mon-Thu, Sun 11 am - 10 pm
    Fri-Sat 11 am - 11 pm
    Chart on the wall helps pick flavors for the following week -- Vote your favorite flavor
    100% self-serve; create your own unique frozen yogurt by mixing and matching flavors and toppings.

  • 10. Nick's Crispy Taco's 1500 Broadway @ Polk
    Nick's Crispy Taco's, San Francisco, California

    cash only, however if you plan to spend over $10, you can use a card at the bar for the drinks
    11:30am-9:00pm every day; great happy hour options

  • 11. Peter D's 2201 Van Ness @ Broadway
    Peter D's, San Francisco, California

    I've gone for brunch; very friendly, old-school diner. They take cards. There's a long counter for people who dine solo, but also lots of tables for group dining.

  • 12. Crave - 2164 Polk Street @ Vallejo

    open from 7am to 7pm; serves a full breakfast, sandwiches and salads
    Ritual Roasters coffee is brewed in the La Marzocco machine

  • 13. Tai Chi 2031 Polk between Pacific and Broadway
    Tai Chi, San Francisco, California

    Delivery is prompt, food is yummy except the appetizers. Great if you're in a hotel and need some decent Chinese delivery!

  • 14. One Half 1837 Polk Street @ Jackson & Washington

    My favorite find includes a black t-shirt of a Tim Burton character called Oyster Boy that I got for $5. Everything is new, not used. Perfect for gifts for mom and dad. Let's say you are supposed to bring something for a dinner party and you bought it at the store already prepared, there are serving dishes you can buy to put it on and bring it to the party--leave the dish for your host as a souvenir.
    Add yourself to their mailing list for their half-off sales to watch for, so it is "half off" what is already marked "half off" and this is on all books, picture frames, photo albums, candles, cards, clocks, glasses, vases, silverwares, mugs, dishes, mirrors, rugs, table linens, kitcheware, handbags, pillows, baby stuff, toys, baskets, bath items.

  • 15. Cheese Plus corner of Polk and Pacific

    cheese and specialty food store. check the events page frequently. You can find more locally made foods or imported foods here than at Real Foods or Whole Foods, but the prices can be high.

  • 16. Miller's East Coast Deli 1725 Polk @ Washington/Clay

    50-seat dining room. Clean kitchen, high quality food and friendly staff. Everything is East Coast Style; real New York bagels served here. Excellent pastrami, babka and rugelach (when it is available). A recent menu change limits egg dishes too much. Get a potato latke instead of home fries with all the egg dishes. The 3-egg breakfasts offer a choice of either a bagel or toast. The 3-egg omelettes offer a bagel of choice. The breakfast menu shrinks with each change. They have the Belly App so that frequent visits can add up to a free deli platter for 10! It takes 75 visits to reach that milestone. Put your name on the list, but the turnover is quick. You can also share items like the the Miller's Great Big Fish Platter.
    Delivery available through waiter.com or large orders for pick-up can be placed by calling ahead.

  • 17. Amelie (wine bar) 1754 Polk @ Washington

    weekday happy hour; also serves cocktails, beer and food

  • 18. Hahn's Hibachi -Polk St. @ Clay
    Hahn's Hibachi -Polk St., San Francisco, California

    Korean BBQ restaurant hahnshibachi.com

  • 19. QUICKLY 1733 Polk St @ Washington/Clay

    tapioca and milk tea beverages. If it can be fried, then it is served here... if it is a beverage, then it is served here... along with a very broad menu of Asian foods. Everything on the menu is under $8.

  • 20. Bob's Donuts 1621 Polk Street @ Clay/Sacramento

    classic hometown donut shop
    cash only
    uses soy butter for frying donuts

  • 21. Toast Eatery 1601 Polk @ Sacramento
    Toast Eatery, San Francisco, California

    Yummy food; great prices. High-quality on the food, but the atmosphere is similar to a diner.

  • 22. Acquerello 1722 Sacramento Street @ Polk/Van Ness
    Acquerello, San Francisco, California

    fine dining; highly praised; private dining available Tuesday-Saturday


  • 23. Ruth's Chris Steak House - Corner of Van Ness & California St. - end of the California cable car line
    Ruth's Chris Steak House, San Francisco, California

    Delicious and consistent. Desserts from the a la carte selection feed four people. Try a special cocktail or order one of your own classics. This is a place where two people can request a booth on opentable and get the table that they ask for, or even better, one by the window. I love the wait staff. Incredible, perfectly timed service. You don't have to search for them when you need them.

  • 24. Out of the Closet thrift store 1498 Polk St @ California

    owned and operated by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). You just never know what you might find at an Out of the Closet Thrift Store. I bought a piece of the set from the series "Angel" at the one in Duboce Triangle. This one on Polk Street always has interesting items for sale.

  • 25. Swan Oyster Depot 1517 Polk @ California/Sacramento
    Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, California

    no credit cards or debit cards accepted; prepare to wait in line or try to avoid mealtimes to make the wait less painful

  • 26. Nara Sushi on Polk & California
    Nara Sushi, San Francisco, California

    specials every day
    late-nite dining

  • 27. Nob Hill Hardware 1414 California St. @ Hyde St. (415) 931-8160

    Humble and helpful store personnel; drop off your recyclables such as lightbulbs and batteries here.
    Delivery available; call to inquire.

  • 28. Encore Karaoke 1550 California @ Polk

    happy hour 3-7pm
    Pool table, video games, and satellite music
    Karaoke nightly 8pm-2am
    Weekends - Karaoke starts at 4pm

  • 29. Cordon BLEU Vietnamese Restaurant 1574 California St @ Polk
    Cordon BLEU Vietnamese Restaurant, San Francisco, California

    cash only; average bill is $15-17; quick, efficient and friendly; generous portions

  • 30. Nob Hill Grille Restaurant 969 Hyde St.
    Nob Hill Grille Restaurant, San Francisco, California

    recent Chronicle article praises its brunch and neighborhood vibe

  • 31. New India Bazar Indian Grocery Store 1107 Polk st. @ Post St.

    Indian groceries you can't find anywhere else and the spices are fairly cheap, from a dollar to 3 dollars for a bag. Daily made fresh samosas sold for $1.50 each. Bollywood DVD rentals for $3 a day. I asked and their home delivery is available with a $50 minimum. Students receive a 5% discount when you present a valid student ID.

    Word of warning, check your receipts and inspect your packages for "use by" dates before purchasing. It is a small store so don't expect a Namaste Plaza (namasteplaza.net)

  • 32. the Lush Lounge on Polk/Sutter & Bush St.

    Cash-only bar; ATM on premises. It's a mixed crowd so anything goes; it has old movies playing on televisions and great signs from the old days like sayings by Dorothy Parker; best cocktails and frozen beverages. Great place to visit during a night of bar hopping on Polk Street.

  • 33. Golden Veggie Market 1475 Polk St. & California St. (415) 771-9099

    Friendly personnel. Clean and well-stocked. Excellent prices on vegetables and fruit; eggs and other dairy. The packaged garlic is from China, but the loose, purple garlic is from Gilroy. Bulk bin items available.
    Open 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. every day, except on major holidays

  • 34. Playland (formerly Kimo's) 1351 Polk @ Pine (415) 440-7529

    open 4pm-2am
    live, acoustic and DJ's

  • 35. Grubstake 1525 Pine St @ Polk
    The Grubstake, San Francisco, California

    The Grubstake was on Diners, Drive-ins, Dives (Food Network); owner run and open late, not just the average greasy spoon, it serves Portuguese food, too. Much better than any chain establishment and open very late.

  • 36. Polk Street Produce 1334 Polk St (between Austin St & Pine St)

    fresh produce, fresh farm eggs, tofu, cheese, beverages, dry goods, and it is run by helpful, friendly staff. 50 cent surcharge for credit/debit cards.

  • 37. Rte. 101 Bar 1332 Van Ness Avenue @ Sutter/Bush

    Cash-only. 2 Pool tables, couches, sports on TV, juke box, and friendly bartenders.

  • 38. Baker and Banker 1701 Octavia @ Bush (3 blocks west of Van Ness HWY 101)

  • 39. Ah Lin on 1634 Bush @ Franklin

    Chinese Mandarin food; easy to have a conversation, clean atmosphere, friendly people, and doesn't use MSG.

  • 40. Quetzal Internet Cafe 1234 Polk St @ Bush & Sutter
    Quetzal Internet Cafe, San Francisco, California

    really nice staff; good food; great drinks and free wi-fi with a purchase. frequent buyer program is a plus. computers available.

  • 41. Whole Foods Market on Franklin & California St (1 block west of HWY101 / Van Ness)

    Excellent prepared foods area and bakery; look for 365 branded items for competitive prices. Cafe downstairs. There's a microwave in the cafe to heat up food bought upstairs. Look for mislabeled items in the prepared food section and you might be lucky enough to save a couple of bucks. CHECK YOUR RECEIPT because you can be overcharged for mispriced items where the shelf price hasn't been updated. They have to refund you if you show them the error and you are correct. Please use tongs and scoops in the self-serve areas and no sampling out of the bins. They also have secret shoppers for security reasons. I've asked them to help me reach stuff from their 6' high shelves.

  • 42. The Pour House 1327 Polk St @ Austin & Bush St.

    Beer and wine bar; tasting calendar includes a night called New Beginnings (Tastings for Singles); open mic night, local art, live music

  • 43. Aicha (1303 Polk @ Bush)

    Moroccan cuisine
    open for lunch and dinner
    Excellent ingredients, very affordable.
    4 Course menu: Soup + Entree + Appetizer + Dessert For $23
    definitely best Moroccan flan (w/almonds) you'll find in the west

  • 44. Leland Tea Company 1416 Bush @ Polk
    Leland Tea Company, San Francisco, California

    formal tea service or casual tea to go

  • 45. McTeague's at 1237 Polk & Bush

    a very large space with a very long happy hour; good place to catch the games and they'll open early in football season

  • 46. The Regency Ballroom on Sutter & Van Ness

    Large, concert venue; private event location. Run by Goldenvoice. Excellent sound in the balcony. Expensive drinks, but there's a downstairs restaurant with food for under $10. Better to go to nearby wait service restaurants if you are going to enjoy a meal, though.

  • 47. Kyoto Sushi on 1233 Van Ness @ Sutter (415) 351-1234
    Kyoto Sushi, San Francisco, California

    kyotosushi-sf.com They compete with Sudachi, but I like this place for the 99c Sapporo and that they give you salad, miso soup and edamame for free while you wait for your order to be prepared. Friendly waiters; TV over the sushi bar. Weekends are not very crowded. Bigger portions than what you get in Japantown. They have a late night menu, but call before you go in case they close early. Perfect place to go before an event at Regency Ballroom or before a movie. Sit at the sushi bar. They have all the fish on display and will tell you what's good today.

  • 48. Sudachi Sushi and Korean BBQ 1217 Sutter St. @ Polk
    Sudachi, San Francisco, California

    Delivery is offered, but it is faster to order and pick-up if you choose not to dine-in. Hit the place at happy hour; different specials each day of the week.
    Big screen TV at the sushi bar for watching the popular sports.

  • 49. Hemlock Tavern on Polk between Sutter & Post

    Happy Hours
    a cover charge only for music in back room

  • 50. Saha in the Hotel Carlton
    Saha, San Francisco, California

    Great for sharing small plates and good fixed price 3-course dinner options; plus brunch!

  • 51. Fly Bar (1085 Sutter St. @ Larkin)

    great happy hour specials every day; signature drinks

  • 52. Yamasho 1161 Post @ Van Ness Ave. (415) 346-2222

    Sushi and private karaoke; 5pm until 2am nightly, with sake, beer, and wine on offer

  • 53. Tommy's Joynt corner of Geary & Van Ness
    Tommy's Joynt, San Francisco, California

    It's where Metallica has auditioned new band members. Full bar is available and at reasonable prices. Not much for vegetarians, unfortunately. Open every day of the week - every day of the year - except Christmas.

  • 54. A La Turca 896 Geary @ Larkin/Hyde (415) 345-1011
    A La Turca, San Francisco, California

    Clean restaurant with a great, affordable menu; very authentic cuisine. Has Turkish music videos on the TV screen. The exterior is not a good representation of the great quality food. Serves Turkish alcoholic beverages. www.alaturcasf.com

  • 55. Edinburgh Castle 950 GEARY ST @ Polk
    Edinburgh Castle, San Francisco, California

    fish and chips served til 11pm
    Upstairs "attic" is for bands.

  • 56. Thai Stick 4.0 Restaurant 925 O'Farrell Street @ Van Ness/Polk

    Clean restaurant, friendly staff; will even give you water while you wait for your takeout order. Not a fancy place, but the food is very tasty. Don't like the beer posters hanging around and the interior is a bit dated, like a mall restaurant looks.

    Shabu Shabu is available upon request and very popular on Sundays. The Thai Spicy heat is incredible so be prepared. Daily specials and a big screen TV. Perfect before or after a movie or before a concert at the Great American Music Hall just a few steps down the street. And it is open late.

  • 57. Books, Inc. 601 Van Ness

    Excellent book store with frequent events and a Peet's Coffee next door! Open late, too.

  • 58. Straw 203 Octavia Boulevard at Page
    Straw, San Francisco, California

    If you love to indulge in yumminess, head over to strawsf.com and read the menu of loveliness. They even have menus for Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free diners. Brunch is my favorite.
    now with delivery!

  • 59. Jardiniere on Franklin & Grove St. (1 block west of Van Ness)
    Jardiniere, San Francisco, California

    French-California cuisine; recipient of James Beard Award; it has been in business since 1997; popular with the city gov't, symphony and opera crowds. Reserve your table ahead of time.

  • 60. Zuni Cafe 1658 Market Street (between Franklin and Gough)
    Zuni Cafe, San Francisco, California

    James Beard Award winning restaurant

  • 61. Comfort Inn By the Bay
    Comfort Inn by the Bay, San Francisco, California

    Free continental breakfast

  • 62. Pacific Heights Inn
    Pacific Heights Inn, San Francisco, California

  • 63. Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway
    Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, San Francisco, California

    includes Health & Fitness Center (On-site)

    6th floor outdoor heated pool and sundeck with panoramic views.

  • 64. Hotel Majestic
    Hotel Majestic, San Francisco, California

    Comfortable, affordable and easy to walk to Fillmore/Japantown districts in addition to the Civic Center.

  • 65. The Queen Anne Hotel
    Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco, California

  • 66. Nob Hill Hotel
    Nob Hill Hotel, San Francisco, California

    European boutique hotel
    complimentary continental breakfast; evening wine tasting
    Rooms also include, microwaves, mini refrigerators.

  • 67. Nob Hill Motor Inn
    Nob Hill Motor Inn, San Francisco, California

    offers 5 deluxe rooms types:
    1 Double Bed
    1 King Bed
    2 Queen Beds
    Junior Suite
    Family Suite (2-room layout)

    100% non-smoking rooms are newly renovated and appointed with convenient amenities such as mini-refrigerator and microwave, cable TV with HBO, and complimentary in-room coffee

  • 68. Hotel Carlton San Francisco
    Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, San Francisco, California

    one of the few hotels to be equipped with solar panels
    Nightly complimentary wine reception
    Complimentary town car service
    Operable windows in the room
    Ceiling fan in all rooms

  • 69. Monarch Hotel on Geary & Van Ness
    Monarch Hotel, San Francisco, California

    check website: themonarchhotel.com/ - they have specials

  • 70. Hayes Valley Inn on Hayes & Gough Streets
    Hayes Valley Inn, San Francisco, California

    European-style non-smoking hotel rooms; common baths in the hall. Each room is equipped with a telephone and cable television.