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Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

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New York City, New...
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Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

Hey all

So we'll be landing in SF the late afternoon of July 3rd. We've got a rental car (heading to LA after a few days in SF) and I've been reading horror stories about parking in SF.

My plan is to head out that evening for dinner, nothing crazy, just a short drive around town and some food.

Can anyone recommend an area to look at? Obviously Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown are too busy & hard to park at, are there some lesser known spots that might be worth investigating?

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

If you have to drive and not use public transit, there is validated parking at some spots around town.

Pier 39 Garage accepts validation from the full service restaurants www.pier39.com/LocateUs/directionsparking.htm (touristy restaurants visitfishermanswharf.com/dining/fullservice.… - Restaurant patrons who dine at one of PIER 39's full-service restaurants receive __one hour free validated parking at lunch__ and __two hours free validated parking after 6 pm for dinner__)

You can dine at R&G Lounge http://www.rnglounge.com/ - after 5pm there is no minimum purchase to receive validated parking for up to two hours at the Portsmouth Square Garage (off of Kearny near Washington) http://www.sfpsg.com/

and at Hunan Homes http://hunanhome.ypguides.net/ Two hours of validated parking at the Hilton Hotel or Portsmouth Square Garage from 5:00pm - 9:00pm when you spend $20.00 or more.

The Golden Gateway Garage is $3 9am-10pm if you receive a validation on parking -- from Chinatown merchants with "Park and Ride" sign in window or from Ferry Building marketplace: make sure your validation stamp states "Park & Ride" or simply PR and a number ex: "PR101". These are the only validations Golden Gateway Garage will accept for the $3 parking and more info here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/golden-gateway-garage-san-francisco?q=parking+validation

Embarcadero Center also has a garage and its few restaurants, stores and movie theatre will validate: http://www.embarcaderocenter.com/ec/

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

If you enjoy wonderful vegetarian cuisine with a view of the Golden Gate, also consider Greens. Its right on the water with plenty of parking. Food is good (even if you're a meat eater usually). If interested, ask for a table by the window.

http://www.greensrestaurant.com/

ObsidianSnow (per usual) also has some wonderful suggestions.

Also, where are you staying? There might be a wonderful place very close by (San Francisco is fairly compact.)

San Francisco
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3. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

<<We've got a rental car (heading to LA after a few days in SF) and I've been reading horror stories about parking in SF.>>

And all the stories are true. Why not change your rental car reservation and pick it up after the few day in SF as you head south?

You will not only save on parking fees but also the cost of the rental itself. Buy a MUNI pass (3 days are $20 now I think) and save a lot of grief.

There are many rental agencies in SF and we frequently hear of no-drop fees for SF->LA.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

With a rental car, you should head up to Twin Peaks to take in a panoramic view of the city. While it's true that parking is horrific in the city, you can usually find something, although it is harder in the touristy parts. My advice would be to pick a restaurant that sounds like it would be to your liking. There are literally so many good places that it's hard for us to determine what would fit your needs without knowing more (likes, dislikes, price point, type of cuisine, etc.). And if you really can't find parking for a restaurant, most will have valet (maybe consider something like Harris' steakhouse or Foreign Cinema - or if you want to go neighbor-hoody, maybe EOS in Cole Valley).

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

Sal,

Seriously, I saved $300 - yes, $300, on taking the car for the whole week!!!! That's seriously the only reason we did it. Since the hotel we're staying at (The Marina Motel) has free parking, we figured why not.

Thanks for your suggestions everyone... keep them coming!

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

I would simply leave my car in its free parking space, find a super place to eat and take a taxi or public transportation there. Taxis are not expensive and San Francisco is very compact.

You would not find me driving around the city and trying to find a restaurant where parking is available, even with valet parking.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

OK, got it. Well, I guess I'd go with sfimporter's idea of looping up to Twin Peaks for the view as it is so much easier to get there with a car.

However, after that, park it and be done with it. From the Marina to the Mission is a long way and driving back after dark will be especially confusing.

I say this all the time here: the city has lots of one-way streets, a lot of streets you are not allowed to turn left from, a lot of hills, many streets which stop because the hill is too steep (two of them are just up from the Marina Motel), pedestrians who think they own the road, bicyclists ... ditto.

And the police are using traffic enforcement as a new revenue stream -- I've seen more people pulled over lately than I have in years.

July 3 is a Saturday. Although it is a holiday weekend and the neighborhoods are a little quieter than usual with folks having left, Chestnut Street will be going great guns. Walk a couple of blocks to Chestnut and Divisadero and head east. There will be dozens of restaurants, bars and wine bars open. Most of the shops will be too.

8. Re: Saturday Night SF drive & dinner

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