RWA San Francisco Google Map

I’m building a Google Map for RWA’s conference in San Francisco, plotting out 3 and 4 star restaurants, coffee shops (required by law for Sarah to be human), pizza joints, liquor stores, and stuff nearest to the hotel.

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Note: I do not know why Google:maps defaults to Whole Earth view, so zoom in. There’s pizza for cheap eating, coffee, and a few nicer restaurants on there. Any additional recommendations, lemme have ‘em!

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  1. 1

    You should get up to North Beach for good Italian…I think the Stinking Rose is in that neighborhood, too.  Great, and cheap, chinese in Chinatown is a must at least one night.

    Is the convention being held downtown?

    It’s too bad you are not going to be in the East Bay because I would have all sorts of good ideas.

  2. 2
    DS says:

    Is Sam Wu’s still around?  That was always an experience.

  3. 3
    Angela James says:

    I noticed the other day on the Marriott site that it shows a Starbucks on the premises. However, I have to say that I stayed in a Washington DC Marriott this weekend that had a Starbucks on site and it closed at 2pm every day, even the weekends. As if some of us don’t want our Starbucks fix after 2pm!

    Great, and cheap, chinese in Chinatown is a must at least one night.

    I would really love to do this, though I’d have no clue where to go. How far is Chinatown from the hotel?

  4. 4
    D. Fox says:

    House of Nanking, on Kearny in Chinatown, is great. It’s the kind of place where you can go with a group and say, “Bring us food for 10,” and they’ll bring out plates of wonderful, delicious food for you to try. Pretty cheap, too.

    Ferry Plaza Seafood, in the back of the Ferry Building, is also excellent. They’re only open until… 3pm or something, but their Crab Louis is delicious, and being able to sit out on the docks while you eat is wonderful.

    Scoma’s is a bit more expensive, but definitely worth it. They’re on Pier 47, on Al Scoma Way, where Jones and Jefferson intersect. It’s easy to miss, because it’s on the docks behind the street and the rest of the buildings. Delicious seafood, order whatever the waiter recommends.

  5. 5
    snoozebar says:

    Oh awesome.  I hope you come after all the smoke’s cleared out.  It’s very hazy right now.  And pack a sweater and pants, the fog comes in COLD in summer.

    As for food recs…haven’t been myself, but I hear the Stinking Rose is awful and touristy. 

    I can recommend several places.  Aziza is Californian-Moroccan, and I had one of the best meals of my life there.  Moroccan food can be awful if not done right, but everything I had was awesome. 

    Limon over in the Mission is Peruvian or Chilean, I forget.  It’s also fantastic.  We went there for our anniversary dinner last year.

    Memphis Minnies is a barbecue place over in the Lower Haight.  The Bay Area has terrible BBQ in general, but even my friend from Texas reluctantly admits MM is “pretty good.”

    Be sure to hit up the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building on a weekday morning/early afternoon.  Besides all the produce, you can get baked goods, local oysters, barbecued beef, and chocolate. Among other things. It’s SF foodies at their finest.

    For other recommendations, try the Chron’s top 100 restaurants:

    If you’re looking for something specific,  want other options, or just like reading people fight, check out the rabidly active SF Bay forum on Chowhound:  I’ve relied on them for recs many times, and they’ve rarely let me wrong.

  6. 6
    snoozebar says:

    Oops, the Ferry Building one should be *weekend*.  Kind of important.

  7. 7
    Ciara says:

    Yay! I’m so excited. It’s coming up sooon! Everyone should go visit 826 Valencia to visit San Francisco’s only independent Pirate Supply store. All proceeds go to the creative and expository writing classes and tutoring for kids ages 6-18. It’s a really great non-profit that writers should support!

  8. 8
    ev says:

    I wish I was going. I love SF. That was where hubby and I took our first vacation together, when we first started dating. I guess you could say I Left My Heart…

  9. 9
    Esri Rose says:

    This is AWESOME! Thank you so much!

  10. 10
    Jora says:

    Ooh!  Ooh! 

    For liquor, I like John Walker (on Sutter Street in the Crocker Galleria). 

    If you want dim sum, Yank Sing ( is close by. 

    It’s a bit of a walk (or a $7 cab ride) from the hotel, but I regularly go to Tres Agaves (  (For Mexican, Maya Restaurant is tasty, but Tres Agaves has a better tequila selection.)

    Bacar ( is really tasty, and the Michael Mina restaurant ( on Union Square is fantastic.

    If you want a quick sandwich at lunch, Specialty’s ( is tasty, and they have fantastic cookies.  There’s also a ‘wichcraft really close to the hotel that’s tasty for lunch.

    (Can you tell I work two blocks away from where the convention will be?)

  11. 11
    Reece says:

    you have to eat at Hang Ah Tearoom. no really, godlike bao. godlike.

    it’s a hole in the wall. make sure you walk into the right place. if the paint colour choices burn your eyes, then you’ve found it.

  12. 12
    Kalen Hughes says:

    House of Nanking, on Kearny in Chinatown, is great. It’s the kind of place where you can go with a group and say, “Bring us food for 10,” and they’ll bring out plates of wonderful, delicious food for you to try. Pretty cheap, too.

    But the owners a total dick (last time I was there I was called “you people” as in “You people always order mushu!”). Never again . . .  Chef Jia’s, which is right next door is WAAAAY better IMO (their onion cake is to die for).

    The closest REAL coffee is Peet’s: 101 2nd Street
    Closest Starbucks’s: 55 4th Street
    Closest amazing salads is Mixt Greens (lunch only): 560 Mission
    Closet fab sandwiches is Specialty’s: 101 New Montgomery

    I work right downtown. Next week I’ll go scope out the blocks surrounding the hotel on foot and I’ll send a full report to Sarah so she can add stuff to the list (today I have a smooze fest with 60 ambassadors who are on a visit to California).

  13. 13
    Juliana says:

    Uncle Vito’s ( for excellent house salad and pasta!  It’s my family’s traditional saturday-afternoon place to go.

    And there’s a place called the Betel Nut (  that opened just as I was moving away that’s a Taipei-style beer hall that my friend from Taipei says is excellent.  Great place to go with a group of friends.

    The Washington Street Bakery is a great Chinese place that has one of those menus that’s 20 pages long and none of the waiters speak English and you can’t get anything American-style.  Their black bean and wide noodle and fish dish is excellent.

    And if you want old-SF, cheesy-as-hell but great piano bar, go to Lefty O’Doul’s.  He was a ballplayer for SF’s Pacific League team, and then opened the bar.  It’s a classic cafeteria during the day.  My grandma used to take me there when I was little, but it is a great piano bar at night.

    You can get pretty much anywhere on the muni in combo with the BART.  Don’t take a taxi anywhere, it’s just a waste of money.  Ask the bellhop at your hotel how to get places on the muni.

  14. 14
    karmelrio says:

    Thanks for the local flava.  Much appreciated. 

    I’ll be hunting some of these places out when I need a break from the chatter and estrogen…and I really hope to meet some of you in person!! 

    Will there be any Smart Bitches gatherings or events?

  15. 15
    PK says:

    Yes please tell us!!!!

    I’ll be so excited to hang with the SBs since i’m part of the virgin *ahem* crowd at RWA this year.

  16. 16
    katiebabs says:

    Great Sarah, you can do all the work for me! ;)
    PK I am a virgin also. heh.

  17. 17
    Lorelie says:

    If you want dim sum, Yank Sing ( is close by.

    I just drooled on my keyboard.  The chinese food here’s buffet.  All buffet. 

    And I know it’s been a while since I haunted SF ::cough::tenyears::cough:: but didn’t the Powell ST. BART station used to have some pretty decent little carts and so forth?

  18. 18
    Strategerie says:

    Okay, I’ll share my favorite with all of you because I like you.

    Dottie’s True Blue. Around the corner from Hotel Monaco. They make the best breakfast EVER. The only problem is that the restaurant has like ten tables.

    I will be there before they open on Wednesday morning, because I have to eat at Dottie’s while I’m in San Fran.


  19. 19
    Lori says:

    I hope this doesn’t come across as insultingly obvious, but as someone who used to live south of SF and visit the City fairly often I feel compelled to point out that it’s best to avoid any place that’s “tourist”.  There are any number of areas in SF that are fun to visit but are not the place to eat.  SF has some fabulous food, both cheap & expensive, but it’s almost all where the locals are.  Fortunately, as someone pointed out, it’s not hard to get around.  The city is surprisingly walkable for being so hilly.

  20. 20
    Jennie says:

    Anyone who does make it down to the Ferry Building should consider The Slanted Door – a great Vietnamese fusion restaurant. They also have a smaller casual place called Out the Door, which is in the food court at Westfield Shopping Center, which you’re going to be about 1/2 a block from (RWA is at the Jukebox Marriott, right?).

    Anyone who likes diner food – there’s a Mel’s kitty-corner from the hotel, in the ground floor of the Yerba Buena parking garage. And while I wouldn’t advise anyone to come to SF and go to a mall, Westfield is a fairly nice shopping experience if you like shopping, and has a decent food court if you just feeling like picking up a bite.

    Chinatown should be walkable (though uphill) from the hotel, if you don’t mind walking a bit and have comfy shoes to wear.

  21. 21
    Robin says:

    Best breakfast in the City, IMO, is Dottie’s True Blue Cafe on Jones.  It’s in the Tenderloin, so don’t expect a luxurious neighborhood or restaurant (it’s also tiny and always has a wicked long line to get in), but OMG the homemade baked goods and pastries, the organic fruit, the incredible blueberry cornmeal pancakes, YUM!

    And Scala’s Bistro is probably still my favorite “when company’s in town” restaurant.  Located in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Powell (very near the lovely, lovely Westin St. Francis), it’s loud and crowded, but they make kickass drinks, serve a great bottle of wine, and the food is consistently fresh and wonderful.  They make an oxtail and pasta dish that I adore, and their house made spinach/ricotta ravioli with both marinara and lemon cream sauce is always fabulous.  I’ve been known to have dinner at Scala’s and then walk to Farallon for an espresso martini and the totally cool desserts they serve, especially the “Small Endings,” a collection of candies and cookies and other treats on tiered plates.

  22. 22
    Robin says:

    Piggybacking on Jennie’s suggestion of The Slanted Door, the Ferry Building itself is incredibly fun to browse if you’re a foodie.  Gourmet food galore, including Frog Hollow Farm, which grow what are probably the best peaches I’ve had in my life.  Plus Scharffen Berger Chocolate and Recchiuti Candy, as well as a great bookstore, Book Passage.

  23. 23
    Silver James says:

    *sniffle* I don’t get to leave my heart in SF this year. But next year, if it’s really in D.C., I’ll be there front and center because I can park the hubby at the Smithsonian. For those who are going, ENJOY! And have a San Francisco Treat for the rest of us, will ya?

  24. 24
    Brandi says:

    I don’t know enough about the restaurants to recommend any, but if you’re just looking for fun you must see the Exploratorium and the Musee Mechanique (warning, second URL has sounds).

  25. 25
    BevQB says:

    Before he got too busy to come out and play, Teddypig started a map of his favorite places in SF.

  26. 26

    Dim sum is a MUST. I love SF. Have been there many times, including a research trip for a series on my own. One of my two adopted cities.

    My word is past34 and SF is hugely a part of my past, including us living there for a year when we were first married, 23 years ago!

  27. 27

    Yes, yes, if there is a SB meet-up let us know.  I would love to come to RWA, but I’ve already got a con in 2 weeks that has sucked up any extra money.  But if there is a dim sum outing or a cocktails event that doesn’t require a registration, I’ll be BARTing from the other “city by the Bay” in a hot second.

    Um, seriously, people…my word below is “research63”.  How does that thing work?!

  28. 28
    Lisa says:

    I LOVE The Stinking Rose around North Beach, and Steps of Rome Trattoria. We go to both almost religiously each time we go to SF. Also, most of the restaurants in China Town are really yummy, though I can’t think of one that stands out. If you just want fresh to-go seafood cocktails, I like to walk down Fisherman’s Wharf and buy things as I go. We’ll usually walk from the Wharf to Ghiradella and finish off our afternoon snack with dessert :)

  29. 29
    piezocuttlefish says:

    Millennium Restaurant is a vegan restaurant that tops every other restaurant of any type at which I’ve eaten, and is just on the fringe of your map’s area.  Make reservations!  Also, don’t neglect to check out the independent glass dildo shop right across the street, Glass Dildo Me.  It has strange hours—Citysearch lists them as Wed-Fri 4-9, Sat 12-9—so plan ahead.

  30. 30
    PK says:

    PK I am a virgin also. heh.

    katiebabs, if the virgins are being rounded up, then I’m willing to follow the herd, lol.  I’ll be at the spillover Marriott since I’m a late bloomer as well as a wallflower or johnetta come lately.  I’m definitely up for an SB hookup.

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