Restaurants

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of San Francisco restaurants.

Mix Editors' Restaurant Picks

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Oyster Heaven
Swan Oyster Depot at 1517 Polk, near California, is my favorite seafood dive. It's tiny, has only counter seating and there's always a line, but it's worth the wait. They have cold beer and the seafood is always fresh. There is a wide array of oysters to pick from, as well as seafood salads, fantastic chowder and other assorted goodies. Double up on your Lipitor and enjoy yourself! It doesn't get much better than this. —Kevin Becka

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Lose the Frappuccino
Usually when I see a bunch of people skulking around in an alley, I head the other way, but in this case, I know they’re all just harmless coffee freaks like me. There’s always a line outside the tiny Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk in Hayes Valley, and for good reason: The Oakland-based company takes “microroasting” to the extreme, offering various brews (including) espresso lovingly crafted with organic beans locally roasted that same morning and ground to order. Try any blend, I guarantee you’ll want to lick the cup. Visit the Hayes Valley location (look for the stand built from salvaged materials) or stop by the Blue Bottle cart at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. —Sarah Jones

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Red's Java House
Possibly the greasiest (and cheapest) hamburger you'll ever eat, but it's FABULOUS! Make sure you eat outside. Pier 30; they don't accept credit cards, so put your AMEX away. —Sarah Benzuly

CLOSE TO MOSCONE

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Big, Huge Pasta
Yeah, it’s a chain. Yeah, the food is only ok. But where else (at least in this town) can you feed a dozen people for chump change, with meatballs the size of your head? Buca di Beppo, that kitshy “Italian” restaurant famous for its gigantic portions, friendly service and crazy décor. There’s one right down the block from Moscone, making it a convenient pit stop if you’re looking for a fun place to fill up a hungry crowd. The restaurant can have hours-long waits during trade shows, so it’s best to book ahead—ask for the Pope room. 855 Howard Street—Sarah Jones

CLOSE TO MOSCONE

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Lunch With Warhol
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (www.sfmoma.org), with its sleek, imposing brick façade and cylindrical tower looming over Moscone, houses not only a full scope of world-class contemporary art, but a hip, classy café offering surprisingly good eclectic fare. Caffe Museo is located adjacent to the main museum entrance on Third Street, making it a convenient stop for a quick bite to eat—no admission ticket required. They’ll even make you a take-out box if you give them 48 hours’ warning—but then you wouldn’t be tempted to bail on booth duty and take in an exhibit, or two, or three…—Sarah Jones

A Taste of France in Hayes Valley
Two favorite spots in my ‘hood, Hayes Valley, bring a touch of chic Paris to a gastronomically decadent night in SF. First, visit Hotel Biron, located down an alley called Rose, near the corner of Market and Page (near Zuni Café). The tiny, bistro-style bar offers an extensive wine list, mostly French and Californian, with many rare varieties. Sample imported cheeses, olives or truffles if you wish, and be sure to study the local art before you go.—Heather Johnson
After savoring that hearty Bordeaux, go about four blocks to the corner of Gough and Hayes for dinner at Absinthe, an upscale, yet unpretentious brasserie serving classic French fare with a Left Coast twist, and an impressive list of wine and vintage cocktails. Sorry, no absinthe. 415/551-1590.—Heather Johnson

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Zeitgeist Tamale Lady!
Okay, I already used Zeitgeist as my entertainment pick, but if you're looking for a midnight tamale that is killer, head over to Zeitgeist (199 Valencia St.) for a well-deserved tasty treat! Look for the lady rolling the happy food cart -- though you might be waiting a while. While waiting, enjoy the atmosphere and grab yourself a cool beer!—Sarah Benzuly

Magnolia Pub and Brewery
The Haight-Ashbury's only brewpub combines good beer, fresh food, and friendly service in a comfortable pub setting. Located at the bustling intersection of Haight and Masonic, Magnolia is a refuge from the pace of urban living; a place to relax among friends. The pub fosters the tradition of classic English and European ale houses and the best of San Francisco's unique style. Magnolia Pub & Brewery is open from Noon until Midnight Monday through Thursday, Noon until 1 AM Friday, 10 AM until 1 AM Saturday and 10 AM until Midnight on Sundays. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 AM to 2:30 PM, we feature our special brunch menu which has become a Haight Street favorite. Stout for breakfast—who knew? Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Chef Kevin Clancy's unique, farm fresh twists on brewpub cuisine are sure to delight. Owner Dave McLean is an old friend of the Mix family, do stop by and say hello, tell him your friends at Mix sent you! 1398 Haight St., 415/864-PINT, www.magnoliapub.com. —Christen Pocock

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Do Fries Come With That Freakshow?
If you’ve got money to burn and open-minded dining companions, check out Supperclub, the latest incarnation of the Amsterdam-based nightspot that’s expanded across the globe. Enjoy a five-course prix-fixe in one of the dozens of huge, luxurious beds while being entertained by the contortionists, acrobats and other performers onstage, all in a pure white 11,000-square-foot bi-level converted warehouse space that looks like an updated Clockwork Orange set. But this ain’t no family-friendly Cirque du Soleil, so save your power dinners for a steakhouse —Sarah Jones