A recent thread on Chowhound has been debating the most “chowish” neighborhoods in San Francisco. The original poster writes, “In an ideal world, I would eat chinese, japanese, mexican, lebanese and vietnamese in a steady rotation … where to start my search?” The broad question has now spurred over 50 responses, so here’s a quick breakdown of the suggested destinations, with some MenuPages input.
Possibility #1: Inner Richmond
• ‘Hounds say: “Inner Clement Street pretty much has that mix. No lebanese that I know of, though. Just make sure you buy a monthly bus pass, SF is a good transit city and there are good eats all over town.”
• MP says: The Inner Richmond has got most Asian cuisines covered (Burma Superstar, Spices, King of Thai Noodle House), but it’s sorely lacking in the taqueria department, and that’s quite the shortcoming in a city like San Francisco.
• Added bonus: Russian restaurants: Cinderella Restaurant and Katia’s.
Possibility #2: The Mission
• ‘Hounds say: “Mission District is Chowhound heaven. You can find Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Vietnamese within a couple of blocks of the 16th St. BART station, along with restaurants of a dozen or more other ethnicities.”
• MP says: The Mission is probably the cheap eats haven of the entire Bay. The selection of quality Chinese food may be a bit sparse, but just about everything else is there in spades, from the nation’s best Mexican to “hidden” gems like Delfina and Range.
• Added bonus: The nightlife.
Possibility #3: Nob Hill
• ‘Hounds say: “I live in Nob Hill, and there isn’t much ethnic food here. However, I am very close to Chinatown (cheap veggies and spices!), and I have good nice restaurants within walking distance and pretty good markets (LeBeau, Leonard’s). You’ll find, too, that you’ll revise your sense of what “walking distance” is. I have enjoyed being able to walk to the Whole Foods, Ferry Market, or the Trader Joe’s in North Beach and take the cable car home (get a Muni Pass–$45/month for the bus, streetcar, muni rail, and cable car) .. So, I would add my voice to the others–live near transportation.”
• MP says: Now this is thinking outside the box. If you can afford to live in Nob Hill, you have to take that opportunity. Yes, cheap eats are practically non-existent, but there is a flurry of fancy restaurants for the taking. With that said though, the above Chowhound has got it right–living in the middle of everything is the way to go. Nob Hill is sandwiched by the Tenderloin, Chinatown and the Western Addition, all of which have wonderful, chowish destinations. Furthermore, it’s just a streetcar ride away from both the downtown hub and the Richmond strip.
Best CH ‘hood in SF. Might be moving… [Chowhound]