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San Francisco  - Backroads & Bay Cafe List


Over the years we compiled lots of recommendations from two Bay Area TV shows: Back roads and Bay Cafe (and other similar shows on other local channels and other notable sources).  Look here for Food  Outdoors Theatre Bars Shopping or  Other. 



Papa's Tarvena.  Greek.  On the river, near Petaluma.   Get a stool at the bar.


There is lots to see and do at Richmond: monument to WWII women ship builders, Red Oak Ship, NIAD art center.  And restaurants:

  • Pizza at Salute - fancy schmaltzy waterfront establishment

  • Sadie's Soul Food

Historical silent movies every Saturday (2 hours, $5, popcorn extra) at Niles, on Highway 84. Charlie Chaplin made five movies in this town.


Cheap & great restaurants in Chinatown:

  • Utopia Cafe (try the Clay pot)

  • Gold Mountain for dim sum (sit near the kitchen to get the goods fresh and hot)

  • Golden Gate Bakery

  • Jai Yun.  Yun is an institution.   Tell chef how much you want to spend and let him select the menu.

Broadway by the Bay productions are in April-September at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center on Delaware Ave


Pick : the birthplace of Martinis and the best place for Martinis now


FOREIGN movies and a meal in the courtyard of Foreign Cinema  2534 Mission St., S.F., (415) 648-7600.

Drop anchor at SAM'S ANCHOR CAFÉ with outdoor seating, Angel Island views, 27 Main St., Tiburon, (415) 435-4527


OZUMO  happy-hour sushi, sake samplers, 161 Steuart St., S.F., (415) 882-1333.


The best Martinis in San Francisco are at Bix, with a F. Scott Fitzgerald atmosphere, 56 Gold St. (bet. Montgomery and Sansome Sts. (415) 433-6300.  Optional Jazz and dinner club.  A world renowned chef Bill Hill.  Also renowned hamburgers and you may have to dress up a bit.


But Martinez, California claims to be the birthplace of Martinis.  This will require further research....


Fermentation Frenzy, 991 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos, (650) 949-BREW retails all supplies needed for home wine or beer making.


Wine tasting in Vino Venue, Mission & 3rd., SF;

La Vie Vietnamese, 5830 Geary, 415 668-8080

Bay bridge view and Japanese-French cuisine: Chaya, San Francisco. the Embarcadero, 415-777-8688. (Recommended by Gina.)


A weekend in Napa valley should include a visit to the following four off the beaten path wineries:  Hess Collection (wine & art), Robert Craig, Robert Keenan (in the hills, fabulous view for lunch), and Spring Mountain Vineyards.


Sausalito House boat annual tour in late September / early October.



next Doug McConnell's (KRON TV) back roads file is a great reference for locals and visitors to the San Francisco Bay area.  Many items on this page were mentioned on McConnell's show.


Juicy burgers: Balboa Cafe  3199 Fillmore Street @ Greenwich
San Francisco, CA 94123
A fancy restaurant with lots of variety ... including an expensive gourmet burger.


Need a pair of jeans: see the jeantenders (sales folks) at Blue Jeans Bar,1827 Union Street, 415-346-4280.  

Weekend cowboys go the California Ranch, Elk Creek, CA, 866-7-SADDLE.  Activities include Sacramento River fishing & boating, rodeo, super long jogging trails, cowboy towns, & cattle drives.


Bike ride among the vineyards: Coleman Valley Road, Sonoma.


On Highway 9 to Santa Cruz look for Scottish influence in Ben Lomond and order a tri-tip at the Deli at Boulder Creek.  Somewhere there is also a renowned Schnitzel.


San Francisco.  there is a 1910 memorial to soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, on Market Street.  She cancelled a NY engagement to sing Christmas Carols in SF.


There are rave reviews everywhere for the Italian restaurant Delfina, 3621 18th St, San Francisco, (415) 552-4055.



© 2005 R. Abileah

Last updated February 27, 2008