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  • [Question] San Jose and San Francisco

    So this Thursday my mom and I are flying into San Francisco, and the next day driving to San Jose State to tour the campus and then driving back to San Francisco State to do the same thing. Here is my question. Should we just have lunch at the Student Union at San Jose? We're sort of pressed for time but wanted to eat somewhere nearby and with good food. Any suggestions? Also after we're done at SF State, we want to go touring around downtown and Pier 39 and stuff. Where can we park relatively cheap and close to the trolley lines? We will be spending Saturday morning and afternoon in SF as well. No time to do museums or Golden Gate park but I wanted advice on good places to eat and see. Thanks so much, I know this is short notice but I hope someone can give me some good tips!


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  • #2
    Re: San Jose and San Francisco

    I usually don't drive in SF, I BART in. Parking near Pier 39 is some of the most expensive parking around. My recommendation is to find cheaper parking that is not a super tourist destination and then take BART/MUNI to get where you need to go. It's really fun to ride the old street cars that run down Market St. to the Warf and back (F line street level).

    I did find this info through googling: San Francisco Parking Reviews highlighting SFO San Francisco Airport

    As for things to do, I put some of my favorites down:

    Asian Art Museum: a short walk from the Civic Center BART and MUNI stop. Thursday June 16th night you can get into the museum for $10 (included the upcharge Samari exhibit) for their MATCHA event. Asian Art Museum | Matcha

    Cartoon Art Museum: I am biased since a) I am an artist b) I work here teaching cartooning c) I am a geek. It's a short walk from both Powel St. and Montgomory St. BART and MUNI and features shows on Stan Sakai, Watchmen, and 'the Brinkly Girls'. The museum is small and you only need about a half to full hour to see it all. Plus the book store is a must see if you like Cartoons and Comics.

    Yerba Buena Gardens: Is a lovely park in the down town area near the Cartoon Art Museum, the Jewish art museum, MOMA, the Metreon, and the mall. Next to Powell and Montgromry MUNI/BART.

    You can also do a nice, but long walk from Market St. Through the financial district. Up through China Town and into North Beach. It's a really nice walk and lots of fun stuff along the way. Then you can walk all the way to Fishermans Warf from there also.
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    • #3
      Re: San Jose and San Francisco

      If i was with you we could go to Pixar!


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      • #4
        Re: San Jose and San Francisco

        Atomicbear, thank you so much! I think we will be using the BART system from our hotel so that will eliminate car usage. We probably won't be going to any museums this time (I heart SF museums) but the gardens sound nice. We're not much of shoppers but we like to sight see.

        Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
        If i was with you we could go to Pixar!
        I'm going to add this to this list of things that you and I are SOMEDAY going to do. )


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        • #5
          Re: San Jose and San Francisco

          San Francisco is a bit smaller then the pictures make it out to be and it is a great city to merely walk around in. I'd also recommend taking the BART in if you can. You'll see San Francisco from the natives' perspective and nothing can beat that.

          If you are touring the school for your own attendence...eat there and see if you'll like it or not.

          Food, in general, on Pier 39 is cheap and, believe it or not, fairly decent. We usually eat on the go, our own time being limited as well. We'll grab some sourdough or some soup in those foam bowls and keep walking. We're weird like that. Nothing around here compares.

          Pier 39 is kinda cheap and touristy, stuff you'd find any where. If you can, and want to meander, hit up Chinatown or the Castro. You'll find quiant cafes and little shops that you'll see no where else!

          Enjoy...and take pictures for those of us who can't go with you!

          Peace,
          Roo
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          • #6
            Re: San Jose and San Francisco

            If you end up going in and out of Pier 39 rather quickly and still have some time to spare, try exploring Fisherman's Wharf. It is walking distance just north/northwest of Pier 39 (signs will point you in the right direction. You can experience even more great food, shops, and views of the golden gate. Also, stop by the Boudin Bakery. You may have seen the inspired one in DCA. Nothing better than saying you've been to the real deal.

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            • #7
              Re: San Jose and San Francisco

              I'd recommend eating at the Student Union to sample food you may find yourself eating frequently if you end up at school there. Another recommendation for a future trip:

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              • #8
                Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                Thank you all for the advice! I'm finally getting excited. My grandparents used to live in San Francisco so I used to go a lot like 10 years ago, but I'm sure a lot has changed. I do still want to check out my old haunts such as Pier 39, Fishermans Wharf, Ghiradelli Square and the like, they bring back a lot of memories for me. I just wanted to try new things also and hadn't a clue where to begin.


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                • #9
                  Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                  In fisherman's wharf is the mechanical museum too.
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                  • #10
                    Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                    I graduated from San Jose State. The student union will meet the basic requirements of "food" but you stated you wanted something "good".
                    SJSU is close to downtown and I would recommend (both are about a 5 minute drive from SJSU, but allow about 60 minutes to finish your meal)

                    Gordon Biersch (Trendy, and popular)
                    33 East San Fernando Street
                    San Jose, CA 95113
                    phone: 408-294-6785
                    fax: 408-294-4052
                    GORDON BIERSCH - restaurants

                    It is a micro brewery that has an excellent restaurant and the prices are decent. So even if you don't drink I still recommend this place.

                    Or try Mortons Steak House (Upscale and expensive)
                    177 Park Avenue
                    San Jose, CA 95113

                    Morton's :: Location Detail

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                    • #11
                      Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                      I wouldn't recomment the SJSU student union due to the fact that it's all fast food there anyway.

                      If you're into taquerias and things like that, La Victoria's (adjacent to the SJSU campus) is an awesome place. Their actual food is so-so, but that orange sauce they have... amazing. Be warned though, if your constitution is really weak or if you don't like the idea of mysterious sauces, then leave this one be.

                      Some nacho fries around the corner at Iguana's is good, too.

                      There's also Sonoma Chicken, a little further downtown than either of those two spots, which is an awesome place to get some wings or things like that. There's also Smoke Eaters (formerly Cluck U, formerly University of Chicken), specializing in chicken wings with extremely spicy sauces.

                      Near SFSU, though, you're kind of touching on Daly City/South San Francisco territory (my hometown!). Right off Highway 280, there's an In-N-Out, if you haven't been to one before. Absolutely worth checking out. The thing about SFSU's campus is, it's sort of on the other side of the city from downtown/the wharf and all that. If you're going to drive to the pier and hang out there, there's tons of places to eat there, just need to be ready for anything.

                      A sourdough bread bowl and clam chowder at Boudin's is always delicious. There's also a Ben and Jerry's on Pier 39, IIRC. Just keep your eyes open, and there's a lot of places around there with some really great food.

                      Something to keep in mind, there's a Gordon Biersch off the Embarcadero somewhat near Pier 39 (it's actually right under the bridge). Get your garlic fries fix there. There's also a Mortons right next to Union Square (shopping, etc.) that's great. If you end up somewhere near Union Square, the Cheesecake Factory in the upper floor of one of the huge stores there is great. There's outdoor balcony seating so you can sit in the lights of San Francisco as you eat your dinner.

                      There's a bunch more things I'm surely forgetting, but as I remember, I'll be sure to put them in here.

                      [edit:aha!]
                      I knew I was forgetting something. Haight is an awesome place to hang out. If your scene is secondhand clothing stores, hippie culture, hipster culture, or all around chill-ness, then talking a walk down Haight Street (with the obligatory picture at Haight/Ashbury) is right up your alley. Only thing you may have a problem with is its distance. It's really in the heart of SF, and adjacent to Golden Gate Park (as well as my old school, USF!).

                      There's a ton of good food spots there, as well. If you go into the Lower Haight (a long ways down, a journey if you're interested) there's Rosamunde Grille (I think that's what it is). They have awesome sausages, things like Wild Boar, Chicken, Bier, etc. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.

                      In that area is Twin Peaks, as well, which offers a totally breathtaking view of San Francisco. If you're into it, you can grab a sandwich somewhere (that's a whole nother post), or even a street hot dog, or whatever you want, and take it up to Twin Peaks and enjoy your lunch sitting on the mountain with your legs hanging over the edge and breathing in San Francisco.

                      Of course, that's all granted there's no fog. And that's kinda been the case lately.

                      If you're into the old show Full House, a drive by the Painted Ladies is always nice. They're on Steiner Street in the Lower Haight. Whenever family comes by for a tour, I always pass by this place with the theme song playing on my radio.
                      Last edited by biscuits; 06-17-2009, 02:58 PM. Reason: added info on touring/haight.

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                      • #12
                        Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                        There's some very good food at the Ferry Building. Not too far from Fisherman's and the touristy junk on Pier 39. If you have to absolutely eat on the Pier I liked Alioto's...but the real good stuff is further inland. If you're going to the Haight there's Rosamunde near the 22 Fillmore MUNI line (on Haight between Steiner and Fillmore). There's a great Indian place called India Clay Oven near there, too.
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                        • #13
                          Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                          Originally posted by MagicWDI View Post
                          If you end up going in and out of Pier 39 rather quickly and still have some time to spare, try exploring Fisherman's Wharf. It is walking distance just north/northwest of Pier 39 (signs will point you in the right direction. You can experience even more great food, shops, and views of the golden gate. Also, stop by the Boudin Bakery. You may have seen the inspired one in DCA. Nothing better than saying you've been to the real deal.
                          I second that! Fisherman's Wharf has some great restaurants and some great shops as well. It's a very touristy spot, but it's actually really fun and has a lot of neat things to do. I would definitely recommend it!

                          Just curious, why are you visiting the SF State campus? I am going to be attending there in the fall as a freshman






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                          • #14
                            Re: San Jose and San Francisco

                            Hi Izzy,

                            I lived in San Jose from 1952-1995 and attended both San Jose State and San Francisco State.

                            There are two musts to eat at in San Jose. both only four miles west of San Jose State. Harry's Hofbrau which is on the corner of Saratoga Avenue and Stevens Creek Blvd and two block west of Harry's is By-the Bucket, an Italian themed restaurant. It's on the corner of Stevens Creek Blvd and Woodhams Road. I used to live right behind By-the-Bucket but now I've been stranded in Orlando since 1995. Have fun.

                            Dennis

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