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So you're in town for Macworld. Hey, look at you. And we're sure you're having a crackjack time at the show and the parties and the meetups and the over-crowded Starbuckses, but trust us, you should try to find a few hours to break out of the Reality Distortion Field and venture away from Moscone. Seriously, there's a big city out there.
To that end, here are a few of our favorite locations for eating, drinking, and just not being at Macworld for a little while. We've even marked all these locations on a fabulous Google Map.
Thep Phanom: Best Thai in the city! So, so, so good. And not too expensive, although it's a little pricier than cheap Thai. This place is in the Lower Haight, so take a taxi or jump on a Haight bus on Market (the 7 is a good one, or the 6, or the 71).
San Tung: Best Chinese in the city. They don't take reservations unless you have a big group, and there's often a wait outside but IT'S WORTH IT. Honestly, you won't be disappointed. Family style, so come hungry.
El Farolito: The official taqueria of MacLife.com! The chile relleno burrito is insane: an entire chile relleno stuffed into a burrito. Heaven.
Taqueria Cancun: Susie's stubborn favorite. Amazing tacos, burritos, and super quesadillas, and the best jukebox ever (at the Mission and 19th location). There's also a location downtown, on the super-sketchy Market-and-6th corner, that looks like a hole in the wall but still serves up the same yummy food.
PPQ Dungeness Island: It's Dungeness crab season here in the Bay Area, and this place is pricey ($40-$50 per person, approximately) but SO, SO good. Get one crab for every two people, and lots and lots of garlic noodles.
Espetus: This is one of those Brazilian steakhouses, or churrascarias, and you pay a fixed price for All The Meat You Can Eat. They have a buffet setup of salads and side dishes, but the main attraction is slab after slab of meat (all kinds!) brought to your table until you raise the red flag of surrender because you can eat no more. Again, best for those on expense accounts because you'll drop about $60 per person.
The Tonga Room: It's in the basement of the Fairmont, a snazzy hotel. The drinks are expensive as all get-out, but there's entertainment too: Live music, and some ladies ride in on a boat in a fake lagoon and there's a fake rainstorm and WHOA!
Zeitgeist: If the sun ever comes out, drop what you're doing and get thee to the beer garden at Zeitgeist. Then again, Zeitgeist's charming grit and dive-i-ness match perfectly with gray, gloomy skies as well. Lots of beer on tap, phat burgers on the grill, and sometimes you'll see the Tamale Lady, a freelance tamal maker and seller who roams the neighborhood filling stomachs with her Mexican goodness.
House of Shields: This place is pretty close to Moscone, actually, and a favorite happy hour spot for local tech journalists. Some of the bartenders are surly, so don't forget to tip them. They often have live jazz.
Varnish: A charming wine bar (they also have beer) in an alley, with art to look at and comfy leather ottomans to lounge on. It's often pretty quiet, too, another bonus.
Top of the Mark: It's at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel, swan-kay. For those on expense accounts only!
Nickies, Toronado, and Mad Dog in the Fog: The Lower Haight is one of our favorite neighborhoods to hang in, and these bars on Haight Street rule. Don't miss them. Toronado has only beer, but at least 50 kinds. Grab a sausage from Rosamunde Sausage Grill next door while you're here.
Chinatown. This is a popular spot for tourists, but that doesn't mean it's lame or touristy: Chinatown is actually very cool. Walk around, explore the alleys, get hopped up on Bubble Tea, buy some ninja shoes, and just have a grand old time.
City Lights Bookstore: Not far from Chinatown, on Columbus Ave in North Beach. This place rules. The Beat section in particular is incredible, but of course they've got a little (well, a lot) of everything. Go buy a book.
Japanese Tea Garden: In Golden Gate Park. All of the park is lovely, but the tea garden always makes us feel like we've gone back in time and to another continent. Check it out if you're over that way.
California Academy of Sciences: It's expensive for a museum, but it's brand-new, with a living roof, insanely huge aquarium, planetarium, and lots of other amazingness. EA had their Spore launch party here. The DeYoung Museum is in the same museum campus (in Golden Gate Park) if you have a hankering for some art.
The Wave Organ: As bizarre as it sounds, this is just what it sounds like: an "organ" (made of 25 "listening pipes" shoved into the granite and marble) that's "played" by the waves, especially at high tide. Awesome if you're up in the middle of the night, looking for that strange soothing sensation that can only be had by listening to what seems like the world's biggest seashell. It's werid, but awesome. Like San Francisco itself.
Enjoy! And holler in the comments with your favorite spots we've missed...