When it's Saturday night, you don't feel like cooking, you don't have a reservation, and you don't want to stand in line, where do you eat? San Francisco locals suggest Canela, Aquitaine, Piccino, and Bocadillos, among others.
For a satisfying meal on the Peninsula, check out San Mateo's Happy Noodles. Order the satisfying Yibin fried rice with ya cai (Sichuan preserved mustard greens; pictured) or dan dan mian with pea shoots, and for noodle dishes be sure to specify that you'd like the house-made noodles instead of rice noodles.
October's the perfect season to score a pie, as pie makers take advantage of both the last of summer fruit and the new crop of apples. The chatter on Chowhound recommends many locally available pies, including Fillmore Bakeshop's apricot slice in a flaky crust (pictured), so good, according to one admirer, it recalls dessert cooling on Grandma's windowsill.
For exceptional wine sold by the glass, locals say there's plenty to like in the city of San Francisco. Try RN74 if Burgundy's your pleasure, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant to pair your drinks with nibbles purchased from gourmet vendors in that building, or Press Club for interesting flights.
For those in search of a haunted Halloween dinner, this Chowhound thread discusses Bay Area restaurants with both spooky-themed dinners and high-quality cuisine. Suggestions so far include a saloon-styled evening at Oakland's Flora and a costumed dinner chock-full of pumpkin at Bocanova, also in Oakland.
A Bernal resident and Chez Panisse alum opened the new Little Bee Baking in Bernal Heights. An early report (maybe a record for early reports: first brownie sold) says the bakery, in the former Rock Candy Snack Shop space, offers Four Barrel coffee and Three Twins ice cream in addition to house-baked goods.
Multiformat chicken is the way to go at Proposition Chicken on Market at Valencia: Get it in a salad, a sandwich, or on a plate. Early reports say the chicken is juicy and tender, with a good supporting act from the kicky slaw, but $12 for a quarter chicken may make some diners think twice about this proposition.
The recent opening of Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant and Tea House makes Chowhounds wonder if Alameda's Park Street is the most diverse restaurant strip in the Bay Area. With Cuban, Burmese, and Lithuanian available within five blocks, Alameda's hub of dining activity seems to be thriving.
Swan Oyster Depot proves popular with both tourists and locals, as the line attests. Recent chatter on Chowhound looks forward to the seafood counter's offerings when the commercial Dungeness crab season starts in November, and drops a tip that's useful if you're local: Skip the snaking line by calling ahead to order your seafood as takeout.