Food & Drink

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Best Food Court San Francisco 2005 - Belden Place

Anchored on one end by the venerable Sam's Grill and Seafood Restaurant (open since 1866) and on the other by Brindisi Cucina di Mare (since last year), this narrow alley, jampacked with side-by-side restaurants fronted with alfresco tables under strings of lights, offers a distinctive and delightful dining opportunity. (Sam's forgoes the outside tables, but inside you'll find impeccable sand dabs, sweetbreads, and such old-fashioned preparations as poached salmon with egg sauce, in an atmosphere far from the madding crowds.) Nearly every place has its own enticing barker, but unlike the hapless touts in North Beach, these promote fare that doesn't disappoint, whether it be tapas and paella at the Spanish B44, mussels and sole at Plouf, osso buco and pasta at Café Tiramisu, orecchiette and risotto at Brindisi, or onion soup and steak frites at Cafe Bastille (never busier than on Bastille Day, when the whole alley is SRO).

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