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Culinary Guide to Macworld

While other MacWorld attendees are crowding into Quizno's at lunchtime, you, armed with this list, will be enjoying a genuine San Francisco culinary experience. Here’s our list for the best places to lunch (and drinks) around Moscone Center.

Drop by Tropisueno, just a breath away from Moscone, to fill up on traditionally-prepared burritos, tortas and tamales during lunch, and for post-conference drinks (margaritas!) and snacks such as super-fresh ceviche and refreshing Mexican shrimp cocktails. (75 Yerba Buena Lane, 415-243-0299. Open for lunch & dinner.)

Samovar Tea Lounge at Yerba Buena Gardens is a tiny oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the downtown scene where you can grab hot artisan tea, a delicious curry egg salad sandwich, and watch seagulls ruffle their feathers in the courtyard fountains. (Yerba Buena Gardens, 730 Howard St. 415-227-9400. Open for lunch & dinner.)

Sometimes you just get tired of your usual lunchtime sandwich or salad. One of the best dim sum spots in town, Yank Sing, is perfect to jolt you out of that routine. Try not to go overboard eating their soup dumplings, stuffed crab claws, steamed pork buns and delectable golden-brown sesame balls. (101 Spear St. 415-957-9300. Open for lunch.)

B Restaurant and Bar, with its glass walls and location overlooking Yerba Buena park, provides a welcome respite from extreme geekdom. We recommend the burger and the exceptional BLT. (Yerba Buena Gardens, Upper Terrace, 720 Howard St. 415-495-9800. Open for lunch and dinner.)

Two words: Corned beef. That’s our favorite of the sandwich options at The Sentinel, a grab-and-go lunch spot (no tables) housed in a minuscule former cigar shop. Sample the aforementioned, or opt for a lighter option, such as chicken salad with sesame, lemon and chili or the duo of salmon (smoked and fresh with dill and fennel on a soft roll). Don’t want to wait? Call 415-284-9960 to place your order in advance. (37 New Montgomery St. Open only until 2:30 p.m.)

Just next door to The Sentinel sits the new kid on the block, Sushirrito, a place that weds burritos with sushi. If you're game to brave the long lines, try the Mamacita roll, a mash-up of tuna, Japanese gourd, shiitake mushroom, avocado, cucumber, green onion, daikon radish, tobiko and crumbled rice chips topped with Mexican kabakayki. (59 New Montgomery St. Open for lunch & dinner.)

Tom Colicchio (of Top Chef fame) opened an outpost of his popular New York sandwich shop, ’Wichcraft, right around the corner from Moscone. We adore the tuna sandwich with black olives, fennel and lemon and never miss an opportunity to eat one the peanut butter sandwich cookies. (858 Mission St., 415-593-3895. Open Mon.-Thurs. until 7 p.m., Friday until 8 p.m.)

The walk to Split Pea Seduction is—to put it optimistically—colorful. Run the gantlet and you’ll be rewarded by savory crostata (a kind of open-face tart), crisp salads and soups such as sweet potato with pistachio cream. They have limited seating, or you can take your selections to go. (138 Sixth St. at Minna, 415-551-2223. Open until 3:30 p.m.)

Sanraku is an unexpected find, tucked into the Metreon movie theater complex across the street from Moscone. The simple sushi, noodle soups and tempura are fresh and straightforward, the service is efficient and the price tag is, for the quality, low.  (101 Fourth St., on the ground floor of the Metreon, 415-369-6166. Open for lunch and dinner.)

And for the post-conference drink:

Bar 888 within the InterContinental Hotel specializes in grappa, but also has an extensive list of wines by the glass and a solid cocktail list. The scene, befitting a hotel lobby, is slick. (888 Howard St., inside the InterContinental Hotel, 415-616-6566)

A short walk or cab ride from Moscone Center, the City Beer Store caters to craft beer enthusiasts. In the small subterranean bar-cum-beer shop, sample from the taps or choose a bottle from the shelf and ask them to crack it open for you for a nominal corkage fee, plus the cost of the bottle. (1168 Folsom St., 415-503 1033)

21st Amendment is the quintessential city pub. Sample one of the beers brewed on-site (including the popular and refreshing watermelon beer) or one of the other selections on offer. There’s a big menu of pub food, including burgers, salads and quesadillas. (563 Second St., 415- 369-0900)

Looking for some local color? Look no further than Sutter Station. It's lightly dive-y, with pool tables and strong drinks—you’re not likely to run into many other tourists or conventioneers here. (554 Market St. between Second and Sutter Sts., 415-434-4768)

Thirsty Bear has house-brewed beer, Spanish tapas-style food and live entertainment. They also frequently run “convention specials,” so ask when you order. (661 Howard St., 415-974-0905)