I would seriously move to the Mission Dolores area for one reason alone: Tartine Bakery. Tartine is so quintessentially San Francisco - the crowd is a diverse mix of hippies, hipsters and yuppies of all races and age groups congregating at shared tables (or separate tables thisclose to each other so that you might as well be sharing a table) over newspapers, chess games, and the perfection embodied by Tartine's frangipane croissants, lemon tarts, bread pudding and croque monsieurs.
Yes, you'll have to wait 30 minutes in line just to order one croissant, so make sure you order EVERYTHING you want the first time around because you don't want to underorder then debate (after finishing off your croissant, smacking your lips and licking your fingers) whether you should get in the now 45-minute line to order that other pastry you were eyeing.
Tartine makes me oh-so-happy. Even though my visits to Tartine are rare (it's just so out of the way for me), it makes me happy just to know that it exists and that if I am craving a perfect cup of bread pudding covered with fresh berries, or a cup of muesli made with Strauss organic yogurt and chock full of muesli, nuts and fruit, or a perfect flaky frangipane croissant oozing with almond paste filling, or a perfect tangy and creamy lemon tart, I know exactly where to find it in San Francisco.
Tartine, je t'aime.
Food rating: **** and a half
Bang for buck rating: 4
Location: 600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco
Average price of meal for two: $30