Okay, I'd suggest steering away from places that try to be fancy at all. While I think that Bluehour, Fenouil, Paley's, Carlyle, Hurley's, et al make very good food, possibly better than some of the less expensive places, you're going to have a higher check (though perhaps not pay more per pound of food) and higher expectations for all the formalities of a fine dining meal that just can't compete with SF. So that in mind, I would go with:
Now, if you're going to sneak in something a little finer, I would go with Wildwood because the menu is so local-oriented. Maybe share an entree and eat a lot of apps.
Some people don't think pizza is nice enough, but I agree with all the recs for Apizza Scholls, of course. Ken's Artisan and Nostrana are both going to be as good as anything I've had in the bay area, but there are places, such as A16 or Pizzetta 211, doing the same style at a high level.
For snacks or side-trips, I would go to Alma Chocolates and/or Sahagun. Both are doing Day of the Dead chocolates right now, I believe. Pix, Di Prima Dolci, Ken's Artisan, Pearl Bakery, etc.
For lunches or ethnic options, I think Pok Pok, Pambiche, Aladdin's, Karam, La Bonita, Kenny & Zuke's (ehem), LOW BBQ, Lagniappe, Autentica, Michael's, and a myriad of others can hold their own in any town. If you get out to Beaverton, I'd add Chennai Masala to this list, the only Indian I would be willing to feed someone from the Bay Area, besides, perhaps, Vindalho, if I chose their menu.
Do what I do: print out the tip sheet and carry it with you in your car or on your person as you travel around:http://www.extramsg....d_tipsheet.html