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Beach Chalet or Park Chalet ?

  • v

I looked at the menus for both places out there in the Sunset District. I'll have a couple of teenagers to feed and thought this might be a "cool" venue for these kids. Does anybody have a thought on one over the other? Thanks.

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  1. r
    Robert Lauriston

    The Park Chalet is a much more pleasant space. The only thing the Beach Chalet has going for it is the view.

    1. t
      The Librarian

      We much prefer sitting outside at Park Chalet. Really pleasant and not noisy like it is inside. Beach Chalet (where we used to go years ago and drink Irish Coffees at 7:00 AM while waiting for the Bay to Breakers to be over) always makes me like a tourist who is being taken advantage of.

      1. Park Chalet has a nice outdoor space with Adirondack chairs and a lawn. Could be agreat place for the teens. Beach chalet is a bit more closed-in.

        1. Hmmm. I'm somewhat surprised to see these negative reviews of Beach Chalet. I just went there for the first time Oct 23, and my companion and I both agreed that the fish and chips was the best we'd ever had. One visit isn't enough to judge, but was very promising. And the gorgeous view is not to be sneezed at.

          1. Most definitely, Park Chalet.

            1. Eat with the tourists at the Beach Chalet or eat with the locals at the Park Chalet! The menus are pretty much the same. The Park Chalet has a great fireplace for those foggy days.

              2 Replies
              1. re: charlotteowens

                I think the menus are pretty different, actually - but it's been a while since I've been to BC so I can't say for sure. I know the brunch menus are worlds apart though.

                1. re: Maya

                  I forgot to mention that their mac n' cheese is the best I've had - I was scraping the plate with my fork - and the burger is awesome too, as was the flatbread pizza-like thing. As far as I remember the Beach Chalet had nothing but mediocre food, but I've always really liked the food (and great beers) at Park Chalet.

              2. I don't know why, since in theory it has so much going for it, but
                i've always been disappointed in Beach Chalet. I've also been there
                only at night, so it could just have been the general depressiveness
                of the cold, foggy, nighttime, San Francisco oceanside. Food was good
                and not stupidly expensive.

                If you're entertaining kids in the daytime it might work. Especially if there
                were a hike up to the Camera Obscura and down to Sutro Baths involved.

                [Oops, just noticed this is a ressurected thread from the dark past. Hope
                you found something good!]

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                  I agree, I think Beach Chalet is downright bad. The downstair park is passable at best.

                  I've been to the upstairs several times and have had terrible meals. Once, for a work function of about a dozen people, several of us ordered the fish special, including myslef. It was so rubbery, we all looked up at each other saying.."is your fish as bad as mine?". Even worse, we told the waitress and she said we were free to order another dish if we didn't like that one. (not comp, an additional dish).

                  It's a shame, since I really love the building. I just don't go there anymore.

                2. The food at both is generally pretty mediocre to bad, but the service and ambiance is better at the Park Chalet. They always seem to pull down the sun screens at the Beach Chalet so you don't really get a great view anyway.

                  Stick with simple things like fish and chips and burgers and you'll have a good time. The beers they brew are good.

                  1. Yeah go for drinks and maybe a bar nibble, then high-tail out of there when the sun goes down. They survive on the basis of their unique location, certainly not the food. The park side is nice enough but there are so many better places to eat all over town. Sorry but if you must go, stick to the basics and keep your expectations pretty low, then maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.

                    1. I only went once to Beach Chalet, and never again. The food was not good - I've had better clam chowder from a can (which, come to think of it, is probably where this one came from!). The service was beyond bad - worst I've experienced in a long time. A friend insisted on the place and I'll never go again! Though my friend did say that Park Chalet was better food!

                      1. Don't take kids to the Beach Chalet! They will treat you like garbage.

                        I went with my two teenagers, and two other adults. We were the first people there on a Sunday morning. They tried to seat us in the back of the room - when the only reason anyone goes there is to look out the window. When we asked for a table by the window they put us in one that was too small.

                        Then they screwed up three out of five breakfast orders. No offers to correct or comp - just airy indifference.

                        1. Truthfully the Chalets are just tourist traps. I live nearby and we take visitors there for breakfast just so they can be next to the ocean. Food is ho hum, service sucks.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: djjohnr

                            There are lots of locals at the Park Chalet, I've always found. Their food is so different I thought they were run by completely different operations. Their fish taco/microbrew nights every Tuesday are good. I consider myself very picky about value for the dollar in terms of meals and I have to say I've never been disappointed in the Park Chalet. And I would never waste my time at the BC.

                          2. OK, let me pose this hypothetical. I'm out at Ocean Beach. I'm hungry and I want to
                            sit down inside to eat (so "grab something from the Safeway" isn't an answer). My choices
                            seem to be Louis', Cliff House, Doggy Diner, and the Beach Chalet. Since it's after noon,
                            Louis' is probably closed. What should I do? Hot dog vendor outside the Camera Obscura?
                            Help!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              Is the Camera Obscura still there? I thought it went away some time ago.

                              More on the subject, I had a surprisingly good meal upstairs at the Cliff House too long ago to count as a current recommendation. Has anyone eaten there recently?

                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                I've had some good breakfasts at the Sea Breeze Cafe on Judah @ 45th.

                                Given your choices above, and given that I haven't been to Doggy Diner, I would go to the Cliff House (Bistro, not Sutro's!), expect to get ripped off, but enjoy the surroundings, have a drink at their nice bar, and eat adequate, if overpriced, food.

                                The Beach Chalet is only quasi-useful for breakfast (not terrible, and they do have Acme bread). As mentioned, service has been terrible on my several visits (I used to live nearby and out-of-town guests insisted).

                                Oh, and if you're thinking of eating just up the road from Louis' at Seal Rock Cafe (Point Lobos @ El Camino Del Mar), it was the worst breakfast I have had in SF (and there are plenty of bad ones).

                                Here are my longer rants about the above:

                                Louis: http://adampaul.com/food/sf.shtml#louis
                                Seal Rock Cafe: http://adampaul.com/food/sf.shtml#sea...
                                Bistro @ the Cliff House: http://adampaul.com/food/sf.shtml#cli...
                                Beach Chalet: http://adampaul.com/food/sf.shtml#bea...
                                Sea Breeze Cafe: http://adampaul.com/food/sf.shtml#sea...

                                1. re: adampaul

                                  I don't know if the OP was looking for breakfast or not. Have you eaten breakfast at the Cliff House? I had Eggs San Francisco: Two poached Eggs, Dungeness Crab Meat, toasted Sourdough Bread $16.95 ... $16.95 !!!

                                  The eggs were overdone while the service was underdone. The crab, homefries and coffee were good. The highlight were the faboulous popovers ... but with some sort of canned jam ... and on a different visit were not quite as fabulous.

                                  The French toast I saw on other tables lookd SO totally not worth $12.95. The $10 potstickers on the menu make me cringe. Another thumbs down on the Cliff House.
                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
                                  Here's the menu
                                  http://www.cliffhouse.com/Bistro/Bist...

                                  That' too bad about Seal Rock. It has been way too long for me to comment about it, but for a while they were the best breakfast in that area.

                                  Do they still make the muffins? They were once worth the ride out there for the muffins and the omelets were good. Service and ambiance never were much of anything.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    Not sure if breakfast was desired either, but that's all I've had at Louis' and the Beach Chalet....

                                    Never had breakfast at the Cliff House. Certainly their pricing isn't the draw! In no way, no how, is the food worth the price, but the one meal Sebby & I had at the Bistro tasted alright.

                                    I don't recall if Seal Rock had muffins - it's been a while since my one visit. The service was even worse than the Beach Chalet, and that's saying something!

                              2. We ate at the Park Chalet a couple of Sundays ago (after a morning trip to the Zoo). The wait at the PC was less than the wait for the Beach Chalet, so that made the decision (it was 3 adults + 3 kids).

                                The menu for both locations is pretty much the same; the Beach Chalet items are about $2 more than the Park Chalet items (the view is not free).

                                Overall the food was excellent; we ordered 6 of the "small plates" and every one was well done.

                                  1. We were in town last week during a 10 hour layover. We ended up meeting a friend at the Park Chalet. I had the short rib sandwich which surpassed my expectations. It was pretty good. This surprised me because, when I last ate at the Beach Chalet 4 years ago the food was subpar. Previous visits had shown that to be the norm.

                                    I don't remember what the rest of the table had at the Park Chalet, but we did agree that the meal was much better than the Beach Chalet of old. You don't get the view, but the space is much more pleasant and relaxing than upstairs.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: mikeb

                                      Hey, good to see your handle on the SF board again, if only for a brief layover.

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                        Hi, Thanks. Just a short visit on the way back from a few weeks in New Zealand. Hope to get back for more in depth visit within the year.

                                        BTW even for really short layover, SF is such a great place--it was so nice to see the international terminal still has a decent selection of food.

                                        1. re: mikeb

                                          Not sure if the BART extension to SFO was open when you were still out here, but it makes it even easier to visit the City when passing through. And, yes, the food at the international terminal is still a source of civic pride.

                                      2. re: mikeb

                                        I agree. I tried Beach Chalet quite a while back and found the food to be mediocre. I like the food better at Park Chalet. While the food was better, it wasn't anything to write home about. I found the prices really high for the tiny portions you get.

                                        Also, didn't appreciate that no one bother to tell us that there are 2 menus. One exclusively on the lawn, the other, exclusively at the rest of Park Chalet. The pull pork sandwich looked really good but we weren't able to order it because we were sat on the patio instead of the lawn.