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Help me decide, lunch near Golden Gate Park


My family is going to be in town this coming weekend, no kids. We will be going to Golden Gate Park on Friday and want to have lunch near by. Based on my research here are some restaurants I am considering. Any advice on where to go would be apprieciated. Also, if you have another idea, I am totally open. We like asian, mexican, french ect. Looking for some place we can sit down, but doesn't have to be fancy at all. Trying to stay within $10-20/pp.

Marnee Thai
South Sea Seafood
Shanghai House
Park Chow

Any thoughts?

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  1. Try the Cafe at the DeYoung museum which looks out into the Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden.
    The menu is based on the "Farm to Fork" program (made with ingredients grown or produced within 150 miles of where they will be served), so produce and products by Green Gulch, Niman Ranch, Marin Sun Farms, Acme Bakery, Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Farm Stand and all the usual local suspects are on the list ...
    Most menu items are also available pre packed & ready to go, but it is much nicer ordering a la carte with table service ...
    You do not need an admission ticket to enjoy lunch at the cafe - and you could take the family up to the museum's view tower after dessert (also accessable without admission)

    1. I think Park Chow might be your best bet. There is a casual Chinese place on the same street up the road called Nan King Road. Here's my look at that: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

      There's another place I haven't tried but it's about two doors toward the park from Park Chow and it's like a grill place? It had a decent review in the Chronicle but can't remember the name, but it's on the same side of the street as Park Chow.

      Also, while the setting for the DeYoung Cafe is nice and it's convenient being right at the park, I'm not a big fan of the food. It's OK for convenience, but nothing spectacular. Here's my take on it: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

      1 Reply
      1. re: singleguychef

        A 2nd on Park Chow. Consistently good and reasonably priced. Also made the Chron's 100 list again...not that means anything.

        Also at 9th/Irving - Ebisu, Hotei and Pacific Catch. There must be at least 20 restaurants at 9th/Irving.

        Any SF'ers try the new Pacific Catch at 9th/Lincoln where the art gallery/cafe place use to be?

      2. Here are many of the restaurants bordering Golden Gate Park.

        Most of them are on the Sunset side of the park like the restaurants you mention in your list.

        You might consider Wunder Brew which has some good specials in the afternoon.

        There are lots of restaurants on the Richmond side located on Balboa, Geary and clement. However, those haven't been tagged yet. Searching Places "Golden Gate Park" Richmond will only turn up four places.

        Searching "Golden Gate Park" moderate will get you restaurants with meals in the $10-$30 range

        Searching "Golden Gate Park" inexpensive will get you restaurants that cost uner $10

        1. I like Shanghai House, but be aware that it's near the far western end of the park, unlike the others on your list which are close to most of the popular attractions. However, parking would certainly be easier out there than in the Inner Sunset.

          1. Thanks all. Seems like Park Chow might be the choice. If we decide on Dim Sum, which would be best? South Sea Seafood or Shanghai House?

            2 Replies
            1. re: CarlieInLA

              Shanghai House, being Shanghainese as the name implies, doesn't have dim sum as we think of it. However, it has excellent xiaolong bao and other Shanghainese lunch/brunch specialties.

              1. re: CarlieInLA

                South Sea Seafood seems to be pretty popular with the locals. I always see a line although I haven't tried it first-hand. My mom's friend who lives in San Francisco says the dim sum is pretty decent. I don't know if it's walkable from the central popular area of the park. It's closer to 19th Avenue.

              2. While there's nothing wrong with Chow, it's kind of plain food--burgers and fries, salads, etc. Well executed, but still.

                I'd go somewhere more interesting like Lime Tree (Singaporean) on Irving near 6th Avenue or San Tung (Chinese) or Yummy Yummy (Vietnamese) on Irving and 11th. Also you might stop in at Arizmendi bakery while you're in the vicinity.

                Irving from 20th to 24th is also eminently chow-worthy with lots of great Chinese and Vietnamese options.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Windy

                  I agree with Windy, Chow is fine, but I'd rather eat at Marnee across the street or the places she's mentioned. With that said, if you go to Park Chow, you might try the Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Ice Cream for dessert. It's excellent.

                  1. re: Windy

                    That was my concern about Park Chow, that it might be too boring, but I saw it listed on so many posts, I wondered if it was something special. Maybe we will stick to something asian and different. I guess I will bring a list of a few and let the group decide. San Tung sounds good. Thanks for the info!

                  2. i think the short rib dish at park chow is great.
                    I also like Yummy Yummy [VN] ... certainly in your price range.

                    I was really looking forward to Lime Tree but was a little
                    disappointed with the things I tried. Nice folks tho.

                    1. I like Park Gyros, on the corner of 9th Avenue and Lincoln. It's not fancy at all, but it's clean, cheap, the people are nice, the food is good, and they serve you a _lot_ of it.

                      See this previous discussion: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/371688

                      1. I've had one meal at Namu and enjoyed it. In particular I loved the oysters on the half shell, served with housemade Korean chili sauce. That with a little lemon was amazing with the fresh Kumamotos. And at happy hour they are only $1.50 each!

                        Korean and Japanese influenced food, I particularly like the shitake mushroom dumoling in a shiitake broth.The albacore tataki was served too cold, however, lost the flavor. If I went back I'd have the kanpachi crudo instead. Can't remember what else we had.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Armoise

                          Thanks! The menu definately looked different and interesting, although I have read mixed reviews. Mostly about the portion size, which I don't think will be so much of an issue at lunch since they seem to have actual lunch plates. Will keep it on the short list of options. My father-in-law loves oysters!

                        2. Has anyone tried So, on Judah, near 28th or so, I think. Some of the best potstickers around and relatively inexpensive. Nice noodle dishes too.

                          1. Any new places that people recommend to eat for lunch or dinner?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: hhc

                              Within walking distance of deYoung: On the Richmond side, we had a surprisingly great lunch at Cinderella Bakery. Tiny Russian cafe with some outdoor seating. I really enjoyed the pelmeni and fermented drink. On the Sunset side, try Art's Cafe, for kimchi and a hashbrown omelette; San Tung for chicken wings and Chinese food; Ebisu for sushi.

                              1. re: rubadubgdub

                                Next time you go to Cinderella, get a poppyseed roll. The breads are delicious too. They still sell pelmeni to go.

                              2. re: hhc

                                Lavash for persian food, Social brewery and Kitchen for beer and sweet potato fries