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Apr 8, 2008 06:45 AM

Downtown/Wharf-cheap eats with teenagers

I am traveling with teenagers will be staying in the Wharf area of town. We will have some free time and some dinners and lunches free. Can you suggest places that will be under $10 a meal, that both adult and probably mostly un-adventerous teenagers would like? We will be able to get away from the Wharf and venture out a bit using public trans. One day we will be close to the ballpark. Thanks!

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  1. Under $10 a meal? In-N-Out Burger.


    1. Take heart, It's doable, especially if you focus on ethnic eats like Chinese, Mexican, Indian Curry joints, etc. if your teenagers are adventurous enough for those, and even if you don't. Not a lot at the wharf itself, but Chinatown/North Beach is within walking distance and public transportation is good.

      Boudin Bakery-Cafe outlets (but not the main "Bistro Boudin") have chowder (or chili) in a bread bowl for $6-$7. This menu applies to three locations at the wharf.

      Pier 39 has a number of snackish, burgerish places in that price range, including a Boudin's outlet and a branch of North Beach Pizza.

      If they're up for Mexican, Taqueria San Jose #3 at Mason and Francisco is a good option, though there's another taqueria or two at the heart of the Wharf that may be more gringoized.

      As a last resort, the Wharf has a full complement of McDonalds', BK's, IHOPS etc.

      San Jose Taqueria
      2257 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      1. If you're downtown, check out the food court at the new Westfield shopping center. It's not your typical food court: there's a wide range of cuisines, and most of the places are outposts of local restaurants, not low-end chains (for example, there's a more casual branch of the famed Slanted Door called Out the Door).

        Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre
        865 Market St, San Francisco, CA

        7 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Not that easy to feed a hungry teen for under $10 at Westfield, though, except possibly at Sorabol. I think it's about $10 for a bowl of noodle soup at Out the Door.

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            Yeah, it would be pushing it. But there's a Bistro Burger, and Askew Grill, where I think you can eat for $10 or so. I didn't check out all the offerings so I don't know what else might fall into this category. The plus is that you don't have to have the kids agree on something, and there's going to be an option for everyone.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I've never tried Asqew, so I don't know how big their portions are, but according to their menu it's around $8 per skewer.

              I stop there often for coffee or iced tea from Peets, and Sorabol seems to be one of the most popular, probably because their portions are huge.

              I do like Bistro Burger (and I'm probably one of the few that do) and would pick it over In-n-Out, no contest.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

                It happens that when I was at Westfield I did order from Asqew. I got one of their skewered salads: the grilled pear with beef tenderloin, which is described as mixed greens, grilled pears, toasted almonds, red bell peppers with creamy gorgonzola and a skewer of beef tenderloin and veggies. I don't remember how much it was, but it was under $10. It probably wouldn't feed a teenaged boy (but then, what does?), but it's a nice meal for me and most teenaged girls, I would think.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  $7.79, according to the menu. All the skewers are priced for one OR two skewers, which made me wonder if people commonly order two to make a meal.


          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            I think it would be cruel to take hungry teenagers with a $10 budget to Westfield.

            1. Downtown, the third floor of the Crocker Galleria has several places. Nothing amazing, but you could probably all find something you like. Burritos, sandwiches, soup. I can't remember what else. Then you can take the food up onto the roof, if the weather is nice. It's a fun out-of-the-way spot with a bit of a view.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Glencora

                I wouldn't send tourists to the Financial District, but if I had to feed hungry teenagers there on a budget, I'd take them to Órale Órale. It's one of the few places downtown that doesn't charge much more than similar places in the neighborhoods. Serves breakfast. 7am-8pm, closed Saturday and Sunday.

                Escape from New York has decent cheap pizza by the slice.

                Orale Orale
                91 Drumm St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                Escape From New York Pizza
                333 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94104

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I wouldn't send them there either, especially on a weekend, but the Galleria is part way between the Embarcadero and Union Square, so they might be walking past. The distances are pretty short.

                  What do you recommend at Orale Orale?

                  1. re: Glencora

                    I'd order the huevos con chorizo and the chile relleno again. My favorite thing there is the chips and unusually spicy salsa.