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desperate for a new lunch spot - downtown/chinatown

I'm looking for new tips for a good place to go for cheap lunch downtown. I'm near Grant & California, so anything between union square and north beach would be worth considering. I'd kill for a good hot noodle soup! A really good Thai place? Something cheap and French?

I'm totally open to suggestions here... just need some good ideas. Where are the other favorites in the neighborhood? Think $10 - $15 budget...

My usual hot spots include:

Henry's Hunan (on Sacramento)
Muracci's on Kearny
Bistro Burger
Irish Bank
Pomodoro Pizza on Kearny
Naan & Curry on Columbus & Jackson
House of Nanking
banana house :(
Medicine (RIP)
Akiko's sushi on Bush

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    1. You might try Giordano Brothers (Piitsburg-style "everything" sandwiches their special) on Columbus (right at B-way), Sodini's or Cafe Bocci (neat corner of Grant and Green) for Italian, or Osteria del Forno (on Columbus).

      1. You have some pretty good spots on your list. I go to Henry's Hunan, Irish Bank, Pomodoro Pizza (pretty good pizza there!) and Banana House myself.

        For inexpensive French, you might try Cafe Bastille on Belden Alley. Chez Carla (on Pine between Sansome & Battery) has a much better than average salad bar that includes some tasty hot dishes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DavidT

          Cafe Prague is also pretty interesting

          1. re: Munching Mark

            Cafe Prague is gone. The sign is still on the building but the space is empty.

        2. I've been waiting for a chance to pimp Baladie. Here it is!

          This place is, in my limited travels, hands down the best schwarma in town. Their falafel is a bit dry for my tastes, but I'm picky. Everything else I've had there is outstanding.

          Baladie Gourmet Cafe
          337 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. Check out the 600 block of Jackson, between Kearny and Grant:

            Z&Y for Sichuan
            Bund for Shanghainese
            Great Eastern for dim sum and other Cantonese
            Golden Flower for Vietnamese

            Numerous posts on the boards about all these places.

            1 Reply
            1. re: david kaplan

              I forgot about Golden Flower, but I ate there once and thought it was quite good.

              Do any of the Cantonese places at that end of Chinatown offer good noodle soups?

            2. Have you tried Sabra Grill? It's a kosher Mediterranean restaurant right on the downtown edge of Chinatown (random). Service can be a little brusque, but I think that it's good food, quickly and for a good price. I typically order the falafel, but I think I remember the schwarma and humus being good too.
              Paladar might be an option for you too. It's pretty good Cuban. I'm from South Florida, which might be home to even better Cuban food than Cuba itself, and it passes muster with me.