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Jul 26, 2009 12:39 PM

Somewhere for lunch between SFO and Napa

We will be arriving at SFO around lunch time and heading up to Napa with dinner reservations at 5:30. Could anyone suggest a cool place for a light lunch along the way? Something with patio dining would be nice, too.

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  1. Fish in Sausalito if you are going up 101

    Sea Salt in Berkeley if you are going up 80

    If it is NOT today (Sunday), during the week, I can't recommend Fremont Diner enough

    1. there are probably just too many choices! given your timeline - i'd stay in the city so you can eat, then digest on your way north. the caveat on that would be that summertime in S.F. is not the best time to eat outside! search the threads to find the kind of food you'll be craving and there will be plenty of info to get you where you want to go.
      enjoy your trip :)

      1. If you're coming up 1/101 going through Marin, you might try Outerlands. I haven't been but the reviews are excellent and they're open for lunch. Sort of a detour in the Sunset District but it's not bad traffic. It will most likely be foggy but then you can get the full SF experience.

        Outerlands Cafe
        4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

        1. Week days it is best to get through the City as fast as possible to avoid afternoon traffic buildup. Berkeley has several easy on and off choices that will still give you some time before your dinner. Picante,at Gilman, for a quick Mexican meal, Ranch 99 at Central for Daimo or even a quickie deli/dim sum fix in the market. Here are some recent similar requests.

          Reverse order

          8 Replies
          1. re: wolfe

            Wolfe ... Picante? I guess I'd never expect that rec from you. I have yet to go as the reports seem meh and not having young children in the family there didn't seem a special reason. You prefer that Mexican over Tacubaya's Mexican? Or is it just the patio request that brought that up?

            There is that whole Fourth Street area which has lots of restaurants, is right off the freeway.

            1. re: rworange

              Actually I like the Aztec soup with 4-5 salsa packets as soup extender. Parking may be somewhat easier at Picante than at 4th St. for those unfamiliar with the area. If you handle the exit wrong and end up on University rather than the frontage road it can be confusing. Quick snack at 1 with a big dinner where at 5:30?

              1. re: wolfe

                4th St might be confusing but it's not that bad and it has more options.

                You could get something at Eccolo or Cafe Rouge...split something like a burger and get a salad. There's also Bette's Oceanview Diner. 4th St., has lots of options.

                The only time I go to Picante is if I'm driving by on I-80 and it's late or someone wants to go. It's okay but not that good. Jimmy Beans 1/2 a block away is a better option, or T-Rex.

                Cafe Rouge
                1782 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                1820 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

                Bette's Oceanview Diner
                1807 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

            2. re: wolfe

              I wouldn't consider picante "cool" or "light".

              My suggestion would be ferry building. It's a good walk and stretch and look after a flight.

              But the OP really should describe what they want - there are thousands and thousands of restaurants between hither and yon. "cool" "outdoor patio" "light" doesn't narrow it down much.

              * Price
              * how soon after getting off the flight
              * type of food

              1. re: bbulkow

                Grouper is coming from the area around Detroit. As a Mumford graduate, believe me, Picante is light and cool.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  Sorry I wasn't clear enough in my post.....

                  Looking to spend about $20 per person.
                  Wolfe was right we are coming from Detroit and have an early flight, so we will be looking for something soon after landing, but will be willing to drive a little to get something delicious.
                  As for type, I'm thinking salad/sandwiches kind of stuff, but something more than a plain turkey type of place.

                  Thanks everyone for all of your contributions.

                  1. re: grouper

                    What day, what time, what route?

                    Fish and Sea Salt are still good suggestions, but depending on the day and time there could be traffic, etc.

                    Ferry Plaza that someone else suggested is great. As much as I recommend the Saturday market, I don't know if I'd want to put up with that after a long flight. During the week it might be a nice, less crowded option.

                    1. re: grouper

                      The best, cool place for sandwiches - Hazel's Kitchen in Potrero Hill.

                      If you route via the 280 extension (instead of straight on 101) it's very close to the freeway offramp/onramp. It's in an actual cool SF neighborhood, next to a 60's coffee shop which is also very good. It's only slightly more than a hole in the wall - you can step inside to order - they have little tables out on the curb, or you can take your grub next door into the cafe. You'll need to get one of the sandwiches on a sour roll, just to enjoy the SF sourdough - or dutch crunch, which I think is an SF thing. There are no tourists at all in that part of town, and parking it's that bad. If you have a GPS unit or iPhone you shouldn't have trouble finding it and routing yourself back.

                      The sandwiches are really, really good.

                      Potrero Hill is an actual hill, and there are some great views to downtown and across the bay within a block or so. You'll notice the views as you're getting off the freeway - stretch your legs and walk over to the corner.

                      If it's a weekday, I still recommend the ferry building. There's Taylor's (get the ahi burger) or whatever else catches your fancy, and you can sit down by the water. Weekend, Ferry Building might be a bit more than you want to handle.

                      Hazel's Kitchen
                      1319 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107