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Jul 26, 2009 01:44 PM

Portsmouth Square, Fast, great, reasonable, kids


I am an Easterner coming with the family in early August, with teenager, tweener, & youngster.

I'm trying to run from Pier 33 after the early boat to Alcatraz and catch a bite before we join the free SFcityguides for the only walking tour of Chinatown available during my stay.

I was discouraged, by experts here and tripadvisor, from eating at the Wharf so I'm looking for recommendation near the point where the guide is supposed to meet the group.

I think I'm going to MUNI it from the pier, and I see from (nice tool) that we'll be dropped at Pacific and Kearny.

So, you got any suggestions for good, fast, cheap eats or other near Portsmouth Square?

We love Chinese food. We love the soup dumplings at Joe's of Shanghai in NY and the kids can be a tad adventurous.

Other cuisine would be fine too.

Thank you chowhound!

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  1. How about a block to Great Eastern, food and fish tanks.

    Great Eastern Restaurant
    649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    1. Hon's Won Ton House = good, fast, cheap

      Hon's Wun Tun House
      648 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

      1. I think Penang garden would be fun -- lots of exotic decor, many choices, very friendly.
        Food may not be perfectly authentic, but the atmosphere is nice.
        It's on Washington right across the street from Portsmouth Square.

        The fish tanks at Great Eastern are a fun attraction. Great Eastern is a bit pricy (depending on what you order) and might not be so fast -- depends on the time of day. If it is a weekend at lunchtime, Chinatown can be quite crowded with families going for dim sum.

        August weather can be quite chilly -- dress in layers.

        Penang Garden Restaurant
        728 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108

        1. If you like Shanghai, try Bund Shanghai. Just up from Portsmouth Square is Capital, which is like an old fashioned Chinese coffee shop. Get the chicken wings.

          Capital Restaurant
          839 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94108

          Bund Shanghai
          640 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            When we went to Great Eastern for a latish dim sum lunch on a weekday, it was not speedy though quite tasty.

            Side note: we did the City Guides tour and if you get the same fellow, be warned he will take you into the back of a Chinese seafood/poultry store where there are many live animals including frogs and various birds such as quails and pheasants. There were some kiddlies on our tour whose mum thought it was great to show them how the food on their plates starts out but they were pretty traumatized. This was also the high point of that particular tour (much of it was polemical) and we did not end up finishing it, unlike all the other City Guides tours we've done...