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Sep 16, 2009 04:32 PM

Lunch near Golden Gate museums

Visiting SF after a long hiatus. Living in North Carolina and trying to take advantage of good food. Already planning visits to Jai Yun, Slanted Door, R&G Lounge, Murray Circle, Ferry Building on Saturday.
We are spending a morning at the Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung. Looking for a suggestion for lunch near this area. I have a 3 year-old but he travels well and eats everything. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Park Chow on 9th just outside of Golden Gate Park

      13 Replies
      1. re: Sitka

        Chow is a good choice. Casual California in a real restaurant . The cafeteria at the academy is pretty good, but generally crowded and loud, so better for a snack or coffee. It is nice to get out of the museum to walk around to see the context as well.

        1. re: Sitka

          3rd on Park Chow.

          But, like others, I've also found the food at the Academy cafeteria to be much better than it needs to be. Lots of choices. In any case, if you're trying to hit two museums in one morning, you may feel that it's too rushed (the Academy gets crowded and there may be lines to deal with) to get out by a reasonable lunch hour, it really isn't a bad option.

          1. re: Sitka

            Someone has to naysay Park Chow. It's a perfectly acceptable place to get a burger or whatever, and if I lived nearby, I'd eat there. But there's absolutely no reason for someone traveling across the country to San Francisco to eat well prepared but plain American food.

            The main cafe at the Academy (not the central court) has a wide variety of counters and you can take the food outside to enjoy. They have good kids' options.

            1. re: Windy

              I think the operative phrase is "near GGP museums". There are other places at 9th/Irving but I'm not there's any better.

              There are some very nice options not so far away like Burma Superstar, Outerlands, Shanghai Dumpling King, but they're not walking distance near. Parking once as a visitor makes a difference in some cases.

              Burma Superstar Restaurant
              309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

              Shanghai Dumpling King
              3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

              Outerlands Cafe
              4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

              1. re: ML8000

                I disagree entirely. The areas near 9th and Irving or 6th and Balboa both have lots of more interesting food than burgers at Park Chow.

                Off the top of my head: the Gyro place on the corner, Lime Tree, Namu, San Tung, Yummy Yummy, Arizmendi for pizza and baked goods, the Korean restaurant on Balboa & 6th. These are all easy walking distance from the museums and toddler friendly.

                1. re: Windy

                  Yummy Yummy and Arizmendi are a close walk but Balboa and 6th is a 2 mile RT. Arizmendi pizza however isn't much of a lunch and it seems you either love or hate it. Maybe because I use to live in the Richmond but the walk from GG Park to Balboa isn't particularly interesting and parking on Balboa is a hassle. I'd park once and walk to 9th/Irving.

                  1. re: ML8000

                    I have read good reports on the Academy Café at the California Academy of Sciences. At the deYoung, I'd opt for the mac 'n cheese or the fresh made to order salads - not the pre-packaged foods. A walk to 9th & Irving with a 3-yr old is not a challenge if you're not in a rush ... I gravitate to Howard's for pork chop and eggs and to Art's Cafe for the rice and Bul Go Kee special with a side order of eggs. Lime Tree, Yummy Yummy, and the Gyro place on the corner of Lincoln & Ninth Avenue are good, too. Sliders is there on 9th Ave. for a turkey burger.

                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Howard's is one of my favorite breakfast places. Under-rated, funky 70s simply by sticking around so long. Howard's and Art's is partly what keeps the neighborhood interesting in my view. However if I have visitors, Park Chow is my go to place. It's never failed me. Big enough menu for anyone to get something, quality stuff but not fru-fru, very reasonable prices.

                2. re: ML8000

                  b/t the two Burma Superstar or SDK, which would you favor and could I walk from the park,,THanks

                  1. re: samanh

                    some people on this board say that burmese kitchen is the best burmese in the city, and that mandalay is on par with burma superstar. i personally think think mandalay is hte best burmese in the city (haven't tried pagan), and regardless, you'll wait less there than burma superstar.

                    1. re: samanh

                      Burma Superstar is about one mile away, so 2 mile RT, no major hills. SDK is probably 2 miles each way. Both will be residential areas.

                      I personally like SDK better but it's not a direct comparison and I'd drive if you're coming by car. Parking is pretty easy out there. I also pretty much stuff myself with XLB, the peanut sauce noodles and one or two other items.

                    2. re: ML8000

                      After some looking into, the Shanghai Dumpling King looks like a great idea!

                    3. re: Windy

                      I 4th Park Chow.

                      OP seems to be looking for a hassle free lunch and mentioned being with a 3 year old. The more ethnic places might be challenging for the kid and the walk to Balboa is probably too far as well (especially after walking around the museum for a couple of hours). Park Chow might not blow you away, but it has good, solid food and enough options for everyone. The location is perfect for a museum day.

                  2. Thanks, will either do Park Chow or the museum cafe depending on the conditions. I appreciate the options, and will let you know how it is

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: samanh

                      The Academy has two places to eat, a cafe and a restaurant (the Moss Room).

                      The cafe at the DeYoung makes me angry. High prices for mediocre food.

                      Moss Room
                      55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

                      Academy Cafe
                      55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        but are you surprised? all museum cafes overcharge. i would also say that while it's overpriced, it's still better than typical museum food.

                        i will indeed naysay park chow.

                        haven't been to marnee thai, but i hear good things.

                        1. re: vulber

                          I went to Marnee once when my friends were eating at the DeYoung cafe. It was okay but I'm in no hurry to go back.

                    2. I'd suggest taking R&G Lounge off your list.

                      1. So why does Hotei get no love? Near the park, pleasant.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bbulkow

                          Hotei is pleasant. My take -- it's a very good neighborhood place but nothing to go out of the way for.