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Dec 29, 2009 10:24 AM

Best lunch restaurant(s) - SOMA-Financial District

Need some recommendations for best lunch restaurants in the SOMA-Financial District area. I don't want quick serve or fast food or carry out. I want a good restaurant for a nice relaxing lunch with excellent service. A two hour lunch is fine.


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  1. If you're going to be doing it within the next two weeks, I would recommend One Market for Dine About Town. While the presentation and service was slightly better than the food itself, I still very much enjoyed the meal I had there during the June Dine About Town. It is not deserving of a Michelin star, however.

    Chez Papa Resto is also very relaxed with good food and excellent service.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vulber

      If you're going to be doing it within the next two weeks,

      Dine about Town (DAT) is only the last two weeks of January this year: 1/15-1/31.

    2. Perbacco
      Sam's Grill

      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Sam's Grill & Sea Food Restaurant
      374 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94104

      Boulevard Restaurant
      1 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105

      7 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        When I went to Perbacco for lunch, the service felt very rushed, with the main emphasis on turning as many tables as possible. That's not of course not to say I don't recommend the food at Perbacco for lunch, just that I don't find it to be particularly relaxing.

        I'm guessing this might have something to do with the nearby re-opening of Quince, as that's probably cut into their dinner profits.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Thanks for the fast replies! I have to be at the Intercontinental (6th & Howard) later that afternoon. Any spots more in that area??

          1. re: Kevin93940

            That's actually 5th and Howard.

            Luce is right in the hotel and has gotten some positive reviews here. Nearby there's also Lulu and Orson.

            1. re: Kevin93940

              Chez Papa Resto is nearby. There's also the newly opened 54 Mint in the same area, although I haven't been.

              While it may be tempting to get a 3-course Michelin star lunch for $20.09 at Luce in the InterContinental hotel, that place is mostly style and little substance.

              If your a beer person, would recommend heading to City Beer Store at 8th and Folsom afterwards, not only do they have a great selection of beers, but for $1, you can hang out and drink your beer in the store.

              1. re: Kevin93940

                La Charm is right around the corner. Always nice for lunch.

                1. re: goecke

                  Thanks! I love that place, but didn't know it was open for lunch.

                  1. re: escargot3

                    Le Charm is a nice French style bistro where you can relax and have a nice unhurried lunch. City Beer is between 7th and 8th and has 6 fine beers on tap and bottles. They'll also serve the bottles from the coolers for $1 over the retail price. Nice place and cool people.

            2. 54 Mint is open for lunch quite close to the Intercontinental. Been meaning to try them out for a long time now...

              1. Given good restaurant, excellent service, and two hours for lunch...

                1. Boulevard
                2. Campton Place
                3. Town Hall
                4. Chez Papa Restro
                5. Kokkari
                6. Fringale

                Kokkari Estiatorio
                200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111

                Boulevard Restaurant
                1 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105

                Town Hall Restaurant
                342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

                Fringale Restaurant
                570 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

                Chez Papa
                1401 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94107

                Campton Place
                340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                2 Replies
                1. re: Paul H

                  54 Mint is really a fantastic lunch and is right around the corner from the Intercontinental, but the service is still very inconsistent. They've unfortunately been working out their new restaurant service kinks for about 5 months. I've been three times and loved the food every time, but never been impressed with the service.

                  One other option is Fang on Howard and 3rd.

                  1. re: PulledPork

                    I would recommend 54 Mint over Fang even with the inconsistent service at 54 Mint. I went to Fang a month ago and our main entree, Mongolian beef, was no better than a cheaper Chinese hole in the wall. I was there on a Saturday night and the service was slow. The main hostess seemed to run the show and the waiters were not very helpful either. It took forever to get the hostess' attention when we found a discrepancy with our check. Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes and we should have stuck to the traditional House of Nanking specialties. I also thought it was expensive considering the mediocre quality of the food.
                    I have been happy with my two visits to 54 Mint even with the inconsistent service. The food outweighs any kinks with their service.

                2. I work on Folsom at 7th which is maybe a bit out of your way but there is a great Thai restaurant on Folsom at 8th St. called Basil. I have long lunches there pretty often and the food is always great, I think its the best Thai in the City. All their dishes are good, I would recommend anything imparticular. They are always open for lunch and the restaurant is very nice, clean, quiet affordable. Rocco's a block down is also good for a quick bite.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chandran

                    I was disappointed in Thai Basil. I went there because I'd heard it was connected with Soi 4 in Oakland, but the food wasn't nearly as good.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      It's the Roti at Thai Basil that has me coming back for more, but, yes, I think they should be a little better. I think I only ate there when I was in that few blocks for something else, wouldn't travel more than that. The Cat Club is nearly across the street, so it's a good spot for a bite between sound check and stage.