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Lunch places near SF Civic Center?

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For a conference next month, I'm making a list of places near Golden Gate and Hyde Streets where attendees can get lunch. Is the cafeteria in the Federal Building open to the public? Any suggestions for more interesting places?

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  1. I know that others will point you to the usual spots. But off the beaten path is one I always enjoy: Cafe Asia in Asian Art Museum.

    1. There are lots of interesting places, but also a lot of interesting people selling their wares.

      I'd be cautious about sending out of towners too far up Hyde or down 8th without warning. Perhaps a search on Orpheum would turn up more ideas, since that's a frequent request.

      Personally I like Gyro King, right at Grove & Hyde & Market, by the library.

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      Gyro King
      25 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      2 Replies
      1. re: Windy

        I also love Gyro King. It's casual, very close, and the food is great.

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        Gyro King
        25 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. re: Windy

          ditto on Gyro king - for a simple spot, it's got better than average food.

        2. Ananda Fuara is close to your location and perhaps interesting to out-of-towners.

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          Ananda-Fuara Vegetarian
          1298 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          1. Lers Ros Thai is excellent, though a bit of a walk and as a previous poster said, through a somewhat dicey neighborhood so (but not unsafe at all to walk during the day).
            My husband also likes Turtle Tower for Pho.
            Zuni Cafe is always good and a classic SF choice.
            Delessio is more casual, but generally good food.
            For very casual- pick up a sandwich and eat in the park/outside- Saigon Sandwich Shop or Morty's Deli.

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            Zuni Cafe
            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Saigon Sandwich Shop
            560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Delessio Market & Bakery
            1695 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            Turtle Tower Restaurant
            631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

            Morty's Delicatessen
            280 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Lers Ros Thai
            730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

            1. I used to work in the area. Morty's was by far my favorite, and le petit across the street has pretty good lunch deals on half-sandwiches. Castellito taqueria is ok. Gyro King is a good idea, as are Saigon Sandwich, and Turtle Tower. Burmese Kitchen is another good option if they're open at lunch. Cafe Asia can get expensive. Also, on Wednesdays, the Farmer's Market at Civic Center has ready-to-eat foods, including Roli Roti.

              Not sure why you'd want to eat in the federal building. You have to show federal ID and go through airport-style security to get to the cafeteria, which yes, is open to the public. Still, when I worked there, the Judge would send me to the Turk and Larkin deli (recently featured on Check Please) to get her lunch - she preferred a mediterranean plate with hummus, tabbouleh, a cucumber salad, and falafel. The other salads are good too.

              Please make it very clear to your visitors that they need to use their street smarts in the area. It's fine in the daytime, but you do need to pay attention. And walk up Larkin, never Hyde. And please to watch their step, literally. There's all sorts of ick on the sidewalks, especially on Golden Gate.

              The closest Starbucks is on Market, and the closest Pete's is on Van Ness in Opera Plaza. I think Max's is overrated, though sometimes you really want an american-type soup like matzo ball (as opposed to turtle tower). The Japanese place in Opera Plaza has decent lunch specials. I don't like the Naan n Curry on Van Ness.

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              Saigon Sandwich Shop
              560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

              Gyro King
              25 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

              Turtle Tower Restaurant
              631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

              Roli Roti
              , Hayward, CA

              1. Second on Burmese Kitchen. So, soo, soooooo good: And they ARE open at lunch. On Larkin between GG and Turk. My go-to lunch place for that area.
                http://www.chow.com/restaurants/1112/...

                1. I work in the area and most of the times I just hop of MUNI and go to another neighborhood.. but when I don't have much time, the following are some of my fav regulars:

                  Saigon Sandwich is cheap and yummy.
                  Turtle Tower - #9 for Chicken Pho
                  Zuni Cafe is good too but a little pricey.
                  Suriya Thai Restaurant is good but a little further from Civic Center. They have an awesome roti dessert - sugar, wheat roti and condense milk!

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                  Zuni Cafe
                  1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  Turtle Tower Restaurant
                  631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                  Turtle Tower Restaurant
                  5716 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                  1. Lunch Geeks on Polk and Market is new and very good. I also like SAM Diner on Market between 8th and 9th. Are you looking for a pointedly good list or are you trying to give them as many options as possible?

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                    Lunch Geek
                    1440 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102