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Aug 14, 2010 05:20 AM

Suggestions for where to eat in or near SF museums?

We are heading to SF for a conference mid-September and would like to visit some of the museums. We have enjoyed eating in museum cafes/restaurants in other cities (e.g., natural history museum in london), but, it seems like there are few recent postings of places to eat in or near museums. Given our limited time and the fact that we won't have a car, which of the museum cafes/restaurants do you recommend (e.g., DeYoung Museum, Legion of Honor, SFMOMA, Asian Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences etc.). If not IN the museum, what about very close walking distance?. Thanks so much.

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    1. re: wolfe

      Thanks Wolfe. I did find these earlier postings, but was hoping for more recent assessments of where to eat. I thought some of the chefs have changed and these postings are 1.5 to 2 years old.

      1. re: lacontessa

        One problem is that the museums you listed are in different parts of the city. The only two located near each other are the de Young and the Academy of Sciences. If you're heading that way, the Moss Room at the Academy of Sciences is the best museum restaurant in the area. It's probably the only museum restaurant around here that draws non-museum visitors.

        The downstairs cafe at the MOMA is pleasant enough, particularly if the sun's out and you can sit outside on the sidewalk. You can have a decent lunch there, at least in comparison to a typical museum cafe, though it's not exactly a destination restaurant. The coffee shop at the top of the museum has Blue Bottle coffee and interesting pastries based on some of the more famous artworks, and you can sit outside in the sculpture garden.

        Beyond that, it's difficult to advise you, since it's not clear whether you're looking for lunch or dinner, casual or elegant, etc.

        Blue Bottle Cafe
        66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        1. re: johnq

          Sorry to be unclear. Those are museums that am interested in visiting, that have noted here in Chowhound and other boards have cafes/restaurants that sound decent. Lunch or dinner--still trying to sort out my schedule so will depend upon when can get away and hours of the museum. Casual preferred over elegant. Looking for something other than sandwiches (have to stay away from wheat). Some of the museums hubbie will have to go on his own, but, he would appreciate some ideas from me (I am usually the one who plans our trips). Thanks again.

        2. re: lacontessa

          The idea is to search for the named restaurants for more up to date reports.

      2. We visited both the de Young and SFMOMA this weekend and had lunch both times at their cafes - SFMOMA by design, de Young because of time constraints. Based on what we had there, SFMOMA's Caffè Museo is much better - it seems very competitive for lunch with other places near Moscone Center. My Summer Cobb Salad included some particularly delicious beans. The best thing at the de Young Café was the tomato soup - the turkey/swiss sandwich and the chicken provencal salad were very average.


        Caffe Museo
        151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        de Young Café
        50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

        1. Gordo is a good option for a tasty burrito if time is limited and you want somewhere where you can just order at the counter and take your meal to go (assuming good luck dim sum isn't open)