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Need recommendations for brunch, lunch, and early dinner near Soma area.

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I am from NYC, visiting San Francisco in mid-Oct with my husband and baby boy. We prefer creative over traditional cuisine and are open to all genres. Cost is not an issue. We are staying for 5 days and are interested in brunch, lunch, and early dinners. We will be bringing our baby boy so we prefer places that accomodate strollers and are not terribly loud. We are staying at the Hotel Palomar in SoMa and are willing to take cabs but not too far. Any suggestions? I have heard/read that Canteen, Commonwealth, and Ame are great.

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  1. San Francisco is much smaller than New York, so more or less the entire city should be within what a New Yorker would consider a "not too far" cab ride. Your main limitation will probably be the requirement that restaurants be stroller friendly. My sense is that Canteen probably won't work for a stroller. It's a tiny place, and they only have a single table that sits as many as four people, so I'm not sure they could fit a stroller in, though maybe someone else has tried it and can report.

    There are several possibilities that are within walking distance of your hotel (even with a stroller), and should work for you. Amber India is open at 5 pm for dinner and is quiet, though it's possible you'll have to navigate some stairs. Depending on which Indian food expert you consult on this board, the food is generally rated as good to very good. I've always been happy there.

    Samovar Tea Lounge is in Yerba Buena Gardens. As the name indicates, it's mainly a tea place, but also has interesting lunch/brunch food. The menu is so eclectic as to defy categorization, but I suspect it qualifies as "creative" under anyone's interpretation: http://samovarlife.com/food/. You can sit outside in tables overlooking the park, which should work perfectly for a child in a stroller.

    I would also recommend Yank Sing for dim sum brunch. The Stevenson St. location is a bit of a walk, but I'd guess it's doable, even with a stroller. In NY terms, I'd characterize it as two Streets and two Avenues.

    Ame is also well within walking distance, and it's quiet. I don't think you'd have any issue there with a well-behaved baby, and the food is quite good. I'm not sure I would take an older child who actually had to be fed, since the menu isn't very kid-friendly. But I'm assuming you don't have that issue.

    Yank Sing
    49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

    Amber India
    Mission and Fourth, San Francisco, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: johnq

      Thanks John! I was worried about Canteen being too small - maybe I will go with Ame instead. Samovar does look interesting for lunch, and we have 4 lunches to do, so that definitely makes the list. I have heard about Yank Sing but I was wondering if dim sum in San Francisco had anything more to offer than dim sum in Chinatown in NYC?

      Yank Sing
      49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: ghkim9

        I've never had dim sum in NYC, so can't help you there. I suspect someone more knowledgeable than me will weigh in. For what it's worth, a lot of people rank Yank Sing as the best dim sum in the Bay Area, and most everyone would put it in the top three or four. The major complaint is the cost, which doesn't appear to be an issue for you.

        Yank Sing
        49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105