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inexpensive restaurants near civic center plaza?

  • j
  • jcr1 Apr 14, 2011 02:10 AM
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a few students on a tight budget going into sf for a day and looking for an inexpensive (around $10-12 including tax and tip) restaurant to get a quick lunch around civic center plaza. style of food not critical. going to museum nearby so something within a few blocks would be great. one of us isn't that excited by sandwiches or soups so it would be nice if there were other possibilities too. thanks.

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  1. Larkin Street has a wealth of inexpensive places. I'd suggest the Burmese place (Burmese Kitchen?) or Lers Ros (Thai). A lot of people like Bodega Bistro, 'tho I'm not a fan, and Turtle Tower.

    If you're going to the Asian Art Museum, the cafe in the museum is quite good, and probably can be done within your budget.

    Finally, use the CH search function for Civic Center, there are previous threads on this topic.

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    Bodega Bistro
    607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rapini

      Second Burmese Kitchen aka Larkin Express Deli. I've taken groups of five and six people there and gotten out for less than $40 total.

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      Express Deli and Cafe
      325 S 1st St Ste B, San Jose, CA 95113

    2. Turtle Tower is great. I also suggest Lahore Karahi (great Pakistani) - http://www.yelp.com/biz/lahore-karahi...

      As well as Ananda Fuara Vegetarian - http://www.yelp.com/biz/ananda-fuara-...
      for good cheap eats in the area.

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

      Lahore Karahi
      612 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      1. Gyro King. I think Bodega Bistro is out of your price range. Also, if you go on Friday there's Off the Grid (assemblage of food trucks) and if you go on Wednesdays there's a farmers market that has prepared foods.

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        Gyro King
        25 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          ditto on Gyro King. it's a great little spot for inexpensive food very close to the museums and bart.

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          Gyro King
          25 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        2. Second on Lers Ros (best Thai in the region) and Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen.

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          Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
          452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          Bodega Bistro
          607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

          Lers Ros Thai
          730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Just a note that Lers Ros has an inexpensive lunch menu, but whatever I tried on it was mediocre and dumbed down. Stick to their regular menu, even if it costs an extra dollar or two.

          2. Show Dogs is just a few blocks away. They serve different sausages, sandwiches, corndogs, hamburgers.

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            Show Dogs
            1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA

            1. Brenda's Soul Food might be a nice alternative to all the Vietnamese/Thai/Burmese options in the area. I think the price range would be closer to the high end of your budget, though. Still doable for lunch, I think.

              1. If the weather is clement, you can get excellent banh mi at Saigon Sandwich on Larkin for a pittance and dine al fresco and people-watch at Civic Center Plaza or the seating areas surrounding the museum. Off the Grid (truck cuisine from some of the best vendors of this type) is at UN Plaza for lunch on Thursdays, Civic Center for lunch on Fridays.

                And another vote for Lers Ros (best at Thai heat I've had) and Turtle Tower for pho, both excellent value.

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

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

                Off the Grid
                Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

                2 Replies
                1. re: dordogne

                  "one of us isn't that excited by sandwiches or soups"
                  "Qu’ils mangent de la brioche."
                  attributed to Marie Antoinette

                  1. re: wolfe

                    Ok, I need to read more carefully, even when I'm trolling Chowhound whilst wolfing down my own lunch. But Saigon Sandwich also has limited number of other Vietnamese specialities (room temp) and Turtle Tower has much more than pho. On the other hand, banh mi isn't just a "sandwich" and pho isn't just a "soup"--perhaps it's time to get that dining companion excited.

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

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