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eating w kids in SF

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Im going to be in town from NYC for a week, staying in Noe Valley but in the Mission daily. My kids are 11 and 14. They're too old and sophisticated for kids' menus, but I can't afford to take them every night to places where entrees are $26.

Would love suggestions for interesting and/or ethnic food that is not crazy pricey.

I also need a fun place that will let me make a res for 8 on a Sunday night. I made one at Maverick based on what I read on SF Eater blog.

Thanks so much

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  1. If you plan on visiting Golden Gate Park, it might be fun to go to kids night at Giorgio's Pizza (4-6pm Wednesdays) on Clement St. Kids get to make their own pizza.

    Toast in Noe Valley would be good for breakfast or lunch. Phat Philly, Papalote, St. Francis Fountain, all on 24th in the Mission, are good choices for lunch. Frtjz on Valencia or Hayes has a fun selection of dipping sauces to go with their fries. Kids like Mel's Diner. A crazy and cheap place would be Tommy's Joynt. Convenient if your interested in hitting the movie theater across the street.

    For the party of 8, a cheaper option might be Park Chalet out by Ocean Beach. There's a patio out back where the kids can hangout when they're not at the table.

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    Tommy's Joynt
    1101 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94109

    Phat Philly
    3388 24th St, San Francisco, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: mlutsky

      I don't know if I'd describe any of the above recs as particularly "interesting" or "ethnic" - as the OP noted, 11 and 14 is plenty old enough for food that's a little more sophisticated, especially if your kids aren't picky.

      Some affordable favorites in and around the Mission, specifically:

      Poc Chuc (excellent Mayan/Oaxacan)
      Inkas Restaurant (Peruvian, great rotisserie chicken + some more adventurous items)
      Udupi Palace (solid, if not spectacular, South Indian)
      Little Star Pizza (fantastic deep dish pizza)
      Any number of good taquerias (search the board)

      Bi-Rite Creamery (ice cream) and Tartine Bakery (I go mainly for sweets, though their bread is legendary) are expensive in their category, but are certainly worth a visit since you'll be in that general vicinity.

      FWIW, I wasn't a big fan of Toast the one time I tried it - pretty generic breakfast fare - but no doubt the Noe Valley location would be convenient for you in the mornings.

      Other interesting ethnic options that are in other parts of the city:
      - Lots of good Burmese (Mandalay is my favorite; Burma Superstar is the most popular/crowded)
      - Lot of good Vietnamese (Turtle Tower for chicken pho; PPQ Dungeness Island for roasted crab, though the local Dungeness is no longer in season)
      - Lots of good regional Chinese, mostly outside of Chinatown (Old Mandarin Islamic is probably my favorite, a great option if you happen to be going way the heck out to the Outer Sunset - maybe if you visit Sterns Grove or the Sutro Bath Ruins)

      Near Noe Valley is La Ciccia (Sardinian), one of the very best regional Italian restaurants in SF. It's not exactly cheap, but is VERY reasonable for what it is. I don't think it's big enough a restaurant to fit a party of 8...but could be a good option if you want to have a nicer dinner out with the family.

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      La Ciccia
      291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

      Burma Superstar Restaurant
      309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

      Tartine Bakery
      600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Bi-Rite Creamery
      3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Inkas Restaurant
      3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
      3132 Vicente St, San Francisco, CA 94116

      Little Star Pizza
      846 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      Little Star Pizza Valencia
      400 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      Mandalay Restaurant
      4344 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118

      Poc Chuc
      2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      Udupi Palace
      1007 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Toast Eatery
      3991 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    2. Not sure if you only need Mission/Noe spots (Fresca is a thought). If not...

      Hillstone (Houston's concept restaurant) is always safe, Roam for a casual lunch (awesome organic burgers - turkey/beef/veg), Mama's for brunch (go early or brave the worth-it wait), Sodini's is fun and classic (North Beach Italian), Brother's Restaurant (Korean), R&G Lounge or House of Nan King (Chinese), Patxi's Pizza (the Marina location is larger and caters to the family crowd more), Suppenkuche (German), Stacks (lunch/brunch), Sweet Maple (lunch/brunch) and Town's End (lunch/brunch). If they happen to enjoy sushi, family friendly (and delicious) sushi spots include Ariyake or Zushi Puzzle (must call for resv). Blue Fin is also a fun spot but a little bit out there location wise.

      What's great about the Mission is that there's just so much ... ! Enjoy.

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      Sodini's
      510 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      1. OP here. Thanks so much. Definitely not limited to Mission/Noe Valley, esp for dinners. Thanks to everyone. As for Tartine, I plan to eat breakfast there every day. I've been waiting a year for their bread and croissants.

        1. L'Osteria del Forno (no reservations, cash only) (N. Italian)
          Helmand Palace (Afghani)
          Troya (Turkish)
          Benjarong (Thai)
          Tacolicious (CA- quasi Mexican)

          for affordable sit down dinners

          Perbacco (N. Italian )
          Delfina (N. Italian)
          NOPA (New American, often with Mediterranean influences)

          for your $26 main course type restaurants.

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          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          L'Osteria del Forno
          519 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

          Delfina Restaurant
          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          Helmand Palace
          2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

          Troya
          349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

          Benjarong
          1968 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

          Tacolicious
          2031 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

          1. Three of my 11 year old son's favorites in Noe/Mission are Henry's Hunan (Church St), Rosamunde (Mission St), La Taqueria (Mission St).

            Henry's Hunan is a casual Chinese place with some spicy and hot dishes.

            Rosamunde specializes in quality suasages with some good beers on tap. Also very casual.

            La Taqueria is a.....taqueria. A notch more expensive than some but pretty consistent and good quality.

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            La Taqueria
            2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110