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Light Lunch in San Francisco

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We are flying into San Francisco and then traveling in the same day to Napa. Please suggest a restaurant for a 'light lunch' ....great sandwiches and/or salads that is on the way from the San Francisco Airport to Napa. Been to Napa many times via Oakland, but would like a recommnendation for a 'nicer' restaurant for lunch, that is along to the drive from SF to Napa. Arriving SF at 1:15pm and would like to grab a bite to eat and be to Napa by 4pm. Thank you for your assistance in advance. sbwcfe@msn.com

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  1. The problem is that the easiest route to Napa does not take you into the city; by the time you drive into the city for your nice, light lunch, there is no way you will get to Napa by 4:00 because you will have to contend with the traffic that gets started by 3:00ish...

    Personally, I would avoid the city entirely, head over the Bay Bridge and stop at 4th Street in Berkeley - either Tacubaya or Cafe Rouge. Much easier for quick access and you will spend much less time navigating inner city streets, still getting you to Napa by 4:00 p.m.

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    Cafe Rouge
    1782 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

    Tacubaya
    1788 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Good advice, CW218. I think Tacubaya, while good, might be a bit casual for the OP. I'd add Zut and O Chame--both on Fourth Street--to your list.

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      Tacubaya
      1788 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

      Zut
      1820 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

    2. In Berkeley, not far from the freeway, light lunch, nicer place, sandwiches and salads, Riva Cucina, Sea Salt, Gaumenkitzel, Cafe Rouge. O Chame's if you're open to something other than sandwiches and salads.

      Tacubaya is a sort of slightly upscale Mexican cafeteria. Some good food but I doubt it's what you're looking for.

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      Sea Salt
      2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

      Cafe Rouge
      1782 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

      Riva Cucina
      800 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710

      Gaumenkitzel
      2121 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

      1. I have to agree with Carrie -- going from SFO through SF proper to Napa by 4 is going to be difficult. The easiest route (101 to 80 to 37/29 to Napa) skirts you around the borders of the city. You might want to see if any of the restaurants within SFO terminal strikes your fancy. I would recommend Gregoire in Berkeley as a great place to grab something to eat, but it's not really a restaurant, more a takeout spot, and might be a little detour away from the freeway (~10 min from freeway exit).

        1 Reply
        1. re: mhuang

          The shortest way from SFO to Napa is through Berkeley and Vallejo. Traffic's usually light in that direction that time of day, so it should take an hour and a quarter. That leaves a couple of hours for a lunch stop.