Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Dec 15, 2011 07:01 AM

Food/Places to eat in and around the Presidio

If we start our day here at around 10:30 and plan on visiting all of the attractions - (Presidio habitats, trails and scenic overlooks, Inspiration Point, Fort Point, SF Nat'l Cemetery, Palace of Fine Arts, The Walt Disney Family Museum, etc.) - I'm guessing we'll be well into the afternoon by the time we're through. Is approx. 4 hrs. a safe bet?

If so, is there anywhere to have a great lunch mid-break at around 2-ish in the area? Or would we do best to bring a picnic lunch? If so, are there any civic bylaws re. picnics in public parks and what about wine/alcohol?

Are there any great nearby food trucks or even a nice sit-down place to break for lunch?

Thanks so much!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Le Terrasse is in the Presidio and very conveniently located for public transportation, the MUNI buss that goes to the Golden Gate Bridge stops right there. There is lots of parking too.

    The have a sort of California/Bistro menu with plenty of choices for salads/sandwiches and small pizzas. Their outdoor tables are great when the weather is nice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pamf

      Thanks so much!

      Is this a place you'd otherwise recommend to someone regardless of the convenience and location to the park? Or is it a 'best option' kind of place?

      Thanks again!!

      1. re: OliverB

        It's not a "destination" restaurant but their food is fine (good burger, there are better pizzas in town), nice wines, always had pleasant service, it is an attractive space.

        The location makes it appealing, especially on nice days. It's always packed on the weekends for brunch.

        Depending on your schedule, you might want to head east from the Palace of Fine Arts to explore the Marina district with places like A16 (and many others on Chestnut Street or Lombard). If you head south from the park you will be in the Laural Heights neighborhood and might like Spruce or Sociale.

        I guess it depends on how you are traveling (bus, car, bicycle?) and how much time you want to spend on lunch vs. exploring the park.

    2. If the weather is nice, I would do a picnic. Food is fine, and there are even official picnic spots:

      Booze isn't legal in parks, but I'm not sure whether they enforce the law more regularly in Presidio than other parks. A wine glass hidden inside a McDonald's cup might be a safe bet.

      BTW, there's a bunch of construction going on right now. The big spots you mentioned are fine, but some trails are blocked off. We had to sneak through a construction zone near Storey Ave a few weeks back.

      1. Thanks for the tips... hope the construction is through by end of Jan when I'm down!

        Should I allocate approx. 4 hours for everything I mentioned above or is that too much/little time?


        1. Near the Presidio Gate (which is also where Le Terrasse is) is Liverpool Lil's (publike) which I frequent for the club burgers (literally, a club sandwich that has burgers in between the layers instead of bacon, one of my favorites in town, only served in the bar area). Around the corner is Baker St. Bistro which is a reasonably priced French bistro with all the usual suspects. I think both have outdoor seating when the weather is nice. But Le Terrasse will probably suit your needs well if you just need one spot.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rubadubgdub

            I can't remember the name of the Pizza joint around the corner from Liverpool Lil's? Really good pizza though.

            edit.... Avellino is the name. Was answered down the ways a bit in this thread.

          2. Thanks guys!

            Is John Campbell's Irish Bakery in Outer Richmond far off? It looks to be nearby, between The Presidio and Golden Gate Park. Would this be an option for a midday snack, or perhaps a morning stop-off for take-out foods for a picnic?

            Thanks again!

            PS - we'll probably be jumping btwn Cab/BART/Muni and foot based entirely on convenience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: OliverB

              Stopping there mid-trip is going to eat up a lot of time (~1 mile round trip from southern border of presidio). I'd recommend, prior to hitting the Presidio, pairing John Campbell's with some Eastern European nibbles from New World Market (cheese, meats, smoked fish). There are also tons of Asian food stops (to go dim sum, banh mi, grocery stores) along Clement though nothing specific and picnicworthy is popping to mind.

              John Campbell's Irish Bakery
              5625 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

              New World Market
              5641 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121