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Feb 19, 2012 06:33 PM

Food and restaurant recs for mom-son visit in March

I am visiting from NYC for 5 days in late March with my 12 year old son. We are staying at the W downtown. I've been to San Fran many times, but only once in recent years. My son has never been. We both love good food and are pretty adventurous, but don't want anything too fussy.

Also need places that we can get to by foot/cab/public transportation, as we won't have a car.

The only musts on my list so far are The Slanted Door (one of my faces) and The Ferry Building. Would like a great Chinese meal and any interesting Japanese (not necessarily sushi, which we do very well with in NYC).

Looking for the following recommendations:

Great coffee/casual breakfast near hotel
Only in San Francisco types of places for lunch or dinner
One special meal (but again, not too stuffy)
Food tours

Thanks in advance for your ideas!


Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

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  1. Near the W is the Blue Bottle Mint Plaza (66 Mint Plaza We visit the city twice a year and always find ourselves there at least once. Very good coffee and pretty tasty breakfasts as well. They seem to always have a baked fritatta-y thing that catches my eye. Lots of cool Japanese coffee makers that look like what Willy Wonka would have done if he'd gone for java instead of jelly beans, which could be fun for the young man. And there is indoor counter seating so you can hang out for a bit.

    Also really close is The Sentinel if you just want to grab a muffin in the a.m. or a fine sandwich at lunch. It's another takeaway, but is close enough to SFMOMA that you can bring your bounty to the park and people watch. I'm a great fan of the corned beef which seems to be on the menu pretty much every day. You can check out what they're serving here but note they aren't open on the weekend and are finished each day by 2:30.

    Going the other way across Market a spell there is Golden West (8 Trinity Alley -- not sure why there aren't any breaky specials listed) which is more of a takeout but has pretty cool breakfasts (affiliated with The Sentinel and similar hours). And there is also Coffee Bar around the corner at 101 Montgomery (M-F only) which has some good pastries, particularly the kouign amann which I still dream of and will be seeking out in April again. They all serve Mr Espresso from Oakland which I quite like but I'm not a die-hard third waver so YMMV.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      Thanks Grayelf, sounds like some great places!

    2. Just ate one of my most exciting meals in years inSF last month. Restaurant is Aziza, on Geary, bus goes right by it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Will definitely look this one up! THanks.

      2. a couple ideas that might be fun for a 12 yr old are...

        Hop the cable car to the Tonga Room at the Fairmont. I think there's a buffet.

        Take him to shop at Upper Playground, then have lunch at Memphis Minnies.

        For the special meal, how about Wayfare Tavern?

        1 Reply
        1. re: mlutsky

          That sounds like a great trip. Yes, without a doubt do not miss the Ferry Building. Also we had a great, great lunch at Delfina (good pizza and Italian food) which is one to put on your list. It is a fun spot and you can even sit at the counter and watch the food being prepared. It might be a ways from where you are staying but in five days you might end up in that direction.