Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Mar 26, 2012 06:08 PM

3 days in San Fran with toddler. Please help us eat well!

I’m trying to put together a list of restaurants to eat at while traveling to San Francisco for 3 days with my husband and 16 month old son. Our son is very used to dining out and is well behaved, but he is still a toddler-so he chatters loudly at times and a fair amount of his food winds up on the floor! We usually go to restaurants where there is enough background noise and action to keep him amused and always for lunch or an early dinner. We appreciate really good food, all cuisines, and cost is not a huge factor. I’d love to have some great chinese/dim sum, mexican, and seafood. I’ve been doing many internet and chow searches to see what is out there, but that being said, I’m still really struggling! I would love some feedback with what I’ve got so far and if I’m making a mistake taking a child to any of these places, please let me know!

Breakfast-will do in our hotel room, but thinking of trying Mama’s on our last day as our flight is on the earlier side or someplace near where we are staying (Cow Hollow).

Lunch-Spending a day in Sausalito-Le Garage is our first choice currently.
Will also be in the Golden Gate Park and the Haight/Ashbury area and would like to try Magnolia Pub and Brewery. We love brewpubs and try to get to one whenever we travel. Menu looked interesting here. We are also thinking of Colibri for lunch (wondering if not kid friendly enough)-or anything in the Union Square neighborhood that isn’t a chain. Actually, any good mexican-casual or not that is not in the Mission District b/c I don’t think we’ll be getting there in our limited time.

Dinners-The only place we’ve really thought about is Yank Sing. Any difference between the 2 locations? Should we do dim sum in Chinatown instead? If we don’t end up doing mexican for lunch, would consider for dinner. Would love some kid friendly recs in cow hollow/marina area as it will probably be easiest to eat close to home after a long day. Preferably no Italian b/c I feel like we have many great Italian choices here in the metro NYC area.

I feel like I’m all over the map-any tips or critique would be welcomed. I’m trying to streamline our itinerary as we are less than 3 weeks away from the trip! Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Unfortunately, Yank Sing doesn't do dinner. I'd do lunch at Yank Sing, then dinner at Colibri. It's fine for kids... quite loud, and with classic Mexican movies playing on a tv over the bar to keep his eyes entertained. (Check the menu, as it's not Tex-Mex with fajitas and things... they do a great table-side guacamole preparation.)

    I like the Yank Sing location at Rincon Center better as it's larger and I feel the carts come through more often and with more variety. I love their soup dumplings. Other friends like the Stevenson location better as it's cozier.

    If you're not talking about "kid friendly" meaning chicken fingers and coloring books (and I don't think you are!), pretty much any restaurant is kid friendly, especially the neighborhood restaurants. But I've seen folks take well-behaved children to even fine-dining restaurants, so you'll be fine.

    1. King of Thai Noodle House, Canton, Witchcraft.All kid-friendly and delicious.

      1. Yank Sing is a good idea. The Rincon Center location is the place for you.
        Don't go to Mama's with a toddler on the weekend.
        The wait to get in can be interminable. You run the risk of serious misery.
        Right nearby is Park Tavern. It would be a good choice.
        Lively with plenty of soothing background noise :-) The food is very good.
        I don't know if they serve breakfast.
        If you're in the Marina you might want to reconsider your "no Italian" rule.
        A16 is not Marea, but it's 1/4 the price, and is quite excellent in its own right. More kid friendly too.
        If you're in the Haight try The Alembic for a late lunch.
        It's cool and the food is delish. It's a good restaurant masquerading as a bar.
        They've got the Magnolia's beers.
        It would be good with a toddler. Just don't let him drink too much :-)
        Unfortunately, you probably don't want to be in the Haight with a toddler at night.
        Union Square? Farallon. Ask for a table in the back room.
        Your toddler will flip out looking at all the amazing visual stimuli. You might flip out too.
        It's beautiful and the food is very good.
        Possible downsides: Pricey and a bit more formal than the previous recommendations.
        Have fun.