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Where to eat near San Francisco State

We're dropping our son off in August and would like to take him to dinner before we leave. I thought I'd get a head start on this.

He'll try anything! We are a little less adventurous. Somewhere casual, but we might splurge for the occasion.


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  1. Check out Westlake Joe's.

    1. I really liked Fresca in West Portal. Peruvian, good cervice and good service.

      1. Kingdom of Dumplings for XLB or soup dumplings. Casual, Boulevard Cafe. Gold Mirror for old fashion/old school Italian.

        1. Outerlands Judah @ 45th

          Near enough.


          1. Yeah, there's not much over there. I remember when I was going there, we often ended up at Chevy's in the mall. I'm not a big Fresca fan, but it's probably one of the best eateries in the area (alas). There's also a Mediterranean type place called Bursa that I thought was okay, but I haven't eaten there in years.

            Nearby is a great little Chinese place called Old Mandarin Islamic, where there is plenty to eat for conservative palates, but also things like "lamb eggs" for the adventurous. It's a tasty restaurant, very casual. (I personally wouldn't bother with the lamb eggs though; they don't taste like much.)

            5 Replies
            1. re: dunstable

              There's a lot out that way but not a lot of what the OP wants.

              FYI: SF is a 7 miles by 7 miles. You can get anywhere pretty quickly so there's no need to limit yourself to one area.

              1. re: ML8000

                Not much that is any good, though. Believe me; in the time I was a student there, we must have tried every restaurant within a mile at least three times. I can't wholeheartedly recommend any of them except maybe Bursa, which I haven't visited in years. And Old Mandarin, which isn't exactly in the area.

                1. re: dunstable

                  The area immediately around campus is mostly a food desert. Best bet given the OP's specifications (assuming Outerlands is out) is probably West Portal. Spiazzo is OK for neighborhood Italian food, Xiao Loong is Americanized but fine Chinese, and Mozzarella de Bufala is a decent pizza place with some Brazilian specialties on the menu. Haven't tried Roti or the Mexican place.

                  I might give some thought to 9th and Irving though and take him to Craw Station for crawfish and crab.

                  1. re: dunstable

                    Depends on your palette. I went to state for grad school. Lots of Chinese (Ming's Cafe, 8 Immortals), mom and pop and hole-in-the-walls places like Tennessee Grill but no casual/cool places.

                    1. re: ML8000

                      My palate includes all that stuff, but I don't count Taraval as "immediately around campus". It's about a mile and a half away, somewhat uphill, if you go straight up 19th. Not a pleasant walk. Within walking distance of SFSU is...all the chains in the Stonestown mall, a taqueria and a burger joint in a Parkmerced strip mall, and maybe a place or two in Lakeside. That's about it.

              2. Not for your dinner but for a place where I'll bet he will spend some time.
                Hall Of Flame Burgers,73 Cambon Dr (at Castelo Ave)

                1 Reply
                1. re: wolfe

                  My son spent 2 years at SFSU, and we ate at Hall of Flame the most. My son should have probably taken better advantage of Dad paying - this is not an expensive place.

                2. If you're willing to drive four or five miles, there are a lot more options.

                  1. I'd drive up 19th Ave to Irving, make a right turn and park near 9th St. There you'll have plenty of options, including Park Chow, casual but very good, reasonable price and something for everyone.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ML8000

                      Thanks for the great response and all the suggestions!

                      1. re: ocbaker

                        I realized today that I never reported back on our trip to San Francisco.

                        We ended up at an Indian fast food place after returning to our car to go to lunch and discovering a dead battery. Not exactly what we planned, but after a two hour quest to find a battery, etc., we were all cranky and hungry.

                        I am looking forward to trying some of these places next time we are visiting. And I will pass along your recommendations to my son.

                        1. re: ocbaker

                          The restaurants on Ocean between 19th & Junipero Serra are within a mile from campus. Not really a pleasant walk along 19th but it is close.

                          Shabu House on Ocean is really good. It's probably the only restaurant near SF State that I would make an effort to visit if I were out of the area. Kamakura on Ocean isn't bad for Japanese (there are better places but both the sushi and cooked items are passable).

                          If you have a car, then about 2 miles away in Daly City is Kome Buffet. It is all you can eat Asian -- the food quality is very good as far as buffets go.

                          Also about 2 miles away on Ocean is a Whole Foods. I don't know of any good restaurants on Ocean east of Junipero Serra.

                          West Portal is also about 2 miles away from SF State. There are a few good restaurants in that area, including Goat Hill Pizza (pizza) & El Toreador (mexican).