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Jul 11, 2012 02:33 PM

Set Lunch/Prix Fix Availability in San Francisco

Hi all,

I am travelling to San Francisco in the middle of August and am keen to eat as well as possible. Often when I eat at more ""fine dining places in the UK I take advantage of their set menu lunch offers, I was wondering if anyone doing similar in SF?

No odubt lots more questions to come, but will try and research a bit more on specific restaurants/coffee/beer and cuisines before I do

Thanks in advance

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  1. I am not sure that's a very common custom in SF.

    One worthwhile exception is at Cotogna.

    At Epic Roasthouse on the Embarcadero (view of Bay Bridge, so especially nice for a visitor), there is a $40 fixed price brunch (weekends) and the bar has a $20 beer, burger and brownie special.

    1. What kinds of things are you looking for in a set price fine dining lunch? Starter, main, and a dessert? Four courses? Or several small portions to maximize the number of dishes you can try? More of a tasting menu with amuse's etc? What price range are you looking for?

      1. Luce and One Market both offer less expensive lunch prix fixe menus ($20-$25), in addition to their regular lunch menus. Michael Mina's lunch menu is prix fixe (starts at $50), but you can also order everything a la carte at the bar, which I prefer since I don't usually want to take a 2 hour lunch.

        1. Most "fine dining" places here aren't open for lunch at all. Set menus are not at all common here at lunch the way they are in France and the UK. A few places offer prix-fixe options at dinner that are cheaper than eating a la carte, but the most expensive places tend to offer only prix-fixe tasting menus and no a la carte.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Hi all,

            Thanks for responses. My idea of set lunch is an example of what the restaurant can do, albeit usually with cheaper ingredients, and is starter, main dessert, occasionally with an amuse and bread thrown in, for around £15-20 at a single star, up to around £50-60 at a three star. But sounds like I may not be finding similar in SF. Not a problem, happy to eat as the locals do, just now need to try and finalise a couple more questions to ping out on the boards for recommendations.

            1. re: stanleyk

              I suspect there just aren't enough people who want to eat a full meal at midday for that to be very common. It's probably wise not to worry about whether they do that when choosing where to eat.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Thanks Robert,

                Maybe aim for cheaper lunches that can't really get much of where i live in UK, ie mexican, vietnamese and chinese, then aim for a 'California' meal in the evening at one of the more FD establishments

                1. re: stanleyk

                  That's a good plan. There's lots of great cheap food in SF at lunchtime. You also might look into Burmese, Peruvian, and Yucatecan.