Restaurant recommendations for lunch - places you love for dinner but also do lunch?
Looking for a place or two for a nice lunch, cali-style cuisine is great but really we will eat anything. We are traveling with a 13 month old and may have better luck with lunch than dinner. I'm wondering about sit-down options, not take out. Any recommendations of your favorite dinner spots that also do lunch would be great!
Off the top of my head, places I've had lunch in the last three/four months:
Cotogna (serves all day, I believe, and is very pleasant late-afternoon).
Barbacco serves lunch until 3 or 3:30.
Zuni is open for lunch. Absinthe.
AQ has brunch on Sundays (I have not been to brunch, just dinner).
Tons more, I just am having a hard time thinking of them. I'm sure other Hounds will add.
From the Castro you could take easily Muni downtown if you wanted. Carriewas218 is right, though: don't drive downtown unless you want to spend.
I don't have kids, but most SF restaurants are pretty child-friendly, especially at earlier seatings. You might also look into a couple of dinners at 5:00 or 5:30 if that works for your family. Unfortunately, I'm thinking that Frances, which is good and in your neighborhood, might be awfully tight quarters with a baby. Perhaps other posters will chime in here.
Even though you have a car, some of the better places downtown will charge you more for parking than for the meal itself (Barbacco, Wexler's, Kokkari).
Because you are in the Castro, I'd head to either Hayes Valley (Absinthe, Lers Ros), Fillmore (Delfina, Troya, La Mediterranee), or - as others have suggested - Zuni.
Do NOT drive downtown. It is a nightmare of one-way streets and weird angles, plus SF is the pilot city for DOT's "parking on demand" program where the price of meters fluctuates according to how many people are trying to park.
My niece was recently looking for an SF restaurant that took kids, and one of her friends gave these recommendations for dinner. Can't give you specifics on parking/transit, sorry.
1) Jackson Fillmore Trattoria - old school Italian, awesome service, great food. Local Italian place that never disappoints.
2) Pizza Delfina - amazing thin crust pizza but a variety of other Italian small plates that are awesome.
3) A16 - may need to call in advance for reservations, but they do pasta and pizza quite well.
4) Zuni is a great choice. There is a lot going on in the restaurant without being overly busy, which will be fun for the kids. Order the chicken right when you sit down! It takes a good 45 minutes.