Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Nov 1, 2012 12:39 PM

Dives and cheap lunches

hi guys im gonna be in town with the GF from Nov. 8th to the 12th. We are gonna do great places like the Slanted Door, flour n water, wayfare, etc for dinner...but we wanted to know some cheap dive type places that the locals love for lunch. all suggestions are welcome. We love all kinds of food adventures. only restriction is it has to be in city cuz we're goin everywhere by cab. thanks in advance.

p.s. -- if u have a suggestion but the place is not cheap, but is a MUST HAVE LUNCH then thats ok too.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like Red's Java House even if others don't .The food is only ok but the view from the patio is great.
    For a better burger but not a dive, Original Joe's across from Washington Square in North Beach.

    1 Reply
    1. Are you only staying in Frisco?

      Or are you adventurous?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mission

        no. stayin in frisco. takin cabs everywhere.

      2. banh mi at Saigon Sandwich
        taco al pastor at Taqueria San Jose (the original on Mission near 24th)
        lamb schwerma wrap at Truly Mediterranean
        mohinga and tea leaf salad at Burmese Kitchen

        1. la Torta Gorda, 24th St. about six blocks east of the Mission Bart station. tortas, quesadillas, breakfasts, chiles en nogada.

          1. any awesome chinese or japanese dives? or seafood dives?? im from Houston and are mexican food here is amazing, but the Chinese food is above average at best. and SF being so heavily influenced by china n japan and being right by the water...i was hoping for something along those lines.

            10 Replies
            1. re: rdmousavi

              Katana-ya for ramen and the Sapporo-Ya noodle shop in Japantown are probably as close as you get to a dive among the local Japanese places.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I second Red's Java House ( which is different from The Java House at pier 40) but ONLY for the ambience and fish and chips. Yuet Lee on Stockton and Broadway is a must, since it is a dive, (while it's not dirt cheap, who wants dirt cheap fish?) it specializes in seafood and it's Cantonese, making it a threefer by my reckoning.

                1. re: little big al

                  Love Yuet Lee.

                  Note to OP. SF is relatively small and easy to get around. Walking and public transpo will serve you well.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    For ramen I'd recommend both Ramen Underground on Kearny and Kirimachi Ramen on Broadway.

                  2. re: rdmousavi

                    for Chinese cooking, if you want the best quality it won't be from dives, but the small, quaint places which could qualify for that moniker are probably in that 'above average at best' strata that you have in Hou.

                    1. re: moto

                      i think dives may have been used improperly on my behalf or summed up into too large of a category. What i meant was quaint locals only type of places that your average hotel concierge wouldnt know about

                    2. re: rdmousavi

                      very SF, calif-italian seafood, good eats, cozy but not a dive, not cheap[ good seafood cannot be cheap here], Sotto Mare in North Beach.

                      1. re: moto

                        perfect. im totally for it. thanks