Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Apr 25, 2013 10:58 AM

SF special occasion restaurant that will tolerate a small child

It's grandma's 95th birthday, so I'm treating her and my parents to a few days (Sunday-Tuesday) in the city. I'd like to have at least one very nice dinner, and a few other memorable meals. (For comparison, the last milestone birthday trip was for my mother in Yountville, and the dinners were at Bouchon, Redd, and the French Laundry.)

Now my sister is planning to join us - with her four year old. He's very well-behaved, doesn't need a booster seat and eats off the normal menu, and she keeps him in check. But still. And the trip is less than two weeks away at this point.

So, any ideas about good, special occasion restaurants in SF where I can still get a reservation for a Sunday/Monday lunch/brunch/early dinner that is nice enough and quiet enough for a proper celebration, but that can deal with a small child?

Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. keiko's a nob hill -- has two rooms and sometimes the back room isn't used. i suggest you call and ask if they could accommodate.

    farina -- serves brunch on sunday, and usually isn't all that full early in the night.

    jai yun -- would be fine with a 4-year old.

    kappa -- this place is very small, so if you called ahead and told them your dilemma, they might be able to accommodate.

    north beach restaurant -- would definitely work well for lunch. good, traditional italian food. not cheap, but you are paying for the space and the service.

    all five are relatively expensive, but they serve great food, and are almost never completely booked, so they could likely make it work if you call ahead.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dustin_E

      A lot of these look like they would be great, and Jai Yun looks absolutely perfect - thank you!

      1. re: awess

        anytime! also, to elaborate on the others:

        with kappa, 5 guests is more than they often have sitting at a bar at one time, so i thought they might be willing to only serve your party if you arrive early (maybe at 5pm, as they open at 6pm.) worth a try if you like how the place looks online.

        farina and north beach restaurant are large, rarely-full restaurants, so it would be easy for them to place you away from other diners.

    2. The problem isn't with the restaurant as much as with the other diners. A special occasion restaurant is a special occassion for many of them as well, so I would ask that your sister please think of them and get a sitter.

      Now I'm sure some folks will chime in that they wouldn't mind, but they couldn't possibly be speaking for everybody.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Civil Bear

        Yes, I hear you. I don't have kids, and I am usually on your side of the argument, but this is what it is. Even though he's a good kid, I wouldn't take him to the places that we went in Yountville or to somewhere extremely formal.

        1. re: Civil Bear

          It really depends on the kid. I was taken to some very fancy restaurants as a young child. No one, but the waiters knew I was there, as long as chocolate mousse was involved.

          On the other hand, there are lots of adults that should be disciplined and shown the door.

            1. re: Civil Bear

              As a side note, I'd given the concierge at our hotel the full run-down, and she had booked us at Gary Danko with the toddler. Yeah, that really wasn't going to happen - had to cancel that. I appreciated her work in securing the reservation, and I wouldn't mind going there someday w/o kids, but that was just not good for a child. That's when I turned to this forum.

            2. I took my toddler and infant to the Presidio Social Club for an early dinner and the staff was very kind to us. Plus the food was great.

              1. For lunch you might try Zuni Cafe. Might not be nice enough for dinner but probably for lunch with a kid.

                1. Prior to our daughter's wedding a few years ago, we had wonderful dinner at Ristorante Ideale in North Beach. Definite suitable for a small child. Not fancy but nice and VERY lively :)