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Staying near union square. Looking for [San Francisco]

Hi all. Staying here three nights. Have a 5 yr old with us. Looking for excellent food but not $$$$ or fancy . Sushi,Mexican, other.

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  1. Try Cafe Claude, Gitane, Berbacco. Go before the dinner rush (e.g. 5-6). Restaurants in SF (besides the chains) aren't that family friendly and can be rather over-stimulating for younger kids. Patrons aren't very sympathetic. But the crowds don't come till 7-7:30.

    15 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      I'd never take a child to Café Claude. Too French, too romantic. I also think that SF restaurants are quite child friendly, especially since OP isn't looking for high end "fancy." Almost anything in Chinatown, North Beach and the Mission (a short BART/Muni ride). Also plenty of spots around Union Square. But as you say, go early but they'd probably do that with a 5 y.o. any way.

      1. re: c oliver

        Feel free to link me, but what do you recommend in Chinatown?

        1. re: Shrinkrap

          I recommend that OP search under Chinatown. Is Jai Yun appropriate for a child?

          1. re: c oliver

            As a tourist, I have recommended to a fellow traveler to try Great Eastern for solid dimsum with a small. The OP appears to be from Manhattan (at least that's where the majority of his/her posts are from) so that may not be a useful recco.

            I'd be loathe to suggest Jai Yun based on OP's non-$$$$ criteria, not to mention that I spend a fair amount of time with a well-behaved 5 yo and she would have a hard time with the wait between courses and the general quietness of the bare-bones room. Somewhere more lively can help to cover up any small outbursts that might occur.

            A recent trip to Portland OR with said wee 'un confirmed that that it's best to pick a place that the parentals will enjoy and just be sure there is one thing the child can eat. Going early is a good tip and will open up a lot more possibilities.

            Agree about getting out of Union Square! Great area for hotels but not so very many wonderful food choices/

            1. re: grayelf

              Hi. We yelped Chinatown yesterday for lunch. Went to great eastern for dim sum. Place was packed, service was terrific but the food was lacking. That's when I decided to turn to CH.

              1. re: pulled pork

                Too bad about Great Eastern. We ate there once and thought it was, as I said, solid. Not amazing, especially coming from Vancouver (and apparently from NY!).

          2. re: Shrinkrap

            PS: I don't know what it means to "link" you. ???

            1. re: c oliver

              I meant copy and paste the url of a thread about good places in Chinatown. For some reason the right words are failing me.

              1. re: Shrinkrap

                There are so many I didn't feel it was necessary.

                1. re: c oliver

                  You are right; here is a recent one

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906394

                  I have been so frustrated by them in the past, I'd given up, but I "trust" your opinion, so I thought I'd ask.

                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                    How nice of you. I've not been to Jai Yun which is supposed to be amazing but maybe not suited for a child as one eats for a LONG time :) I and many CHs love Yuet Lee. About the only time I seriously differ on SF's Chinese food is the Yank Sing love. It's just too darn expensive IMO. But otherwise, when we visit, I spend time reading what the locals have to say.

          3. re: c oliver

            Hm. I've found cafe claude more lively than romantic. Yes it's french but it's on the casual bistro side.

            - It's hard to find a good restaurant in Chinatown or North Beach. As in, if you were to just pick a random restaurant - it wouldn't be particularly "chow" worthy. Which restaurants in Chinatown or North Beach were you thinking of?

            - Same with Union Square - what spots are you thinking of? In my head, there aren't a ton of good unique food spots.

            - In the Mission, Limon Rotisserie is fun and has decent food. There are various tacquerias centered around the 24th st. Bart station that are decent (El Farolito or La Taqueria)

            1. re: goldangl95

              Planning on Mission for Mexican and visit to Mission cheese tomorrow.

              1. re: pulled pork

                In the mission there's also:

                Bakeries: Craftsman & Wolves or Knead
                Ice Cream: Bi-Rite or Humphrey Slocombe
                Coffee (well not for your 5 yr old): Ritual, Four Barrell, Philz

                For fusion tacos there is tacolicious

                Valencia is a cool street to walk on. Mission (the street itself) can be sketchy around the BART stations at night.

              2. re: goldangl95

                To the right of this thread are links to three more re Union Sq.

                For Chinatown, http://www.chow.com/search?query=chin...

                For North Beach, http://www.chow.com/search?query=nort...

                For the Mission, http://www.chow.com/search?query=miss...

                These nabes are discussed so regularly that it seems unnecessary to 'name names.'

          4. Where fit lunch today on way back from Exploratorium ? Just a good solid meal. I need a happy food moment today.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pulled pork

              Some notes on the restaurants at the Exploratorium:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/898787

              Thursday is one of the market days at the Ferry Building, so you could head along the Embarcadero and see what is appealing at the market. There are a variety of outdoor vendors that are there on market days, plus all the permanent restaurants inside the Ferry Building.

            2. Tropisueno and Farmer Brown. Not excellent food, but in a pinch the food court downstairs in front of Bloomingdales is good.