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Dinner Near Civic Center BART? [San Francisco]


I've been reading forum posts for ideas, but I thought I would just ask if anyone has ideas. I'm not too familiar with SF but I'll be taking an exam on Van Ness and then making my way back to Civic Center BART. Any good places for dinner near the station? My parents will be meeting me somewhere, so I'd prefer to find something closer to the station and is accessible without them walking up steep hills. It would be especially helpful if meals were under $20/person. Thanks!!

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  1. Not sure if you are just wanting to grab a bite or sit and dine.

    Some options:

    Show Dogs which is a small cafe


    Farmer Brown


    AQ (may be too expensive


    2 Replies
    1. re: Scott M

      If you're coming from Van Ness, AQ is a couple of not-very-nice blocks past Civic Center BART.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        The walk from BART to AQ isn't half bad compared with some of the blocks in the immediate area.

        If shanna86's parents aren't comfortable with hobos and so on, it might be a good idea to meet in a less scuzzy neighborhood, maybe one where it's easier to find an inexpensive sit-down restaurant.

    2. Gyro King is excellent, cheap, and half a block from Civic Center BART.

      AQ is my favorite place in the area but $20 a person would be more of a snack than dinner.

      Farmer Brown is by Powell St. BART.

      1. I was thinking more of a sit-down dinner than a quick snack, I'll start looking into these ideas though =)

        1. You might want to consider Lers Ros on Larkin


          It's about five blocks away, but a flat terrain.
          $20/person might be tight, but doable there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kungful

            I think Lers Ros is on the only hill in the area.

            A three block closer option on the way to Lers Ros would be Burmese Kitchen:
            -Good food
            -under $20/pp
            -no hills
            -not too seedy

          2. Take Über X and go to a better neighborhood, especially if you want to avoid hills, because the area there that is not hilly is pretty sketchy. I certainly wouldn't take my parents there.

            Just my $0.02.

            1. Will you all be on BART? You can eat well at Barbacco for $20 a person. It's a couple of flat blocks from Embarcadero BART.

              1. Lers Ros on Hayes St. is closer than the original one on Larkin. Hayes St. area as more options. Here's a list of nearby places:

                6 Replies
                1. re: foodeye

                  Reports have been pretty consistently less favorable on Lers Ros's Hayes St. location.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I don't think so, except for noise at peak times. Most reviews at both Lers Ros locations are quite favorable, and both have some naysayers. Not many people seem to visit both branches, though.


                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I accidentally replied to that thread, but it seems the prices are now uniform in both locations.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          One person with a bad take-out experience is not "consistently less favorable." I do agree that the Pad Thai at the Hayes location is lacking; never had it at Larkin. But dishes like that aren't why I'm a Lers Ross fan anyway.


                          1. re: mdg

                            I heard from several people that the Hayes St. location was not as good and they wouldn't go back. But it may have improved.

                  2. At that price old hippy style vegetarian at Ananda Fuara sinceTu Lan is shuttered for health violations -at long last. Love Ananda's soyburgers and neatloaf. Filthy place.
                    AQ is more than $20. Some nice dishes at Gyro King across from the Main library.

                    1. There are a few options on Folsom between 7th and 8th to consider:

                      Citizen's band
                      Basil Thai

                      1. A lot of the places people are listing here are not near the Civic Center BART at all. Very close to the BART the best options are Gyro King, which is great and less than 1/2 block from BART, and Lalita Thai on Macallister St, which is good but not great Thai food. If you're willing to walk a bit (no hills), then your best bet is Hayes St between Gough and Franklin where there are a zillion, mostly upscale, restaurants.

                        I'd go with Gyro King if I were you. It's pretty casual and there's no table service (you order at the counter) but the food is incredible. I don't even particularly like that kind of food and I eat there all the time. The daily specials, which they might only have for lunch, are tons of food for about $10. The pies (I like the spinach pies best, but the chicken are good too) are delicious, and of course they have gyro and kebabs and spanikopita and good desserts, too.

                        1. If we are thinking Hayes Street and bargain, I would suggest Arlequin, the budget sister of Absinthe. Order at counter and find table. Eating on patio behind can be nice. It fills up with pre-performance diners on concerts or opera nights, which is when I have been, but otherwise seating should not be a problem. Examples: satisfying Indian-spiced lamb burger $12, chicken good for the price $14. Also sandwiches and salads. That burger plus wine from inexpensive list (or expensive--they are connected to wine store next door--plus tax and tip should be around $25. Let us know what you do as there are always questions about Civic Center dining.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: alfairfax

                            Arlequin does have good food at modest prices.