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Sep 15, 2013 01:45 PM

chowhound family that likes adventure with great foodie places

family travelling with kids 7 & 9 have been on adventures to food trucks all in spanish in san diego to hawaii korean food at angry korean with her rules, to farmers markets, DDD locations. Cuban sandwiches, & seafood joints , italian sandwiches and canolli's.

Dim sum not really our thing or chinese,
Love mexican
Great burger joint (we did not go to (In & Out )before may hit it for the trouristy thing)
Food trucks
Love happy hours and fixed meals to save a few $$
No rainforest cafe or other chain like places.

We will be staying at the Holiday Inn at Fisherman's wharf 3 days.we will have a car so will drive for great places.

We will hit the ferry Building
We dont want romantic fine dining locations.

Love to hear what you chowhounders can recommend for us.


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  1. Food truck central behind San Francisco Costco. Looks interesting but I haven't eaten there because I can't pass up the 1/4 pound hot and drink across the street.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Haha hilarious!
      We have a Costco membership, our hotel doesn't offer breakfast so will pick up items at Costco. Will look at your food truck link.

      Would Costco be the best spot to buy beer and wine price wise?

        1. re: wolfe

          i should check if a Bev and Mo in the area, we still talk about the adventure of MO time $2 for 5 glasses of wine and veggies cheese and crackers,,OH MY

          1. re: palmtree38

            There are a couple of BevMos in San Francisco. There's also a Trader Joe's on Bay St. near Fisherman's Wharf.

    2. our 9 and 10 year old love food too :) We dont get to that side of town too often, but some random places that we visit include:

      - Little Skillet for their chicken and mac 'n cheese
      - Primavera (mexican) at the Sat farmers market (which has a great selection of other food too - 4505 meats, namu etc)
      - 18th street has some great food places (namu, tartine, delfina, bi-rite ice cream etc)
      - 24th street also has some good food (humphrey slocom, wise son, torta los picudos, pals takeaway). La taqueria on 25th and mission is very good too. You can do a taco and ice cream crawl in that neighbourhood.
      - the cafe at the academy is pretty good

      too many good place to eat,too little time :(


      51 Replies
      1. re: dlobo

        Unfort wont be there for sat farmers market ::((

        Tues-friday sched

        1. re: palmtree38

          There is a smaller farmers market in front of the ferry bldg Tues 10a-2p

          1. re: cakebaker

            There are smaller markets at the Ferry Building on both Tuesday and Thursday.

            1. re: absc

              Great will be there tues and thursday.

        2. re: dlobo

          I agree with the recommendation of an ice-cream and taco crawl through the Mission. That is exactly what I would have liked doing at age 7 or 9!

          1. re: dlobo

            So mission is a safe area to walk around then .
            Is this a trolley ride and if so which one from Holiday inn at the wharf . Or can we walk it?

            Tacos and ice cream ole

            1. re: palmtree38

              I wouldn't recommend walking from the Wharf to the Mission with two little kids. You can take the F streetcar to the Castro and walk to the Mission from there.

              And, the Mission is on the gritty side, I guess, but you'll be fine. I would just rather not linger at the intersection of 16th and Mission; it's kinda gross.

              1. re: Violatp

                The F streetcar to Castro would work for getting to the Mission, or you could take the 49 bus down VanNess and then continue on down Mission Street.

                The walk along 24th Street might be a good choice for your group, between Mission St. and Potrero. Favorite places of mine in that stretch are Taqueria Vallarta and La Torta Gorda. There's also Humphrey Slocombe ice cream.

                Then you could also walk up Valencia St. from there, and up to Bi-Rite and Dolores Park, which has a new and fun playground. Seems like a trip to Bi-Rite and a play on that playground would also be fun for 7 and 9 yr olds.

                1. re: Dave MP

                  Ah, yes. The 49 is a better suggestion; then you don't have to walk at all to get to the Mission. Just take it straight to 24th and Mission!

                  1. re: Violatp

                    The street car may be more fun for the kids no?? Is streetcar the same as the trolley bus?

                    Taco and ice cream crawl is a awesome idea.
                    Just making up my itinerary and most popular food recommendations you all gave me

                    1. re: palmtree38

                      The streetcar is fun a couple of times. It can also be a fairly long ride from fishermans wharf to castro (45-60 mins)

                      a combination of playgrounds (dolores park, mission and 19th, mission and 25th), sweets (ice cream, dandelion chocolate, baked goods) and tacos will make for an awesome day

                      if you are into indoor rock climbing, mission cliffs at 19th and harrison is also quite nice (especially if its a cold windy day)


                      1. re: palmtree38

                        Would definitely be fun - especially if you get one with wooden seats and stuff. Every F streetcar is different; some are more modern than others.

                        It's a question of how much your kids are willing/able to walk, I think, which only you will know! :-)

                        I think if you take the F, your crawl would start at, basically, Church and Market, and you can walk to 18th and Church from there, hang a left, and proceed from there down 18th to Valencia, then down Valencia to 24th, then hang a left on 24th and continue. You could then finish by walking back to Mission & 24th and take the 49 back to the hotel. (Is that correct? I never took the 49 to the Wharf area)

                        Whereas if you took the 49 down, you could probably start at 24th and Mission, go east on 24th for a bunch of blocks, then turn around and walk back the way you came plus a few blocks to get to Valencia and head north back up to Valencia and 18th, and then going up to Church and Market and taking the streetcar back to the Wharf.

                        It's quite a lot of walking! Fun walking and no problem for healthy adults, but you know your kids patience!

                        1. re: Violatp

                          I think you gave a really excellent walkl I don't mind Mission Street at all but understand that it is a bit scuzzy.

                          1. re: Violatp

                            The F is the "historic streetcar line". It is above ground from around fisherman's wharf all the way over to near the castro. SF Muni buys streetcars from around the world, refurbishes them, and runs them. It's a rolling museum. They have old LA cars (the "red cars" popularized in Who Killed Roger Rabbit), philly, milan, I don't know, all kinds of stuff.

                            It is also the same line as in this 1906 video from before the 'quake, you can see the line leading to the ferry building.

                            Back to food. I think an excellent day goes from around the castro or church muni, through dolores park (look out for the gold fire hydrant), down to birite, onto one of the walking tours for murals, ending up around HS. You can do a little research and have a few places in your back pocket.

                            I really liked the pulled goat at SouthPaw BBQ when I did a recent walk like this, and the house brewed beer is a real winner. The whiskey flight put it over the top, but perhaps not of interest to your crowd.

                            The best ice cream in the city right now is at Mr and Ms Miscellaneous. To get there, grab the 22 which runs down 16th street through the entire mission, ride it to the end, and you're in this very industrial section that's gentrifying. You can get back to "civilization" from the T Muni line, which has a stop right out front. There is no easy way from HS to MMM by public transit, your budget might approve an Uber SUV, or the kids legs might be long enough for a City Bike Share, if there is a bus (48?) it's one of the more unreliable in the city.

                            OTOH, the last time I took some 7 and 9 year olds to MMM, I got all the way out there and was met with a huge sign that said "SOLD OUT OF ICE CREAM". So you might want to call just before.

                            1. re: bbulkow

                              As improbable as it sounds, I've also been met with a similar sign at M&M Misc.

                              The 48 does go there. It's essentially the same as taking the 22.
                              Not a great route for a visitor. I'd suggest taking the T line in both directions instead. Then again, I'd probably suggest skipping the detour entirely on a short visit. Plenty in the Mission, or within distance of other attractions.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                Yeah, it's pretty far out of the way and there's not much non-food activities down there.

                                1. re: bbulkow

                                  It's good for an after ballpark visit, otherwise it's one of the less convenient excursions we can send tourists on, even with a car.

                                  1. re: bbulkow

                                    Wow this thread is hot i am goi g to sit down with a cali red wine and read all these posts and copy paste to my itinary

                                  2. re: sugartoof

                                    We will also have a car so we can drive to restaurants . Ice cream. Food trucks etc.

                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      Yes too much out of the way for ice cream..

                                      Will stick with taco and ice cream crawl in mission,

                                      Is parking in this area expensive or street coin meters? As we could take a car to mission rather then all the busses/street cars.

                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                        It's a personal thing. There are few lots in the mission, so you have to find street parking. If you have a second sense, you won't spend half your vacation looking for a parking space. SF has changed most of its meters to include a credit card reader, or load the parking-payment app onto your smartphone.

                                        Generally, your precious vacation time shouldn't be spent looking for a space. Take cabs (everything REALLY IS CLOSE) - use a "hailing app" like FreeWheel on your phone - or take BART to get close then hoof it a few blocks.

                                        I would never, ever suggest anyone to take a car to the mission - but I do it all the time myself. I know enough of the blocks and the nooks and crannies that I can usually ferret out a space (unless it's friday night).

                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                          The Mission is probably the most congested parking situation in the evenings, because it's residents fighting with patrons to the shops for spots.

                                          Daytimes are more relaxed. Main drags like 24th are prone to having a lot of spaces come and go. At it's worst, parking in the Mission means leaving your car on a strange side street, farther away than you intended after driving arond for 20 minutes.... but if you're walking around, what's the difference? Stick to more populated streets when you can though.

                                          The idea is just to get a space in the general area.
                                          If any of that causes you anxiety, just take Muni/Bart.

                                          That's how locals do it.

                                          1. re: sugartoof

                                            Ok great!

                                            I will look up passes for adults and kids, maybe better to buy hop on off type or book of tickets then paying each time

                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                To clarify, I didn't mean that locals take the public transit alone, I meant, that's the whole shebang that locals go through.

                                                Kids are a discounted fare. You get a 2 hour transfer. If it's a paper transfer (instead of dispensed from a machine), you can get away with using it for longer. Unless there's a weekend pass offer, you might be better off paying per ride, though adults are $2 each.

                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                  We usually ride the BART into the mission with my boys. They hate the parking game. Who am I kidding - I hate the parking game.

                                                  From the Wharf to the Ferry Building we hoof it (usually I let the boys take scooters - they can do it once you pass pier 37ish). You can rent bikes. The MUNI trains are decent too, but my boys find the buses too slow - they would rather walk/ride.

                                                  Just remember to keep your MUNI passes out of your back pockets - they are prime fodder for pickpocketers.

                                                  Oh - and as far as the itinerary with so many suggested, I actually suggest you find what you want to see in the city and there will be plenty around. There is nothing that will turn kids off to a city more than having to drive around in traffic and find parking, or sitting on a city bus for an hour for a single morsel of food.

                                                  San Francisco is small, just some neighborhoods are easier to walk to than others. One year one Christmas eve we covered SOMA to Nob Hill to Mission to Noe Valley on foot and one BART ride - with all my kids.

                                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                                    Agree with the comment that with 2 adults, and 2 kids, a cab might be worth it for certain rides. Then again, waiting for the bus or trying to call a cab can be as frustrating as parking.

                                                    "Just remember to keep your MUNI passes out of your back pockets - they are prime fodder for pickpocketers. "

                                                    Their MUNI passes are safe. They're more likely to drop or misplace one than they are at risk from a pickpocket.

                                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                                      I've been pickpocketed with MUNI passes and know others that have too.

                                                      1. re: jsaimd

                                                        I still wouldn't want a visitor to think they're really at risk of pickpocketing sprees targeting MUNI passes. Whatever blackmarket exists for MUNI fares comes from subsidized/discounted cards issued by MUNI and the city itself and obtained dubiously. The cards are easy to drop and misplace though.

                                                    2. re: jsaimd

                                                      Arrive around dinner after drive from Monterey stopping at HP stte park to see Redwoods.
                                                      Next morning drive over the golden gate bridge park on other side and walk part of it, spend lunch time and few hours at golden gate park. Visit Long bard Street (curved street) knob hill houses

                                                      Next day early morning tickets purchased for Alcatraz
                                                      Afternoon spent at Exploritarium

                                                      Following day drive to twin peaks and head to San Ramon

                                                      We will also add the ferry building, pier 39 and Fisherman's wharf into agenda

                                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                                        Lombard Street, the second twistiest street and San Francisco.
                                                        "Remember the Maine" oops make that the Vermont.
                                                        I would say while you are near the North GGB you should go to the Marin Headlands for the most spectacular view of the City over the bridge but it may be closed.

                                                    3. re: palmtree38

                                                      Everything works via Clipper Card now. You can also pay cash and there are supposedly some cases where cash is better, for transfers.

                                                      I strongly recommend cabs, again. Once you get 4 tickets vs a $10 cab ride, it's break even. With these smartphone hailing apps, it's simple. If I have to meet someone for dinner in the mission, I take the train to 22nd St and grab a cab over - which only works with a hailing app, because there are very few cabs at 22nd St caltrain - the $15 cab ride is worth it for me.

                                                      We also now have City Bike Share, but this isn't optimal for kids. I love these as a tourist in other cities ( I loved tooling around NYC a few weeks ago on their system ).

                                                      1. re: bbulkow

                                                        In my usual troggy way, I had no idea that there were taxi hailing apps, a boon to gastrotourists in a city they know but not well like me and the SO. Thanks for steering me in that direction ie. toward the good food faster. We've spent our fair share of time waiting for SF cabs that never came....

                                                        I think I'll check this one out since I have an Android and it doesn't add a charge or a tip:

                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                          I wont be using my iohone for apps as the roaming fees will be HUGE from canada

                                                          1. re: palmtree38

                                                            I am Canadian too and have solved that problem by using Roam Mobility. I can't be in a foodie city without access to Chowhound, for heaven's sake :-).

                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                              Roam mobility. Never heard of that
                                                              my spouse and i are on Whatsapp if in wifi area to text each each other with no fees.

                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                Deffo google it and see what you think. The only low cost ($3-4 per day for unlimited talk/text plus a whack of data) option I've found for Canucks. You unlock your phone, buy a simcard and then load however many days you need. Data can be a bit unreliable depending on what part of SF you are in but improving all the time

                                                          2. re: grayelf

                                                            rideshare with Lyft

                                                            my neighbor and her teen daughter like Uber for rides to restaurants here in the City

                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                              Wont be using my iphone except texts and emergencies. Canadians are heavily charged for roaming fees and these apps.

                                                              Will use reg busses or drive

                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                I buy an international roaming plan when I'm out of the US so that I can use my iPhone. Maybe your carrier has something similar.

                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                  Sweet! I am with bell too.
                                                                  75cents a text normally.

                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                    I'm with AT&T and it charges a lot more for international plans, so lucky you. But I couldn't imagine not having ready access to data on my phone. Text comes in handy too, and I rarely use the voice but it does cover checking voicemails. I use DataMan and Onavo apps to help manage data usage when I'm roaming.

                                                                    Some SF restaurants such as Flour + Water will text you when your table's ready.

                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                      I can't imagine trying to navigate travel without map apps or even a couple food related apps.

                                                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                                                        I have to admit I just came over to the dark side and got a data phone this summer. So I am a newbie to much of the apps and navigating all its capabilities.

                                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                                          Some apps (like Yelp, Urban Spoon) use gps signals to give searches nearby your location. It means you could search "ice cream" or "burger' from any corner, get suggestions, and then get directions according to your method of transport.

                                                                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                          I've found efficiency goes _way_ up. My ability to redirect, on vacation, hit a different spot when something is closed / unexpected / etc is high.... although one has to remember to simply keep one's nose in the air.

                                                                          After I've experienced the high efficiency of working with GPS / Apps, it is hard to go back.

                                                                          Another example: GF and I rented a car in Ecuador. We went east from Guyaquil knowing we'd have to crest the continental divide and would eventually hit a town with hotels.... as we were driving on a mud road in fog with 20 foot visibility and multi-thousand foot drop. With my trusty GPS & phone, and more than a little observation of busses that loom out of the fog for only a moment, we stayed on track and had a fine dinner & hotel in Cuenca, my favorite town in Ecuador.

                                                                          I'm not sure I would have done that without GPS & Phone - more random encounters.

                                                                        3. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                          When I am in a remote country for more than a few days, I buy a SIM and use one of my older phones. In italy for a week, I bought a SIM for $20 that gave me 1.5G of data, used that phone as a wireless hotspot, with my tablet. A sweet navigation aid for checking out the history of different towns while driving, and finding restaurants. I loved that restaurant in Udine, one of the remaining Fruilian restaurants combining Austrian and Italian. Yum.

                                                                          If you don't have a phone, cabs in SF are tough. You can have your hotel call one, and have a hotel or bar call one when you leave. You can't count on street hailing anywhere (sometimes it works, more often cabs aren't in sight and won't stop)

                                                                2. re: grayelf

                                                                  That article isn't accurate. Flywheel doesn't tack on a tip of %20 - there's an area where you can specify a default tip, and one is "other" - you can make whatever default tip you want.

                                                                  Cabs are a real boon to the tourist - gets you out of the small areas with poorer restaurants - let us know how that all works out.

                                                                  1. re: bbulkow

                                                                    Thanks, I noticed you can change the tip on Flywheel. I think the extra charge per callout is still there though. Not clear whether NexTaxi has actually expanded into SF yet -- I've installed the app and emailed them to find out.

                                              2. re: Dave MP

                                                Don't forget Xanath Ice Cream while passing through Valencia. The vanilla, and safron flavors are underrated.

                                              3. re: Violatp

                                                Were also good with a drive to restaurant for pick up to eat at hotel as well.

                                          2. Go during the daytime to Joe's Cable Car for great hamburgers and a fun atmosphere. Namu Gaji or grab a picnic from BiRite Grocery to eat in Dolores Park at the end of the block. If you love mexican and want a vegan food adventure, check out Gracias Madre on Mission. The kids might like the candy case at St. Francis Fountain on 24th.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mlutsky

                                              Do not go to Joe's Cable Car. Ordinary food at extraordinary prices.

                                            2. The food truck park across from Costco (SoMa StrEat Food Park) mentioned by another poster is a definite must. Rotating roster (usually nine trucks), good variety of choices, lots of sheltered and unsheltered seating, and convenient restrooms. Open every day at lunch and dinner.

                                              Off the Grid has many food truck/food cart events at different times and different locations. If you are in town on Friday night their signature event is at Fort Mason Center (around 30 vendors).

                                              There's a mini-food truck pod at the Wharf on Jones Street at the end of the F Street car line. Carmel Pizza (haven't tried), Fairy Codmother Fish & Chips (very good) and Tanguito (excellent Argentinian Empanadas),.

                                              38 Replies
                                              1. re: soupçon

                                                Any food trucks you can recommend or items off menus at the food truck park?

                                                Or is fairy codmother and Tanguito also parked here ?? As only need one food truck experience.

                                                Ay happy hour places near the wharf?

                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                  Fairy Codmother and Tanquito are "anchored" where they are and don't move around.

                                                  The trucks at the StrEAt Food Park rotate, so I don't know who'll be there on any given day.; I'd advise taking a look at their offerings and their lines and choosing something on your own.

                                                  1. re: soupçon

                                                    Is this fairy codmother the same as codmother fish and chip restaurant?? As this is rated high on trio advisor

                                                  2. re: palmtree38

                                                    Chairman Bao...haven't tried the duck but love the pork on steamed buns.


                                                  3. re: soupçon

                                                    Off the Grid at Fort Mason will be exactly what they want.

                                                    Soma Food Park isn't worth the excursion. The selection is typically poor, and it's too easy to get there when there's only 3 lousy trucks open, and another 3 trucks either prepping, washing the truck, or getting ready to drive off. It's more lively during prime hours, but those aren't so obvious and defeat the purpose of a full time Food Park. I seem to recall the Twitter for them was listing trucks available on any given day, which helps, but more often than not, this place is a ghost town.

                                                    Codmother gets great reviews, and I recently tried it. The fish is fresh enough, but it's nothing remarkable. Batter is generic, with little flavor. Fries are generic frozen, and again little flavor. I'd have been better off drinking some grease and eating the tartar packets. One reason they're turning up on places like Trip Adviser is a promotion for a free fried dessert from the Duck Tours. Far from the best fish and chips.

                                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                                      Would be a good detour on the way to a GGB excursion, too, if they wanted.

                                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                                        They hve duck tours in SF too? Geeze they were all over boston

                                                        GGB excursion????

                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                          Golden Gate Bridge

                                                          Sometimes, I'm lazy.

                                                        2. re: sugartoof

                                                          Wow there is alot of trucks here!!
                                                          Is this something we can gwt to by trolley or take our car?

                                                          Sugartoof have you been here often as you seem to have much knowledge on trucks . Have any fav trucks and dishes?

                                                          We were lucky to attend the monthly eat the street in waikkii when the trucks were all decked out in christmas lights and music playng. Fun afternoon for all.

                                                          Not interested in going to a restaurant for a free desert only. If its greatnfoos and bonus desert sure but its not luring me in.

                                                          1. re: palmtree38

                                                            I just got back from a smaller version of the Fort Mason event, which goes on in the Haight, and it was a lot like what you described with the Waikiki event. Lots of lights, some live music. Some of the trucks had really long lines (Chairman Bao, Sisig, Curry up Now) but they were easy to avoid.

                                                            I haven't been back to the Fort Mason one in about 4-5 months, but the most interesting food was from the stands, not the trucks. I think those menus change up each week.

                                                            I think there was a thread on here with reviews of some long time trucks.

                                                          2. re: sugartoof

                                                            I have gone to Soma Streat Food Park during prime hours - around lunch - and think it's fantastic. The place is all local tech kids and a lively atmosphere, but not such long lines. One has to just take a turn around and look at the trucks and choose one. I can see the point that it's a little small time though.

                                                            At our house, we will not be going to anything like OTG. After one experience at a different similar thing (Edgeware Eats) where it took 45 minutes to get ANY food out of a truck - while you're standing around - much resentment. We did go to the Menlo Park monday at willow & middlefield recently and had a good time - there were tables.

                                                            BUT -

                                                            you really want to hit fruitvale for tacos. Take the bart, the kids will love it. There's an epic thread with suggestions of half a dozen taco joints all in a few blocks.

                                                            Another great fun voyage is to Half Moon Bay if the boats are actually catching - you can call the harbormaster to see what's in, but you'll need a car for the afternoon, and you'll see a real "fisherman's wharf". Several of the restaurants at the harbor will cook whatever you buy off the boats.

                                                            Another great one is grabbing picnic supplies at the ferry building and catching the boat to Angel island. There's historical stuff for the kids, and you can simply walk the island to the historical stuff, or hike to the top - probably not reasonable for kids. In the ferry building, one usually hits that one meat shop and Cowgirl and get a fresh baguette.

                                                            Given your list, I think you need some chinese. Places like Dongbei Mama and Spices! - not in chinatown - are where you want to be -- szheuan places.

                                                            There's a place called outerlands near the beach that people keep raving about. Haven't been, but it's got a rep as a solid locals place.

                                                            1. re: bbulkow

                                                              You can't judge OTG by another event entirely.
                                                              I've never experienced 45 minute lines at OTG.
                                                              See a long line, move to the next truck.

                                                              As for Soma Streat Food, here's the twitter. Some days/months are better than others. I've personally never seen it lively.


                                                              1. re: sugartoof

                                                                The experience wasn't a long line, it was a 45 minute wait at a truck with a modest line. And, yes, it's unfair to paint all food trucks with badness because of one, but that's what GF did.

                                                                In fairness, sometimes the wait for food is really long and I like a place to sit down. GF is starting to warm to food trucks again, but that 3 minutes to order, 45 minutes (when they already have your money) was a BIT MUCH.

                                                                re: Streat Food, I go by my own experiences. I think I've been there 3 or 4 times. A full monty of trucks, plenty of people, most seats taken at the tables.

                                                                1. re: bbulkow

                                                                  Ok all this truck talk I am getting confused on which one we should go to?

                                                                  The one near costco is hit and miss as trucks are coming and going. Which is called Soma Street Food Park OR

                                                                  There's a mini-food truck pod at the Wharf on Jones Street at the end of the F Street car line OR

                                                                  Fort Mason foos trucks OR

                                                                  OTG (which stands for what?)

                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                    You're getting different opinions. Chowhound is not known for its uniformity of opinions --- you'll have to choose....

                                                                    OTG stands for Off The Grid.
                                                                    Here is their weekly schedule:

                                                                    but they are best known for their Ft Mason thing

                                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                                      Of The Grid at Fort Mason has dozens of trucks, and usually life music. If you go to one, this is it.

                                                                      There are other mini markets the same organizers put on during the week.

                                                                      Then there's also a permanent parking lot turned into a food truck food court, with a beer garden, and while I don't think it's worth visiting, others here are enthusiastic about it and have had different experiences.

                                                                2. re: bbulkow

                                                                  Is there any deep sea fishing trips for families? Or is the water too rough in october ie sea sick.
                                                                  my son caught some snapper that we cooked up pool side which we washed down with a cold corona.

                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                    Fishing off the SF coast can be an iffy proposition for the faint of heart as 8' swells are sometimes considered a good day. You may want to consider fishing for stripers inside the bay if the bite happens to be good while you are here. Many of the local party boats cater to kids too, but be sure to ask first.

                                                                3. re: sugartoof

                                                                  Ok i figured out what OTG stands for. This is a site with a calendar that indicates the location and how many trucks and what trucks will be at each location on that day .correct????

                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                    Yes. That's correct.

                                                                    Personally, I would go to the three trucks at the Wharf first mostly because Tanguito is such a standout for empanadas, burgers, paella, etc.

                                                                    I've not been to the pizza one yet nor the fish & chips. They're right by your hotel, so you can have a truck experience when it's convenient to fit it in without taking time away from your other touring.

                                                                    The majority of the food trucks' offerings at the various sites are not worth the time of standing in line nor making a special trip to get there. It's mostly for the experience rather than the food. It can be fun and good people-watching.

                                                                    Fort Mason Off the Grid does offer you a bayside eating experience and maybe it fits into your touring plans. I can't think of any other side attractions for visiting SOMA StrEat food park.

                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                      Good round up. The only thing marginally near StrEat would be a waltz through the Misson's murals, but I'd rather pair that walking tour with a grand fiesta of tacos.

                                                                      Most people agree that "The Chairman" (ex Chairman Bao) is also a standout, and if you find that anywhere, it's worth checking out.

                                                                      1. re: bbulkow

                                                                        When you mention a grand fiesta of tacos are you going to several locations ?? And this is around mission as others mentioned?

                                                                      2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                        Yah, sorry, I'm aware it's not the greatest list and the article is not exactly angled at your sweet spot. But it seemed relevant and the timing was such that I thought I'd pass it on.

                                                                        I'm going to throw another couple of places in the mix:
                                                                        -- Lolo's

                                                                        -- State Bird Provisions
                                                                        (really hard to reserve. But if you show up at say 4:30-4:45 on any given day and can keep yourselves occupied until 5:30, you'll surely get in on the first wave. But I think it would be really really fun for foodies in training, and the staff is so nice that I'm sure they'd be nice to the kids)

                                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                          " I can't think of any other side attractions for visiting SOMA StrEat food park."
                                                                          About 1/3 mile from fantastic bulk herb and spice selection at Rainbow Grocery.

                                                                          1. re: wolfe

                                                                            Yeah, but does Rainbow have crayons?

                                                                            1. re: wolfe

                                                                              An organic/vegetarian grocery store is probably not high on their list for a three day visit, don't you think?

                                                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                                                My last 3 day trip to Philadelphia I hit Dibruno's for cheese and the Reading Terminal Market for produce and sausages. Different strokes for different folks.

                                                                                1. re: wolfe

                                                                                  Reading Terminal Market is predominantly a food court.
                                                                                  Rainbow Market is a co-op health food store.

                                                                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                    Thank you for clearing that up. All those bakeries, fish and meat markets confused me.

                                                                                    1. re: wolfe

                                                                                      Just saying that, especially if I had two small-ish kids with me, a grocery store wouldn't really be tops on my list as a destination.

                                                                                      To pick up some provisions, sure, but Costco is already covering that area.

                                                                                      Though, who knows, maybe it's a quirk the OP has and would love to see Rainbow. On that point, you're correct.

                                                                                      The last time I was in the city, I detoured from the airport to the Parkside Market on Taraval for blood oranges. Then dropped in on Guerra Meats for old times sake. So, a couple of markets were definitely destinations!

                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                        Vio some chowhounds live in states where sume spices* are not easily found and those that cost 50 to a dollar an ounce at Rainbow cost 5 to 10 times as much by mail order. I believe Palmtree lives somewhere that good shops abound and Rainbow isn't needed.
                                                                                        *Example: ground cayenne pepper 90000 Scovill units

                                                                                      2. re: wolfe

                                                                                        It would be like comparing Rainbow to the Ferry Building.

                                                                                2. re: wolfe

                                                                                  We love buying unique spices or rubs from vacations to cook at home.

                                                                                  Any good ones ?

                                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                    That is one of my favorite souvenirs to buy as well!

                                                                                    Golden Gate Meat company in the ferry building has some nice rubs. I've never actaully bought the rubs separately (rather, I've had them put them on meat that I was purchasing) but they do sell them separately, I believe.

                                                                                    1. re: pauliface

                                                                                      Adam's Rub, (if they're still) sold at the Ferry Building.

                                                                                    2. re: palmtree38

                                                                                      I'm a fan of the spice blends at 4505 Meats. Since it sounds like you will be in the Mission, their shop at 15th and Mission, will not be out of your way.

                                                                                      1. re: absc

                                                                                        I second this one big time. It's not far from Four Barrel for coffee, and a small selection of pastries. The kids might be young for coffee, but the Affogato there is worth some bad parenting.

                                                                                        4505 Meats is an artisan butcher, so it's fun window shopping too. The times I've been in, the smells have made me think twice about their meats, but the pantry items (like spice blends) are a nice selection.

                                                                                        1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                          Smells? I buy almost all of my meat there and am a big fan. Though, the block in general may smell.
                                                                                          That said, if one is in the neighborhood, both the spice rubs and the Chicharrones are great things to take home.

                                                                            1. re: ceekskat

                                                                              This menu looks great! Which location is best and or closest to where we are staying (fishermans wharf)

                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                18th St. location.

                                                                                Also, recently took my teens, young niece & nephew to Rosamunde Sausage Grill followed by dessert at The Creme Brûlée Cart (on 24th near Mission). Grill is a family favorite but CBC was new to us & we really enjoyed it, especially the chocolate one. A little pricey but we shared as we were full from lunch.

                                                                                Another family favorite is Roam Artisan Burger. DH enjoys Super Duper, local burger chain, but rest of us haven't tried.

                                                                                Lastly, don't know your budget but take a look at Sotto Mare in North Beach. Haven't been but frequent board rec for seafood.

                                                                                1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                  Great wrote it down! Now im not a fan of mexican brakfast so I will be looking to go here for lunch or dinner. What are some of your fav dishes

                                                                                  Also rosamunde looks great but my kids recently said were not fans of sausages ! So will have to skip.

                                                                                  They LOVE burgers and pasta so will take a boo at roam artisian and super duper.

                                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                    So go to Rosamunde on hamburger day and while they get theirs you get your sausage

                                                                                    "At Rosamunde Sausage Grill the line starts forming early on Tuesday. Only on that day does Rosamunde serve their legendary cheese burger. I got there just before they open at 11:30. There were about fifteen people in line. Many more came behind me. Rosamunde only serves 150 of their 8-ounce masterpiece, and only on this day."

                                                                                    1. re: wolfe

                                                                                      for Burger Tuesday at the Haight Street location...
                                                                                      Standing in a long line is not my idea of vacation fun but here at home, I'll go early for a burger on Tuesdays.

                                                                                      is it also on Mission Street? I don't see Burger Tuesday:

                                                                                  2. re: ceekskat

                                                                                    Sotto Mare has an appealing menu and fairly reasonable for seafood,

                                                                                    Anyone been? Reservations recommended? Doesn't say if there is a kids menu and you cannot email them only call for inquiries.

                                                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                      Sotto Mare doesn't take reservations, and I understand the waits can be long at peak times. We went for a late lunch last year and walked in no problem on a weekday. The petrale sole was peerless but the sand dabs were overcooked. Plates are pretty huge.