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Dec 15, 2013 07:00 PM

NOMA/Downtown - 5 days w/kids [San Francisco]

Hello everyone,

Hoping to get some tips for 3 meals a day w/kids. Staying at Sorrento, relying on public transportation.

Goals: we can get to it, it is family appropriate, and moderate prices. Thinking for

Breakfasts: bakeries. Maybe an eggs and pancakes or bagels place. We're planning on Tartine, and my little one wants to go to Craftsman and Wolves after seeing it on t.v.

Lunches: sandwich and salad, pizza or other casual.
I think we will do dim sum at Yank Sing once. Probably make a picnic at the Ferry Building between Acme Bread and the wonderful cheese store there. What do you think of Spice Kit? I'm a little worried bc we have a nut allergic child, and their menu has lots of nuts on it... How is Coliccio's Witchcraft? I know this is kitchy, but what are good options for chowder in a bread bowl?

Dinners: probably most moderately priced and tasty will be ethnic options. Asian noodles, Mexican, Indian, Sushi (any good and not too $$$?). Small plates are fun. Heard good things about Mission chinese. Is it good? If we have one nice dinner, it might be SPQR, which was dynamite when we last went years ago, unless someone says it has gone downhill. Other than that, other ethnic casual spots? My kids are very adventurous eaters. I checked out the menu for LaMar Peruvian, and that looks tasty. Pricey, but they have a happy hour... If there is some over the top tasty pizza that might be a reasonable dinner option for us.

I know this is a broad request. Thanks to everyone for helping!

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  1. Chowder in a bread bowl....Boudin. It's going to come out of a can, but it's their can and likely your best bet. Chowders at Pier 39 has them. You can check the 21st Amendment menu.

    You may already know the Ferry Building isn't really set up for picnics, because it's along the water, and windy. There are benches, and these big wood slabs people sit on. Just a heads up in case you imagined laying out in a circle. Likewise, buying a loaf of ACME and a cheese wheel at Cowgirl might make for a difficult picnic, but Cowgirl does have a grilled cheese sandwich shop, and there are other stores you'll be able to get prepared snacks from. If you go on Saturday, or one of the weekday lunch hours, you'll also have a choice of some food booths in addition to the shops.

    Craftsman and Wolves... It's nowhere as good as Tartine, in my opinion. I've come to realize the best items aren't the out there inventive items. A lot of it doesn't work but it's all pretty. Dandelion Chocolate is next door, so they're a good pair to visit. Also nearby is Mission Cheese, which makes high end grilled cheeses using bread from The Mill.

    Witchcraft....basically a chain....good breakfast sandwiches, and little cookies...nothing worth going out of your way for but they're pretty good. San Francisco has great sandwiches we can point you towards.

    Instead of LaMar Peruvian (another chain), you might consider Coqueta, or with a family on a budget, Limon.

    Mission Chinese is a phenomenon. It's basically regional Chinese with a couple creative ingredients thrown in to jazz things up. A few of us have reported dishes being overloaded with some crudely cut garnish as filler, and the chef is pretty focused on other projects in NY. That said, it's a fun menu, if you beat the crowds. Really read that menu though, and make sure it's stuff you all eat.

    Curry Up Now might work for you. It's Indian-Mexican fusion, in a very casual setting, in the Mission. They started as a food truck too. Just ask which dishes are less spicy, in case your kids aren't into that. I'm not sure I'd make it a priority, but keep it on your radar.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sugartoof

      La Mar is good, but not great. It has a great location and for someone going to the Embarcadero area, possibly taking kids to the Exploratorium, it's a nice place to experience somewhat overpriced Peruvian food. Limon is in a completely different part of town. It was superb before the fire and I used to go there about once a week. Since the fire, I don't think it's much better than La Mar and I haven't been paying the $40 cab round trips that I used to in the old days.

      I like Coqueta, but it may very well be an even harder reservation to come by than La Mar, which is usually packed. And there are numerous good restaurants in that part of town if that's where you want to eat, geographically.

    2. might want to read this epic recent thread about eating with kids in SF. Lots of great ideas and suggestions:


      for great sandwiches check this article:



      1. Thanks everyone. I will check into your suggestions as soon as there is any downtime on the workfront.