Kid friendly San Francisco restaurants?
February 4, 2015 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Looking for restaurants for lunch and dinner for a trip to San Francisco with two kids (8 and 6 years old).

Any places with good food adults will appreciate and also children's menus, where kids won't be unwelcome? Areas we may visit include Union Square, downtown, South of Market, Embarcadero/Ferry Building...
posted by Mallenroh to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
At the Ferry Building, definitely check out the Cowgirl Creamery restaurant. They have a variety of grilled cheese/cheese related dishes, and so you can pick fancier/funkier for adults and a more basic grilled cheese for kids.
posted by rainbowbrite at 10:14 AM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is no question: The Tonga Room is an experience you and your kids won't forget. (They do have a kid's menu.)
posted by eschatfische at 10:19 AM on February 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Try dim sum at Yank Sing at the Rincon Center!
posted by handful of rain at 10:20 AM on February 4, 2015

Mel's Diner is fun for kids and adults.
posted by radioamy at 10:51 AM on February 4, 2015

St Francis Soda Fountain is the oldest ice cream parlor in San Francisco. The breakfasts are great. Highly recommend the Nebulous Potato thing.
posted by biscuits at 11:02 AM on February 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

When you go to Chinatown, at 699 Jackson street, go downstairs to Woey Loy Goey.

This is a place that I've been going to since I was 6 and my sister was 4. We would eat anything, and our favorite dish was War Won Ton Soup. Won Ton soup with pork, shrimp, chicken and a slice of abalone on top. We'd fight over that, and then my dad would cut it so we could share. Potstickers, I like them with vinegar and hot oil.

You can order the Cantonese food you love and it's all terrific. If you see anything good, and you don't see it on the menu, just ask if you can have that dish. There are dishes of custard behind the counter, it's Almond Agar Agar, it's like Jell-o and it has fruit cocktail in it. Sissy and I would share one for dessert.

Go for lunch, Chinatown is pretty desolate at night. It's kind of divy in an orange vinyl chair and formica table-way. The bathrooms are brutally cold and you can see people walking on the street above if you look up through those glass light knob thingies. We still speak fondly of this.

Another place I love is Mozzarella Di Bufala. It used to be DiPaula's on Filmore, but they moved it to 69 West Portal Avenue. The good news is that it's a pizza place. The better news is that it's a Brazilian restaurant! I am batshit insane for the Frango à Brasileira. To the extent that I'm making it for dinner tonight. When they delivered I'd eat this twice a week. So good and so healthy! So if your kids are game, they can have Brazilian food, or if not, they can have pizza.

Have fun and check out the Exploratorium!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:37 AM on February 4, 2015

The ferry building will be very helpful for satisfying both kid and adult food needs. You can buy the grilled cheese/kid friendly foods at Gott's or Cowgirl Creamery, then stroll or picnic so then the adults can eat whatever they want from any of the many more-adventurous counter service type restaurants / farmer's market stands. There are benches out back overlooking the bay.

My personal faves for Saturday farmer's market strolls at the ferry building: tamales from Primavera, risotto tartlet and seasonal fruit turnovers at Frog Hollow, grilled cheese of the day, cheese toastie, or breakfast sandwich at Cowgirl Creamery Milk Bar.
posted by soleiluna at 11:51 AM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Cheesecake Factory is at the top of Macy's in Union Square and you get a great view. It's a chain but the food is consistent. The menu is huge so everyone can find something they like, plus there's a kids menu.
posted by radioamy at 12:28 PM on February 4, 2015

Weekday or weekend?
posted by rhizome at 12:57 PM on February 4, 2015

Response by poster: It will be on a weekend - thanks for all the great suggestions so far!!
posted by Mallenroh at 1:06 PM on February 4, 2015

I love chow in church and market. Great breakfast and lunch, kid-friendly, and delicious. The ferry building is amazing but will be VERY crowded on a Saturday and will have long lines at most prepared food places.
posted by bookworm4125 at 1:18 PM on February 4, 2015

I love Boudin at Fisherman's Wharf but the lines are always insane! Plan to go early and get a pager, then go wander around for an hour.
posted by Toddles at 1:39 PM on February 4, 2015

Sears Fine Food
posted by brujita at 1:56 PM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're ever up on Cortland in Bernal Heights, pretty much everything on the strip has to be kid friendly or would not be surviving in the currently kids-aplenty neighborhood transition. Moki's (Hawaiian/Japanese), Moonlight Cafe (brunchy diner with crepes and lots of other kid-friendly stuff), even Bernal Star (pricier bistro-type food, but with a cool back patio/cottage where they project movies on the wall at night) come immediately to mind.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:44 PM on February 4, 2015

Chow is a great idea. I think they even have a kid's menu, and the food is reliably good and fairly priced. It's super easy to get to from downtown. Take the F streetcar and enjoy the sights!
posted by trip and a half at 6:49 PM on February 4, 2015

I want to second Ruthless Bunny's suggestion of Woey Loy Goey (in fact, I heard about it here on AskMe!) I went there recently and it's worth it. Cheap comfort food that's actually really good. Just watch those steps going in!
posted by curagea at 9:16 PM on February 4, 2015

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