I don't mind spending money on food if the food is good! But I don't like spending too much money on food for my kids because they eat like little birds and they are hungry again an hour later. On our trip to San Francisco I found many places that were a good value. The key here is to do your research. Many restaurants post their menus online and Yelp was super helpful also.
Fishermen's Grotto on Fisherman's Wharf, built in 1935 was the first sit down restaurant on the wharf and is a great place to sit on the patio, people watch and eat a big bowl of chowder in a bread bowl. Kids meals here are under $10 and large and filling.
One of my favorite food days! When searching Yelp for good restaurants to try I stumbled upon Darren's. It was a block from my hotel and served breakfast and lunch. It's a Vietnamese place so they have all of your Asian favorites and breakfast food too. Kids had pancakes and I had a bowl of Pho! It was amazing!
This was also the day I visited Trader Joe's and bought breakfast and snacks for our hotel room. At lunch time the kids and I were shopping on Pier 39 and they just wanted a snack. We sat on the patio at the California Wines Bar. I enjoyed a Pinot Noir flight and we shared a fruit and cheese plate with a bottomless basket of sourdough bread.
We were on the run all day! Our lunch meal was at the Academy Cafe at the California Academy of Science. This meal was not affordable but it was fun! They offer a multicultural menu with highlights including spring rolls,
paninis, tacos and fresh pastries. Grab a tray and go from station to station until you find something that strikes your fancy. I had Mac and Cheese and began my obsession with Chinese Pork Buns.
For dinner we ate at a Tian Sing near Union Square. It wasn't crowded and was very good. I tried a new dish that I would never have ordered....Tripe! Surprisingly good! The prices are good and the choices are great!
The kids and I were at The Exploratorium and even though they have a restaurant, I really wanted to visit The Ferry Building again. We walked (forever according my children) and watched lots of people jogging which just made me hungrier! Unfortunately, we arrived right as all of the people in the financial district were there to eat lunch so the lines were long. We found a hidden corner with a coffee shop where I let the kids eat apple turnovers and cookies for lunch. I had a Carnitas Empanada and I loved it!
Walking back through we found Boccalone Salumeria and bought a salami cone so that kids could have some protein. I had some special salami sliced for iKeith because I know how much he loves meat!
Then I spotted the Blue Bottle Coffee Co and I wanted to try it so I got a cup of joe and a cup of milk and then the kids and I bought a couple Macarons at Miette.
I scoured the menus for the restaurants at Pier 39 and the best value for kids and adults is the Pier Market. Make sure you print out their coupons before you leave and you can get several kids meals free during your stay.
You can not go to California and not eat at In-N-Out. My kids loved it! I'm going to call this THE best value on the wharf because they don't seem to be hiking up the prices because of their location. I'm looking at you Denny's and your $12 Grand Slam.
After taking a boat tour of the bay, we made our way to Ghiradelli Square. After a little light shopping, we were on our way back to the hotel when I found the most adorable cafe. I needed some caffeine so we stopped in for a snack and I did something I've never done before. I ordered a Cappuccino!
The Black Point Cafe made me fall in love with Cappuccino! I loved it so much that I made iKeith come back with me the next day to have one. He loved it too. According to yelp, they are known for their Lavendar Lattes, I'll have to try one when I go back.
Keith and I like trying different cuisine so I searched Yelp again and came up with Stroganoff. A cute little Russian restaurant across the street from our hotel! We enjoyed a appetizer of Beef Tongue with mushroom sauce and I loved the Beef Stroganoff. Keith liked the Russian Beer and we had a fun dessert.
Last but not least. We found a great ice cream place called Normans. It's in the Cannery and only takes cash. iKeith had Rocky Road and we learned that good Rocky Road is made with walnuts and that is how it used to be made many years ago.
I hope you enjoyed my foodie tour of San Francisco! Coming up next....Food of Ventura Beach!