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The bullet train at Hikari
Faye L./Yelp

22 Especially Child-Friendly San Francisco Restaurants

Tested and proven restaurants where the younger set are welcome

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The bullet train at Hikari
| Faye L./Yelp

Eating out with children is a particular kind of challenge, one that involves distractions, concessions, and planning ahead. Does the restaurant provide crayons? Will there be room for a high chair or stroller? Will the kitchen just make some damn pasta and butter if need be?

The most successful dining-out experiences with tots in tow involve tested and proven restaurants where the well-behaved younger set are welcome. To take out that guesswork, we compiled a list of 22 of the most child-friendly restaurants in San Francisco, so that when it's time for an adult meal out, everyone can have a good time.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Park Chalet Garden Restaurant

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1000 Great Hwy
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 386-8439
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Between the landmarks of Golden Gate Park and the Pacific Ocean, the kids' menu here is a standard one featuring the usual culprits. Wait for a sunny morning and bring your blanket for a picnic on a real grass lawn where location, parking lot, children, and dogs are reasons to come that rate higher than the food and service. You may get lucky nabbing an Adirondack chair while the little ones run around with no fears of being reminded to keep their elbows off the table.

2. Yummy Yummy

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1015 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 566-4722
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The owner and his family are often on hand to welcome you and yours to this popular family-style restaurant serving Vietnamese food near Golden Gate Park. When your visit is timed just right, there’s no queue for a table and your first taste of that Hu Tieu Ga (chicken noodle soup) or Bun (vermicelli noodle bowls) that kids love. Parental tip: A tank filled with live crabs and lobsters in the rear is a good distraction for antsy moments.

3. Pacific Catch, Westcoast Fish House

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1200 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 504-6905
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A parking lot? It’s an almost-suburban, casual atmosphere in the Inner Sunset location where a pile of signature sweet potato fries are a must-have and strollers are de rigeur. Seafood baskets feature Thai coconut shrimp, crispy oysters or a mixed catch, and they all taste good with a pineapple orange guava beverage. Little ones can get creative drawing underwater scenes with house-supplied colored chalk and a mini chalkboard.

4. Squat & Gobble

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1 West Portal Ave
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 665-9900
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Kids, crepes, and a funny name go together at this bright corner in West Portal. They tick all the boxes for kid-related paraphernalia: Patio, high chairs, booster seats, changing table, and one kid's meal free with every adult entree on Monday to Thursday after 5 p.m. Order at the counter and find overflow seating upstairs. A second, smaller location is in the Marina District.

5. Giorgio's Pizzeria

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151 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 668-1266
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A solid blast from the past comes dressed in red gingham-checked tablecloths and a great family vibe. A standout Italian among the many pan-Asian places in the Inner Richmond, this traditional pizza and pasta spot has generous booths, a perfect fit for families, as it's been for 40-plus years. Thin crust pizzas come in four sizes to pick and choose toppings, so everybody’s happy.

6. The Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain

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815 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 742-4932
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Are the grandparents in town? They’ll appreciate the fifties-style soda jerks in bowties, caps, and aprons behind an authentic vintage soda fountain, scooping out ice cream for cones, floats, and milkshakes that kids adore. Soup and super sized sandwiches for sharing mean it’s not just for dessert.

7. Zazie

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941 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 564-5332
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The fluffiest of gingerbread pancakes with lemon curd and roasted bosc pears are a crowd pleaser at this neighborhood standout in family-friendly Cole Valley, beloved in particular for its pretty outdoor garden dining patio, six high chairs, and a children's menu. Beware a weekend brunch wait that’s too long for even the most patient child; come early.

8. MAC'D

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3347 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 795-1026
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Think outside the box at this Marina mac n’ cheese restaurant. Kids will love choosing a cheese sauce, pasta shape (shells or elbows) and mix-ins like bacon and hot dogs (or broccoli and peas if green veggies are their thing). Parents can experiment with ingredients like truffle oil, lobster, or hot Cheetos, plus beer and wine. There’s ample seating inside, but crowds form quickly; stop by early for a quick and easy dinner.

MAC’D

9. Hikari Sushi & Bar

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1734 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 872-9116
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Give kids another reason to love sushi when it’s delivered by bullet train. Order sushi, noodles, skewers, and more from an iPad, then wait for a high-speed miniature train to whizz by the with your food.

10. Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen

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401 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 400-5453
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Any kid can tell you it tastes better to eat with your hands, and at Pica Pica they agree. Gluten-free, handmade Venezuelan arepas are the signature dish at this father-daughter owned and operated restaurant. Maize tacos, yucca fries, and fresh empanadas made daily provide a twist on classics that little eaters find flavorful and fun.

11. Tacolicious

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741 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 649-6077
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With a menu full of hits like guacamole, cheese dip, and fried avocado tacos, parents are sure to convince children to consume at least a bite or two. There are plenty of margaritas, more advanced taco fillings, and the ever-popular marina girl salad keep the older crowd happy at this laid-back, kid-friendly spot.

Tacolicious

12. Emmy's Spaghetti Shack

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5007, 3230 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 206-2086
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It is known: Kids love pasketti [sic] and meatballs. But grown-ups do too, and Emmy’s offers something for every age, including wine and beer for the older generation. Besides lovely mounds of noodles and red sauce, Emmy’s has entrees like eggplant parmesan, flat iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes, and zoodles (zucchini noodles) for the non-carb-eating crew. Stop in for lunch or early-ish for dinner before the rush.

Spaghetti with meatballs
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack

13. Foreign Cinema

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2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-7600
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Nothing makes organic vegetables disappear faster than a movie served up on the giant outdoor wall screen to accompany dinner. The three-course prix fixe kids' meal (veggie and fruit to start; pasta, chicken, or steak; and ice cream to finish) feels ever so grown up, yet comes with a coloring book and crayons.

14. Baby Blues BBQ

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3149 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 896-4250
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When carnivorous cravings take hold on a late Sunday morning and you don’t want to miss the big game, bring the children along for toys, games, and a creative crafts table in the dedicated Kids Korner. The vibe is laidback and inviting for those who love barbecue ribs, wings, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken. If you’re stuck for choice, order a family platter with corn on the cob.

15. Urban Putt

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1096 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 341-1080
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Nothing compares with San Francisco-themed holes on a mini-golf course with mini-corn dogs, fried chicken, and soft serve ice cream in a converted Victorian in the Mission. It’s always great for grownups to know when kids are truly welcome. Urban Putt takes the guesswork out of it; putting greens are reserved for over 21s after 8 p.m., so everybody’s happy.

16. Boudin Bakery Café Baker's Hall

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160 Jefferson St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 928-1849
Visit Website

Fisherman’s Wharf kids’ fun equals seeing the famous sourdough bread expertly crafted into animal shapes right before their eyes. Be lured in by the aroma of clam chowder mingled with freshly baked bread and head for the upstairs dining room with a cool mini-museum and terrific views over the bay. If the children don’t go for chowder in a bread bowl, there’s a regular kids' menu as well.

17. Lemonade Yerba Buena

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781 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 522-0191
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Kids really dig the see-it-and-point concept at this mini-chain of bright, upscale cafeterias imported from Los Angeles. Parents appreciate knowing that everything is freshly made daily on the premises. Get a tray and combine any number of options from the counters displaying cold and hot mains and sides, sandwiches, desserts and drinks like blood orange lemonade before settling into a booth with your trays. San Francisco family-centric locations also in West Portal and Inner Sunset are opening in spring 2017.

18. Pier 23 Cafe

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Pier 23
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 362-5125
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A couple of piers along, this funky landmark is just right for after an Exploratorium visit. The kids' menu offers fish n’ chips or cheese quesadillas as well as the standard burger, hot dog, grilled cheese, and pasta. Mixing up regulars and tourists for decades, this popular spot has bay views from its huge suntrap patio that’s a magnet in the rear. Too sunny? Complimentary cowboy hats come with the crayons in a Mason jar. Parental tip: Avoid happy hour.

19. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

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1 South Park Ave. # 103a
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 243-0107
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The name says it all in two magical words that kids crave: grilled cheese. Buttery and crunchy, it’s an irresistible, old fashioned treat for the ages and for all ages. AGCK is a small place, so get your sandwiches (and a complimentary piece of fruit) wrapped up to go, especially when the nearby vest pocket-sized South Park has seats in the sun.

20. Noon All Day

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690 Indiana St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 619-3240
Visit Website

Visit this beautiful, breezy all-day cafe in a sunny patch of Potrero Hill for breakfast, lunch, or weekend brunch. Kids will enjoy the array of pastries, like a chocolate hazelnut danish or cinnamon brioche, eggs, avocado toast, or a very lovely chia pudding topped with fruit and cocoa nibs. Parents will enjoy every single menu item, plus coffee, beer, wine, and the sight of their children frolicking in the Dogpatch Arts Plaza adjacent to the patio while they finish their meals.

21. Waterbar

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399 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 284-9922
Visit Website

Kids love panoramic bay views, too, and this one even includes a fire boat under the Bay Bridge. The impressive tubular floor-to-ceiling fish tanks substitute for yet another visit to the Cal Academy’s aquarium. The kids' menu comes with pictures, crayons, word search, and a fish maze to entertain while waiting for a shrimp cocktail, crispy chicken breast, ricotta cheese ravioli, or tomato and cheese pizza, plus an ice cream sundae for being on best behavior.

22. Stem Kitchen & Garden

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499 Illinois St
San Francisco, CA 94158
(415) 915-1000
Visit Website

Here’s a spot that’s really good for discovering that food comes from the soil, not the grocery shelves. City kids can interpret farm-to-table appreciation while roaming among rows of veggies in a rooftop herb garden with bocce court, fire pits, and waterfront views as distractions that beat sitting still at the table. Order the kids a pizza garnished with greens grown in the garden.

1. Park Chalet Garden Restaurant

1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94121

Between the landmarks of Golden Gate Park and the Pacific Ocean, the kids' menu here is a standard one featuring the usual culprits. Wait for a sunny morning and bring your blanket for a picnic on a real grass lawn where location, parking lot, children, and dogs are reasons to come that rate higher than the food and service. You may get lucky nabbing an Adirondack chair while the little ones run around with no fears of being reminded to keep their elbows off the table.

1000 Great Hwy
San Francisco, CA 94121

2. Yummy Yummy

1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

The owner and his family are often on hand to welcome you and yours to this popular family-style restaurant serving Vietnamese food near Golden Gate Park. When your visit is timed just right, there’s no queue for a table and your first taste of that Hu Tieu Ga (chicken noodle soup) or Bun (vermicelli noodle bowls) that kids love. Parental tip: A tank filled with live crabs and lobsters in the rear is a good distraction for antsy moments.

1015 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

3. Pacific Catch, Westcoast Fish House

1200 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

A parking lot? It’s an almost-suburban, casual atmosphere in the Inner Sunset location where a pile of signature sweet potato fries are a must-have and strollers are de rigeur. Seafood baskets feature Thai coconut shrimp, crispy oysters or a mixed catch, and they all taste good with a pineapple orange guava beverage. Little ones can get creative drawing underwater scenes with house-supplied colored chalk and a mini chalkboard.

1200 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

4. Squat & Gobble

1 West Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127

Kids, crepes, and a funny name go together at this bright corner in West Portal. They tick all the boxes for kid-related paraphernalia: Patio, high chairs, booster seats, changing table, and one kid's meal free with every adult entree on Monday to Thursday after 5 p.m. Order at the counter and find overflow seating upstairs. A second, smaller location is in the Marina District.

1 West Portal Ave
San Francisco, CA 94127

5. Giorgio's Pizzeria

151 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

A solid blast from the past comes dressed in red gingham-checked tablecloths and a great family vibe. A standout Italian among the many pan-Asian places in the Inner Richmond, this traditional pizza and pasta spot has generous booths, a perfect fit for families, as it's been for 40-plus years. Thin crust pizzas come in four sizes to pick and choose toppings, so everybody’s happy.

151 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118

6. The Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain

815 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Are the grandparents in town? They’ll appreciate the fifties-style soda jerks in bowties, caps, and aprons behind an authentic vintage soda fountain, scooping out ice cream for cones, floats, and milkshakes that kids adore. Soup and super sized sandwiches for sharing mean it’s not just for dessert.

815 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117

7. Zazie

941 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

The fluffiest of gingerbread pancakes with lemon curd and roasted bosc pears are a crowd pleaser at this neighborhood standout in family-friendly Cole Valley, beloved in particular for its pretty outdoor garden dining patio, six high chairs, and a children's menu. Beware a weekend brunch wait that’s too long for even the most patient child; come early.

941 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117

8. MAC'D

3347 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123
MAC’D

Think outside the box at this Marina mac n’ cheese restaurant. Kids will love choosing a cheese sauce, pasta shape (shells or elbows) and mix-ins like bacon and hot dogs (or broccoli and peas if green veggies are their thing). Parents can experiment with ingredients like truffle oil, lobster, or hot Cheetos, plus beer and wine. There’s ample seating inside, but crowds form quickly; stop by early for a quick and easy dinner.

3347 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123

9. Hikari Sushi & Bar

1734 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Give kids another reason to love sushi when it’s delivered by bullet train. Order sushi, noodles, skewers, and more from an iPad, then wait for a high-speed miniature train to whizz by the with your food.

1734 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115

10. Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen

401 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Any kid can tell you it tastes better to eat with your hands, and at Pica Pica they agree. Gluten-free, handmade Venezuelan arepas are the signature dish at this father-daughter owned and operated restaurant. Maize tacos, yucca fries, and fresh empanadas made daily provide a twist on classics that little eaters find flavorful and fun.

401 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94103

11. Tacolicious

741 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Tacolicious

With a menu full of hits like guacamole, cheese dip, and fried avocado tacos, parents are sure to convince children to consume at least a bite or two. There are plenty of margaritas, more advanced taco fillings, and the ever-popular marina girl salad keep the older crowd happy at this laid-back, kid-friendly spot.

741 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. Emmy's Spaghetti Shack

5007, 3230 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Spaghetti with meatballs
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack

It is known: Kids love pasketti [sic] and meatballs. But grown-ups do too, and Emmy’s offers something for every age, including wine and beer for the older generation. Besides lovely mounds of noodles and red sauce, Emmy’s has entrees like eggplant parmesan, flat iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes, and zoodles (zucchini noodles) for the non-carb-eating crew. Stop in for lunch or early-ish for dinner before the rush.

5007, 3230 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

13. Foreign Cinema

2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Nothing makes organic vegetables disappear faster than a movie served up on the giant outdoor wall screen to accompany dinner. The three-course prix fixe kids' meal (veggie and fruit to start; pasta, chicken, or steak; and ice cream to finish) feels ever so grown up, yet comes with a coloring book and crayons.

2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. Baby Blues BBQ

3149 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

When carnivorous cravings take hold on a late Sunday morning and you don’t want to miss the big game, bring the children along for toys, games, and a creative crafts table in the dedicated Kids Korner. The vibe is laidback and inviting for those who love barbecue ribs, wings, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken. If you’re stuck for choice, order a family platter with corn on the cob.

3149 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

15. Urban Putt

1096 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

Nothing compares with San Francisco-themed holes on a mini-golf course with mini-corn dogs, fried chicken, and soft serve ice cream in a converted Victorian in the Mission. It’s always great for grownups to know when kids are truly welcome. Urban Putt takes the guesswork out of it; putting greens are reserved for over 21s after 8 p.m., so everybody’s happy.

1096 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

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16. Boudin Bakery Café Baker's Hall

160 Jefferson St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Fisherman’s Wharf kids’ fun equals seeing the famous sourdough bread expertly crafted into animal shapes right before their eyes. Be lured in by the aroma of clam chowder mingled with freshly baked bread and head for the upstairs dining room with a cool mini-museum and terrific views over the bay. If the children don’t go for chowder in a bread bowl, there’s a regular kids' menu as well.

160 Jefferson St.
San Francisco, CA 94133

17. Lemonade Yerba Buena

781 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Kids really dig the see-it-and-point concept at this mini-chain of bright, upscale cafeterias imported from Los Angeles. Parents appreciate knowing that everything is freshly made daily on the premises. Get a tray and combine any number of options from the counters displaying cold and hot mains and sides, sandwiches, desserts and drinks like blood orange lemonade before settling into a booth with your trays. San Francisco family-centric locations also in West Portal and Inner Sunset are opening in spring 2017.

781 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103

18. Pier 23 Cafe

Pier 23, San Francisco, CA 94111

A couple of piers along, this funky landmark is just right for after an Exploratorium visit. The kids' menu offers fish n’ chips or cheese quesadillas as well as the standard burger, hot dog, grilled cheese, and pasta. Mixing up regulars and tourists for decades, this popular spot has bay views from its huge suntrap patio that’s a magnet in the rear. Too sunny? Complimentary cowboy hats come with the crayons in a Mason jar. Parental tip: Avoid happy hour.

Pier 23
San Francisco, CA 94111

19. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

1 South Park Ave. # 103a, San Francisco, CA 94107

The name says it all in two magical words that kids crave: grilled cheese. Buttery and crunchy, it’s an irresistible, old fashioned treat for the ages and for all ages. AGCK is a small place, so get your sandwiches (and a complimentary piece of fruit) wrapped up to go, especially when the nearby vest pocket-sized South Park has seats in the sun.

1 South Park Ave. # 103a
San Francisco, CA 94107

20. Noon All Day

690 Indiana St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Visit this beautiful, breezy all-day cafe in a sunny patch of Potrero Hill for breakfast, lunch, or weekend brunch. Kids will enjoy the array of pastries, like a chocolate hazelnut danish or cinnamon brioche, eggs, avocado toast, or a very lovely chia pudding topped with fruit and cocoa nibs. Parents will enjoy every single menu item, plus coffee, beer, wine, and the sight of their children frolicking in the Dogpatch Arts Plaza adjacent to the patio while they finish their meals.

690 Indiana St
San Francisco, CA 94107

21. Waterbar

399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

Kids love panoramic bay views, too, and this one even includes a fire boat under the Bay Bridge. The impressive tubular floor-to-ceiling fish tanks substitute for yet another visit to the Cal Academy’s aquarium. The kids' menu comes with pictures, crayons, word search, and a fish maze to entertain while waiting for a shrimp cocktail, crispy chicken breast, ricotta cheese ravioli, or tomato and cheese pizza, plus an ice cream sundae for being on best behavior.

399 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

22. Stem Kitchen & Garden

499 Illinois St, San Francisco, CA 94158

Here’s a spot that’s really good for discovering that food comes from the soil, not the grocery shelves. City kids can interpret farm-to-table appreciation while roaming among rows of veggies in a rooftop herb garden with bocce court, fire pits, and waterfront views as distractions that beat sitting still at the table. Order the kids a pizza garnished with greens grown in the garden.

499 Illinois St
San Francisco, CA 94158

Related Maps