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San Francisco Restaurants with Kids

Here are some of our favorite hot spots for eating out in San Francisco, especially with the kids. We lived in the City, in Bernal Heights, when our girls were just babies and we visit often. If you have any suggestions, please, submit them here!

Moki's — non-traditional take on sushi. At least a couple of highchairs. The corn fritters are the best. 830 Cortland Ave, Bernal Heights.

Mel's Diner — For some reason this became a favorite when the gals were babies and we needed good fast service. Various throughout SF, including our favorite, near SFMOMA & Yerba Buena on Mission, just past Metreon.

Taco Loco — Mission near Cortland. I don't know what it is about this place, it is sort of a dump. But the food is great. Their carnitas tacos have ruined me for all others. I'd walk the babies to sleep then wheel them in for a quick couple of tacos. Hoping no one would blast the juke box and wake them up. 3306 Mission & 29th.

El Balazo — Haight Street and try the Bayshore Car Wash location (tables are set out in a coin-op car wash -- great food but a little car wash odor). Scrumptious veggie and vegetarian burritos with lots of garlic and tasty stuff.

Cafe Marimba — the Marina — Great Oaxacan Mexican food. Delicious fresh vegetables, many vegetarian options.

Martha Brother's Coffee -- Bernal Heights, Noe Valley and various locations. Sure, Pete's is great. Martha Brothers' is better.

Espetus -- Meat on a Stick -- REVIEW (2/22/05)

We were up in San Francisco for a quick trip and my dad took us all out to Espetus (Brazilian for skewer, I believe). I'm still suffering from a meat hangover. The owner, Paolo was our fix-it guy when we lived in the Bay Area. Then he became my dad's fix-it guy. Then he opened this place. His dream.

It is a little fancy -- wine on the walls, marble counters, slick paint job. Lively, fun, loud atmosphere. It is not cheap (but not at all outrageous for a savory all you can eat extravaganza). The whole package fits together perfectly for fun evening out.

You sit down and start drinking wine or sangria or juice or Brazillian cola. You can go up to the buffet and get paella, salads, fish, veggies, rice or whatever -- it is all tasty and made just right. And, here's the thing, these guys walk around with freshly grilled meat on skewers. You have a little dial on your table that you can spin to Green (more meat!) or red (stop the meat assault and let me digest for a second). They give you little tongs to grab the meat from the guy as he cuts it. There's shrimp, filet minion, chicken with bacon, something with garlic... I don't know. I was getting lightheaded.

Ok, ok, I admit it. I am a vegetarian. A bad bad vegietarian. This would NOT be the place to take your vegan buddies. Or anyone who gets the willies around lots of large slabs of meat circling a room. But a good vegetarian, or picky eater, like our 4-year old daughter, can find plenty of salad, fruit and other delecacies from the buffet.

And our meat eating twin dug it too. She is a prawn fiend and she had a great time grabbing them with her tongs. The little gals were staying up insanely late after the Chinese New Year parade and we were concerned dinner would be a disaster. No way. The place is so bustling and noisy -- they loved it. And they kept asking the waiters for more stuff.

And there's flan at the end. Man can those girls eat some flan. And this was the most perfect, creamy, flan-tastic flan ever.

It is a dinky little place but he is expanding. Make reservations!

Yum. "atkins approved."

Estpetus -- Market Street at Gough