The Sunset lends itself to a proliferation of cafes. Among the best of these is the de Young Museum Café (50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., 415/750-2614, Tues.–Thurs. and Sat.–Sun. 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Fri. 9:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., $10–20). Situated inside the museum on the ground floor, with a generous dining room plus outdoor terrace seating, the Café was created with the same care that went into the de Young’s galleries.
From the day it opened, the focus has been on local, sustainable food that’s often organic but always affordable. Service is cafeteria-style, but the salads and sandwiches in the boxes are made fresh several times each day on the premises.
Perhaps most surprising of all is the cheeseburger—you wouldn’t think that one of the best cheeseburgers in the City is made at a museum café, but it is. Just be sure to get lunch early, or pick an off hour to eat; the lines at lunchtime can extend for what feels like miles.
Visitors to the Presidio can enjoy a quick bite or a leisurely lunch at the Acre Café (1013 Torney Ave., 415/561-2273, Mon.–Fri. 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., $10). This simple café serves up fresh food for almost (but not quite) reasonable prices.
Open for both breakfast and lunch, it’s also a good spot to grab a cup of coffee to enjoy with a morning walk along the paths of the Presidio. Just keep in mind that this is a walk-up style café, so don’t expect much by way of customer service.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition