Good Cheap Eats: San Francisco on $74 a Day

San Francisco has no shortage of must-try restaurants, but with a packed conference week it’s tough to get away for long. Fortunately there are plenty of spots just a short walk from the Moscone Center. We’ve put together a quick round-up of good cheap eats to help our friends attending San Francisco conferences find budget-friendly meals that will keep their wallet and stomach happy.

The TravelBank budget sets the daily allowance in San Francisco at $74. That roughly translates to $17 for breakfast, $18 for lunch and $34 for dinner, plus $5 for daily incidentals.

Typically lunch is provided for conference attendees (freeing up some of your budget!), and conference events that serve breakfast or cocktails and appetizers (more free food!!). With all the savings you rack up attending networking events, you’ll have plenty of room in your budget to treat yourself to a nice dinner when you just need an evening to relax.

Now for those recommendations we promised.

Less than a 5 minute walk

a cup of tea next to a pitcher of tea.

Samovar Tea Lounge
While the draw may be the extensive tea list, Samovar has a menu ranging from small plates and salads to rice bowls and brunch that will make your mouth water. And during DreamForce, Adobe Sign has space set up there for hangouts and meetings.

The Metreon food court is a great spot offering a variety of delicious eateries. Lemonade serves up seasonal dishes and comfort foods in a cafeteria setting. If you aren’t sure what you want, just ask for a sample and they’ll happily oblige.

a hamburger and fries on a tray with a drink.

Super Duper Burgers
Also located in the Metreon food court, right next to Lemonade, you’ll find Super Duper Burgers. Order a burger with the garlic fries on the side. Don’t forget to add the three dips. You won’t regret it.

ThirstyBear Brewing Company
ThirstyBear is a good sandwich and tapas place. Their ceviche and fried calamari are bomb. You can even give this place a try by stopping by during happy hour.

a restaurant with asian writing on the walls.

Fang Restaurant
Fang is super close to Moscone and a budget-friendly option, serving up Chinese and Asian fusion dishes. It is a great spot if you plan on dining with a group because they cater to family-style meals and easily accommodate dietary restrictions.

10 minute walk

HRD is a quick spot for high-quality Asian fusion cuisine. There’s a good variety to choose from but we suggest giving the Bulgogi Beef bowl or the Mongolian Cheesesteak a try.

a plate of food with noodles, broccoli and sauce.

Perilla checks a lot of good boxes for visitors: it’s tasty, fast, cheap, and interesting, and best of all easily-accessible. Stop by for pho and other Vietnamese eats.

15-20 minute walk (or a short cab ride away)

Lers Ros Thai
Lers Ros offers an extensive menu of Thai food and the green curry is a favorite. The lunch specials will beat your budget, all sitting around $10.

a bowl of food on a wooden table.

Mensho Tokyo SF
This Japanese ramen spot came straight to San Francisco from Tokyo and offers a variety of bowls, including a vegan option. Just be aware that it is a popular spot and sometimes draws lines at lunchtime.

Bonus: Treat Yo’ Self

a plate of food with vegetables and meat on it.

Been attending networking events all week and raking in the savings with their free hors d’oeuvres? Enjoy a three course prix-fixe menu for $35 at Trestle. It’s Michelin approved, and if you’re feeling extra hungry you can add a fourth course for $10. The restaurant is a 20 minute walk or a 10 minute cab ride from Moscone Center. Don’t forget to call ahead for reservations.

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