If you’re bringing the kids to the park and wondering how to find fuel for your picky eater, don’t panic – you’ll find plenty of options in the Presidio. From fun snacks on the run to delicious sit-down meals, the Presidio has great family-friendly dining options that cater to a range of tastes. Here are seven of our favorites.
1. The Warming Hut
As locals know – and tourists quickly learn – when the wind picks up, it can get pretty chilly around the Golden Gate. A great place to grab some grub, take a break, and cozy up is at
the Warming Hut Cafe and Bookstore near
Torpedo Wharf. On a mild, sunny day, this is a great destination for families looking for a picnic spot. You’ll find restrooms, a collection of great gifts, and affordable sandwiches and baked goods. On foggy days, this is the place for a cup of hot chocolate or hot soup to be enjoyed in their indoor seating. The Warming Hut is accessible by bike and foot from the
Golden Gate Promenade and
Bay Trails, and a parking lot is nearby.
2. General Store at the Presidio Golf Course
Built to serve the needs of golfers making their rounds on the historic
Presidio Golf Course, the
General Store is also a destination for non-golfers in the know. Located where the
Park Trail meets Washington Boulevard, there’s a small playground across the street, and the restored
Mountain Lake Playground is within walking distance. This is a great place to stop with the kids for a bathroom break and a snack – you’ll find hot dogs, cold beverages, and chips inside. During summer months, they offer up delicious grilled items, like tri-tip, marinated chicken sandwiches, and jumbo sausages.
3. TRANSIT Café
As the name implies, this cafe is located inside the Presidio’s transportation hub where the
PresidiGo Shuttles meet the MUNI 43. It’s also right next to the
Presidio Visitor Center. TRANSIT has a casual setting and counter service, making it a great place for kiddos who like wood-fired pizzas, finger-licking roasted chicken, and crispy fries (regular, cheesy, or sweet potato). After lunch – or before, if you’re the dessert-first type – enjoy a sweet treat from their pastry shelf, like gooey brownies or an enormous freshly-baked cookie. There’s indoor seating, but on a sunny day by the Bay, the outdoor patio offers an epic view of the
Golden Gate Bridge. Note: they also offer grab ‘n go items for impromptu picnics on the expansive
Main Parade Ground nearby.
4. Presidio Bowling Center Café
Here’s a spot where inside voices are definitely not required. Open all day, every day, the cafe in the
Presidio Bowling Center is a hidden treasure for a casual meal in the park with the family. It’s also close to the
Walt Disney Family Museum and the Presidio Officers’ Club and other park attractions. The menu features classic kid favorites and guilty pleasures, like corn dogs, cheese sticks, and crispy old-school tater tots. But it’s probably most famous for its curly fries, served in an enormous – and very delicious – mound and perfect for sharing. The Presidio Bowling Center has a small parking lot, and is located just a short walk or shuttle ride from the
5. “House of Snacks” at House of Air
Crissy Field is a paradise for active families. Whether you’re biking, strolling, flying kites,
House of Snacks, located in the lobby of the
House of Air indoor trampoline park, is a convenient refueling station. Their gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and fresh paninis are a big hit with the kids, and the counter is loaded with healthy and not-too-unhealthy snacks to please a multitude of tastes. There’s also a fridge stocked with cold drinks, and they offer espressos for parents in need of a midday pick-me-up. Order from the counter, then head to the
Crissy Field West Bluff picnic area close by, or stay inside and watch as amateur aerialists perfect their breathtaking feats on the trampolines.
6. Presidio Picnic
For parents with kids who just gotta move, there’s no better place than Presidio Picnic where the family can dine on a big grassy lawn surrounded by a wide-assortment of international food trucks. Throw out a picnic blanket, bring the toys, and you’re set for a great time with the family. The kid- and adult-pleasing Neapolitan-style pizzas from the Del Popolo truck inspire the longest lines — get there close to 11 am and you’ll find yourself at the very front. Better yet, skip the lines altogether and pre-order from several vendors on the
Presidio Picnic website – this includes taco kits from Nopalito and a dozen empanadas and/or churros from another Picnic fav, El Sur. There’s parking around the perimeter, or take the free
PresidiGo Shuttle or MUNI 43 to the nearby
Presidio Transit Center. If your family is partial to two-wheeled transportation, use the new (and free!) bike valet service. Presidio Picnic's season runs from March through October.
7. Presidio Social Club
This spot – with its beautiful, old-school interiors, and classic San Francisco cuisine – may seem purely for adults, but the
Presidio Social Club is a surprisingly family-friendly restaurant just inside the Lombard Gate. The kids will love the baked macaroni and cheese or the grilled cheese toast while the parents can indulge and order the special of the day with an artisanal cocktail. The host also keeps a stash of crayons and paper and Presidio Social Club is conveniently located close to the Letterman Digital Arts Center, making for an easy stop at the
Yoda Fountain for a dose of "the force" from the master.