4 New Summer Lunches to Devour the Next Time You’re in Downtown SF

Yerba Buena's new lunch spot, Lemonade.
Yerba Buena’s new lunch spot, Lemonade.

Although the weather in downtown San Francisco might not feel like summer, if you’re craving delicious seasonal eats during the work day, there are plenty of places to savor a lobster roll or heirloom tomato salad. In fact, many restaurants offer specials that are only available in June, July, and August. Wondering where you can enjoy fresh strawberries with lima beans or roast chicken with corn and smoked green garlic? Here are four haute new lunches to enjoy during the next three months of summer.

LobsterRoll2Waterbar’s TGILRF

Nothing says warm weather quite like a soft buttery, slightly-toasted roll piled high with plump meaty fresh lobster. The lobster roll is a quintessential East Coast summer standby that should be on every West coasters ‘to eat’ list. The best place to taste one? Waterbar. The upscale Embarcadero seafood eatery is serving up their signature lobster rolls on Fridays at lunch time only. Chef Parke Ulrich imports fresh lobsters from Maine, simply tops them with melted butter and salt, and serves them on house made toasted brioche. A side of Old Bay potato chips rounds out the meal. Pair with a glass of Champagne and toast to the start of the weekend!


Fresh Vege-Forward Food at Lemonade

Lemonade is an LA-based fast casual chain that serves up sensational salads and sandwiches at lunchtime. The popular eatery opened its first Northern California outpost in downtown San Francisco earlier this month in the former La Boulange space at the Metreon. Lemonade Yerba Buena offers a seasonal menu of hearty vegan and vegetarian options like red quinoa and Fuji apples with arugula, sunflower seeds and pistachio vinaigrette or New Mexican roasted butternut squash with corn, lime corn nuts and scallion ranch dressing. The menu also has a section devoted to land and sea with items like roasted chicken with tomato olive puttanesca and sugar cane skewered shrimp with mango chermoula. Sandwiches, roasted turkey BLT sandwich with pesto aioli, and hot dishes, such as chicken chili, are available too. Of course, there are several different kinds of lemonade to statisfy thirst on the occasional sunny day.


The Mina Group’s Out to Lunch Menu

Who doesn’t love Michael Mina, Pabu, and RN74? Certainly not us! While you may have eaten at these haute spots during dinner, there is a reason to book a lunch table at one of the Mina Group’s downtown restaurants. Beginning on June 1, each eatery is offering a special three-course lunch for only $35. Menu options for the ‘Out to Lunch’ menu at RN74 include butter lettuce salad with fresh goat cheese and radish, grilled chicken paillard with Creole-style rice, and butter-based arctic char with couscous and harissa yogurt. In the mood for Asian? Try Pabu’s ‘Out to Lunch’ menu by selecting from Kaiso seaweed salad, ahi tuna poke, and assorted fish over sushi rice. Finally, at Michael Mina’s namesake flagship, the ‘Out to Lunch’ menu features tomato gazpacho with crispy soft shell crab, fresh hand-made cannelloni with padron peppers, scamorza, and artichokes, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. If you’re birthday is during the summer and it falls on a weekday, you should definitely indulge in a leisurely lunch at one of the Mina Group’s restaurants.

Homage_PChang-0457.0Photo Credit: Patricia Chang

An Homage to Farm-to-Table Cuisine

Another new lunch spot that recently opened up shop downtown is Homage. The breakfast and lunch restaurant, from chef David Kurtz (who was formerly at Maven), has a rotating menu of respectfully sourced, locally inspired cuisine. Each week, Kurtz pays homage to a different Northern California farm. A short description of the farm’s history, location, and methods are on display as well as the ingredients that are used to make some of Homage’s dishes. The food isn’t your typical breakfast and lunch fare. For example, the egg sandwich is an elevated take on the hangover cure that includes mezcal chorizo, duck egg, pickled shallots, and burnt scallions on a housemade English muffin. For lunch there is an open-faced tartine topped with fresh Monterey Bay sardines, crisped pancetta, shaved apriums, and torn herbs. Delish!