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The Bay Area’s Best Wallet-Friendly Meals for the Family

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Indoor dining might still be a while off in the Bay Area, but many of the region’s best restaurants are finding ways to feed the whole family, whether through patio dining, streetside tables, or top-notch takeout. And when you’re feeding a crowd, of course, affordability matters. Here are 11 Bay Area restaurants ideally suited for a big family meal, offering real value and fabulous fare. Now the trouble is: where should you order first?

A number of Bay Area restaurants offer patio service or indoor dining at limited capacity. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit covid19.ca.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Daryoush

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No one can pass up perfectly made kebabs. This Berkeley Persian restaurant is ideal for family-style feasts of ground beef and chicken kebabs, with fresh salads and crusty rice tahdigwhether enjoyed at an outdoor table or in the comfort of your own home. 

Viks Chaat

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A longtime Berkeley favorite, Vik’s was quick to set up outdoor seating, with socially distanced picnic tables spread out over a parking lot. It’s the perfect place to enjoy their style of Indian street food, like crisp-fried pani puri, keema samosa, or kid-friendly plain and cheese dosas. Rather feed the family at home? Many of the dinner specials are available as family-sized portions with three to four servings.

La Méditerranée

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Don’t miss the budget-friendly Mediterranean dinner platters here, ranging from falafel to chicken kebabs to the quiche of the day. Appetizer combos, with hummus, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh, give plenty of options for picky eaters, and desserts like baklava and chocolate mousse will help finish the meal on a sweet note.

A falafel platter from the Berkeley restaurant La Mediterranee.
Courtesy of La Mediterranee

Cali Alley

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Billing itself as “Berkeley’s only artisan food counter,” Cali Alley is ideally suited for our current era, offering online ordering and curbside pickup. The menu of burgers, mac and cheese, and “Alley Bao Buns” offers something for every appetite. Plus, the family-size meals are great values: super-sized portions of buttermilk fried chicken, beef barbacoa, or St. Louis-style ribs. 

A burger with slaw and fries from the Berkeley restaurant Cali Alley.
Courtesy of Cali Alley

Miss Ollie's

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A community staple, this cheery Caribbean restaurant is as vibrant as ever, serving on its outdoor patio as well as offering its full menu for takeout. Smashed plantains, skillet-fried chicken and buttermilk waffles, and Caribbean patties are just a few of the kid-friendly highlights here.  

Chicken and waffles from the Oakland restaurant Miss Ollie’s.
Courtesy of Miss Ollie’s

Ly's Vietnamese Cuisine

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Some San Francisco Vietnamese restaurants specialize in pho, some specialize in other noodle dishes; Ly’s has something for everyone, from classic beef pho with rare beef and brisket to vermicelli salads and tiger shrimp rice bowls. Open for takeout and delivery, it strikes just the right balance between adventurous eating and comfort food. 

Hummus and pita, falafel and halloumi — Mediterranean food is inherently crowd-pleasing (and inherently kid-friendly). At Noosh, the whole menu is made with a chef’s touch, adding clever, California-inspired tweaks to classic dishes. Looking to feed the whole family? The “Noosh Family Feast” includes a spread of their greatest hits, including the “chubby pita,” falafel, fried chicken, and dessert. On a pleasant Pac Heights stretch of Fillmore, Noosh is open for walk-up window service, outdoor seating, and delivery. 

A variety of dips and spreads from the San Francisco restaurant Noosh.
Courtesy of Noosh
Audrey Ma

4505 Burgers & BBQ

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A longtime San Francisco favorite, 4505 has always worked closely with farmers and ranchers to ensure that its meats are ethically raised and of the highest quality. If it’s meaty here, then it’s delicious — from smoked pork shoulder and brisket to bacon-studded hot dogs and a cheeseburger that’s one of the best around. Barbecue takes well to delivery, but 4505’s Divisadero patio is open for socially distanced dining. 

A cheeseburger, fries, and chips from the San Francisco restaurant 4505 Burgers & BBQ.
Courtesy of 4505 Burgers & BBQ

Dumpling Time

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Who can resist a good dumpling? At the three San Francisco locations of Dumpling Time, you’ve got an unbelievably extensive menu to choose from — think crisp-fried Japanese gyoza, Xi’an lamb dumplings, and kid-friendly favorites like BBQ pork buns and crispy spring rolls. Order a spread to share at one of their patio tables.   

Starbelly

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This Castro classic, a longtime favorite of brunchers and happy hour aficionados, has a casual California menu that’s ideal for the whole family: particularly the well-made pizzas, whether you opt for a simple margherita or something more creative, like the summer corn pizza. And since one big draw of Starbelly has always been its patio, it’s perfectly set up for outdoor dining, 2020-style.

French toast and syrup from the restaurant Starbelly in San Francisco.
Courtesy of Starbelly
Eddie Hernandez Photography

Tacolicious

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Incredible guac, indulgent queso, tacos as creative as they are well-executed: Tacolicious is a San Francisco staple for a reason. Exceptionally family-friendly, their taco platters are downright affordable, too. And the bar is a draw all its own: Parents can order a margarita alongside fish tacos, while kids enjoy Coke with their chips and salsa. While Tacolicious makes for excellent delivery, their Marina and Mission locations are both open for street and patio dining.  

A variety of tacos, salsas, and tortilla chips from the San Francisco restaurant Tacolicious.
Courtesy of Tacolicious
Aubrie Pick
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Daryoush

No one can pass up perfectly made kebabs. This Berkeley Persian restaurant is ideal for family-style feasts of ground beef and chicken kebabs, with fresh salads and crusty rice tahdigwhether enjoyed at an outdoor table or in the comfort of your own home. 

Viks Chaat

A longtime Berkeley favorite, Vik’s was quick to set up outdoor seating, with socially distanced picnic tables spread out over a parking lot. It’s the perfect place to enjoy their style of Indian street food, like crisp-fried pani puri, keema samosa, or kid-friendly plain and cheese dosas. Rather feed the family at home? Many of the dinner specials are available as family-sized portions with three to four servings.

La Méditerranée

A falafel platter from the Berkeley restaurant La Mediterranee.
Courtesy of La Mediterranee

Don’t miss the budget-friendly Mediterranean dinner platters here, ranging from falafel to chicken kebabs to the quiche of the day. Appetizer combos, with hummus, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh, give plenty of options for picky eaters, and desserts like baklava and chocolate mousse will help finish the meal on a sweet note.

A falafel platter from the Berkeley restaurant La Mediterranee.
Courtesy of La Mediterranee

Cali Alley

A burger with slaw and fries from the Berkeley restaurant Cali Alley.
Courtesy of Cali Alley

Billing itself as “Berkeley’s only artisan food counter,” Cali Alley is ideally suited for our current era, offering online ordering and curbside pickup. The menu of burgers, mac and cheese, and “Alley Bao Buns” offers something for every appetite. Plus, the family-size meals are great values: super-sized portions of buttermilk fried chicken, beef barbacoa, or St. Louis-style ribs. 

A burger with slaw and fries from the Berkeley restaurant Cali Alley.
Courtesy of Cali Alley

Miss Ollie's

Chicken and waffles from the Oakland restaurant Miss Ollie’s.
Courtesy of Miss Ollie’s

A community staple, this cheery Caribbean restaurant is as vibrant as ever, serving on its outdoor patio as well as offering its full menu for takeout. Smashed plantains, skillet-fried chicken and buttermilk waffles, and Caribbean patties are just a few of the kid-friendly highlights here.  

Chicken and waffles from the Oakland restaurant Miss Ollie’s.
Courtesy of Miss Ollie’s

Ly's Vietnamese Cuisine

Some San Francisco Vietnamese restaurants specialize in pho, some specialize in other noodle dishes; Ly’s has something for everyone, from classic beef pho with rare beef and brisket to vermicelli salads and tiger shrimp rice bowls. Open for takeout and delivery, it strikes just the right balance between adventurous eating and comfort food. 

Noosh

A variety of dips and spreads from the San Francisco restaurant Noosh.
Courtesy of Noosh
Audrey Ma

Hummus and pita, falafel and halloumi — Mediterranean food is inherently crowd-pleasing (and inherently kid-friendly). At Noosh, the whole menu is made with a chef’s touch, adding clever, California-inspired tweaks to classic dishes. Looking to feed the whole family? The “Noosh Family Feast” includes a spread of their greatest hits, including the “chubby pita,” falafel, fried chicken, and dessert. On a pleasant Pac Heights stretch of Fillmore, Noosh is open for walk-up window service, outdoor seating, and delivery. 

A variety of dips and spreads from the San Francisco restaurant Noosh.
Courtesy of Noosh
Audrey Ma

4505 Burgers & BBQ

A cheeseburger, fries, and chips from the San Francisco restaurant 4505 Burgers & BBQ.
Courtesy of 4505 Burgers & BBQ

A longtime San Francisco favorite, 4505 has always worked closely with farmers and ranchers to ensure that its meats are ethically raised and of the highest quality. If it’s meaty here, then it’s delicious — from smoked pork shoulder and brisket to bacon-studded hot dogs and a cheeseburger that’s one of the best around. Barbecue takes well to delivery, but 4505’s Divisadero patio is open for socially distanced dining. 

A cheeseburger, fries, and chips from the San Francisco restaurant 4505 Burgers & BBQ.
Courtesy of 4505 Burgers & BBQ

Dumpling Time

Who can resist a good dumpling? At the three San Francisco locations of Dumpling Time, you’ve got an unbelievably extensive menu to choose from — think crisp-fried Japanese gyoza, Xi’an lamb dumplings, and kid-friendly favorites like BBQ pork buns and crispy spring rolls. Order a spread to share at one of their patio tables.   

Starbelly

French toast and syrup from the restaurant Starbelly in San Francisco.
Courtesy of Starbelly
Eddie Hernandez Photography

This Castro classic, a longtime favorite of brunchers and happy hour aficionados, has a casual California menu that’s ideal for the whole family: particularly the well-made pizzas, whether you opt for a simple margherita or something more creative, like the summer corn pizza. And since one big draw of Starbelly has always been its patio, it’s perfectly set up for outdoor dining, 2020-style.

French toast and syrup from the restaurant Starbelly in San Francisco.
Courtesy of Starbelly
Eddie Hernandez Photography

Tacolicious

A variety of tacos, salsas, and tortilla chips from the San Francisco restaurant Tacolicious.
Courtesy of Tacolicious
Aubrie Pick

Incredible guac, indulgent queso, tacos as creative as they are well-executed: Tacolicious is a San Francisco staple for a reason. Exceptionally family-friendly, their taco platters are downright affordable, too. And the bar is a draw all its own: Parents can order a margarita alongside fish tacos, while kids enjoy Coke with their chips and salsa. While Tacolicious makes for excellent delivery, their Marina and Mission locations are both open for street and patio dining.  

A variety of tacos, salsas, and tortilla chips from the San Francisco restaurant Tacolicious.
Courtesy of Tacolicious
Aubrie Pick

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