Chow

★★★★☆
  • 215 Church St

    San Francisco, CA 94114

    Cross street: Near Market St, The Castro

    Map & Directions
  • 415-552-2469

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4.102 49
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I like this place. The first few times I visited I didn't like the menu. I think the menu doesn't really make the items looks appetizing, but maybe that's just me. Once I started trying different things I liked them all, well, maybe not

3
★★★★★

I like this place. The first few times I visited I didn't like the menu. I think the menu doesn't really make the items looks appetizing, but maybe that's just me. Once I started trying different things I liked them all, well, maybe not

.

Love the fact that they use sustainably farmed ingredients. My sister was telling me that they get their lamb from a CA farm whereas even Whole Foods imports their lamb from New Zealand.

I tried their basic Chicken dish last night and honestly did not have high expectations since that's typically a standard dish at most places. But it was actually the best thing we ordered -- expertly prepared and included some vegetables that were tasty and colorful.

2
★★★★★

Love the fact that they use sustainably farmed ingredients. My sister was telling me that they get their lamb from a CA farm whereas even Whole Foods imports their lamb from New Zealand.

I tried their basic Chicken dish last night and honestly did not have high expectations since that's typically a standard dish at most places. But it was actually the best thing we ordered -- expertly prepared and included some vegetables that were tasty and colorful.

Pros: high quality ingredients, solid execution

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Every plate is better than the last at Chow. The service is friendly, and the diner ambience is strangely fun without being kitschy like so many other diner knock-offs. Just a few steps from the lively corner of Market and Church, Chow fits into the neighborhood perfectly, yet the atmosphere and vibe inside of Chow welcomes you even if you are a uniquely white, middle aged, straight guy without any piercings or tattoos, as is my current predicament., And that's why I like this place. Here at Chow, everyone is at home. I feel like George Castanza at Monk's hanging out with my friends Kramer and Elaine, all the while enjoying equal parts of goat cheese fondue, home made wontons, Argentinian Albarino, and a good heapin' helpin' of SF diversity. (If I were Darth Cheney's gay illegitimate son, this is where I'd bring Dad for lunch to show him that San Francisco values are actually pretty cool. Don't worry -- I'd make him leave his guns at home so nobody would get accidentally shot.) Hanging out and enjoying a meal at Chow is why so many of us don't live in Kansas any more. Thanks, Chow, for being a piece of that, and your wontons are wonderful!

uncleBad says eat at one of the window tables and enjoy the street circus outside while you have a great meal at one of San Francisco's coolest hangs.

2
★★★★★

Every plate is better than the last at Chow. The service is friendly, and the diner ambience is strangely fun without being kitschy like so many other diner knock-offs. Just a few steps from the lively corner of Market and Church, Chow fits into the neighborhood perfectly, yet the atmosphere and vibe inside of Chow welcomes you even if you are a uniquely white, middle aged, straight guy without any piercings or tattoos, as is my current predicament., And that's why I like this place. Here at Chow, everyone is at home. I feel like George Castanza at Monk's hanging out with my friends Kramer and Elaine, all the while enjoying equal parts of goat cheese fondue, home made wontons, Argentinian Albarino, and a good heapin' helpin' of SF diversity. (If I were Darth Cheney's gay illegitimate son, this is where I'd bring Dad for lunch to show him that San Francisco values are actually pretty cool. Don't worry -- I'd make him leave his guns at home so nobody would get accidentally shot.) Hanging out and enjoying a meal at Chow is why so many of us don't live in Kansas any more. Thanks, Chow, for being a piece of that, and your wontons are wonderful!

uncleBad says eat at one of the window tables and enjoy the street circus outside while you have a great meal at one of San Francisco's coolest hangs.

Pros: great place to hang, love the food

.

I have been going to Chow for years and I always have a yummy meal there. The service is consitant and overall pretty good.. I enjoy pretty much everything on the menu and it's always affordable....

2
★★★★★

I have been going to Chow for years and I always have a yummy meal there. The service is consitant and overall pretty good.. I enjoy pretty much everything on the menu and it's always affordable....

Pros: good food, affordable

.

The staff at Chow are so nice, they make every dining experience that much better. The food is made of high quality ingredients and all the meals are very reasonably priced. The apple pie is to die for! Great value for friendly and delicious meal.

2
★★★★★

The staff at Chow are so nice, they make every dining experience that much better. The food is made of high quality ingredients and all the meals are very reasonably priced. The apple pie is to die for! Great value for friendly and delicious meal.

Pros: Warm friendly staff and tasty high qaulity food

Cons: It can get a little noisy

.

Great for a reasonably priced sit down dinner. Great beers & great food selection...it took me forever to find something to order because it all sounded so good. I ended up getting the eggplant parmesan, and it was delicious! The parking can be awful, we were there on a Tuesday night around 7:00 and had to drive around the block a few times before we found a spot, but it was totally worth it. Fast & attentive service, definitely reccommended.

2
★★★★☆

Great for a reasonably priced sit down dinner. Great beers & great food selection...it took me forever to find something to order because it all sounded so good. I ended up getting the eggplant parmesan, and it was delicious! The parking can be awful, we were there on a Tuesday night around 7:00 and had to drive around the block a few times before we found a spot, but it was totally worth it. Fast & attentive service, definitely reccommended.

Pros: Atmosphere, Service, Food, & Value

Cons: Parking

.

My fiance and I just ate at Chow and were very impressed. They have a gazillion staff members, thus, you get great, thorough service. Everyone had a smile on their face, which can be quite unusual in SF. The food was pretty good. If you're in the mood for a salad, go for the "Spinach Salad"-mmm....Great neighborhood place!
p.s. The staff members are all pretty cute, too!

2
★★★★☆

My fiance and I just ate at Chow and were very impressed. They have a gazillion staff members, thus, you get great, thorough service. Everyone had a smile on their face, which can be quite unusual in SF. The food was pretty good. If you're in the mood for a salad, go for the "Spinach Salad"-mmm....Great neighborhood place!
p.s. The staff members are all pretty cute, too!

Pros: Plenty of room; friendly, cute staff; tasty food; cheapish

Cons: The bathroom is awkward and behind a table...

.

I'm kind of a Chow fanatic. Its my favorite neighborhood haunt. They have yummy food thats comforting yet healthy. Much of it is organic. They are also vegetarian friendly and will substitute the meat in a dish for avocado or veggies or whatever. They have great beer, which I love that you can get either small or large. The staff is super friendly (and more than a few of them are quite easy on the eyes!)

2
★★★★★

I'm kind of a Chow fanatic. Its my favorite neighborhood haunt. They have yummy food thats comforting yet healthy. Much of it is organic. They are also vegetarian friendly and will substitute the meat in a dish for avocado or veggies or whatever. They have great beer, which I love that you can get either small or large. The staff is super friendly (and more than a few of them are quite easy on the eyes!)

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I went because of Racheal Ray's review of the place, she was right it is delicious. I ordered the Crater-lake bleu cheese with pear for $6.50 and it was delicious I didn't expect them to pair it with walnut bread or toasted walnuts it was like I'm inside an expensive restaurant and paying $20 for this stuff. Next I had the lasagna and it was so fresh and delicious, normally I dislike lasanga because of the intense tomato sauce flavor but they used fresh spinach and tomatoes to combine flavors and it tasted great. The customer service was excellent they gave us plenty of time to think on our menus and refilled our water constantly. Thanks Chow and Racheal Ray for this euphoric experience. It was yumm-o!!

2
★★★★★

I went because of Racheal Ray's review of the place, she was right it is delicious. I ordered the Crater-lake bleu cheese with pear for $6.50 and it was delicious I didn't expect them to pair it with walnut bread or toasted walnuts it was like I'm inside an expensive restaurant and paying $20 for this stuff. Next I had the lasagna and it was so fresh and delicious, normally I dislike lasanga because of the intense tomato sauce flavor but they used fresh spinach and tomatoes to combine flavors and it tasted great. The customer service was excellent they gave us plenty of time to think on our menus and refilled our water constantly. Thanks Chow and Racheal Ray for this euphoric experience. It was yumm-o!!

Pros: Delicious freshly made pastas, gourmet foods, great value

Cons: I wish they had one in Oregon where I live

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We stopped into Chow on a Monday night at around 530pm, on a pre-concert excursion to the City. We were seated immediately. We weren't sure who the wait staff actually was, but the bar keep offered to take our order. The food came quickly. The mussels were excellent, fresh and tasty with lots of sauce for dipping fresh bread. Our Thai Chicken Salad was tasty, crisp and very fresh and colorful. We were in and out of Chow in about 40 minutes which was great because we had a time limit. We had 4 small dishes, 2 shorty beers and the tab was under $40 (sans the tip). After reading mixed reviews on this site about the food and service we were at first hesitant about Chow. We had a really great experience! It was just the right amount of food and very fresh. We will definitely go back!

2
★★★★☆

We stopped into Chow on a Monday night at around 530pm, on a pre-concert excursion to the City. We were seated immediately. We weren't sure who the wait staff actually was, but the bar keep offered to take our order. The food came quickly. The mussels were excellent, fresh and tasty with lots of sauce for dipping fresh bread. Our Thai Chicken Salad was tasty, crisp and very fresh and colorful. We were in and out of Chow in about 40 minutes which was great because we had a time limit. We had 4 small dishes, 2 shorty beers and the tab was under $40 (sans the tip). After reading mixed reviews on this site about the food and service we were at first hesitant about Chow. We had a really great experience! It was just the right amount of food and very fresh. We will definitely go back!

Pros: Fresh food, casual, small plates/good value

Cons: Parking

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This food is good but the service is poor. I may be old fashioned but both quality food and good service go together.
When I entered, the place wasn't full of customers. I had to ask what I think was the lady tending the bar. In any event, I sat down and waited for service. The waitress was too involved with conversations with friends and other employees to care. When I was directed to a table and sat down, I had to motion to I think might have been the Manager/Owner in order to get any attention.

The great thing about San Francisco is that there other Restaurants to go to.

1
★★☆☆☆

This food is good but the service is poor. I may be old fashioned but both quality food and good service go together.
When I entered, the place wasn't full of customers. I had to ask what I think was the lady tending the bar. In any event, I sat down and waited for service. The waitress was too involved with conversations with friends and other employees to care. When I was directed to a table and sat down, I had to motion to I think might have been the Manager/Owner in order to get any attention.

The great thing about San Francisco is that there other Restaurants to go to.

Pros: Food's good- the short ribs and a small salad with coffee and water is enough.

Cons: Poor Service-no attention

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With my work and school schedule, I don't have much time to go out, so I'm not always adventurous with restaurants. So, it great to knopw that Chow offers consistent, delicious food. I wasn't much for Cobb Salad...and then, I tried it at Chow's, and now I base all other Cobb Salad's on Chow's version. I highly reccomend the Butterscotch Banana Pie...heaven!. The staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, and there always seems to be a good vive.

2
★★★★★

With my work and school schedule, I don't have much time to go out, so I'm not always adventurous with restaurants. So, it great to knopw that Chow offers consistent, delicious food. I wasn't much for Cobb Salad...and then, I tried it at Chow's, and now I base all other Cobb Salad's on Chow's version. I highly reccomend the Butterscotch Banana Pie...heaven!. The staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, and there always seems to be a good vive.

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We've been eating at Chow for more than two years now, and the food and customer service have been consistently great. UNTIL 4-5 months ago, our waitress left us waiting for 20-30 minutes. Mind you, we got our water, we got our iced tea, but where was the food? It was around 2pm and there were a lot of empty tables, the lunch crowd was gone AND every time we tried to call her attention, she wouldn't look. We decided to leave and asked for the check (for the iced tea), from the guy behind the bar - he asked if everything was ok (obviously he knew something was wrong). we told him we were leaving and that we never got our food. He insisted that we stay, but at this point, we were so dissapointed with our waitress who was busy counting her tips and wouldn't even look at us.

Later that day, I called the restaurant to complain about the bad service. The manager told me that he already knew of the situation and apologized that she was a "new" employee and simply needed more training. We haven't gone back.

1
★★★☆☆

We've been eating at Chow for more than two years now, and the food and customer service have been consistently great. UNTIL 4-5 months ago, our waitress left us waiting for 20-30 minutes. Mind you, we got our water, we got our iced tea, but where was the food? It was around 2pm and there were a lot of empty tables, the lunch crowd was gone AND every time we tried to call her attention, she wouldn't look. We decided to leave and asked for the check (for the iced tea), from the guy behind the bar - he asked if everything was ok (obviously he knew something was wrong). we told him we were leaving and that we never got our food. He insisted that we stay, but at this point, we were so dissapointed with our waitress who was busy counting her tips and wouldn't even look at us.

Later that day, I called the restaurant to complain about the bad service. The manager told me that he already knew of the situation and apologized that she was a "new" employee and simply needed more training. We haven't gone back.

Pros: great food

Cons: our waitress forgot our order. Management said she was a new employee.

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This is one of my favorite quick bites in the city. It has great comfort food, good service and is a nice place to cool your heels before heading out again. Everything on the menu sounds and tastes yummy and the waiters/waiteresses really know how to make you feel at home.

2
★★★★☆

This is one of my favorite quick bites in the city. It has great comfort food, good service and is a nice place to cool your heels before heading out again. Everything on the menu sounds and tastes yummy and the waiters/waiteresses really know how to make you feel at home.

Pros: Comforting food, service, location

Cons: Parking in this area is always an issue

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my friend and i needed a place to eat ASAP in this neighborhood, and tried a couple of places that had like, an hour wait before ending up at chow, who seated us in less than 10 minutes. the menu is full of lovely comfort food, exactly what we wanted to eat. i especially liked the wine list - not extensive or unusual by any means, but no bottles over $30 and what we had was something i hadn't seen before and totally decent for the price. i had a perfectly cooked piece of coho salmon with veggies and delicious mashed potatoes, yum yum, especially considering it wasn't super expensive. my friend tried one of the asian-inspired dishes and i think was less impressed - but, as another friend of mine put it, it's kind of like if you go to a friend's house for dinner and they make something asian but haven't grown up with that kind of cooking - even if they do it well it'll be hard to be wowed by the results. so you may want to stick with the american basics, but if you do you won't be disappointed. the waitstaff was uniformly lovely as well. glad it's in my neighborhood.

2
★★★★★

my friend and i needed a place to eat ASAP in this neighborhood, and tried a couple of places that had like, an hour wait before ending up at chow, who seated us in less than 10 minutes. the menu is full of lovely comfort food, exactly what we wanted to eat. i especially liked the wine list - not extensive or unusual by any means, but no bottles over $30 and what we had was something i hadn't seen before and totally decent for the price. i had a perfectly cooked piece of coho salmon with veggies and delicious mashed potatoes, yum yum, especially considering it wasn't super expensive. my friend tried one of the asian-inspired dishes and i think was less impressed - but, as another friend of mine put it, it's kind of like if you go to a friend's house for dinner and they make something asian but haven't grown up with that kind of cooking - even if they do it well it'll be hard to be wowed by the results. so you may want to stick with the american basics, but if you do you won't be disappointed. the waitstaff was uniformly lovely as well. glad it's in my neighborhood.

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Heard that this restaurant had reliable good eats for a good price and it fit the bill. Went on a tuesday night with some friends visiting from the east. IT was crowded but we were immediately seated in the cute back patio complete with covering and heat lamps. Ordered a couple appetizers to share -- the bruschetta was delicious! The menu has a hodge-podge of sandwiches, entrees, salads, and pizzas -- something for everyone. Portion sizes are somewhat small (I have a hearty appetite for a small girl!), but the food was good for the prices.

2
★★★★★

Heard that this restaurant had reliable good eats for a good price and it fit the bill. Went on a tuesday night with some friends visiting from the east. IT was crowded but we were immediately seated in the cute back patio complete with covering and heat lamps. Ordered a couple appetizers to share -- the bruschetta was delicious! The menu has a hodge-podge of sandwiches, entrees, salads, and pizzas -- something for everyone. Portion sizes are somewhat small (I have a hearty appetite for a small girl!), but the food was good for the prices.

Pros: eclectic menu with many selections, fun atmosphere, good prices

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I wasn't disappointed, but I probobly won't go back. I just got home from dinner there with my fiance. It was a fairly busy Friday night, but we were still seated quickly (15 min wait). I had the burger with a chocolate shake and she had the Cobb salad & a beer. The burger was fine, and the salad was pretty good, but neither was anything special. Honestly, I'd rather have a MUCH tastier & cheaper In and Out Burger anyday. At $5, the milkshake was WAY too small. However, our check was around $30 - now that's special. Dinner for two at a decent restaurant in San Francisco with tip for less than $40, that doesn't happen often. Service left something to be desired though. We only saw our waitress twice after we ordered - once to pick up the plates and then a second time to bring the check. I wouldn't discourage anyone from going, but I wouldn't recommend it either.

1
★★★☆☆

I wasn't disappointed, but I probobly won't go back. I just got home from dinner there with my fiance. It was a fairly busy Friday night, but we were still seated quickly (15 min wait). I had the burger with a chocolate shake and she had the Cobb salad & a beer. The burger was fine, and the salad was pretty good, but neither was anything special. Honestly, I'd rather have a MUCH tastier & cheaper In and Out Burger anyday. At $5, the milkshake was WAY too small. However, our check was around $30 - now that's special. Dinner for two at a decent restaurant in San Francisco with tip for less than $40, that doesn't happen often. Service left something to be desired though. We only saw our waitress twice after we ordered - once to pick up the plates and then a second time to bring the check. I wouldn't discourage anyone from going, but I wouldn't recommend it either.

Pros: Seated Quickly, Most Things Priced Right

Cons: Food Was Alright, Service Wasn't Attentive

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how great is it that they are open all day 11:00-11:00 (on average) so you never have to remember the hours, they don't take reservations and the crowd is handled so that there is rarely more that a ten to fifteen minute wait, and the food and service is great! the servers always seem to like their jobs...how hard is that to find? i have eaten at chow more than twenty times and i cannot think of anything that has ever gone wrong. DEFINITELY have the ginger cake!

2
★★★★★

how great is it that they are open all day 11:00-11:00 (on average) so you never have to remember the hours, they don't take reservations and the crowd is handled so that there is rarely more that a ten to fifteen minute wait, and the food and service is great! the servers always seem to like their jobs...how hard is that to find? i have eaten at chow more than twenty times and i cannot think of anything that has ever gone wrong. DEFINITELY have the ginger cake!

Pros: ginger cake, location, service

Cons: NO PARKING!!!!

.

Just had dinner here tonight. The food was thoroughly enjoyable. The ginger cake is a must! Get there early (at or before 6) to get seats on weekdays. The front room got pretty loud, but I heard the patio at the back is quieter.

2
★★★★★

Just had dinner here tonight. The food was thoroughly enjoyable. The ginger cake is a must! Get there early (at or before 6) to get seats on weekdays. The front room got pretty loud, but I heard the patio at the back is quieter.

Pros: Price, food

Cons: Noise

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I don't know why I keep getting talked into going back to this place. Talk about digusting food. One visit during the late afternoon had the staff crowded in the back goofing off together, leaving us and the few other diners there without service. I ordered the eggplant parmesean and the slices of eggplant were thick, chalky, and impossible to cut. Moreover the food was cold. It was inedible - yet the waiter asked no questions when he picked up my plate full of food. What a disaster!

The next time I got suckered into stopping by I tried a salad; I was under the foolish impression that a salad was entirely impossible to mess up. I should have asked for the dressing on the side - because it probably came with a full cup of dressing. You couldn't even see green in the bowl if you tried to find it. Disgusting.

This is all a shame because the restaurant interior is entirely charming. I had high hopes that this would be me and my neighborhood friend's staple venue for a casual meal. Unfortunately, the food is so unbearable I'd rather pay more for a way better meal elsewhere.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I don't know why I keep getting talked into going back to this place. Talk about digusting food. One visit during the late afternoon had the staff crowded in the back goofing off together, leaving us and the few other diners there without service. I ordered the eggplant parmesean and the slices of eggplant were thick, chalky, and impossible to cut. Moreover the food was cold. It was inedible - yet the waiter asked no questions when he picked up my plate full of food. What a disaster!

The next time I got suckered into stopping by I tried a salad; I was under the foolish impression that a salad was entirely impossible to mess up. I should have asked for the dressing on the side - because it probably came with a full cup of dressing. You couldn't even see green in the bowl if you tried to find it. Disgusting.

This is all a shame because the restaurant interior is entirely charming. I had high hopes that this would be me and my neighborhood friend's staple venue for a casual meal. Unfortunately, the food is so unbearable I'd rather pay more for a way better meal elsewhere.

Pros: Atmosphere

Cons: Possibly the Worst Food and Service in SF

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I had low expectations based on the menu--it seemed too all over the place to be any good. But they surprised me by making tasty wantons, pizza, and locally-caught fish sandwiches for very reasonable prices. To me, it is basic, diner-type food, but done well, without inflating the price or skimping on the fresh ingredients or seasoning.

2
★★★★☆

I had low expectations based on the menu--it seemed too all over the place to be any good. But they surprised me by making tasty wantons, pizza, and locally-caught fish sandwiches for very reasonable prices. To me, it is basic, diner-type food, but done well, without inflating the price or skimping on the fresh ingredients or seasoning.

Pros: value, convenience

Cons: crowded

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I used to eat at Chow once a while until yesterday. We sat out in the patio and I had the chicken sausage scramble (the only thing I had to eat all day) and within a few hours I started feeling sick and then continued to be ill the rest of the night. I called today to let them know that I had gotten sick from their food and the manager basically doubted that I had even gotten it from there - saying it takes at least 24 hours. Wrong: it can be rapid, like within hours or it can take days. He was doubtful, inconsiderate and just plain rude . Based on that kind of treatment, I won't be eating there again.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I used to eat at Chow once a while until yesterday. We sat out in the patio and I had the chicken sausage scramble (the only thing I had to eat all day) and within a few hours I started feeling sick and then continued to be ill the rest of the night. I called today to let them know that I had gotten sick from their food and the manager basically doubted that I had even gotten it from there - saying it takes at least 24 hours. Wrong: it can be rapid, like within hours or it can take days. He was doubtful, inconsiderate and just plain rude . Based on that kind of treatment, I won't be eating there again.

.

Chow is one of my favorite places to dine in the City for a casual lunch or weeknight dinner. The menu items are diverse, with an Italian and Asian flair to some of the entrees. Cobb salad, pastas, and the Burger Royale are standout choices. The dessert menu is very appealing with a nice selection of pies and cakes. Wait staff is very friendly and accommodating. Surroundings are cozy, with an all wood dark finish to the walls, decorated with art from local artists. With high quality comfort foods at bargain prices, you should expect a wait on the weekends. Park Chow is the sister restaurant near Golden Gate Park. That location has a second level with a sky light.

2
★★★★★

Chow is one of my favorite places to dine in the City for a casual lunch or weeknight dinner. The menu items are diverse, with an Italian and Asian flair to some of the entrees. Cobb salad, pastas, and the Burger Royale are standout choices. The dessert menu is very appealing with a nice selection of pies and cakes. Wait staff is very friendly and accommodating. Surroundings are cozy, with an all wood dark finish to the walls, decorated with art from local artists. With high quality comfort foods at bargain prices, you should expect a wait on the weekends. Park Chow is the sister restaurant near Golden Gate Park. That location has a second level with a sky light.

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Let me start off by saying the service here is impecable. Friendly faces greet you when you walk through the door, many of the waiters will take time to give recomendations even though the restaurant is buzzing and the managment really cares about your visit. The place is always extremely clean and I love the fact that you can see in the kitchen as you walk to the patio. No other restaurant in the city can you get such a variety of frech organic foods for such a reasonable price. The fresh fish specials are always tantalizing and the seasonal menu items always offer surprise. I highly reccomend this place, you will not be dissapointed!!! Some of these people must be bitter...lol

2
★★★★★

Let me start off by saying the service here is impecable. Friendly faces greet you when you walk through the door, many of the waiters will take time to give recomendations even though the restaurant is buzzing and the managment really cares about your visit. The place is always extremely clean and I love the fact that you can see in the kitchen as you walk to the patio. No other restaurant in the city can you get such a variety of frech organic foods for such a reasonable price. The fresh fish specials are always tantalizing and the seasonal menu items always offer surprise. I highly reccomend this place, you will not be dissapointed!!! Some of these people must be bitter...lol

Pros: good for groups, quality food, great service

Cons: sometimes runs a wait

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I can't understand why it gets such high ratings. We decided to try it after seeing it on the Chronicle's Top 100 list. I understand that this place is for cheap eating. Even going in expecting that I was disappointed. Seating was quick and the service was pretty good as well. Immediately walking in the door, though, I was hit with a disgusting fishy vinegary smell that didn't exactly make me hungry. I was going to order the chicken, but the "special" was prime rib - which I was surprised to see. I probably should've gone with the chicken as the prime rib was the most disgusting looking piece of meat I've ever seen - rare and bloody. The Mashed potatoes were mediocre - they had a consistency as if someone had just thrown potatos in a blender and bland flavor. What's the point if the food sucks?

1
★★☆☆☆

I can't understand why it gets such high ratings. We decided to try it after seeing it on the Chronicle's Top 100 list. I understand that this place is for cheap eating. Even going in expecting that I was disappointed. Seating was quick and the service was pretty good as well. Immediately walking in the door, though, I was hit with a disgusting fishy vinegary smell that didn't exactly make me hungry. I was going to order the chicken, but the "special" was prime rib - which I was surprised to see. I probably should've gone with the chicken as the prime rib was the most disgusting looking piece of meat I've ever seen - rare and bloody. The Mashed potatoes were mediocre - they had a consistency as if someone had just thrown potatos in a blender and bland flavor. What's the point if the food sucks?

Pros: Prices, Service

Cons: uh.. the food, atmosphere, dirty fishy smell

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Excellent food wonderfully prepared and served by a staff comitted to excellence.

2
★★★★★

Excellent food wonderfully prepared and served by a staff comitted to excellence.

Pros: good food, good service, diversified menu

Cons: loud ambience

.

When I'm craving something better than cheap eats and something less than dining out in earnest, I head straight for Chow or Park Chow. I haven't gone wrong here yet, and neither have any of my friends, but my personal mainstays are the pork chops with polenta and the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream. The place is frequently packed, but the service is always cheerful and attentive, and I've rarely waited more than a few minutes (admittedly I'm usually in a group of 2-4). It's a great place to go before or after a show at Cafe Du Nord or the Swedish American Hall, just up the street.

2
★★★★★

When I'm craving something better than cheap eats and something less than dining out in earnest, I head straight for Chow or Park Chow. I haven't gone wrong here yet, and neither have any of my friends, but my personal mainstays are the pork chops with polenta and the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream. The place is frequently packed, but the service is always cheerful and attentive, and I've rarely waited more than a few minutes (admittedly I'm usually in a group of 2-4). It's a great place to go before or after a show at Cafe Du Nord or the Swedish American Hall, just up the street.

Pros: great food for price, friendly waitstaff, fun & cozy atmosphere

Cons: crowded & noisy

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for good, reasonably priced food, good, fast service, casual, bohemian atmosphere.

2
★★★★★

for good, reasonably priced food, good, fast service, casual, bohemian atmosphere.

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Chow is this always there for you when you need it. They have a great wine list, great desserts and everything is affordable. It's the perfect place to go when you don't want to cook and just want to stay in the neighborhood. The staff is always casual, friendly and very efficient.

2
★★★★★

Chow is this always there for you when you need it. They have a great wine list, great desserts and everything is affordable. It's the perfect place to go when you don't want to cook and just want to stay in the neighborhood. The staff is always casual, friendly and very efficient.

Pros: service, food, location

Cons: crowded, loud

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We've been in SF now for 8 months - and our New Years' day visit was the worst eating experience we've had. The friendly service couldn't make up for the (initially) cold food, greasy scrambled eggs and below-par eggs benedict. We will not be recommending, nor going back. Shame, as the place has a good brunchtime atmostphere.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We've been in SF now for 8 months - and our New Years' day visit was the worst eating experience we've had. The friendly service couldn't make up for the (initially) cold food, greasy scrambled eggs and below-par eggs benedict. We will not be recommending, nor going back. Shame, as the place has a good brunchtime atmostphere.

Pros: Ambience

Cons: , Food taste

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I discovered Chow when I first moved to San Francisco and it continues to remain one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The flat iron steak is always good as well as the shortribs and other dishes my friends have had. I have never had to wait that long for a table even though it is always packed...regardless it's a great place to people watch. The service is always good...sit on the back patio if you can because the atmosphere is great. Also started eating brunch there on Sundays and as always it was good.

2
★★★★★

I discovered Chow when I first moved to San Francisco and it continues to remain one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The flat iron steak is always good as well as the shortribs and other dishes my friends have had. I have never had to wait that long for a table even though it is always packed...regardless it's a great place to people watch. The service is always good...sit on the back patio if you can because the atmosphere is great. Also started eating brunch there on Sundays and as always it was good.

Pros: Food, Staff, Atmosphere

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Terrific value for terrific food. This busy local's spot will get you in and out or let you linger, whichever your day dictates. Save room for dessert (all good) by getting one of the daily special sandwiches as your meal.

2
★★★★★

Terrific value for terrific food. This busy local's spot will get you in and out or let you linger, whichever your day dictates. Save room for dessert (all good) by getting one of the daily special sandwiches as your meal.

Pros: Service, Food, Value

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Very comfortable atmosphere. The food is pretty good overall (some is very good, some is just so-so), but it's hard to find anything over $12, and there is a lot of variety on the menu (meats, pasta, Asian, Italian, sandwiches, pizzz, soup, salad). Every day, there is a sandwich special that comes with soup or salad, usually for less than $10. Drinks are a little on the pricey side (over $2 for a 10-oz. bottle of Coke), but everything else is reasonable. Stay for dessert, but avoid the chocolate cake and go for the ginger cake instead. Good to take out-of-towners, but a little loud and sometimes crowded.

2
★★★★☆

Very comfortable atmosphere. The food is pretty good overall (some is very good, some is just so-so), but it's hard to find anything over $12, and there is a lot of variety on the menu (meats, pasta, Asian, Italian, sandwiches, pizzz, soup, salad). Every day, there is a sandwich special that comes with soup or salad, usually for less than $10. Drinks are a little on the pricey side (over $2 for a 10-oz. bottle of Coke), but everything else is reasonable. Stay for dessert, but avoid the chocolate cake and go for the ginger cake instead. Good to take out-of-towners, but a little loud and sometimes crowded.

Pros: Cheap, Good variety

Cons: Loud, Crowded

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Chow Lafayette recently opened, and I have been there a couple of times. The foods always been great, there's always a big variety on the menu, ranging from Bleu cheese burgers to Spicy thai noodles (lots of vegetarian choices). The wait hasn't been too bad. The service is friendly and helpful. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable. They also have a little market in the front, organic produce and stuff. The bar looks cool, pretty good variety there, too.

2
★★★★★

Chow Lafayette recently opened, and I have been there a couple of times. The foods always been great, there's always a big variety on the menu, ranging from Bleu cheese burgers to Spicy thai noodles (lots of vegetarian choices). The wait hasn't been too bad. The service is friendly and helpful. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable. They also have a little market in the front, organic produce and stuff. The bar looks cool, pretty good variety there, too.

Pros: Great variety, Good Parking, Pretty good prices

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Food favor is good but small portion. It's so noisy there makes you feel rushed...

1
★★★☆☆

Food favor is good but small portion. It's so noisy there makes you feel rushed...

Pros: Fast service, price is average

Cons: Small portion, parking is bad, noisy

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Popped into Chow after some cocktails for a late night bite, we started with the cheese-stuffed foccacia bread, piping warm from the oven. Dinner was the signature spaghetti/meatballs and thai smiling noodle, both quite good. Dessert was the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream, absolutely delicious. All the entrees and drinks are reasonably priced and the service is above average. Overall, a great spot for reasonably priced comfort food,

2
★★★★☆

Popped into Chow after some cocktails for a late night bite, we started with the cheese-stuffed foccacia bread, piping warm from the oven. Dinner was the signature spaghetti/meatballs and thai smiling noodle, both quite good. Dessert was the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream, absolutely delicious. All the entrees and drinks are reasonably priced and the service is above average. Overall, a great spot for reasonably priced comfort food,

Pros: Reasonably priced, Diverse Menu

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I have eaten there twice in the last week and recommend it highly. I had a cheeseburger the first visit, and the "special" Brisket sandwich the next time. Both were delicious, plentiful and just plain good. The place was busy but the service was IMPECCABLE. The staff is friendly and attentive. I would encourage others to visit, but please, save me a seat. I don't want it to be too busy for me.

2
★★★★★

I have eaten there twice in the last week and recommend it highly. I had a cheeseburger the first visit, and the "special" Brisket sandwich the next time. Both were delicious, plentiful and just plain good. The place was busy but the service was IMPECCABLE. The staff is friendly and attentive. I would encourage others to visit, but please, save me a seat. I don't want it to be too busy for me.

Pros: Back Porch seating, Burgers, Salads

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Excellent food at very reasonable prices, hustling service and not surprisingly, very crowded. I ate there for the first time last night and very much enjoyed the spinach salad and Thai squid. In a group of 5, everyone seemed pleased with what they ordered, from Hamburgers to noodles, to seafood. Bravo.

2
★★★★☆

Excellent food at very reasonable prices, hustling service and not surprisingly, very crowded. I ate there for the first time last night and very much enjoyed the spinach salad and Thai squid. In a group of 5, everyone seemed pleased with what they ordered, from Hamburgers to noodles, to seafood. Bravo.

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I thought the atmosphere was good but the food was just average.

1
★★☆☆☆

I thought the atmosphere was good but the food was just average.

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The food at Chow tastes fine, but it is very hard to find anything on the menu I want to eat. The menu is meat-heavy with many items having more than one type of meat in the same dish.
The presentation is sloppy with food often piled on top of each other in a messy fashion. I do not like my food all mixed together on the plate, looking like the top layer of a trash bin.
I do not like this restaurant.

0
★☆☆☆☆

The food at Chow tastes fine, but it is very hard to find anything on the menu I want to eat. The menu is meat-heavy with many items having more than one type of meat in the same dish.
The presentation is sloppy with food often piled on top of each other in a messy fashion. I do not like my food all mixed together on the plate, looking like the top layer of a trash bin.
I do not like this restaurant.

Pros: good ambience, good location

Cons: poor menu, meat-heavy, sloppy presentation

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That's what I'm talking about: a homey, simple place, where the food won't let you down, where the service is friendly, and you'll laugh at the ridiculously low tab.
It ain't the 5th floor, but it does not pretend to be: just does well what it can do, and everybody walks out happy. If only there wasn't a line...

2
★★★★★

That's what I'm talking about: a homey, simple place, where the food won't let you down, where the service is friendly, and you'll laugh at the ridiculously low tab.
It ain't the 5th floor, but it does not pretend to be: just does well what it can do, and everybody walks out happy. If only there wasn't a line...

Pros: location, value

Cons: parking, wait

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I had spinach pasta sheets with garlic cream sauce and it was great! Found it on this website and I'd say it's definitely a place I'd bring out of town guests to. Atmostphere was comfortableand there are quaint pictures on the walls and dimmed lights. Plus you get to go through a velvet curtain when you enter!

2
★★★★★

I had spinach pasta sheets with garlic cream sauce and it was great! Found it on this website and I'd say it's definitely a place I'd bring out of town guests to. Atmostphere was comfortableand there are quaint pictures on the walls and dimmed lights. Plus you get to go through a velvet curtain when you enter!

Pros: laid back atmosphere, food was delicious, polite service

Cons: loud (tues. night!), impersonal service

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Both Chow and Park Chow are SF dining gems. In a city that sometimes seems so brand-name conscious and can have such an air of "money culture" about it, it's wonderful to have a breath of fresh air like Chow (and Park Chow). The daily specials are truly special, and the regular entrees are comfort cuisine with a slight SF twist. The Ginger Cake dessert is heavenly-- a must have!

2
★★★★★

Both Chow and Park Chow are SF dining gems. In a city that sometimes seems so brand-name conscious and can have such an air of "money culture" about it, it's wonderful to have a breath of fresh air like Chow (and Park Chow). The daily specials are truly special, and the regular entrees are comfort cuisine with a slight SF twist. The Ginger Cake dessert is heavenly-- a must have!

Pros: delicious, unpretentious, real value

Cons: parking can be tough

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Chow has been my favorite restaurant for years. The one on Church Street is quite busy and full of life. The one on 9th Street is also quite enchanting and offers a lot more seating - indoor and out.

2
★★★★★

Chow has been my favorite restaurant for years. The one on Church Street is quite busy and full of life. The one on 9th Street is also quite enchanting and offers a lot more seating - indoor and out.

Pros: inexpensive, flavorful, great atmosphere

Cons: sometimes loud

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Chow and Park Chow are two of my favorite restaurants that I always try to visit when I'm in the Bay Area. The food is affordable, comforting, and well thought-out without being overdone. The daily specials are usually decent, as are the soups. Don't miss the wood-fired mussels appetizer, and whatever you do, do NOT pass up the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert. The Chows are decent places for a good meal with friends or a casual date...it can get pretty crowded and noisy, but in a way it adds to the coziness, along with the fireplace.

2
★★★★★

Chow and Park Chow are two of my favorite restaurants that I always try to visit when I'm in the Bay Area. The food is affordable, comforting, and well thought-out without being overdone. The daily specials are usually decent, as are the soups. Don't miss the wood-fired mussels appetizer, and whatever you do, do NOT pass up the ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert. The Chows are decent places for a good meal with friends or a casual date...it can get pretty crowded and noisy, but in a way it adds to the coziness, along with the fireplace.

Pros: good value, good menu, cozy

Cons: crowded

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I've been to Park Chow in Sunset quite a few times and have loved it every time...coming away full and not broke. But the Castro location pales in comparison. I had the pasta with chicken, sausage, tomato and cream and there were only a few slices of chicken and the sausage was of poor quality. Like the ends of sausages that aren't edible. Also, the portions at the Castro location are smaller than those at the Sunset location, which makes it not a "cheap eat" but a moderate eat.

1
★★★☆☆

I've been to Park Chow in Sunset quite a few times and have loved it every time...coming away full and not broke. But the Castro location pales in comparison. I had the pasta with chicken, sausage, tomato and cream and there were only a few slices of chicken and the sausage was of poor quality. Like the ends of sausages that aren't edible. Also, the portions at the Castro location are smaller than those at the Sunset location, which makes it not a "cheap eat" but a moderate eat.

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Pretty good food for relatively cheap eats I guess. The waitstaff were ungroomed and kinda (sloppy?) if you dont mind that. They also said they'd come get us at the bar next door when our table was ready and never did. All in all I'd say... it's better than Sparky's.

1
★★★☆☆

Pretty good food for relatively cheap eats I guess. The waitstaff were ungroomed and kinda (sloppy?) if you dont mind that. They also said they'd come get us at the bar next door when our table was ready and never did. All in all I'd say... it's better than Sparky's.

Pros: good ribs, good mashed, kinda cheap

Cons: unattentive staff, rushed

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The staff and crowd at Chow is quite casual. So casual, in fact, a woman felt comfortable breast feeding in the dining room....The portions here are ample, and, our servers were very reliable. This is a good place for dinner before going out in the Castro or somewhere else closeby.

2
★★★★☆

The staff and crowd at Chow is quite casual. So casual, in fact, a woman felt comfortable breast feeding in the dining room....The portions here are ample, and, our servers were very reliable. This is a good place for dinner before going out in the Castro or somewhere else closeby.

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Chow has a lot of things going for it. It's in a great location, has good food, is affordable, has an attentive wait staff and one of the best bar dining in the city. It's also a great place if you happen to be eating alone--just grab an empty bar stool and order away. Dishes to try: The salmon, which is a great bargain; the spaghetti with meatballs (very tasty); singing noodles. Place is super crowded on the weekends and for brunch. Just put your name on the list and wait at the bar next door, which is great neighborhood gay bar that's friendly to all.

2
★★★★☆

Chow has a lot of things going for it. It's in a great location, has good food, is affordable, has an attentive wait staff and one of the best bar dining in the city. It's also a great place if you happen to be eating alone--just grab an empty bar stool and order away. Dishes to try: The salmon, which is a great bargain; the spaghetti with meatballs (very tasty); singing noodles. Place is super crowded on the weekends and for brunch. Just put your name on the list and wait at the bar next door, which is great neighborhood gay bar that's friendly to all.

Pros: yummy food

Cons: long waits on weekend

 

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