You know you’ll have to brave the throngs of tourists in Union Square at least once this holiday season. And hunting for gifts (a form of exercise, really) always builds an appetite. But the neighborhood prime for shopping is also known for its lack of good food. So we put together a cheat sheet of quality places to grab a bite--no Cheesecake Factory, Burger Bar or Westfield food court here.
For a stylish sit-down meal Klyde Café, the new European-feeling bistro, is open morning to night. Refuel with the chopped salad and baked ziti. Insider tip: Score a $5 glass of wine during happy hour (3 to 7 p.m. daily).
386 Geary St.
For a grab-and-go sandwich French crêperie Bio turns out petite baguette sandwiches that you can eat while you walk. Order the prosciutto with fig jam and goat cheese.
75 O’Farrell St.
For soup to warm the soul Katana-ya dishes out huge, piping-hot bowls of ramen. We dare you to finish the Katana-ya with fried chicken, pot stickers and pork.
430 Geary St.
For the full holiday experience Splurge on high tea at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel ($75) and sit down to tea sandwiches, petits fours and a pot of Earl Grey. Bonus: A glass of bubbly is included.
450 Powell St.