Daily Specials in Daly City: The Best Restaurants near Cow Palace

Daly City and South San Francisco, the closest neighborhoods to the Cow Palace, are the blue-collar backbones of the Bay Area. They aren't exactly highlighted as tourist "hot spots" - in fact, one tourism book infamously declared, "If Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, then he left his spleen in Daly City."


But if you happen to be attending a convention at the historic Cow Palace, and you need a quick bite to eat, there are several Hawaiian and Filipino eateries well-worth checking out.  Daly City has one of the largest Filipino communities in the entire U.S., so Filipino food restaurants like Nick's Kitchen serve the real deal. 

And this area has more to offer than just quick bites, too. If you're in an adventurous spirit - maybe even a little sick and tired of Mission hipsters or the crush of downtown techies that have swamped San Francisco - then take some time to explore these neighborhoods rich with old-school San Francisco charms. If you happen to be in town before January 2014, then make sure you stop by historic Joe's of Westlake, a South Peninsula institution that will be closed for most of 2014 for a complete remodel by its new owners.  Many of these restaurants could easily be bought out and replaced by hipper -and more expensive - menus, so be sure to catch them while you can. 

Outlying Areas


Known for its excellent hardwood grilled steaks, chops and seafood, Birk's became a South Bay institution the moment it opened its doors in 1989. If you're interested in the Silicon Valley crowd, a little different than the average football fan,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of used in book.


Simplicity and authenticity reign at this small, popular restaurant. Zinc tabletops and exotic hardwoods bear this out, as does the incomparable Italian fare with its top-notch ingredients. Treat yourself with grilled calamari salad, braised...  Read More



Nopa defies categorization as either old or new because it has some of both. Although it's only been around since 2006, chef Laurence Jossel worked at several traditional and popular restaurants before Nopa and brings professionalism and...  Read More



Henry's Hunan Restaurant, owned and run by chef Henry Chung, specializes in hot, spicy Hunan cuisine, and regulars can't get enough of the addictive fare. Folks hold Henry in high esteem, not only because of his food but the large servings...  Read More

South Pacific Island Restaurant
Photo courtesy of South Pacific Island Restaurant


Geneva Avenue, the main strip closest to the Cow Palace, is dotted with authentic but somewhat hole-in-the wallsy restaurants. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish the authentic ones from the holes-in-the-wall, but South Pacific Island definitely...  Read More

El Super Burrito Mexican Grill


Let's face it - sometimes only a great big platter of Mexican food will do. If you're near the Cow Palace and want some authentic Mexican cuisine - and don't feel like fighting the uber-hip crowds of the Mission to get a decent burrito - head...  Read More



If you've tried the grab-and-go fare up and down Geneva Avenue for lunch during your Cow Palace convention and need a fancier, sit-down meal for dinner (even a romantic date), try Limon Rotisserie. Although there are three locations of this...  Read More

South Bay/Peninsula


If you're in the mood for an inexpensive meal, and you don't give a hoot about ambiance or your daily requirement of fruits and vegetables, then head to Superstar for a big steaming plate of "silog." Silog is a Filipino tradition that usually...  Read More



If you're in the neighborhood of the Cow Palace and don't want to fight the crowds of Northbeach in downtown San Francisco to get some good Italian food, consider Sodini's in South San Francisco. This place has all the authenticity and warmth of...  Read More

South Bay/Peninsula


If you want an authentic taste of what Daly City is all about, head to Nick's Cafe. Daly City has one of the largest Filipino populations in all of the U.S., so their clientele is very picky about this cuisine. Nick's delivers. If this is your...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

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