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Food for Thought and Body as Back to School Week Begins

Back to School is the time when you get to make new friends, or reconnect with familiar faces, (re)discover your passion for fashion, and resume your hard work to achieve that much coveted degree from the Academy of Art University School of Fashion!

With classes, homework and studying all starting up and soon to be in full swing, we want to make sure you’re getting the necessary brain power! Many cafes, diners, food trucks and restaurants surround Academy of Art School of Fashion. So depending where your class is located and whether it’s a sit down lunch or a grab-and -go, below are some of our favorite dining places:

625 Polk

Café Dior
Price: $

Step back in time and enjoy our very own Café Dior inside 625 Polk Street Fashion School Building, for your greatest convenience. Open Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 10:00pm and Friday’s 7:30am- 8:00pm, this café is not only a beautifully preserved architectural landmark it is also stocked with all the necessities: sandwiches, salads, sweet treats, and microwaveable meals. It’s even home to our on-site Starbucks with an array of coffee, tea and quick food snacks options. Monsieur Dior would approve.

Brenda’s | French Soul Food
Price: $$

Just across the street from our iconic Fashion School Building is one of San Francisco’s most popular soul food restaurants: Brenda’s. Known as “a diamond in the rough” according to the Wall Street Journal and voted as the Best Soul Food in the SF by Bay Guardian Readers Poll, Brenda’s is always at the top of our list. Creole influences coupled with Southern comfort leave your mouth watering just thinking about their Chicken, Sausage & Okra Gumbo or their Muffaletta. Don’t know what Muffaletta? Well don’t wait for us to tell you – go try it! It’s so good, the line often wraps around the building – so be sure to hit it up when you’ve got a longer lunch break.

Crawfish Beignets in the works!

A photo posted by Brenda’s French Soul Food (@brendasfrenchsf) on

Acre Coffee
Price: $$

For a quicker bite and an energy boost, be sure to check out Acre Coffee on Golden Gate Ave. Located in San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission, Acre Coffee prides itself on being a part of one of the greenest office towers in urban America. Be sure to try the grilled sandwiches and protein-packed salads from their team of culinary geniuses. Every dish is made using organic ingredients. And for a boost, be sure to grab their “Furlong Blend // House Espresso.” #coffee

Happy Wednesday to me! #freecoffeecard

A photo posted by Miranda (@mirandoo87) on

Pho 2000
Price: $

Nestled away in the two block stretch of Larkin Street is “Little Saigon,” a neighborhood although smaller but just as culturally significant as Chinatown and Japantown. Marked by a pair of dragons perched on top of two stone pillars, Little Saigon is known for its Vietnamese coffee and cheap eats. Of which, we love Pho 2000. Head over to slurp your noodles, broth and Rainbow drink for a quick bite and a budget-friendly price. (Hint: You pronounce Pho, like with a question mark, Pho?) Pho? Well, yes, please!

It’s been phoever ? #pho2000 #phomazing #photastic #pho

A photo posted by Foodster (@missalwayseating) on

2300 Stockton

Black Point Café
Price: $

Located adjacent to Ghirardelli Square, Black Point Café is our favorite café in tourist packed Pier 39. Quick bites are available or you can lunch on a sandwich or brunch on a scone. If the scenic walk over isn’t enough to recharge you, be sure to grab their famous Lavender Latte. We’re nearly certain there’s (dark?) magic in them!

Wpadajcie na kawę! #latteart #barista #blackpointcafe #bpc

A video posted by Black Point Cafe (@black_point_cafe) on

Freddie’s Sandwiches
Price: $

If you need a heartier lunch, head over to Freddie’s Sandwiches – our local favorite. Hidden away in a corner store at 300 Francisco Street, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth with their homemade breads, overflowing layers of meat, and a choice between their half-foot or entire 25-inch sandwich! And the best part of it all, you can order pickup online for a delicious grab & go. Hint: Ask for extra pickles!

180 New Montgomery

Café 180
Price: $

Too lazy to walk? Take the elevator to the basement of 180 New Montgomery for an easy grab & go lunch. Pop down in between classes and choose between pre-made sandwiches, salads, desserts and easy microwaveable meals. Yes, there is a microwave at your disposal there, too! If you need a “pick me up” or even a “get my day started” cup of joe, enjoy our on-site Starbucks coffee and tea. Stop in Monday-Friday from 9:00am – 4:30pm.

Price: $

This Mediterranean gem truly understands the hustle and bustle of the busy FiDi district. Even with a line trickling onto the street, you’ll be chowing down on your gyro or salad in five minutes. They have one special spicy sauce that is extra $, but worth for the packed heat it will bring to your gyro. Prices are reasonable and there’s plenty of food in your to-go container. Be sure to check out their Baklava for the sweet treat you deserve after attending all of your classes.

Took home some Gyros and Fries ?

A photo posted by Kevin Lessy (@mrlessy) on

Café Madeleine
Price: $$

Just a hop, skip and a jump across New Montgomery Street is our lunch time gem. Soups, salads and sandwiches galore – all to recharge you for another round of classes. And after you’ve eaten your oh-so-healthy lunch, be sure to try their amazing desserts. We love their Almond Fruit Tart, Florentine French Cookie, and of course our custom designed cupcake!

The Sentinel
Price: $$

The Sentinel’s five itemed menu provides a hassle free and trendy lunch option in the FiDi. The good foods here don’t last long, so make sure you show up between Noon – 1 pm. Although options are limited to a cold, hot or vegetarian sandwich, a salad and a special of the day, the menu is ever-changing as it’s based on the seasons, farmed produced, and the items are subject to change without notice. Prices are consistent with FiDi lunch prices, but it’s random menu is always consistently tasty. If you’re running around in between classes, save some time and call early for pick-up.

The Grove Yerba Buena
Price: $$

As a San Francisco based, family-owned & operated business, The Grove Yerba Buena is like eating your mom’s home cookin’ (We miss you Mom!). Hearty salads, grilled cheese, or chicken pot pies are just some of the items on the healthful menu. Their giant homemade cookies are guaranteed to make you smile. And if you missed breakfast, don’t worry – breakfast is served all day. #amen

With so much newness coming your way – new classes, new friends, and new experiences – it’s nice to have a familiar go-to grub spot. Keep yourselves sustained, and we guarantee you will have a successful semester!

Text by Emily Higginbotham