Where else can you find a four-course meal for $23? Be ready when you approach the fair maiden at the counter, however, for the minute she claps her hands, you must know precisely what you want and she waits for no one.
66 Dorman, SF. 415-285-2461
VA HOSPITAL CANTEEN
The word canteen in the name of this medical lunch room the closest most of us get to a cafeteria these days had me expecting the Andrews Sisters to greet me at the door, but alas, no one was rolling out any barrels. But the place wins, hands down, in the economy department: you can get a plate of fried chicken, pudding, and a Coke for three bucks. But this is a government institution, so leave your taste buds at the door. The dining room is an exercise in bright aqua and purple tones as only the late '80s could have provided, but what keeps this establishment afloat above other like contenders is its magnificent view of the Pacific and the Marin Headlands. Though no destination, it's still a cheap alternative to the Cliff House.
4150 Clement, Bldg 7, SF. 415-221-4810*