Located southeast of Golden Gate Park and to the east of University of California, San Francisco, Cole Valley is a small district in San Francisco. Even though Cole Valley is between more populous areas such as Haight-Ashbury north of it and Twin Peaks to the south, the district still has its own unique character. This guide to the various restaurants and cafes in Cole Valley is only a part of some of the great things the district has to offer.
Grandeho’s Kamekyo is a small Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. Customers can order classic Japanese dishes including udon, bento boxes, and house specialties, or they can order sushi at the bar and enjoy sake or wine. The restaurant is fairly small with a simple setting, but a big menu, good quality sushi, and friendly service.
Zazie is a very popular brunch spot on practically any day of the week, but don’t be scared off by the wait because the food is delicious. Zazie offers French cuisine that can be enjoyed either inside the restaurant or on the backyard patio. The menu is quite large with something for everyone, and the restaurant is ‘tip-free’ meaning that tips, which cover full benefits for employees, are already included in the price of the menu items. Zazie also has an extensive wine, beer, and cocktail menu.
The Mexican bistro Padrecito has a changing menu, serving local meats, seafood, and produce depending on the season. Padrecito is open for dinner on the weekdays and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The inside of Padrecito is beautiful with an elegant décor, a full bar, and great service.
Reverie Café Bar serves coffee, tea, sandwiches, and light breakfast items such as muffins, scones, bagels, and croissants. There is a fairly large outdoor garden patio in the back with a calm atmosphere for customers to enjoy their beverage or meal. Also, towards the back of the venue, there is a small bookshelf with several books and board games that customers can use.
Kezar Bar & Restaurant is like a pub due to its relaxed atmosphere, but with better food than one would expect. Serving new and Latin American cuisine, the bar has the best of both worlds: the ambiance of a dimly lit pub with excellent drinks and food that surpasses the average pub and is freshly made. There is also a TV to watch sporting events.
BurgerMeister is a quirky burger joint that serves Niman Ranch (hormone-free) beef burgers, veggie burgers, sandwiches, salads, fries and more, all of which are made with local ingredients. Customers can also customize their own burger and enjoy a beer or a milkshake in BurgerMeister’s fun yellow and red décor.
Bambino’s Ristorante is a Cole Valley landmark, serving Italian cuisine for over 30 years. Ceramic plates, 1940s wine posters, and antique Tuscan prints line the lightly patterned walls, giving the restaurant a warm and inviting atmosphere met with crisp looking, modern tables. Bambino’s Ristorante offers both classic Italian dishes as well as their own original plates for a wider range of options for customers to choose from. Lastly, the restaurant also serves both Italian and California wines.
Every San Francisco district needs a local crepe place; for Cole Valley, that’s Crepes On Cole. With large portion sizes, this venue serves not only crepes but also other American breakfast dishes such as pancakes, omelets, bagels, and more. There is ample seating indoors and at outside tables, but it can get fairly packed on the weekends for brunch.
Cole Valley Café is a coffeehouse with an extensive list of both traditional and original lattes and other drinks. The café also makes salads, bagels, and sandwiches and has indoor and outdoor seating. Wi-Fi is available at Cole Valley Café in a bright and calm environment only about block away from the hustle and bustle of Haight Street.
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In contrast to the other venues on this guide, InoVino is an Italian wine war that also serves small bites — cheese and desserts — that can be served with wine or larger Italian entrées such as pasta, risotto, and pizza. The star of the restaurant, however, is the wine; customers can expect the wine to taste great regardless of their budget. The owner, Claudio Villani, was born in Florence, Italy, and earned a Professional Sommelier Diploma prior to opening InoVino.