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Patxi's (pronounced "Pah-cheese") is for those who love good old deep dish pizzas with gooey cheese, and a variety of toppings. Bill Freeman and Patxi Azpiroz have been serving up yummy pies since 2004 at this casual and stylish joint. Choose from a list of specialty- and stuffed Chicago-style pizzas topped with a special homemade tomato sauce. You can even create your own pizzas or opt for a crunchy salad. Wash your meal down with a cool beer or some smooth wine!
Should you be in the mood for hearty, meaty German food in substantial portions, stop by Suppenküche. This trendy, casual restaurant serves brunch and dinner. Reservations can be made for parties of six or more. Big, wooden beer hall-style tables and traditional, seasonal decorations will have you thinking you've been transported to a family-run inn somewhere in the Bavarian countryside. Grab a stein of lager (or maybe even a boot!), pull up a chair and revel in the vibe. Dozens of German and Belgian beers are available on draft and in the bottle. The kitchen serves up old favorites like Kartoffelsuppe and Wiener Schnitzel. The wait staff is quick and friendly. See the website for the menu, beer list and complete glossary of beer terminology.
The decor of Walzwerk is a cross between upscale California and proletariat chic. There is a lot of metal in the tables, chairs and paneling while the floor is unadorned and unapologetic cement, trying to evoke an industrial East German feel. Despite that, they are a personable bunch that hardly seems likely to foment a revolution. The cuisine is German, featuring potato pancakes, sausages, and Wienerschnitzel, perfect with the great selection of German beers available. Reservations accepted only for parties of four or more.
Come to this trendy spot for tapas that are meant to be shared. The menu caters to the adventurous connoisseur. Picaro serves both traditional and less run-of-the-mill tapas; some of the more exotic tapas include sauteed blood sausage. Vegetarian tapas include spicy potatoes with sauteed garlic and guindilla mushrooms. The seafood tapas, like the garlic shrimp, are quite flavorful and come highly recommended. Paella with saffron is another house specialty and is served in different combinations of seafood, pork, poultry, and vegetables. Further, the extensive wine list features many affordable bottles of Spanish wine.
Got a craving for some authentic deep dish pizza? This hip, fresh joint has food of tantalizing tastes to satisfy even the most jaded pizza enthusiast. Try the Mediterranean chicken pizza, or try the vegetarian pizza, which will have you converted in no time. Little Star also offers thin crusts, which are, honestly, just as good as the incredibly taste-infused deep dishes for which they are famous. With minimalist decor and a blaring jukebox to boot, Little Star will have you hooked.
Right by the gates of Chinatown you'll find this Gallic cafe that's a dead ringer for the kind that populate those quaint little side streets just off the Rue Rivoli. It is chic in a determined, downscale way with half of the already cramped floor space given over to French newspapers and periodicals. The centrally located counter jockeys for position with the closely packed tables and chairs. Huge windows alleviate the claustrophobia and the wait staff, conducting serious conversations in rapid-fire French, take you to a different hemisphere. The food can, too. It is upscale cafe fare, heavy on sandwiches, soups (gratinee, but of course) and salads. The desserts change daily and are never less than scrumptious. The crowd is mostly young, sometimes European, and always the height of hip.
This eatery is hidden away so well, you're likely to walk right past it unless you know it's there. Lunchtime brings crowds of people to Garaje, where tacos, zapatos (grilled, pressed burritos) and other Mexican specialties are served with a California flair. The specialty here is fish tacos, from the seared tuna and avocado taco to the beer-battered tilapia taco with chipotle aioli. If you don't feel like fish, their burger and veggie burger have garnered rave reviews from regulars. They have a well-curated selection of craft beers on tap to go with your meal. Come prepared with cash, since they don't take credit cards.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so then it is logical to do breakfast right. To experience this, the Pork Store Café is a place to be. Though small in dimension, the food here is huge. Every plate served is colossal, and, more importantly, delicious. It touts lots of meat on the menu (it's called the Pork Store, after all.) Ham, bacon, sausage, chops, all served with eggs, potatoes, toast and endless cups of strong coffee is served up by the friendly wait staff. If you are not feeling carnivorous, order a short stack of pancakes, omelet, French toast, or a veggie and tofu scramble. Sit at a window table or choose a stool at the counter, where you can watch all that fabulous food being prepared.
Kezar has everything that a normal pub can offer, plus it uses sustainable and locally grown ingredients, and has nice big windows that look out on the bustling activity of the Cole Valley area. The food is traditional pub fare, with burgers, sandwiches (like the classic BLT), salads, and appetizers, plus some Mexican dishes like empanadas and quesadillas. Add to that a good wine list and about fifteen beers on tap, and you've got a nice neighborhood pub, right off the N-Judah Muni line.
Caffe Sport is a popular North Beach establishment patronized by celebrities, tourists and locals. The restaurant is vibrant and artistic. Majolica tiles and brightly-colored paint cover tables, benches and walls. Folklore-inspired knick-knacks hang to the left and to the right. It specializes in Sicilian cuisine, offering a variety of pasta and seafood dishes. The pasta is topped with gourmet goodies like Italian cheeses, shrimp, scallops, lobster, zucchini and garlic. With seafood stew, steamed mussels and chilled crab salad available, fish lovers will have a hard time deciding what to order.
The Park Chalet Garden Restaurant is located in San Francisco's world-famous Golden Gate Park. The menu offers flat bread pizzas and barbecue specialties, accompanied by a great wine list and cocktails. A stone fire place, stained concrete floors, sleek wooden chairs and a sophisticated bar design give the place a charm of its own. Take a sip on the crab martini, which is served in a martini glass with crab mounded like snowflakes and paired with avocado and mango, all on a cool bed of lettuce. Have a pizza or a hamburger with your cocktail and enjoy your food in the verdant surroundings.