At the restaurant Nopa in San Francisco's Western Addition, the long bar and communal tables are perfect places to perch on a weeknight. Go early, order an elderflower gimlet or a sparkling, minty Old Cuban (both off-menu). Don't miss the Mission School-style mural painted on the wall.
It’s known for being hard to get into, but being diligent enough to score a reservation at Nopa is worth every bit of your time.
This beloved restaurant, just north of the Panhandle near Alamo Square, is renowned for its simple, delicious New American food and specializes in organic, wood-fired cuisine; make sure that someone at your table orders the avocado toast and the grass fed hamburger—and steal a bite or two.
The food isn’t the only draw—Nopa’s interior is casual, cozy, and communal, with high ceilings (the space used to be a bank) and a mural on the wall done by a local artist.
Nopa is open seven days a week for dinner from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.; stop by Mondays through Fridays for bar snacks starting at 5 p.m. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations and walk-ins are available.
Remember when we were kids and you'd say "I love this" and some smart-alec would respond, "then why don't you marry it?" So when I said, "I love this custard French toast at Nopa," the next thought that came to my mind was "I could marry it." It's that good.
Everything else on the brunch menu, even the buttery and light soft baked eggs, should be eaten before the French toast because there's no comparison.