Starbelly is a farm-to-table joint in the Castro that specializes in “California comfort food.” With its large patio and inventive cocktails—try the Cardamaro-based French Cowboy—it’s popular for brunch as well as for dinner.
The menus change regularly, but expect the likes of stone fruit and shaved fennel salad, chicken po’boy with jalapeno slaw, thick-cut fries and dips, pan roasted halibut in pea shoot broth, and plenty of fresh herbs. The pizzas are always a good bet—try the wild mushrooms with Gruyère, thyme, and roasted onions. Save room for the salted caramel pot de crème, which is as deliciously decadent as it sounds.
The vibe is laid-back and the communal table made from a reclaimed bowling lane is a cool touch, though the service can be patchy. Walk-ins are accepted and you can normally get a table quickly, though it’s best to reserve in advance to be sure.
Photo: Arnold Gatilao/Flickr