I was recently back in San Francisco to visit my daughter who recently moved down from Seattle and now works for Sierra Magazine. She lives in the Cole Valley just up from the Haight where I spent some time in 1967 during its good times. My daughter introduced me to three great places, two for dinner and one for breakfast and the sandwiches we took on a hike to Point Reyes. The sandwiches were so good I went there before my return flight to get food for the trip home. Here they are.
Zazie is a a great vaue for money place. As City search says, “Breezy Cole Valley bistro serves French-Cal cuisine to deal-seeking locals… A quaint Parisian vibe prevails--from street-side tables flanking the entrance to a mint-and-white tiled floor inside and framed French posters lining the dining room's brick wall. Beyond a semi-exposed kitchen awaits a two-tiered patio surrounded by flowers and foliage.” I agree. I had a great duck dish. We shared a polenta with mushrooms and blue cheese as a starter. I would go back any time It is located at 41 Cole St (Cross Street: Carl Street) San Francisco (415) 564-5332
Quince was the birthday celebration place. It is very high end and a bit pricy but well worth it. We had one of the better pastas I have tasted, rivaling some in Italy. It was a butternut squash ravioli that was so light it seemed to float on the plate. I went for duck again as the main course and they were able to do it rare. We stared with a yellow chanterelle mushroom and onion tart. Go there for a celebration. 1701 Octavia at Bush (415 775 - 8500
Boulange de Cole Valley is one of the better bakeries I have visited. We have some good ones in Boston but I have to admit that this is better. Great hot and cold breakfast items and sandwiches. I had a potato and pancetta tart and pecan sticky bun the first day and a quince and almond croissant. My daughter had a mustard chicken tart both days. City Seacrh seems to agree with us, "The breads and pastries at Boulange de Cole Valley can be even better than those in France. The cannelés de bordeaux (small cakes baked in wax-lined molds) are not to be missed; neither are the macaroons, available in a variety of flavors and packages. Along with perfect pains au chocolat and baguettes, the low-key hangout serves simple meals. Tartines (open-faced sandwiches) range from the traditional charcuterie with cured meat and pickles, to the innovative jardin with eggplant, tomato and béchamel sauce. Even the croque monsieur is the real deal--its layers of cheese, ham and béchamel broiled to perfection." It is located at 1000 Cole St (Cross Street: Parnassus Avenue) San Francisco, (415) 242- 2442