Food & Drink

The best, most hidden grab-n-go windows in SF

Published On 06/12/2013 Published On 06/12/2013
A donkey in front of a take-out window
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1. Piperade To Go Icehouse Alley, San Francisco, CA 94111

Lovingly known as 'Pip To Go,' this take-out window in the back of Basque-inspired restaurant Piperade is located in Levi Plaza in the Williams-Sonoma complex. It's a great low-key lunch alternative to the buttoned-up Piperade, and the food still retains its Spanish flair. Try the reasonably-priced Mr. Williams sandwich (named after Williams-Sonoma Founder Chuck Williams).

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2. Red Door Coffee 111 Minna St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Café meets art gallery at Red Door Coffee, which has two locations in downtown San Francisco. Serving up all the local favorites -- Four Barrel Coffee, Dynamo Donuts, TCHO chocolates, and Strauss Family Creamery milk -- this big, bright café is perfect for breakfast on the way to work, a meeting, or hanging out with your laptop.

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3. The Golden West 8 Trinity Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

Owned by the same people who run the popular artisan sandwich spot The Sentinel, The Golden West is a hole-in-the-wall located off of an alley by the Montgomery BART stop (it's lit by the neon 'Au' sign). Don’t sweat the long line -- it moves quickly and is there for a reason. Go for the delicious short rib, tri-tip, or pulled pork sandwich and enjoy a cold drink while you wait.

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4. Little Skillet 360 Ritch St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Little Skillet fully operates out of 330 Ritch's kitchen, and is run by the same dudes that opened Farmer Brown. It's a minuscule, alley-bound to-go window that sells crazy-good soul food (including some of SF proper's best chicken & waffles), as well as great brew.

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5. Jackson Place Cafe 633 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

A tiny, hidden spot that you're sure to miss the first few times you walk by, Jackson Place serves coffee, breakfast, and lunch paninis, but be quick: they're only open 'til 2p.

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6. The Rock Bar 80 29th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

A watering hole Scissors would never go near, The Rock Bar's a Southern Mish imbibe-ery from the folks behind The Front Porch, with a Temple of Doom-mine-cart-chase-worthy interior pairing artifacts from one of the owner’s silver-quarrying dads (including an honest-to-God blasting permit) with miscellany you'd expect to find in a mine, like amethysts, crystals, and 33 trapped Chileans.