Nopa is a San Francisco institution that does everything really, really well. It's the best brunch in Western Addition and one of the best in the whole city. Its burger is perfect with pickled onions and French fries, especially when eaten at the bar. It's a one-stop-shop for a date, a birthday dinner, or dinner with your parents. Plus, the kitchen is open until 1 AM for a full dinner. Yeah, this place wins at everything.
Nopa, one of the best restaurants in the city that cooks up Mediterranean-inspired dishes with local and seasonal ingredients, has also built a truly great parklet, complete with heat lamps, nice tables, and comfortable chairs—though we’d happily eat Nopa’s outstanding fare on the ground at Alamo Square if it came down to it. Still, their outdoor dining setup is legitimately lovely, and somehow feels as though they bottled up that warm glow from their dining room and spilled it out onto Hayes Street.
How to book: Reservations are available online.
Snagging a last-minute reservation at this upscale, ingredient-driven eatery is almost as difficult as it was when it first opened in 2006, but the bar and communal table (both first-come, first-served) can sometimes be the best spots in the restaurant to dine, so don’t let that deter you from popping in for a first-rate cocktail and one of SF’s best burgers. (Inflation has caused it to double in price from $12 in 2006 to $24 today, but it’s still worth every penny.) If you’re smart enough to plan ahead and reserve a table, see if you can get one in the mezzanine overlooking the kitchen, where you can watch the team work their magic over dishes like Moroccan Spiced Fried Chicken and Wood-Baked Lasagna with nine-hour bolognese.
When you have a hankering for a late-night burger, there’s nowhere better to appease it than this go-to SF staple that serves 29,000 of them a year. We’re still easing back into the old definition of “late night,” so the popular spot is currently open until 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Still, that’s plenty of time to have a few drinks and then enjoy the burger made with Five Dot Ranch chuck that’s ground daily and then grilled over a wood fire and served with melted cheddar, lettuce, and pickled red onions on a house-made brioche bun.