NoPa is a small neighborhood that's big on flavor. Here are our favorite places to eat.

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January 31, 2018

Where to Eat and Drink in NoPa

An acronym for "north of the panhandle," NoPa lies north of Golden Gate Park's eastern extension, right in the middle of the city. This makes it a stand-out destination for sightseeing and, of course, eating. The Divisadero Street corridor, between Haight and McAllister Streets, has become a hot spot for fine dining and is frequently serviced by the 24 Muni bus route, among others. Here are our favorite places in the neighborhood. How many can you visit on your next trip to San Francisco?

4505 Burgers & BBQ (705 Divisadero St.)

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You'll know you've arrived when you see the line around the corner. Kitty-corner to the live music venue The Independent, 4505 is a neighborhood staple for down-home barbecue plates and soul-food sides like frankaroni (crispy fried mac and cheese with a hot dog inside). Even their basic burgers are to die for.

Bar Crudo (655 Divisadero St.)

As the name implies, Bar Crudo specializes in meticulously prepared raw fish dishes, as well as delicious oysters and other seafood. Stop by for happy hour, when oysters are only $1.

Brenda's Meat and Three (919 Divisadero St.)

The formula is simple but satisfying: choose your meat (options include fried chicken and braised beef short ribs, among others) and three sides. You'll be hard-pressed to decide between cheese grits, the collard greens, the cornbread or any of the other excellent dishes at this popular southern eatery.

Barvale (661 Divisadero St.)

This tapas restaurant specializes in small seafood plates, including poached prawns, roasted rock cod, and even paella. The Spanish-inspired cocktails can't go ignored, either. Our favorite is the Moorish Invasion, made with Spanish brandy, fino, pineapple, ancho, and harissa.

Horsefeather (528 Divisadero St.)

Primarily a cocktail bar, this charming watering hole serves inventive drinks plus food that ranges from fried chicken to halibut ceviche. Open until 1 a.m., Horsefeathers is great spot for a late-night bite.

Ijji Sushi (252 Divisadero St.)

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This intimate Japanese restaurant is committed to only using the best ingredients. Their sushi is strictly nigiri, but a 19-course, omakase-style meal will keep you on your toes (think sea urchin and barracuda). Be sure to call ahead as seating is limited.

Little Star Pizza (846 Divisadero St.)

This deep-dish pizza joint is a great, cheap place to eat—and it's no less tasty than its NoPa neighbors. Known for their cornmeal crust, Little Star is great for the gluten-free crowd, as well as vegetarians. Their eponymous pizza combo features spinach blended with ricotta and feta, plus mushrooms, onion, and fresh garlic.

Madrone Art Bar (500 Divisadero St.)

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Is it a bar? Is it a gallery? Why can't it be both? At Madrone, local artists have their creations displayed to the friendly neighborhood clientele in a fun and eccentric setting. The cocktails are tasty, the staff is friendly, and there's even live music some nights. What more could you ask for?

The Mill (736 Divisadero St.)

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First and foremost a bakery, The Mill is famous for their toasts. They serve up excellent housemade bread paired with perfect toppings, like pumpkin butter with sea salt on whole wheat sesame bread, or cream cheese with black pepper and sea salt on dark mountain rye.

Namu Stonepot (553 Divisadero St.)

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For a heaping helping of fresh and delicious ingredients, head to Namu Stonepot. Choose beef, chicken or poke to add to your big bowl of rice, egg and seven vegetables. You have to come hungry, so that even after your main course you can enjoy their matcha mikshake.

Nopa (560 Divisadero St.)

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How could we discuss the Nopa food scene without mentioning its namesake? The restaurant opened over a decade ago and has since become an anchor of the community. Known for farm-to-table food and wood-fired specialties like hamburgers served on house-made brioche buns and baked white beans with feta and oregano, they also serve up delightful dishes like Moroccan vegetable tagine and custard French toast for brunch.

Nopalito (306 Broderick St.)

Combining regional Mexican recipes with locally sourced, organic ingredients, Nopalito represents the best of San Francisco. The menu changes daily. One day you might encounter black-bean-stuffed corn tortillas with citrus-achiote chicken, pickled red onions and salsa de habanero; the next it might be lime-marinated fish with calamari, green olives, capers, basil, red onion and corn tortilla chips.

The Page (298 Divisadero St.)

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This no-frills, cash-only, neighborhood dive is the perfect place for a relaxed night out with friends. It has pool tables and foosball, and is open until 2 a.m. Whether you start the night here or use it to wind down after a busy night out, The Page is a reliable favorite.

Ragazza (311 Divisadero St.)

This dinner spot focuses on Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas and other Italian favorites like antipasti and baked pasta. Peruse their Italian-inspired wine list on the back patio while you decide between their house-made ricotta cavatelli or bianca pizza with onion crema, shaved garlic, preserved lemon, aged Italian provolone and wild arugula.

Souvla (531 Divisadero St.)

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The second outpost of the popular Hayes Valley spot, NoPa's Souvla specializes in Greek-style rotisserie meats. Served as either a salad or a pita, Souvla does one thing and does it well. Trust us, you'll be dreaming about this gyros for months afterward.

Can't decide on just one place? Consider a food tour of NoPa, or just browse for more suggestions in this neighborhood and elsewhere in San Francisco here.


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