Can you believe the Upper Haight — practically a food desert — has a new option for vittles that looks downright promising? Freshly open on Haight Street is the rather darling Sparrow (1640 Haight, SF; sparrowbarandkitchen.com)
It’s got a heated beer garden in back, perfect for that foggy-ass neighborhood, and hello, 14 taps of beer. You’ll find comfort classics, but better, like chicken leg stuffed with quinoa, and a brie-and-bacon grilled cheese with fig jam. The Sparrow peeps are also making ice cream and sorbet in-house for dessert, and the brunch lineup includes quite a few gluten-free choices. Welcome to the neighborhood, little bird. Watch Sparrow’s website for hours, as it’s just nesting in.
The ever-growing taco empire Tacolicious (1548 Stockton, SF. www.tacolicious.com) has opened a new outpost in North Beach, complete with signature touches like vibrant tile, perfectly mixed margaritas, and tasty tacos. The space is bright, airy, and poised to become a popular hangout, especially since the restaurant is open straight through lunch and dinner, so it’s an easy spot to stop by mid-afternoon for an adult beverage and a taco snack. Or keep it under consideration for the next time you’re playing hooky on a sunny afternoon. We’ll never tell. Open daily 11:30am–12am.
Looking for a new place to get your buzz on? (Well, one that isn’t liquor induced.) Head to the new downtown spot Coffee Cultures (225 Bush, SF. www.coffee-cultures.com) for a sip and zip from North Carolina roaster Counter Culture coffee. You’ll also find breakfast pastries, a soft-serve machine, sandwiches and salads at lunchtime, and a cute, hip staff. Open Mon–Fri 6am–6pm.
There’s another coffee kid in town, this time on the border between Bernal and the Mission. It’s Tierra Mia (3188 Mission, SF. www.tierramiacoffee.com), and it’s the first northern location of the Southern California coffee chain. It features Latin American coffee drinks, so you can feel all arriba with a horchata latte or a Cubano con leche. Adelante…. Open daily 6:30am–10pm.
BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET
Valencia Street’s Range (842 Valencia, SF. www.rangesf.com) is celebrating eight years in business, and you, dear drinker and diner, stand to benefit from a couple deals. First, starting July 10th, Range will launch its new “Aperitif Menu,” offered during a new aperitif hour, beginning at 5pm and running until 6pm, every day. You can swing by for some lighter-style cocktails (sherry and vermouth in the house!), plus some $7 bites, like trout rillette, chicken liver mousse, or little gem leaves with San Andreas cheese and lemon-caper vinaigrette. Yeah, sounds like a good kick-off to a summer evening. Bonus: order Range’s lauded, bourbon-based signature Third Rail cocktail for $8 for the month of July. Cheers!
YOU GOTTA EAT THIS
There is a definite art to the breakfast sandwich: the texture of the eggs, the bread (and how it’s toasted), the meaty and cheesy options, and yes, the price. While the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin is a genius pop culture totem, everything inside that muffin is all wrong (don’t make me enumerate why). But Nopa hangout Vinyl Coffee and Wine Bar (359 Divisadero, SF. www.vinylsf.com) makes a rather winning version, and a lot of it is due to the thick, honking, buttery English muffin they use, with a nice crunch of cornmeal. For $3.25, you get a muffin with egg and cheddar, and for just a buck more, you can add bacon or sausage — both available as vegetarian faux meat — or avocado. Back it up with your pick of a Blue Bottle Coffee item (I’m a fan of the Gibraltar myself), and “good” will affix itself to your morning.