Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Noe Valley (pronounced No-EE Valley) is a neighborhood in the central part of San Francisco. It's often referred to as "Stroller Valley" mainly because it's a very family-friendly area, and because you often see a lot of mommies walking around pushing strollers. But, don't let this scare you off from visiting if this is not your style. Noe has a lot more to offer!On my recent trip to SF, my good friend Louisa showed me the best of Noe, and I realized that the more I got to know about Noe, the more I wanted to see. The heart of Noe Valley is really centered around 24th street. That's where you'll find boutiques, restaurants, bars and cafes. Here are some of the ones we visited, and a list of the others I still want to check out the next time I go back to SF!

Best Noe Valley Eats & Drinks:
Pomodoro- A casual Italian restaurant that serves up all of the classic dishes you might expect, plus it's fairly inexpensive, so you can eat up and drink up and not worry about getting the bill. They have indoor and outdoor seating. We decided to sit outside, enjoy the great weather and people watch. Your meal starts off with their homemade, warm and toasted bread which is served with a pesto and olive oil dipping was so good. For lunch we had the Chicken Parmesan. The chicken was thin and the breading was nice and crisp (just the way I like it). It was topped with tomato sauce, fresh basil, provolone and mozzarella cheese. For a side dish we had the Cavolini which are brussel sprouts that are cooked with onions, garlic and fresh sage in a brown butter sauce. If you like brussel sprouts, you will love this dish, and if you don't like them, you will after you have Pomodoro's Cavolini!Le Zinc- This little spot will make you feel like you jet setted to Paris instead of SF. It's a traditional Parisian cafe that serves up all the best French dishes you would want for lunch or dinner, but it's also a great spot for dessert and a drink, especially if you sit in their outdoor patio which is located behind the restaurant. This place feels a world away from all of the noise of 24th street. We enjoyed a glass of champagne and an order of their creme brulee...tres magnifique!Chloe's Cafe- An awesome breakfast and brunch spot, especially on the weekends. I had been told it is the "best breakfast spot" in Noe Valley, and it certainly lived up to that expectation. They don't take reservations and it's a pretty small place so if you plan to go on a weekend, go early or be prepared to wait. There are a few outdoor tables as well. What to order? Their eggs are yummy. We had the special of the day, which happened to be a vegetarian egg scramble. It was very good. But, the dish that I would definitely order again if I go back is the Croissant French Toast topped with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar. It was amazing!Other Noe Valley Eats & Drinks: Bliss Bar, Herb's Fine Foods, Chloe's Cafe, Savor, Eric's Chinese, Incanto, Firefly, Ristorante Bacco, Han's Hibachi, Lovejoy's Tea Room, Pomelo, Mi Lindo Yucatan, The Dubliner, Hamano Sushi, Hungry Joe's Diner, Amberjack Sushi, Deep Sushi, Ma Tante Sumi, Fresca, Tom's Peasant Pies, Noe Valley Bakery, Bleuss Meats

Best Noe Valley Shops:
Ambiance- The best store EVER!!! This boutique has everything your little shopping heart could desire from clothing to shoes to jewelry and other accessories. You could easily wander in and come out with one thing...or like us, a handful of things! :-)Chocolate Covered- GREAT chocolates and cute little boxes are sold at this store. The owner hand makes the boxes which either have famous SF landmarks on them, or different street names from around SF...I couldn't help but get the one for Delgado Street! :-)Other Noe Valley Shops: See Jane Run, Astrid's Rabat, Rabat, Streetlight Records, Just For Fun, Guys & Dolls, The French Tulip, Peek-A-Bootique, Rose Nails, Ecco Home

*Stay tuned tomorrow for more about what to see and do in SF from a locals perspective. I'll tell you now, if you are looking for a write-up about Alcatraz...go read Frommer's....this will be the non-touristy way to spend time in the Bay Area!*


  1. Love your city guides. They really are helpful. I was thinking about a trip to San Fran. You just made me want to go. Thank you.

  2. Oh, I love it!!!! So fun! :)