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Restaurants & Bars 12

Starbelly in the Castro

pane | Mar 17, 201104:58 PM

Starbelly has become a recent favorite go-to for brunch and dinner in our neighborhood. I like the pretty, woody interior (and patio out back) and the menu that is approachable and affordable with enough fine touches to make it feel special. In this neighborhood, I like Frances, but can't afford it on a regular basis, so Starbelly has filled in as an equivalent, I suppose, to Nopa if you lived in the Western Addition--nice enough for guests, affordable enough to grab a bite for an impromptu night out.

For brunch I tried and liked the chilaquiles with house-made chorizo. For dinner, we've enjoyed the wild mushroom pizza with gruyere and thick roasted onions and the plain margherita. Both salads I've ordered were excellent. I have a friend who swears by the hamburger for lunch, but mine, which I ordered medium-rare, came overcooked, and I didn't have the time to ask for another. I admit that my heart belongs to the Zuni burger, so that may be a lost cause.

Of particular note is the "All ages" cocktail list, which includes a house-made ginger honey brew on tap, lavender honey lemonade and two tea "cocktails": one with jasmine gree, lemon and sage; the other with darjeeling, lime, basil and egg white. It's been a nice spot to visit with a pregnant friend who doesn't want wine or water.

They take reservations, but we've had an easy time walking in for brunch, and a not-too-long wait for dinner a couple times--there's a no-reservations bar area, and I think a few tables are reserved for walk-ins.

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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