If you’re in search of some of the city’s best happy hours, look no further than Uva Enoteca (568 Haight Street) in the Lower Haight. This inventive Italian eatery features a flavorful menu highlighted by thin-crust pizzas and finely-cured, locally-crafted meats. In an area of the city brimming with an extensive assortment of ethnic cuisine, Uva stands out as an elegant-yet-understated outlet for thoughtful fare at a reasonable price.
And while there’s never a bad time to enjoy delicious Italian specialities, there is an optimal time to make your way to this friendly, neighborhood trattoria: Sunday thru Thursday–between 5 and 6:30PM–to enjoy their sensational happy hour offerings. For 4$ you can snack on a small, hand-tossed pizzetta topped with creative combinations of constantly-changing veggies and meats. Also available for less than a round trip bus ticket is a variety of fresh bruschetta and ice-cold Peroni beer for $1.50. A rotating selection of fine, Italian red wines are also available, served in small, glass carafes for the bargain price of 4$.
On my most recent journey to Uva, a friend and I treated ourselves to a crispy, arugula-topped pie, enhanced with fresh, melted mozzarella and lemon zest. Make sure to ask for some hot red pepper flakes on the side. This isn’t your typically tame Pizza Parlor hot-pepper–this stuff is the real deal and is hot enough to make beads of sweat form above your brow, the calling card of any truly great meal. We also ordered a handcrafted bruschette, prepared with ricotta and pecorino cheeses, and salty prosciutto ham draped atop thick-cut, toasted Italian bread.
Accompanying our meal were a few Peronis and a carafe of a remarkable style of Italian sparkling red wine known as Lambrusco. When the bill arrived, we each owed less than $10–including tax and tip! In a city known for priciness, it’s difficult to imagine better quality food at a better value than Uva’s ninety minutes of nightly bliss.