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ROMP: Late Night Dining
Zombies Get hungry Too
by Nancy Norstad on Nov 16, 2006
You’ve been dancing, waiting in long lines to pee, you’ve lost and found your crew twenty times, the flask you hid in your vest is empty, but the night just doesn’t want to end. Where can you all go to chill, unsmear the eyeliner, realign the wig, flop into a plush banquet and take a look at everyone who called your cell phone while you couldn’t hear the ring?
In the Bay Area only a few places serve food 24/7, but luckily they are in easily accessible locations. These eateries serve the typical all-night fare: grilled sandwiches, burgers, etc.
But jumping out of the Styrofoam box, here are a few more local favorites.
Nopa on Divisadero at Haight is named after the region: North of the Panhandle (the Panhandle is the slender tract at the most easterly part of Golden Gate Park). It serves a full menu + cocktails until 1am, and is known for its organic fare with wood-fired flair. It has quickly become a popular spot with the chef trade, who come in after shutting down their own kitchens, and therefore has a unique sense of pride, resulting in excellent service in a relaxed atmosphere. On the main dining floor is a row of small booths and comfortable seating at wood tables, and a mezzanine above with more seating plus an energetic mural of Divisadero Street businesses by Brian Barneclo (htpp://www.nopasf.com)
Cav Wine Bar & Kitchen won the 2006 Guardian’s Readers Poll "Best Wines by the Glass" Award, and has a wine-centric, eclectic menu tailored to match the global selection of wines from 18 countries and 70 regions, with 40 available by the glass. Weeknights the kitchen closes at 11pm, midnight on Friday & Saturday. Cav is located on Market Street between Franklin and Gough. (http://www.cavwinebar.com)
Osha Thai Noodle Café is rumored to be the hippest noodle parlor in town, drawing a diverse crowd of the tattooed and wild-haired drag queens, happily slurping away in blue vinyl booths. A stylish Thai staff dishes up these economical bowlfuls at lightning speed until 1am on weeknights, and as late 3am on weekends. On Geary at Leavenworth, parking can be a challenge.
Oola Restaurant & Bar is an American Bistro specializing in "San Francisco" cuisine. Classic cooking technique and preparation, utilizing the best the Bay Area has to offer. Oola features organic meats and produce, artisan cheeses and wines -- just about the closest thing you can get to that "stay on your diet" dream while having guzzled a gazillion calories in cocktails. Oola is on Folsom between 4th & 5th. It is serving usually until 1am. (http://www.oola-sf.com)
Globe Restaurant in Jackson Square is located on Pacific at Battery in a former livery stable and the interior is exposed brick with large original paintings reminiscent of Keith Haring. Globe is open until 1am and is a far cry from the food normally available at that time. Professionals in the food industry also frequent Globe after their own restaurants close. Food flavor ranges internationally, but showcases locally grown products and produce. Globe serves until 1am Mon - Sat, Sunday until 11:30pm. (http://www.globerestaurant.com)
Café Maritime, located in San Francisco's Marina District, named San Francisco’s Top Seafood Restaurant by KRON4’s "Bay Area Backroads", features delicious, fresh, and tastefully prepared seafood. The restaurant brings together East Coast traditions and West Coast style, and is a great place for an intimate meal, a casual get together or a group celebration. They serve dinner Monday through Saturday until 1am, with brunch on Sunday. (http://www.cafemaritimesf.com)
The Grubstake, partially decked out in an old railcar that originally served the Key Line that provided transportation between Berkeley and Oakland and San Francisco, now has a tradition of serving cooked-to-order burgers and breakfasts -- as well as full meals and house-made desserts --from 5pm to 4am daily at its location on Pine Street, just off Van Ness. In 1995, The Grubstake added "The Portuguese Corner" to the menu and is the only restaurant in San Francisco serving continental Portuguese dishes every day. Both Portuguese and domestic wine and beer are available. (http://www.sfgrubstake.com)
The Bagdad Café in the Castro on Market at 16th offers standard fare and is a dependable, comfortable, friendly place where you can talk as loud as you want and always get what you need to bring your blood sugar back into balance. The prices are reasonable, but they only take cash (there is an ATM kiosk 2 doors down). The Bagdad is a great, central location for meeting up with friends coming from different directions. Parking is pretty easy and you don’t feel uncomfortable sitting alone.
Sparky’s Diner on Church Street is also a traditional late nosh for Castro after-glowers. It is a diner, and serves exactly what you’d expect. It is packed after 1am, but it does what you need in a vinyl and fluorescent way.
by Nancy Norstad on Nov 16, 2006