NFT San Francisco Noe Valley

Noe Valley

Essentials
Protected from the fog by Twin Peaks on one side and the Mission on the other, Noe Valley's clear weather and nicer homes attract a proud population of young families, lesbians, and well-heeled ex-hippies. The Noe Valley Voice dishes out the inside scoop on the neighborhood.

Sundries/Entertainment
You should be able to find everything you need on either 24th Avenue or Church Street. Highlights include the Noe Valley Farmers Market, Tuggey's Hardware, PlumpJack Wines, Savor (brunch), Lovejoy's Tea Room, and See more.

>Noe Valley Bakery. It's all good.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Valerie Ng
Photo:  Valerie Ng

Omnivore Books on Food
Foodie book lovers of San Francisco unite! For those of us who love to browse the food section of bookstores, our Mecca is a little bookstore dedicated entirely to cookbooks and food-related reads in Noe Valley. Housed in a former butcher shop, Omnivore Books is stocked with a selection that ranges from contemporary food writing to vintage cookbooks, so you'll find Alice Waters alongside antiquarian recipes of the 19th century. At the frequent author events, you may even get a chance to talk to your favorite chefs and food writers. And if that isn't enough, there are also occasional cook-offs that easily make this the tastiest bookshop in the city. Seriously, why would you ever go back to a mainstream bookstore for your culinary inspirations when you could come here?



Posted By:  Andrew Vennari
Photo:  Andrew Vennari

24th Street Cheese Co.
Good cheese is a precious commodity. It may be old, smelly and expensive; but it's well worth it. We all have our weaknesses. Parmigiano Reggiano happens to be mine. I cannot live without that briny, aged-18-months goodness. If you're like me, you want to taste your cheese before you purchase it. This is one reason I go to 24th Street Cheese, because when there are well over 200 cheeses the decision process can be daunting--and they welcome you to sample before you buy. You can smell the place even before you push through the screen door. The chalkboards menu is full of names from around the world, goudas and triple creams, pecorinos and blues from California to New Zealand. But cheese-o-phile beware, if you make one too many ridiculous requests here, be prepared to get the boot. 




Posted By:  Elissa Pociask
Photo:  Elissa Pociask

Bernie's
Bernie's is on my radar because of what I saw in the bathroom. Sure, it's a nice coffee shop. There's free WiFi and there are lots of power outlets luring students, freelancers, and scrapbooking stroller-moms alike. True, the nice barista will steep and ice an obscure loose-leaf tea combo for you without even seeming the slightest bit inconvenienced. She won't even bat an eye when she realizes you're still there five hours after only spending five bucks. And aside from the occasional playlist slip-up (Christina Aguilera's "Fighter," anyone?) the music is generally inoffensive. But, above all, (and I couldn't make this up if I tried), this is a message to the entirely naked man who was taking a Turkish bath in the restroom this past Tuesday afternoon: You might want to lock the door next time.



Posted By:  Elissa Pociask
Photo:  Elissa Pociask

Common Scents
If you, like me, have a particular weakness for frivolous and pleasant-smelling bath products, this is an official warning. A single step inside Common Scents will render you powerless in the way of meeting your already farfetched weekly budget. Whiffs of lavender, patchouli and musk will overwhelm your olfactory system, brightly colored shea butter bars will make you dizzy, and you will feel an uncontrollable urge to buy organic apricot toothpaste. Store-made versions of brand name scrubs and lotions will tempt you with their bargains of relativity. Much like when your grandma convinces herself to buy her perennial new set of pots and pans because of a sale at Sears, you will leave the shop with armloads of tiny purposeless steals. With true San Francisco charm, the shop lady will ease the sting of buyer's remorse when she informs you that you can reuse those plastic bottles. And all pain will subside when your lemon oatmeal face wash masks the smell on the 24 bus.



Posted By:  Elizabeth Tauber
Photo:  Elizabeth Tauber

Painted Bird
I'm sorry, but Goodwill can be overwhelming. And sometimes smelly. For those days when I'm feeling cranky and less like an ambitious deal-finder, I go to Painted Bird. I should probably mention that I feel this way about once a week. Cheaper than shmancy vintage stores, Painted Bird consistently has dresses in a range of patterns and textures that mostly price in the $13-$18 range. The cost is enough to make you think you're not spending too much, so you can also buy $15 shoes, a $20 jacket, and maybe some sunglasses and belts too. What's amazing about the shop is that the space is on the smaller side, but it doesn't give off that cramped and crowded vibe you'll sometimes see in stores of its kind. That's not to say that its collection is minimal--in fact it's sizeable and impressive, so much so that size is usually what stops me from buying it all. Oh, and the salespeople are attractive. Very.



Posted By:  Andrew Vennari
Photo:  Andrew Vennari

There is something sensual about pink and green neon. On the corner of a laid-back Noe Valley thoroughfare, the pink and green, eye-catching, neon, invites me up into the small, dinning room. The place is calmly packed with patrons but we are seated immediately. A waitress pops out from behind a partition carrying a plate of stir fried noodles straight from the wok—the tendrils of steam twirl like a cartoon and tantalize my nostrils. A pot of green tea makes me forget about the fog, even though I can see it whipping by against the J train outside. When the waitress takes our order I remember why I came here, I am hungry for good Chinese. No, wait! It was the pink and green neon, tempting me like a siren song. And of course, the spring roll; I sink my teeth through the flakey golden outards with a satisfying crunch. Spicy mustard makes my eyes water more than that powdered wasabi crap. The article on the wall has a picture of their trademark Mango Beef. Soon mine arrives and the saltiness of the soy almost overpowers the sweetness of the mangos. The jalapenos start to burn, like the pink and green neon.



Posted By:  Cynthia Popper
Photo:  Cynthia Popper

Lovejoy's Tea Room
For high tea on the down low, try Lovejoy’s Tea Room in Noe Valley. A local haven to those in the know, Lovejoy’s boasts over 20 types of tea and a wide variety of sweets and savories made on site. It’s a quirky shop, filled to the rafters with mismatched china (all of which is for sale), vintage service items and assorted little knick knacks all dying to go home with you. Sort of like going to Grandma’s on Sunday, only the tea is divine and everyone keeps their teeth in. Try the Taylor’s of Harrogate “Tea Room Blend” ($7) with the homemade raisin scones ($5.95). A sweet retreat indeed.



Posted By:  Caroline Palmer
Photo:  Caroline Palmer

Just for Fun
If you’re running off to a birthday gathering at the last minute and you need that perfectly useless-yet-funny gag gift for your random friend, dip into Noe Valley’s signature gift and toy shop. You’ll find anything from stationary, kitchen tools, toddler toys, punching nun puppets, cake candles shaped as Tecate cans, and just about any other useless little item you can think of. I don’t know if it’s the merchandise that makes this place so fun, or if it’s the free popcorn they offer, the free wine served during the holidays, or the geriatric store dog sprawled out on the floor like it’s nap time at the kennel. If it’s wrapping paper you seek, there’s no point in dropping 10 bones for a roll (do your wallet a favor, go across the street to the beleaguered Rite Aid, and take advantage of the going out-of-business clearance sale). But if it’s a mechanical ice cream licker that fits your fancy, well then don’t hesitate! Enter the doors of fun town and start throwing down your Hamiltons pronto!



Posted By:  Caroline Palmer
Photo:  Caroline Palmer

24th Street Cheese Co.
Attention all cheese lovers! At ease. If you are buying your cheese at Bell Markets or Safeway (or any place other than the Cheese Co. on 24th) then drop your gaze and bow your head in shame. With a ginormous black board listing well over a hundred gourmet cheeses broken down alphabetically by type, an informative (and on occasion, hoity-toity) staff that makes suggestions and offers samplings, I can’t think of any reason not to have my ashes spread ‘neath the store’s foundation. Though it’s not the best smelling joint around, it is the only evidence I’ve seen thus far that proves the existence of God…somewhere…in the form of a cow, a goat, or a sheep. In short, it is the specialty food shop for the cheese connoisseur—or the common man seeking a highly caloric delicious dairy snack. Favorites include the creamy D’affinois, the Prima Donna (aged gouda), the Petite Basque (sheep milk), or Humbolt Fog. They also sell wines, specialty crackers, salami, and anything else that pairs nicely with cheese. Fondue pots? Check.



Posted By:  Caroline Palmer
Photo:  Caroline Palmer

Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers
In 'n Out should be preserved exclusively for hangovers and road trips, but if your burger craving occurs outside of one of those moments head to Barney's in Noe Valley. It's more than just a grease-on-beef fix; it's 22 specialty burgers that will lift your taste buds to a new galaxy. Its buckets of curly, garlic, skinny or steak fries so large you could feed a Muni bus full of commuters (but luckily they're just for you and your special friend). As a seasoned carnivore raised on the meat-loving east coast, I have searched the city far and wide for the perfect burger, and I'm here to say that these eyes have stopped wandering. The outdoor patio (fully equipped with heating lamps) is perfect for those days when you just can't handle being surrounded by kids jacked up on milkshakes…there are lots of tots inside.



Posted By:  Caroline Palmer
Photo:  Caroline Palmer

There are lots of classy hipster places where you can enjoy a weekend pastry—Tartine in the Mission, Liberty Café in Bernal, and so on. But some days you shamelessly want to head out in your sweatpants and oversized J Crew cable knit sweater circa 1992 and get a good old fashioned doughnut, critter, or bear claw. I always thought it a travesty that Dunkin Donuts could make its way to Honolulu and not California, but once I found Happy D's, I was no longer distraught (and to be honest, the sweet treats are more reliably fresh). Unbeknownst to most, this is also a spectacular place to do some late night studying/working. With Wi-Fi, KOIT's love songs after dark playing on the radio, the occasional night shift cop interruption; I would never have made it through LSAT and GRE prep. I'm considering the GMAT just so I have an excuse to go back. One warning: While their plain glazed and cream-filled maple bars are to die for, stay away from the hard boiled eggs in the bowl by the register. Fried dough is their specialty, not farm fresh poultry products.



Posted By:  Jeremy Smith
Photo: 

San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood is known for its strollers and laid-back attitude. Savor is the definitive Noe Valley restaurant. Relaxed and kid-friendly, Savor offers California cuisine like sweet and savory crepes, as well as with hardy breakfasts, a great list of salads, and terrific sandwiches. There’s also a heated outdoor patio. Savor’s biggest asset, however, is its friendly staff. “It’s kind of like family here,” says server Negar Siadatnejad (“A dysfunctional family!” shouts one of Negar’s co-workers from across the restaurant.) “There’s lots of teamwork. We all have a really flexible relationship with David Kent, the manager.”




Powered By Subgurim(http://googlemaps.subgurim.net).Google Maps ASP.NET

See Noe Valley...
Restaurants (15)
Nightlife (2)
Shopping (20)
Landmarks (1)