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Arlequin is one of the few places in Hayes Valley you can go to that doesn’t scream that you’re trying too hard. On the surface, it’s just a coffee shop with some food, but that food is much better than it should be and you can eat it on the back patio if the weather is nice. It feels like you’re in The Secret Garden, but also somehow in the middle of a neighborhood and with fewer spoiled children.
Arlequin has many things going for it. It’s attached to a wine shop, has a huge back patio/garden, and the sandwiches, soups, and salads are excellent. You can eat there or grab-and-go, but either way you should get the veggie sandwich.
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Arlequin is pretty much the perfect casual spot to eat alone. There are bar seats that look out on Hayes Street, and there’s a big back patio where it’s totally acceptable to hang with a book or computer while housing a lamb burger. It’s also attached to a wine shop. Just saying.