From the outside, Nook in Russian Hill seems like a very conservative choice. Outdoor tables, a chill vibe, potted plants. But when you get inside, this cafe/wine bar does something completely wild. They serve granola with milk and yogurt. In the same bowl. Would you serve a gin and vodka martini? A ham and cheese and chocolate croissant? No.
Besides the brief granola break, Nook is a reliable neighborhood hang in Russian Hill for breakfast, lunch, and Happy Hour. It’s easy, it's never too crowded, and it has a comfortable, homey vibe. While they have their slip-ups—the occasional cold oatmeal an out of proportion bread-to-filling ratio on some sandwiches, Nook delivers on coffee, granola, bagels, and generally good quick eats.
The free wifi on weekdays is clutch, and Nook also stocks a solid case of pastries, a lot of them gluten-free. On a nice day, it’s pretty ideal to grab an outdoor table, watch the cable cars cruise by, and pretend to be a tourist.
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Lox & Bagel
The bagels here are exceptionally good for SF and they give you half a salmon’s worth of lox. Always a good choice.
Prep your taste buds for a lot of hot sauce because they’re pretty bland. Not bad, but not especially exciting either.
The actual granola is delicious. Make sure you remind them not to top it with all the dairy products in the fridge.
Good but small. You will need to eat more - and they have a tendency to over-dress. The beet salad with goat cheese and the shrimp, avocado, and grapefruit top our list.
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
We’re fans of the grilled chicken and pesto on a whole wheat baguette.
Olive Tapenade, Hummus, Tomato, Artichokes, Capers
Too many ingredients, but not enough of any of them. Heavy on the ciabatta, which is good, but you’re better off going for a sandwich with chicken.