photo credit: Erin Ng

An overhead view of the dining room at Nopa




$$$$Perfect For:Date NightEating At The BarBirthdays


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Since opening in 2006, Nopa has been a San Francisco staple. It’s like a little slice of the neighborhood it’s named after—just look to the celebratory murals, which pay tribute to the area’s jazz roots and highlights nearby institutions like Eddie’s Cafe and The Independent. Almost two decades later, this is still one of the few places in the city that truly works for any dressed-up occasion. 

Walk into the two-story restaurant and you’re transported to a live version of a Renaissance banquet portrait with a blazing wood oven and ceiling beams in every shade of sexy, candle-lit brown. It’s a pretty idyllic setting in here—just where you want to kick back with a glass of pinot noir while splitting the hearty, comforting, farmers market-inflected dishes this place is known for. 

An overhead shot of the bar at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng

A spread of flatbread, the burger, latkes, and the pork chop at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng

The interior mural at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng

An overhead shot of the bar at Nopa
A spread of flatbread, the burger, latkes, and the pork chop at Nopa
The interior mural at Nopa

The menu of small-ish shareables and bigger entrées changes daily, but tuned-in Nopa fans know that certain staples never leave. There’s the pork chop, a glistening hunk of meat we could easily devote this entire review to (we order it on every visit). Other mainstays are the bubbling wood-baked beans, and a rotating flatbread piled with whatever produce is fresh that week. Then, there’s the famous burger, which we once called “near perfect.” Now, the inch-thick patty more closely resembles a fully cooked meatball—it’s simply an overwhelmingly beefy bite. While plenty decent, the burger is no longer the reason to get to Nopa. Stick with the other more interesting seasonal dishes instead. 

It’s easy to have a great time here. Come in, admire the mural, order your pork chop, and get a teensy bit wine drunk. Lots has changed in San Francisco since 2006, but a new skyline and four Warriors championships later, we still consider this place essential to celebrations in the city. Not all of the dishes are as revelatory as they once were, but Nopa is an SF fixture we’ll always adore. Get here for a milestone birthday, a farewell to the Bay meal, or a solo date at the bar that’ll have you falling in love with the city all over again.

Food Rundown

The pork chop at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng

Pork Chop

The best dish on the menu. This pork chop renders all other pork chops purposeless. It’s slightly sweet and charred to smoky oblivion on the edges, and you’ll definitely have to rock-paper-scissors for the last bite.
The wood grilled cheeseburger at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng

Wood Grilled Cheeseburger

Previously the darling of Nopa, and now, just…fine. Certainly not worth $28, though the fries are fantastic (order them as a side). The hockey puck of a patty is sometimes overcooked, sometimes underseasoned, and most times just too beefy. There are better entrées on the menu, and better burgers in SF.
The seasonal flatbread at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng


We’ve never seen the same flatbread twice here, and they can vary from good (weighed down with too many mushrooms) to downright phenomenal (usually involves bacon).
The latkes with smoked trout at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng


Small but mighty. These come with two latkes apiece and make for a genuinely delightful flavor-texture bomb of golden-brown potato edges, creamy beet hummus, and cara cara oranges at their absolute peak.
A bowl of bolognese at Nopa

photo credit: Erin Ng


This dish arrives in a sauce blanket so thick you can’t see the pasta underneath, which is an appropriate amount of sauce in our book. It’s a very nice bolognese.
The wood baked beans at Nopa

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Wood Baked Gigante Beans

A staple on the menu. The richness of the saucy beans is cut by a stripe of oregano pesto and breadcrumbs that stay crunchy on top.

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A spread of flatbread, the burger, latkes, and the pork chop at Nopa

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