Named after the great Humphrey Bogart, Bogie's Cafe slings French-American-style cuisine in a cozy diner infused with old Hollywood memorabilia and more quirky decor, such as the giant rubber ducky that doubled for the Maltese falcon. Its colorful interior sets a playful tone for diners looking to unwind over omelets at breakfast or burgers, sandwiches, and salads at lunch and French-American cuisine at dinner.
Stocked to bursting with handcrafted sandwiches, savory sides, and organic fair-trade coffee, this unassuming deli sates the appetites of on-the-go customers. A chalkboard menu presents the vegan breakfast sandwich with a colorful flourish of penmanship, along with the avocado hero, with the green fruit acting as "meat" amid ample veggies and cheese. Eco-friendly java from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company gives customers a welcome jolt to their morning in case they forget to kiss their toaster, and freshly squeezed juices and gluten-free pastries accommodate health-conscious breakfasts.
Encorecake's bakers turn dessert into an art form. In a kitchen filled with the smells of fresh baked treats, they craft colorful cakes and cupcakes covered in fluffy frosting, in unusual flavors ranging from green tea and s'mores to jellybean and German chocolate. Ovens churn out French macaroons and warm cookies each morning, perfect for pairing with their freshly grounded coffee or Thai tea with boba. Customers can also request made-to-order 8-inch cakes layered with buttercream or chocolate, commission a customized multi-tier cake for a wedding, or project a hologram request for a 3D cake for a birthday celebration.
There is no rush at Kiks Café. The cozy, bistro-style tables and complimentary WiFi encourage passersby to stop, sit for a while, and enjoy a mocha made with organic coffee beans and Ghirardelli chocolate. To complement these drinks, the cooks deftly assemble sandwiches atop pieces of french, wheat, or sourdough bread, covering the slices with everything from black forest ham to pureed kalamata olives. The casual menu also includes salads with bits of grilled chicken, feta cheese, or croutons scattered amid leaves of romaine lettuce.
About the Owners: After 19 years in a delicatessen catering department, Ramana Brodeth knew her way around a sandwich. In 2010, she and her sons, TJ and Mark, opened Lou’s Cafe. One of them is always behind the counter, crafting inventive, satisfying sandwiches and topping them with Lou’s Special Sauce, a housemade garlic-and-herb aioli.
From the Press
Dutch crunch: also called “tiger bread,” this roll features a mottled exterior that hides a soft, chewy center. Bakers use sesame oil to lend it a distinct aroma, and paint the top with rice paste before baking it to create a cracked appearance and salty-sweet flavor.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Take a stroll through Clement Nursery (1921 Clement Street), the oldest in SF, housed in lovingly restored farm buildings.
After: Make a picnic of it and let the kids run around the renovated Argonne Playground (18th Avenue & Geary Boulveard); three picnic tables sit alongside the tennis courts.
While You’re Waiting: Get your taste buds tingling with anticipation by checking out the glass display cases stocked full with paninis, baked goods, and other treats.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Play pinball and shop for shirts at Free Gold Watch (1767 Waller Street).
After: Buy a painting at Creativity Explored (3245 16th Street), which helps artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell their works.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Trade paninis for the classic reuben sandwiches at Blue Front Cafe (1430 Haight Street).