Stairways and alleys etch paths through Russian Hill, leading to isolated pockets of local businesses and quaint restaurants. From the meandering Lombard Street to the local shopping haven, Polk Street, this neighborhood with a view possesses many offbeat treasures and warm, cozy eateries.
2356 Polk St.
Frozen yogurt may seem to be a trend losing its steam, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tasty. With hand-churned yogurt and a vast array of mix-ins from pistachios to gummy bears, this dessert shop will turn yogurt skeptics into believers, especially with its Sticky Fingers frozen yogurt pie.
2141 Polk St.
When the sun goes down, this neighborhood restaurant that features Pacific Rim, Mediterranean, Pan-Latin and American cuisine, becomes a local hotspot for nightlife. Its grilled eggplant with toy box tomatoes, served with grilled pita and spicy hummus, is a massive must-eat for only $7.25.
2000 Hyde St.
This restaurant is as lively as the Spanish operatic productions that inspired the name. The atmosphere has an old-fashioned, baroque feel to it that nicely complements their appetizing tapas. The mussels with saffron sauce are a big hit, and the complimentary bread is great for shamelessly soaking the sauce in.
2127 Polk St.
Run by chefs who stress the importance of using organic, local and seasonal ingredients, this place is perfect for picking up freshly-prepared food to take home. It’s an ever-changing menu, but be sure to catch their West Coast Petrale Sole with a zesty lemon caper sauce.