Forkin' Frisco: Cole Valley may be small in size, but not in flavor

Cole Valley may not be the most bustling tourist attraction, and it doesn’t try to be. This tight-knit community is a diverse range of mom-and-pop restaurants and shops, minus the snootiness. Despite its modest exterior, this neighborhood has a vivacious personality all its own that’s packed into a three-block strip along Cole and Carl streets.

SWEET TOOTH

Crepes On Cole
100 Carl St.

From the Chicken Curry crepe, which is stuffed with melted provolone cheese and grilled onions, to the Raspberry Blintz with ricotta cheese and raspberry jam, the menu would satisfy the most adventurous eaters. If you haven’t had tofu in a crepe yet, you owe it to yourself to visit this local creperie.

CHEAP EATS

Lava Java
852 Stanyan St.

Come here for a dose of Cole Valley hospitality, or simply for an affordable Sunday brunch. The turkey garlic pesto sandwich on a croissant pairs perfectly with their iced ginger chai tea latte, a nice balance of strong, spicy flavors from the ginger and sweetness from the chai.

ROMANTIC

Zazie
941 Cole St.

This compact French bistro serves top-notch brunch items like gingerbread buttermilk pancakes, and irresistibly rich lemon hollandaise sauce over poached eggs. After 20 years, this restaurant still boasts a seamless marriage of classic American and French cuisine.

WILDCARD

Say Cheese
856 Cole St.

Cheese shops are few and far between. With more than 300 domestic and imported cheeses, this storefront is easily accessible to curious onlookers. If the aged cheeses don’t draw you in, it’ll be the Prosciutto sandwich with tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella that does.

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