Words by Simon Difford on 24-Oct-2014
560 Divisadero Street, (corner Hayes St), San Francisco, California, 94117, United States
Tel: +1 415 864 8643
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-1am, Sat-Sun 5pm-1am
Door: Make reservation
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Aperitivos, Cocktails, Food, Late night, Spirits, Wine
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Once a banking hall, this site lay empty for years until gentrification worked its magic on the neighbourhood: it is now a truly superb restaurant and bar.
Nopa's clean, contemporary interior impresses, as do the huge windows that rise dramatically to the double height ceiling. Cartoonish murals of San Francisco grace the entrance and the wall above the mezzanine dining area, while shoulder-height panels divide the long bar from the space reserved for diners.
Freshly squeezed juices and well executed cocktails are listed under 'Classics', 'Seasonal' and 'Spiritual'. The wine selection that lurks in the old bank vault is positively inspired - fifteen are available by the glass, and twice that number as half bottles. Oh yes, and there's a couple of local lagers on draught, a healthy spectrum of bottled brews and a more than decent range of spirits.
But the trendy 30-somethings who crowd Nopa are mainly here for the excellent Mediterranean-influenced food that emanates from the open kitchen at the back. Reserve a private table or eat at a communal table or the bar.