Since I write restaurant reviews I'm usually in charge of picking where we eat (pressure!), so I was both surprised and happy when my husband alerted me on a recent Saturday morning that he was taking us out to eat at a new spot he'd discovered online the night before. It was highly rated, family friendly and since we were up early we knew we would make it before the brunch crowds rolled in. Awesome!
My surprise grew into delight as we walked up to Noeteca, a cute spot on the corner of Dolores and Valley. I have serious travel brain and the bright blue awning and outdoor seating made me think of those quaint European neighborhood cafes where people drop in for coffee and a croissant in the morning and return for a glass of wine in the evening. Indeed Noeteca is well known as a wine bar with great cheese plates and nightly dinner specials, but they do great work for breakfast as well.
The menu is small and mostly light—the restaurant doesn't have a full kitchen, so here are no huge french toast platters or overstuffed three-egg omelettes. Fresh fruit and a big bowl of tomatoes sat atop the display counter full of freshly baked breads and pastries. I opted for a quiche while Jole had a bagel sandwich, both relatively simple selections, but the care taken with them made the difference. Since the food is mostly prepared in advance, everything arrived quickly and was perfectly warmed through. Both platters came with a ton of fruit that was all farmer's market fresh—our plates and an extra banana were enough to create a meal for Mia as well. Noeteca takes excellent care with their drinks as well (again, they are a wine bar by night). My cappuccino was amazing and Jole loved his huge mug of regular coffee, and we both had hard time resisting the mimosas the table next to us seemed to love.
Our waiter took great care of us all, grabbing a high chair right away and making sure the hot drinks were well out of Mia's reach (it's seems like a small thing but I always appreciate when people do that)!
As an added bonus, a light meal at Noeteca means you have room left over for ice cream at Mitchell's just around the corner. Score!
VERDICT: Noeteca is definitely winner! A small and welcome treat of a neighborhood restaurant serving high quality food for breakfast and beyond. We will definitely return some evening soon for a glass of wine and a cheese plate on the patio.
1551 Dolores St (at Valley)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Stroller Friendly? Yes
High Chairs? Yes
Changing Tables? No
Takes Reservations? No