Alta CA Chef Yoni Levy's Favorite Restaurants And Bars In Mid-Market | Tasting Table SF

Where the Alta CA chef eats on his night off

When talking about San Francisco's Mid-Market renaissance, it's tempting to point to a certain tech company that's holding court with its state-of-the-art HQ. But we're more excited about the bourgeoning restaurant scene, which will continue to grow through the end of this year.

Leading the charge is Alta CA, a Daniel Patterson Group project with chef Yoni Levy at the helm. Levy's menu of playful, well-executed take on new-school comfort food is an all-day draw for neighborhood workers and residents and a worthy destination for the rest of the city.

"I love where we are right now," Levy says of its developing neighborhood. "We have a ton of regulars, which is amazing. It's challenging that it's in such transition, but it's also really exciting."

The chef inside Alta CA | Photo: Courtesy of Alta CA

While dining options in the immediate neighborhood remain limited, Levy has found plenty of worthwhile spots within walking distance. "I can't wait for even more new restaurants to come in," he says. "We'll get each other's overflow and have even more places to eat...well, when we have time!"

Here's where Levy likes to eat when he catches a free moment, plus a few bonus picks in his own personal neighborhood, the Inner Sunset.

Coffee: Mavelous Coffee and Wine Bar

Why He Loves It (Kind Of): "So...I actually don't drink coffee! I try not to drink any caffeine, though it gets harder and harder," he says, laughing. "All my cooks and chefs go there, though—they have Intelligentsia and lots of other great beans."

Breakfast and Snacks: Citizen's Band and Pinkie's Bakery

Why He Loves Them: "We get our bread from Pinkie's and have gotten close to [owners] Chris Beerman and Cheryl Burr. Sometimes we'll get snacks and doughnuts from there. I really love their pastries and, of course, their bread."

Lunch: 20th Century Cafe

Why He Loves It: "I recently ate at 20th Century, and it was completely awesome. They have this wild boar sausage plate ($14) that's just great. And I love how nice everyone is there! Michelle Polzine, the woman who runs it, is always there, and always smiling. Our GM really loves it, too."

Dinner: Nojo and Monsieur Benjamin

Why He Loves Them: "I had dinner at Nojo recently, and it was great—we sampled a bunch of small plates and skewers. And I just tried Monsieur Benjamin, which was a lot of fun. The steak frites ($36) were great, and we tried some of their charcuterie. And oysters, of course! Everything's very clean and fresh there."

Night Off: Inner Sunset Bonus! Manna and Yummy Yummy

Why He Loves Them: "Manna is a Korean restaurant right down the street from where I live, and everything there is awesome. I often get the beef and kimchi stew—their kimchi is so good. Go early or be lucky—otherwise, you'll wait. And then there's Yummy Yummy for pho. I bounce back and forth between the chicken pho and the rare beef pho. It's so comforting. And the chef-owner is really a keeper, too. Sometimes I'll go in there on the later side, and he'll hand me a beer and we'll talk about food for a while."