Industrial chic, small plates in San Francisco: South and Wine Bar, Serpentine

There’s always something new in San Francisco’s foodie scene and the most interesting places have been popping up in the south of Market (SOMA) area. Serpentine and South Food and Wine Bar are the latest “small plates” restaurants that I’ve tried and like very much. I prefer dining in this way – not traditional three course menu that leaves you stuffed at the end, rather grazing among several small dishes with friends, so you can try different things.


It’s the latest project of the Slow Club folks whose restaurant on Mariposa Street is one of my favorite places for lunch.

  • Vibe: high ceilings in an industrial building, chic but not over the top; Mediterranean cuising; small but excellent selection of small and large plates
  • Pros: delicious fresh food, good service, chic modern interior
  • Cons: If you are thinking of taking an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood, forget it. Although it’s not particularly unsafe or ugly, it’s not really inviting.

2495 Third Street (at 22nd)
San Francisco, CA
+1 415 252 2000

South Food and Wine Bar: CLOSED – will open in Feb 2010 under different name

Started by an Australian chef, South is a small, cozy place across the Caltrain station. Although most people think of it as a wine bar, I thought the food was very good, too. I like the long communal table in the middle of the room for those who forgot to make reservations.


  • Vibe: cozy modern chic, lots of young couples on dates, excellent and friendly service
  • Pros: extensive list of Australian and New Zealand wines, very delicious, fresh Australian/Pacific dishes, close to public transport (Caltrain and Muni metro)
  • Cons: because it is an a former industrial area, like Serpentine, the neighborhood doesn’t invite after-dinner strolls.

South Food and Wine Bar
330 Townsend Street, #101
San Francisco, CA
+1 415 974 5599

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.


  1. The brunch is awesome on Sundays. The wine list has some great and rare finds such as Layer Cake. It is a warm place to hang out and feel like part of a private party in someone famous’ large home.