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Located two doors down from the Grand Lake Theater, the Modigliani Cafe is just a tiny slip of a sandwich shop, with stools for maybe twelve diners at two bar counters and a decidedly unsexy commercial kitchen that takes up half the space. It’s a cash-only, predominantly takeout kind of place. But don’t let the restaurant’s humble appearance and bargain-basement prices fool you: There aren’t many better examples of this kind of unpretentious, East Coast-inflected Italian-American cooking in the Bay Area. The crowd favorite is the sausage roll, a pizza-sandwich hybrid that offers the pleasures of a next-level Hot Pocket. But you also can’t go wrong with the shirt-stainingly saucy meatball sandwich, or the veggie panini, which comes slathered with garlicky house-made pesto. Wash it all down with an old-fashioned milkshake, and make sure you schedule time afterward for a nap.

— Luke Tsai

Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p..m.


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Price: $

Payment Type: Cash only

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