Beloved by local chefs, Standard Fare represents the pinnacle of Californian cuisine served in a low-key, unpretentious setting at lower prices than you might expect. Chef-owner Kelsie Kerr, formerly of Chez Panisse and Cafe Rouge fame, serves tempting pastries, salads, and sandwiches out of this tiny cafe within a large commercial kitchen. (With only 10 seats inside, ordering to-go is a popular option.) The menu changes daily, but the sandwiches are always symphonies of textures on freshly baked, focaccia-like bread — and the vegetarian options are just as satisfying as the ones containing meat. Do check out the rotating lunch special, which shows off Kerr’s range, precision, and knack for creating seemingly simple but exceedingly nuanced composed plates. And the sweets are never too sweet.

— Janelle Bitker


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