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Neighbavore: Castro

Microlocal picks from a discerning resident.

The Expert: Celia Sack, owner, Omnivore Books

Frances:
“If you go before 6:15, you can usually get an impromptu seat at the counter. Obviously, you want to get the fried chickpea sticks and the beignets. And the house wine is the best deal ever. A carafe of it is only $18.”
3870 17th St. (near Noe St.), 415-621-3871

Castro Tarts:
“It’s this crappy-looking Vietnamese and American café and bakery. But the owners are clearly French-trained, and I think their croissants are better than Tartine’s. It’s like something I would get in Paris.”
564 Castro St. (Near 19th St.), 415-861-3268

Thorough Bread and Pastry:
“This place is run by the San Francisco Baking Institute. Their sandwiches, such as the pan bagnat, are great. So are their gougères—two bites of heaven.”
248 Church St. (Near Market St.), 415-558-0690