Norcina Brings Italian to Waterfront Plaza

Lunch gets a grade-A upgrade not far from the sea lions at Pier 39.

(Kati Stadum)

With Pier 39 attracting gaggles of tourists hungry for clam chowder filled bread bowls and snapping photos of barking sea lions, the Embarcadero can be rather daunting. But less than half a mile away, eager locals can satiate their hunger at the newly opened Norcina, now gracing Waterfront Plaza. Opened Aug. 4 by Kaitlynn Bauman of quick-service Levi’s Plaza restaurant Parlor 1255, this fast-casual cafe and delicatessen offers authentic Italian dishes to nearby workers hankering for a satisfying lunch option.

Waterfront Plaza is a four-building, 297,000-square-foot office complex with professional service firms, media and marketing agencies, and technology companies. With few other nearby food options, Norcina promises to be a big hit for workers and even passing tourists. The 1,200-square-foot restaurant with outdoor seating stays open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. serving coffee by Sausalito roaster, Cibo, plus dishes like a frittata with broccoli rabe and potato, pancetta and cheese cornetti, and bombolini (an Italian doughnut filled with pastry cream).

Sit down for (or grab-and-go) a lunch of tigelle, an ancient Italian flatbread, filled with toppings like prosciutto cotto, stracchino cheese, and artichoke hearts or a Tuscan kale salad with cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, fennel, and pecorino. For an afternoon pick-me-up, dig into Norcina’s housemade gelato, perfect on a hot day.

Norcina, 50 Francisco St., 415-829-8218 or norcina.com

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