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The Gastronomic Rise of the Castro?

It's always struck us as odd that the Castro—so close to the hallowed culinary ground occupied by the Bi-Rite, Delfina and Tartine trifecta, with a gorgeous theater as its centerpiece and, let's face it, filled with the "disposable income" types the right-wing media are always talking about—has never been a great spot for eating. We're happy to see that there seems to be a change afoot. The Castro has its own farmers market now (Wednesday nights until October 28) and Starbelly is quickly becoming the go-to neighborhood restaurant.

Next Wednesday, the short-lived Frisee space—a prime location on Market street—will reopen as Panam, serving French bistro fare and—because this is the Castro—brunch (it is owned by the team behind Choquet's). But what we may be most excited about is Melissa Perello's long-awaited restaurant, Frances, slated to open in mid-November,. It could be, as our friend Paolo Lucchesi, editor of Eater SF likes to say, game-changing.

Is a full-fledged Castro revolution afoot? All the 'hood needs now is a fancy cocktail joint to feel complete, and maybe a couple of those street food carts all the kids are talking about (see our No-Fail Guide to SF Street Food).