When it comes to dining, San Francisco is pretty much a melting pot: We've got all the Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Peruvian, Thai, Japanese (and so on) flavors you could want. But come to think of it, there aren't a whole lot of Scandinavian eats around.
Happily, new Duboce Triangle cafe and bakery Kantine is here to change that, one smørrebrød at a time.
If it all sounds familiar, it's because chef Nichole Accettola and her husband, Joachim Majholm, have been serving up Denmark's famous open-faced sandwiches at a weekly kiosk at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. Their trademark sandos took a bit of time to catch on, but soon customers were clamoring for their main ingredient: loaves of Accettola's sprouted rye bread—dense and chewy, and stuffed with nuts, seeds, and grains. Local grocers including Rainbow Grocery began selling the stuff, and soon there was enough demand to warrant a full-fledged cafe.
Swinging into the sunny, contemporary space, you'd never know Kantine has taken the place of the old Little Hollywood Launderette. Kitted out by ATM Design, a firm responsible for several stylish restaurants in Copenhagen, Kantine has all the clean lines and blonde wood furnishings you'd want from a Scandinavian spot. It's a mellow place to nourish the soul on hearty brunch boards, pastries, three-grain porridges and, of course, smørrebrød topped with smoked trout, bay shrimp and hard boiled eggs, or peppered pork.
Best of all, thanks to the couple's decade living in Copenhagen, you can count on the total experience being authentic.
One of our favorites is the smoked trout rillette sandwich with chunks of fish, capers, and cubes of beets heaped over a slice of Kantine's signature rye bread— the perfect blend of sour and salt.
// Kantine is open for breakfast and lunch; 1906 Market St. (Duboce Triangle), kantinesf.com