City Counter is the newest lunch spot on the block, offering refined, retro diner vibes that are nothing short of Instagram-able.
This is the first restaurant from Harper Matheson, whose 10 years in East Coast kitchens have led her to this, the launch of her classy, comfortable spot reminiscent of the Art Deco–era luncheonette, where you could grab a quick bite and relax nearly any time of day. Here Matheson is giving counter staples such as deviled eggs and tuna melts a sophisticated spin, and there's plenty of bubbly, wine, and beer and dress up a workaday bite.
The design stands out with crisp white walls, a slick countertop, and a neon hot pink sign that lets you know this isn't your typical lunch. You'll find City Counter in the Standard Oil building, neighboring The Treasury and Blue Bottle Coffee.
City Counter is a modern luncheonette serving classy lunches, relaxing happy hours, and casual early dinners to the heart of the Financial District. A bright neon "C" sign pops out from the wall—an exuberant contrast to the smooth, clean white walls, counters, and tables that make up the rest of the restaurant. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
The restaurant offers a range of drinks—beer, wine, bubbly, and event ice cream floats for your sweet tooth. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
The space was designed to remind you of an Art Deco–era lunch counter, a place to take a load off, if even for a few minutes, from hustle and bustle of daily life. Grab one of the 30 seats at the bar, or perch at a table with street scene views. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
The chopped spring pea salad is light but filling, sprinkled with raspberries, kohlrabi, and offered with a creamy masala yogurt dressing. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
In addition to lunch, City Counter also offers a fantastic happy hour menu with several snacks and dips, such as this house-made spicy pimento cheese with salted pan di mie toasts. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
The roast beef sandwich captures perfectly slow-cooked trip-tip, counter-made pimento cheese, garlic aioli, and pickled vegetables between the layers of a soft deli roll. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
The stylish luncheonette serves some of the prettiest deviled eggs around, each bite with a hint of salt cod. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
City Counter fills any desire for a satisfying tuna melt with a solid sandwich stuffed with tuna salad, three cheese fondue, red onions and pickled celery on toasted sourdough. (Photography by Sarah Chorey)
// Open 11am-7pm, Monday through Friday, 115 Sansome St. (FiDi), https://www.citycountersf.com.