A report by Dana Massey-Todd. As previously mentioned on tablehopper, Michelle Polzine, the former pastry chef at Range, has opened her own project in Hayes Valley, called 20TH CENTURY CAFE. It’s open softly for now, with some limited menu choices like her delicious knishes, bagels, raspberry plum coffee cake, and ice cream in three flavors: peach leaf, chicory, and vanilla. The menu will expand more in the coming weeks, especially in the savory department. They’ve got Blue Bottle espresso and coffee to go along with the pastries too.
Inspiration for the project comes from the cafés of the “Danube region” of Europe, including cities like Budapest, Vienna, and Prague, and this is reflected not only in the food but in the space as well. It definitely has a charming, European feel to it, with marble-topped café tables, classic Thonet chairs, a green stone floor, and antique-style brass light fixtures. The front counter is made of pressed metal and marble, and the copper espresso machine still operates with handles, which is a rarity these days. Current hours are 10am-6pm daily, closed Mondays. Like the menu, hours will likely expand in the coming weeks. 198 Gough St. at Oak.
The counter at 20th Century Cafe. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.