Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen

Just a Casual Little Pre-Theater Date Spot

Much Wine and Many a Grilled Thing in Civic Center

By Joe Starkey ·
None 6 Photos Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen

You're all dressed up. The symphony is waiting. So is your date. 

Now, if only you knew where the hell this city was hiding all the Italian wine and crispy pork belly.

Probably a few places, but today, it's all about Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen, your casual new pre-concert/-symphony/-ballet date spot that's open now in Civic Center and looks like this.

You and that date will start your evening in a century-old building that's been carefully stripped down to its brick-walled base. You'll take your seats at a table built by the chef himself. And then you'll probably talk and stuff because that's what you do on dates.

Almost everything on the menu is grilled on a first-of-its-kind-in-the-US, food-waste-burning X-Oven. Just trust it. It will lead you to perfectly charred delights ranging anywhere from the grilled pork chop with charcoal potatoes and apple butter to crispy pork belly with brussels sprout slaw.

And since you're a person, you'll want to sample a few wines from their exclusively Italian list, 12 of which are offered by the glass. Or maybe a beer. Something local, or perhaps something like a Ninkasi Pacific Rain Pale Ale hailing from Oregon.

Ah, the exotic reaches of Oregon.

Joe Starkey

Joe Starkey is the tallest person in the room 90% of the time. He enjoys liquors that aren’t smoky, dive bars that are, and has a vague dread that someone, somewhere might be having more fun than him.


Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen
39 Taylor St
(at Turk)
San Francisco, CA, 94102


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