When Cafe Réveille opened on the sunny Lower Haight corner of Steiner and Waller earlier this month, it was unmissable: Neighbors flocked in for coffee and stayed put for tahini squash bowls and levantine sandwiches from new chef Juliet Orbach, who brings experience from LA’s Rustic Canyon and Sqirl. They’ve basically refused to leave 201 Steiner ever since.
“The neighborhood has received us really well,” says Réveille co-owner Thomas Newbury. After losing the previous tenant, longtime neighborhood cafe Bean There, to a murky landlord dispute, nearby neighbors made clear what they didn’t want: A chain like Blue Bottle. They blocked that proposed business as formula retail despite its SF roots, even before it was partially acquired by Nestle.
For the record, the new Cafe Réveille isn’t completely standalone: It’s a sequel to the popular Cafe Réveille in Mission Bay, which is also focused on breakfast, lunch, and brunch food. Another Cafe Réveille is headed to Berkeley’s Fourth Street, where it’s opening in the coming weeks. And then there’s Réveille Coffee Co., the original company Thomas and his brother Christopher Newbury founded as a food truck in 2010. The siblings operate coffee-focused Réveille Coffee Co. locations in the Castro and North Beach.
Cafe Réveille serves Réveille’s coffee drinks, and at the Lower Haight location there’s even a new way to try the company’s single origin Paradise espresso: Dusted on top of soft serve thanks to their new soft serve machine. “People love it, they’ve been ordering it even though it’s cold,” Newbury says.
The whole range of food options are below, broken up into breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus. “The kind of food I like to make is vibrant and healthy, and, for lack of a better word, Californian,” Orbach says. She also cooks from her Iranian-Persian-Jewish background: “A lot of the food I make is inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine and food I grew up eating — but I’m also New Yorker, so I value a diner.”
On weekends, that translates to a brunch menu that includes a “homestyle breakfast” with eggs and hashbrowns — as well as shakshukah with herb salad and levain. You can also find her cooking dinner at Fareground, an outdoor supperclub series celebrating farmers.
Daily hours at Cafe Réveille are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with weekday breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 to 3 p.m., plus weekend brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.