Kantine is a Scandinavian inspired cafe by Chef Nichole Accettola, who spent a decade in Copenhagen Denmark. The neighborhood cafe is located a stone's throw from Safeway and Whole Foods on Market and Dolores. The cafe stands as an oddity on a part of Market Street where gentrification has only just begun.
There you can find simple and delicious porridges, open-faced sandwiches, seedy crackers and whole grain bread. It's the kind of place where you would go with a friend to have a quick healthy brunch. The seating and service are not arranged to encourage you to stay and graze.
The food is indeed is reminiscent of fare I found the company canteen when I worked in Espoo. Kantine SF interpretation of Scandinavian cuisines is no different than what you might find in Denmark, including the Danish pricing (read SF upmarket pricing). You can easily spend 20-30 dollars and still leave hungry.
Unfortunately, the melons were not quite ripe even after our third visit to the cafe. Just a reminder of how important it is for a chef and the staff to be constantly tasting the food they put out. Aside from those mishaps, everything else was good. For all, you Americans, do not expect the porridge at Kantine to be sweet. Sweetness is contributed by the fruit, not by granulated sugar. It will be a different from what you are used to but in a good way!
The rye crisp bread is addictive. Their trout rillets are outstanding. Do you want a taste of Scandinavia? Try the pickled herring sandwich or the orange cardamom rolls. Chef Accettola truly does know how to use cardamom and rye in a manner which suits the American palette. The chicken roulades were well executed, moist and not mealy.
Kantine is located 1906 Market Street in San Francisco. No reservations are required. Hours can be found here.
Kent is a management consultant who has spent years traveling for work. His refuge is looking for the perfect meal so that he can reproduce it at home with his wife and friends.