Food Runners

Monday, December 6, 2021

A Very Special Place

Mary Risley
Food Runners Director

Hi, Everyone — Happy Holidays!  My Newsletter this month is about Nopa — Nopa on Divisadero at the corner of Hayes in SF — is by far my favorite restaurant in the world!!!

Nopa exterior (photo credit: Krista Robertson, Covering the Bases)
As a lifelong culinary expert, I am fortunate to have been able to eat at good restaurants all over the world.  And, my favorite is Nopa!!! Here, are the reasons:

Me, Mary Risley with Nopa Chef Laurence Jossel
First of all, I have known Laurence Jossel, the chef/owner, for over 30 years.  He worked in several good restaurants before opening Nopa in April of 2006.  And, here’s what I believe to be true:  he goes to the Farmers’ Markets at least three times a week; he has a whole hog delivered every Tuesday, that he butchers himself; before the pandemic, he would take his staff to see how things like the broad beans are grown; and, he would host the farmers at a big table at Nopa for lunch from time to time.  The staff is warm and friendly.

Chef Laurence on the line
And, the food is absolutely delicious!!!  This is because the chef-himself-tastes and corrects the seasoning and cleans the edges of the plates himself.  You can get rotisserie chicken-cooked over an open wood fire, as well as grilled pork chops.  

Nopa pork chops
At the end of the evening, they smoke their own cured bacon in the chimney as the fire dies down.  In the other, wood-burning fire, they cook things like beans with tomato sauce and feta and flatbreads.  I love sitting on the stools eating and watching the cooking!!!

View of the kitchen from the counter stools
You can eat indoors or outdoors and it’s important to book ahead! 

But, equally as important is that the cooks at Nopa make 250 meals for Food Runners to pick up and deliver to agencies feeding people in need.  What has happened in SF is that if two people have tested positive for Covid-19, in a senior or low-income apartment building, all the residents have to stay in their rooms.  That is why the meals that Nopa donates to Food Runners is so very important!!!

Nopa meals for Food Runners being prepped
Full time Food Runners van driver Perla Villa has this to say about Nopa’s meal donations: “Chef Laurence Jossel, owner of Nopa Restaurant, has done an amazing job to prepare these meals weekly for Food Runners.  His Staff Chef, Sean Eastwood, and team have made this weekly meal delivery delightful.  Together they have made a substantial impact in serving the most vulnerable citizens of San Francisco”.

Perla ready to deliver Nopa meals in the Food Runners van
“It is an absolute pleasure and honor to serve the community of San Francisco.  Each and every time delivery is made and individuals receive food donations, there is an immediate sense of satisfaction and joy on both ends.  My job as a full-time driver is so rewarding.  There is not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t show their appreciation for what we do.  It’s a daily reminder to do my best in providing for those who are in need.”  

Nopa's 250 meals per day for Food Runners
Thank you every one for your financial support of Food Runners — it is so very important at this time!!! Please tell your friends and neighbors to give to Food Runners to help feed those in need in our city; and also please help spread the word to anyone you know in food businesses here that they never need to discard edible or dated food— just go to to donate the food !!!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Food Runners — and thank you again !!! Mary