The Mission District is packed with beautiful bars and restaurants, but there’s nothing quite as magical as Secret Garden. This hidden wine bar is an extension of the popular coffeehouse, Stable Cafe, and offers a cozy oasis for after-work food and wine.
Secret Garden is open from Monday through Wednesday from 4 to 8pm. It’s perfect for a post-work hang with the whole crew or a nice solo date with a good book.
The non-traditional schedule is largely due to its high demand as a wedding venue during the weekend. This new project gives the community a rare opportunity to enjoy the unique space.
The wine list is currently focused on French and Californian producers and ranges from sparkling rosé to juicy Beaujolais, and even a refreshing non-alcoholic strawberry shrub with pineapple mint.
Co-Chefs Guillermo Perez and Najla Turcyzn develop the seasonal market-driven menu together, along with Stable Cafe’s daytime food menu. The Secret Garden menu is decidedly Californian, drawing inspiration from Japanese, Korean, French, Mexican, and beyond. Far from “fusion,” the menu is cohesive and a celebration of flavor, texture, and technique.
The Jidori Egg with salmon roe, cucumber kimchi, and yuzu shichimi evokes a complex ramen-inspired vibe, while the Buckwheat Torte layers crepes with lebneh and fresh za’atar creating a deliciously savory cake. For dessert, grab a slice of Bananas!, a burnt sugar cake layered with carmelized bananas and malted vanilla buttercream. Turcyzn, who previously worked at SF’s 20th Century Cafe, is the duo’s pastry expert and you can certainly taste some of the influence in her creations.
Stable owner Minah Matuszewski, a longtime employee, purchased the business during the pandemic. She recruited Perez and Turcyzn to Stable after years of working with them in high-end catering. Perez and Turcyzn’s food, along with Matuszewski efforts to refresh and elevate the beloved cafe has led to an exciting new era for Stable.
“When we transform this place into a wedding venue on the weekends, it’s always so beautiful, but most people dont’t get to experience that” noted Matuszewski. “We just wanted to do something where we could share this beautiful space with our neighbors and community.”
The greenhouse, kitchen, and garden were the former home of Michelin-starred Saison, the Cheese School of SF, and has served as a commissary kitchen for countless chefs over the years.
To enter the Secret Garden you’ll stroll down a long tree-lined courtyard until you reach a gorgeous plant-filled greenhouse. It’s a warm and inviting space with seating for a little over 20. Guests sit under the canopy of a regal lemon tree and before a crackling hearth.
Secret Garden is open from Monday through Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm. You can visit them behind Stable Cafe at 2128 Folsom Street. They’re open on a first come first served basis, but feel free to DM them on Instagram with any questions.