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Food & Drink

Best Fondue 

Melt

Who'd think that the best fondue in San Francisco was hiding in plain sight at a cozy neighborhood cafe in North Beach that offers free wi-fi, projected movies, open-mic nights, and trivia contests, in addition to coffee and light fare? Maybe the place's name should have been the tip-off. Anyway, Melt's fondues come in four flavors (classic Neufchatel, Welsh Rarebit, Scrumpy Rarebit, and Stout Rarebit), and two sizes (serving two for $30, three to four for $40, but more in actuality). They all come with a nicely dressed salad of young green leaves and quantities of cubed French bread, sliced apples, and grapes. The classic, imported Swiss Gruyère blended with white wine, kirsch, and spices is thick, elastic, and pully, unlike the disappointing cheese sauces masquerading as fondues at trendier, fashionable places around town. And if it's a chilly night, try Melt's special hot mulled wine to wash it down.

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