Restaurants in San Francisco
Restaurants in San Francisco are second-to-none; the city is renowned for its dining scene, and for good reason – it has more restaurants per capita than any other major city in North America. While the city’s fine dining scene is booming – there are countless San Francisco restaurants that will easily set you back more than $100 a person – it’s also very possible to find delicious meals at affordable price points.
San Francisco is particularly well regarded for its Asian cuisine, and locals share an intense obsession with fresh sushi and dim sum, which can be found throughout the city’s bustling Chinatown. North Beach, San Francisco’s Italian district, also enjoys a lively reputation, and pasta lovers would be amiss to skip a visit to Ristorante Ideale. Considered to be one of the best restaurants in San Francisco for Italian food, this trattoria serves handmade gnocchi and ravioli along with a list of well-priced Italian wines.
A general rule of thumb: San Francisco restaurants are typically corkage friendly, so it’s possible to visit nearby Napa wine country, and bring back a bottle or two to enjoy while dining out in the city.
Local icon Elizabeth Falkner has reopened Citizen Cake in the Pacific Heights. The fire-engine red store front gives way to a sparse interior with an exposed brick wall, slate floor, and black tables.
They say the third time’s the charm, and so it is for the third branch of this top-notch local temple to neo-Vietnamese cuisine.
Named in homage to the neighborhood's beatnik past, this North Beach lunch counter serves up a short but inventive menu that changes by the day.
Since 1983, Hog Island Oyster Company has built a reputation for harvesting oysters from Tomales Bay in adjacent Marin County. This small eatery, located on the north side of the Ferry Building, only serves in-season oysters (and clams), so there may be Sweetwaters, Atlantics, or Kumamotos.
Located in the Western Addition, this Japanese restaurant and jazz club is an offshoot of the Oakland original, which hosted such celebrated musicians as Dizzy Gillespie and Branford Marsalis.
Bar Jules, a brightly colored, neighborhood café in Hayes Valley, serves a new menu daily, written on the café’s signature blackboard.
Shelley Lindgren, co-owner of this southern-Italian favorite (named for the highway that runs through Naples), has built a wine list that practically demands exploration; the 350-bottle list is stocked with obscure varietals like Aglianico, Casavecchia, and Pallagrello.
Pasta Pomodoro in Laurel Village is the perfect family restaurant: authentic Italian food, quick service, and reasonable prices. While the stainless-steel open kitchen and dining area's large nature photographs may not evoke Italy, the menu quickly makes up for it.
Urban wine bar and restaurant RN74 takes its name from "Route Nationale 74," the main highway in the Burgundy wine region of France. Chef Jason Berthold creates upscale French-American cuisine, and sommelier Rajat Parr's wine list highlights Burgundian labels.
Laid-back new American
It doesn't get prettier than the outdoor seats at La Mar, right on the water’s edge on the Embarcadero, with a view of the boats and the bay.
Located on California Street at Divisadero, the Solstice Restaurant & Lounge beckons diners with its name lit up in the window and a sun emblem.
In the SoMa District near the James Lick Skyway, Zuppa serves Italian cuisine by chef-owner Joseph Manzare, who has worked in Italy and with Wolfgang Puck.