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.
One of the country’s first and most renowned vegetarian restaurants, Greens opened in San Francisco in 1979.
The flagship restaurant of the eponymous chef (who runs nine other hotel restaurants around the country) has one of the most showstopping dining rooms in the city.
R & G Lounge in the heart of Chinatown is known for its Cantonese-style food, but its signature dish is the salt and pepper Dungeness crab. Plucked from the tank, the crab is live battered and deep fried, then sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Chow Church in the Castro neighborhood is a casual gathering place for the budget-minded. The setting is relaxed and bright with green walls, wood paneling and round tables. Chow's American-style comfort food features wild seafood, free-range organic poultry, and natural pork.
With over 25 years of service, Masa's near Union Square exudes Old World elegance, from the toile print fabric on plush chairs to the red silk lampshades and fresh roses on each table. Chef Gregory Short offers a four, seven, and nine course tasting menu of his classic French cuisine.
During the week, Yank Sing is a popular Rincon Center lunch spot with servers making dim sum cart rounds amidst packed tables. On weekend evenings, tables are set up in the Center’s towering atrium for elegant Chinese wedding banquets.
First Crush opened its doors in 1989 and specializes in a seasonally changing menu of Contemporary American cuisine. Located in the Theater District, it attracts tourists, shoppers, and locals, and a wine grotto is available for private groups.
In 1986, Alsace-native Hubert Keller, after years of mentorship from culinary masters like Paul Bocuse, became executive chef and partner in this contemporary French restaurant in Union Square.
Spago-trained Anne Gingrass serves traditional Peruvian basics for her new 12-table restaurant.
Located within walking distance of the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, this Hayes Valley brasserie is ideal for pre-show French fare and inventive absinthe-based cocktails.
Located in the Mission District, the key to finding this coffeehouse is its signature red flag with a white outline of a tilted coffee cup and a white star above it. Through the doors are a wood bar, vases of flowers, dangling light bulbs, and artwork.
Set in a restored, Mission-district Victorian house, Flour + Water focuses chef Thomas McNaughton's energy on regionally authentic Italian pasta and thin-crust pizza.
Housed in a 1903 military barrack, the Presidio Social Club restaurant combines original furnishings, such as stainless-steel medicine cabinets now used as liquor storage, with contemporary design elements.