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.
The first thing diners notice about Dottie’s True Blue Café in the Tenderloin district is the line down the block - an indication that locals in the know feel it’s worth the wait.
This Mission District pizzeria offers regular and communal seating in a relaxed space designed in a minimalist palette of off-white, gray, black, and dark wood.
Run by celebrated chef Charles Phan (formerly of the Slanted Door), the Academy Café is a casual, cafeteria-style eatery located in Golden Gate Park’s California Academy of Sciences.
On the fourth floor of the Westfield San Francisco Centre in Union Square, Lark Creek Steak is an American steakhouse cuisine from chef Ismael Macias and his team.
Roli Roti has a meaty heritage like few other food trucks. Butcher Otto Odermatt and his wife Maria imparted the necessary knowledge (and recipes) for son Thomas to continue the family’s Swiss-born rotisserie tradition in the Bay Area.
The buttermilk fried chicken is a bestseller at Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal’s Town Hall. Along with Doug Washington, the brothers operate in the Meco building, where ship engines were once built, in the SoMa District.
The Campton Place Restaurant, located in the Taj Campton Hotel off Union Square, is a fine dining establishment serving Mediterranean and California-inspired dishes.
This wildly popular dining venue at the new California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park (sister restaurant to the neighboring Academy Café), is a shrine to sustainable agriculture, courtesy of local food heroes and good-pal chefs Charles Phan (Slanted Door) and Loretta Keller (Coco500).
The baristas pull organic, single-origin, shade-grown espresso at Blue Bottle's Ferry Building café and coffee counter. The main café is located in the central arcade and offers caramelized, made-to-order Belgian waffles between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Opened in 2004, Circolo is a multi-level restaurant and bar in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Bamboo and metallic curtains separate the main dining room, which seats up to 50 people, from the lounge; and an upstairs mezzanine offers 5 private booths.
Cost alone makes the Nob Hill Café an attractive option in the otherwise wallet stretching neighborhood.
A16’s sister restaurant, SPQR, opened in September 2007 and serves—as you might guess from its name, which refers to the seat of government in ancient Rome—Roman food.
The Nectar Wine Lounge in Marina serves up ambrosia for the soul—with 800 bottles to choose from. Back-lit honeycomb wine racks give way to red and white walls adorned with brightly colored modern art.
It’s not the blink-or-you’ll-miss storefront with flimsy plastic tables and chairs that impress at this Mission District take-out joint, It’s the food. Classic Mediterranean favorites such as falafel and hummus are interpreted here with tangy flavors and fresh ingredients.
With its name on the flap of a maize-yellow awning and planters and small tables in front of its plate-glass windows, Zuni Café on Market Street in the Hayes Valley area serves French and Italian fare crafted with sustainable, seasonal, and organic ingredients.