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.
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.
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.
Laid-back new American
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.
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.
Located on Belden Place, a small alleyway lined with European-style cafés, this seafood bistro is renowned for its fresh oysters and mussels.