Restaurants in San Francisco

San Francisco is known as the restaurant capital of the United States and is proud to serve fantastic food from fresh, local ingredients. Reservations are recommended wherever possible - and are essential in the case of upscale and popular restaurants.

The restaurants below have been divided into three different categories:
Expensive (over US$80)
Moderate (US$40 to US$80)
Cheap (under US$40)

The prices quoted here are for an average three-course meal and for a bottle of house wine or cheapest equivalent; they do not include tax or tip. Restaurant prices are subject to a state tax of 8.75%, which is added to the bill at the end. A service charge is not typically added, so it is assumed that diners will tip 15-20% of the total bill.

Osso Steakhouse

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: Steak, seafood

Located at the top of Nob Hill, this steakhouse looks down on all others in more ways than one. The spacious dining room retains a sense of hushed refinement, and the service is personal and attentive, even when busy. Its succulent steaks are among the state’s best, with most served on the bone to keep them juicy. The seafood and crab dishes are also excellent.

Address: 1177 California Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 671 6776.

Forbes Island

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: French

Looking for somewhere completely original to eat? Look no further. Created as a floating home before being turned into a restaurant, Forbes Island has a lighthouse, beach and palm trees. It is anchored a short boat ride away off Pier 39. Diners enjoy views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, or can descend into the dining salon, with nautical artefacts and the occasional fish swimming by. Sailor suited staff serve French classics and local seafood worthy of the high prices.

Address: Sea Lion Harbour, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 951 4900.


Price: Expensive
Cuisine: Fine-dining

The only restaurant in the East Bay to boast a Michelin star, Commis is a feat of culinary excellence, spearheaded by founder and head chef James Syhabout. The experimental eight-course tasting menu is set at $125 and enjoyed in an intimate 28-seat dining room.

Address: 3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 510 653 3902.

Yank Sing

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Dim sum

Ironically, one of the best Chinese restaurants in San Francisco is not in Chinatown, but in the downtown financial district. In a city filled with dim sum, Yank Sing seems to rise above the melee of mediocrity, and has the devoted following to attest to the fact. The stainless steel carts whizz around, carrying the usual selections done to extremely high standards. Spare ribs, shrimp balls and of course, the pork, chicken, fish and vegetable dumplings, all steamed to flavourful perfection.

Address: 101 Spear Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 781 1111.


Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Vegetarian

If you think vegetarian cuisine isn’t inspiring, you have not eaten at Millennium. Take the 'rawvioli' - sage-scented cashew and pine-nut cheese stuffed between Chiogga beet ravioli sheets and served with sundried tomato and olive tapenade, Fuyu persimmon and arugula salad. The restaurant is open and airy and the wine list features organic, vegan and biodynamic wines. Reservations recommended.

Address: 5912 College Avenue, Oakland, California, United States
Telephone: +1 510 735 9459.

Scala's Bistro

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Franco-Italian

Scala’s is a happy continental coming-together, mixing French and Italian flavours. The bustling atmosphere keeps it just the right side of formal, while staying classy. Navigating the menu is like being in two great bistros at once with Franco-Italian classics such as moules frites and fritto misto vying for your attention. It’s all very reassuringly old school, which can be refreshing in this cutting edge foodie city.

Address: 432 Powell Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 395 8555.


Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Mexican

Don’t leave San Francisco without trying authentic Mexican food. The locals will tell you the only place to find it is the Mission district. The neighbourhood is a little rough around the edges, but there’s nothing unfriendly about the food at this brightly decorated cantina. Its walls are adorned with giant photos of Mexican movie heroes and everything, including the tortillas, is freshly made in the open kitchen - from the wide choice of huevos dishes for breakfast, to the quesadillas and carne served throughout the day.

Address: 3248 18th Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 436 9387.

Cha Cha Cha

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: New World cuisine

Not for the faint hearted, but Cha Chas Cha offers a visceral eating experiences that will stay with you for a long time. In short, it’s fun. You’ll arrive and have to put yourself on the waiting list, but that’s fine as the pitchers of sangria on offer at the bar help the time pass. From there, it’s into the raucous dining room, all religious artefacts and tacky tropical décor. Get a litany of small plates, share, get more sangria and join the party.

Address: 1801 Haight Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 386 7670.

House of Nanking

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Chinese

San Francisco's Chinatown is bursting with eateries, but this is king among them. Owner and chef Peter Fang has perfected the Chinese art of serving an array of delicious dishes in the shortest possible time. For the real deal, sidestep the menu. Instead, ask the for the house specialities then watch as dishes such as shrimp cakes, pork egg rolls and salt and pepper mushrooms arrive at the table. Booking essential.

Address: 919 Kearny Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Telephone: +1 415 421 1429.
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