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  3. Favorite Local Restaurants in San Francisco
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Favorite Local Restaurants in San Francisco

You’re in San Francisco for 48 hours, and you’re hungry. What’s the plan? We’ve rounded up the best spots to hit: the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and everything-in-betweens that will give you a definitive sampling of what the city has to offer. Let’s get to it.

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The OpenTable team
12 Restaurants
Updated February 12, 2020
Restaurants:Foreign Cinema, Zuni Cafe, The Progress
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Californian, Modern European, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Mission District, Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness, Western Addition
A photo of Foreign Cinema restaurant

Foreign Cinema

$$$$
Californian
Mission District
4.8
7625 reviews
It’s hard to believe this much-loved, uber-popular, and constantly-busy Mission restaurant has been at the top of its game since 1999. Nothing about this place feels dated. The name (and restaurant) has all the sultry mystique of an old French film, and sometimes that’s exactly what they’ll be playing in their outdoor courtyard, which is definitely where you want to sit. Brunch is a great time here, but nighttime is special—their courtyard’s strung-up lights twinkle, movies play on a brick wall, and the place just glows—so come for dinner, and order the fried chicken or pork chop.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Zuni Cafe restaurant

Zuni Cafe

$$$$
Modern European
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.6
6729 reviews
This well-lit, loft-looking space, has two-story floor-to-ceiling windows, which creates a bright and relaxing environment to eat their amazing food in. They make an epic roast chicken (for two), a very special burger, and have a nice assortment of oysters. But, really, all of their food is great and pairs well with their roundup of refreshing cocktails.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Progress restaurant

The Progress

$$$$
Contemporary American
Western Addition
4.9
1664 reviews
This restaurant—from husband-and-wife team Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski—is nothing if not progressive, much like its sister restaurant (next door) State Bird Provisions. At the latter, they roll their delectable dishes around on dim sum carts, but at The Progress, everything’s on a menu. Their food—like the sturgeon caviar potato cloud, BBQ half duck, and floating island (dessert)—is whimsical and delicious.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Kokkari Estiatorio restaurant

Kokkari Estiatorio

$$$$
Mediterranean
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.9
7697 reviews
There are many things about this financial district spot that make you feel like you’re either in an ornate ski lodge or someone’s large home in the mountains. High ceilings with wood beams, oriental rugs, warm lighting, and an oversized fireplace add wonderful ambiance to SF’s most remarkable Mediterranean restaurant. Their taramosalata and tzatziki served with warm pita are exceptional ways to start things off before the onslaught of mouth-watering meats begins (you can’t go wrong no matter what you order). Also—keep in mind—Kokkari is pricey and a conservative white-tablecloth sort of place, so choose your occasion to visit accordingly.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Wayfare Tavern restaurant

Wayfare Tavern

$$$$
American
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.6
6792 reviews
Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence’s American restaurant—in the heart of the financial district—has a handsome and upscale British pub-style backdrop. This is definitely a popular spot for post-work suits, and it can get crowded fast, but it’s just that good. Their complimentary popovers are a delectable way to start things off, before you order their fried chicken that is out-of-this-world good (but their burger is a very close second).

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of House of Prime Rib restaurant

House of Prime Rib

$$$$
Steak
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.8
12807 reviews
This SF classic has been around since 1949 (it’s as good as ever), and they devotedly follow the traditional steakhouse model: you’re here for one thing, steak’s what they know and they do magical things with it. They’re known for their unique food service, and have a much-loved chopped salad, which they dress tableside in a chilled spinning bowl. Their pure—21-day aged—prime rib is also carved tableside (however thick you’d like it) from roaming stainless steel carts. Your steak comes with potatoes (mashed or baked & loaded), creamed spinach or creamed corn (so good), and Yorkshire pudding. Instead of regular bread, you should opt for their special corn bread, which is amazing and served hot. This spot is a dazzling meat masterpiece, and you’ll love it.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Slanted Door restaurant

Slanted Door

$$$$
Vietnamese
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.3
10322 reviews
This iconic Ferry Building spot—from famed Chef Charles Phan—sits on the embarcadero and has enormous windows, with a front-row view of the Bay Bridge, for some epic water watching. They’ve been serving elevated Vietnamese food since 1995, and the place is still constantly busy. Their shaking beef and cellophane noodles are about as famous as the restaurant itself, and their cocktails are epically delicious, so arrive early and hang out in their bar’s lounge for a bit.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Boulevard restaurant

Boulevard

$$$$
Californian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.8
8149 reviews
Aside from their impressive menu of traditional Californian-French dishes, this iconic SF restaurant (a stronghold from the 90s) gives you a breathtaking view of the Bay. They’re not joking around with quality here, from the ACME bread they serve to all the locally-sourced and pristine ingredients they use, everything is top-notch. They make especially great fish—like halibut, salmon, and abalone—but their filet mignon and soft shell crab are also quite noteworthy. Their fine dining experience is great for groups, possibly on the more mature side (this is not a hip and trendy spot, it’s a classic) and ideally celebrating something special.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Spruce restaurant

Spruce

$$$$
Contemporary American
Presidio Heights
4.8
4439 reviews
Spruce is in Presidio Heights and both are quite fancy. While this upscale American restaurant is steeply priced (and probably best for a special occasion), it’s also knock-it-out-of-the-park delicious. Whatever pricey protein you choose—from the lobster and steak to the duck breast and foie gras terrine—it’ll be exceptional. A more accessible and equally delicious option here is the (enormous) burger, and if you’d prefer a more low-key experience, you can enjoy it at the bar, which has a much less formal feeling.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bellota restaurant

Bellota

$$$$
Spanish
SOMA
4.7
1475 reviews
Even though this oh-so-cool looking Spanish restaurant is in the lobby of the Airbnb offices, it’s so phenomenal, you won’t care. You could close your eyes and pick blindly from their menu, and everything you order would be delicious. The food gods are good here, you can try more things by getting a half-order of something, and even more special, you can order two separate paellas—try the pollo and pluma—that they serve side-by-side in one pan.Their veggies, like the broccoli and beets (remolacha), are inventive and unusually delicious, but back to their meats…. you’ve got to try the lamb (cordero).

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Octavia restaurant

Octavia

$$$$
Contemporary American
Pacific Heights
4.7
2042 reviews
For a neighborhood as posh as Pacific Heights, Octavia feels quite understated, which actually matches their seasonal menu of classic and uncomplicated American dishes. This wonderful restaurant is the perfect place to bring people who aren’t very adventurous eaters, and it’s more of a spot you’d bring parents than a group of friends. The squid ink pasta and sweet onion soup are fan favorites, and their house bread is so fantastic that they sell it by the loaf, so you can take it home (not a bad idea).

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Perbacco restaurant

Perbacco

$$$$
Italian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.7
6427 reviews
A busy and bustling financial district spot, which is a popular destination for all the suits who work in the area. This sister restaurant to Barbacco (next door) uses fresh and locally-sourced Californian ingredients to create classic Italian dishes. Burrata is a beloved way to start meals in the Bay, and Perbacco’s got a great one with black truffles. Their short rib is delicious as a standalone entré and also in the ragu served with pappardelle. But, their duck breast and quail “cacciatora” are also popular orders.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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