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The Most Fun Restaurants in San Francisco

When it comes to the West Coast, many people conjure up images of the beautiful foggy Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars climbing the hills up Powell Street, beautiful oceanside settings, and the lovely row of houses along Alamo Park known as the Painted Ladies. These are just a few of the iconic sights to find in San Francisco. Whether you're a first-time visitor, a seasoned expert, or even a local, there are countless ways to have fun in this city—especially when it comes to dining. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Impress your friends and score a table; we wish we could join you.

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The OpenTable Team
10 Restaurants
Updated January 29, 2021
Restaurants:Morimoto - Napa, Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco, Firefly Restaurant
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Japanese, Greek, American
Neighborhoods:Napa, Financial District / Embarcadero, Noe Valley
A photo of Morimoto - Napa restaurant

Morimoto - Napa

$$$$
Japanese
Napa
4.6
7251 reviews
Morimoto is one of the most well-known names in the world of Japanese food. This Napa Valley restaurant serves up a contemporary variety of traditional dishes infused with Western ingredients and preparation techniques. The seasonal selection changes constantly depending on what is fresh and available, and dishes pair with locally grown fruits and vegetables from nearby farms. Signature offerings include toro tartare, tuna pizza with anchovy aioli and jalapeno, and Morimoto Sashimi, a terrine of fish served in five different sauces.

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 Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco restaurant

Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco

$$$$
Greek
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.6
101 reviews
Michael Mina, the flagship restaurant by the star chef himself, is in the Financial District of San Francisco. The restaurant focuses on culinary adventures based on his Middle Eastern heritage. He puts an elevated spin on the food of the region and offers a six-course tasting menu that invites guests to explore options within each course to custom tailor your dining experience. Courses include options like the live sea scallop crudo, glazed Egyptian mango foie grois, kataifi-crusted European turbot, and more. Add the wine pairing to the tasting menu and you are in for the meal of your life at this cool restaurant in San Francisco.

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 Firefly Restaurant restaurant

Firefly Restaurant

$$$$
American
Noe Valley
4.8
2527 reviews
Firefly Restaurant is in Noe Valley in a charming, unassuming space that is comfortable and quiet—it will definitely bring your stress levels down a notch. The food is inventive and unique, and they use premium ingredients from produce to meat to craft delightful dishes. Choose from options like pancetta-stuffed figs with tiny balls of goat cheese and huckleberry vinaigrette or meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas and carrots. You can also find more adventurous meals like the basil aioli-crusted snapper or risotto with butternut squash. It's definitely one of the most fun restaurants in the city!

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 Gibson restaurant

Gibson

$$$$
Californian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.6
308 reviews
Gibson brings a new cocktail and dining experience to San Francisco that makes them one of the most fun restaurants in the area. Located in the swanky Hotel Bijou in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, Gibson is a blend of elegant and delightful cocktails with a sophisticated menu influenced by smoke and live fire. The bar and restaurant both encourage diners to relax and indulge. Hors d’oeuvres include a smoked egg yolk and oven-roasted fig. You can order specialties like Wagyu beef tongue pastrami, octopus, and smoked half duck from the grill.

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 Trestle restaurant

Trestle

$$$$
American
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.7
2011 reviews
At Trestle, they have a focus on the art of dining as a time to pause and enjoy the flavors, atmosphere, and company of a perfect meal. They feature a changing three-course pre fixe menu with choices on each course—and if you really want to fill up, add on the extra pasta course. Trestle is in Jackson Square and its vibe is casually elegant but laid-back. Dishes include standouts like the celeriac soup with pulled pork, caramelized apple and pickled mustard seeds, crispy-skin striped bass, and braised beef short ribs. Enjoy a glass or bottle of one of their fine wines as well.

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
Boulevard is perhaps one of the city’s very best and most fun restaurants. Located in the Financial District just off the Embarcadero, the space conjures up the beautiful Belle Epoque style and is the perfect setting for fine dining. Chef Nancy Oakes serves up hearty, flavorful American cuisine with a French-influenced style. Sample menu items include Japanese hamachi crudo with charred avocado and coconut, Maine lobster and Burgundy truffles, a wood-oven roasted lamb t-bone, and Angus filet.

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 La Mar Cebicheria Peruana restaurant

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

$$$$
Peruvian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.7
6988 reviews
This Peruvian seafood restaurant is set right on the Embarcadero at the historic Pier 1 ½ lobby in a classic building with clean, minimalist decor. They have multiple lounges, an expansive dining room, and a gorgeous waterfront patio overlooking Treasure Island. The menu includes Peruvian specialties like cebiche, including the catch of the day, beef and vegetable empanadas, grilled Spanish octopus, Peruvian-style beef, and premium cocktails like the Prickly Pear Margarita and the El Cholito, a Pisco-based beverage.

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
Zuni Cafe is a James Beard Award-winning restaurant with a modern European menu. Located in the Civic Center neighborhood, they have a Parisian-style vibe and a warm, intimate environment that is both casual and elegant. The menu changes daily, with dishes inspired by traditional Italian and French recipes. Almost all of the produce, meat, and fish served here come from farms for sustainable harvesting. They also have a fantastic bar where you can enjoy cocktails before or after dinner.

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 Nopa - San Francisco restaurant

Nopa - San Francisco

$$$$
Californian
North Panhandle / USF
4.7
2852 reviews
Nopa is a San Francisco gathering place located north of the Panhandle. They serve urban rustic dishes and specialize in organic wood-fired cuisine with simple, local ingredients. The atmosphere is stylish and bustling and you’ll feel super at home at the bar or one of the deep wooden tables under the high ceiling. Dinner options include starters like the chicory salad, fried brussels sprouts, and warm goat cheese. For entrees, choose from selections like seared duck breast, a wood-grilled hamburger, and rotisserie chicken.

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 Hayes Street Grill restaurant

Hayes Street Grill

$$$$
Seafood
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.5
3457 reviews
The Hayes Street Grill is a fish house located in San Francisco’s Civic Center district. The restaurant focuses on the freshness and quality of the fish above all else. It has a super chill vibe, making it one of the most fun restaurants in San Francisco—it's no wonder so many celebrities, athletes, and famous locals love to hang out here! For a delicious meal and a good time, hang out at the bar and order from the bar menu. They serve oysters, a Niman hamburger, and other snacks, and you can order your favorite cocktails and mingle with other locals and tourists enjoying their fresh seafood!

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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