SPQR

4.5
3208 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
SPQR is a Northern California restaurant inspired by Italian cuisine and wine. An acronym for Senatus Populesque Romanus, SPQR translates to “The People and Senate of Rome” and was the emblem of the Roman Empire. We strive for a balance in offering the highest quality of food, wine and service we can for each guest’s experience in a relaxed, fun, and inviting atmosphere. If you would like to dine at our Chef counter please mark your reservation. Please inform us of any allergies or dietary restrictions as we will try our best to accommodate.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.5

An ambitious restaurant, and a good one at that. SPQR is making a run at the San Francisco pasta crown, mostly with ingredients we can't pronounce.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 3208 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Lunch and service were excellent but $34 for a plate of pasta for lunch is ridiculous. I know this won’t get posted, Opentable only post positive post. Waste of time .....

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CS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

The price is really expensive and the portions too tiny. We spent almost 200 $ for two people and yet we were hungry. The waitress was rude. The space was too tight. We actually could touch the neighbouring tables easily. Not worth at all. I would not advice anyone to go to SPQR. One question: If we had abandoned the restaurant because we didn't like it, would you have refund us the 50$ of the reservation??? Thanks.

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SP
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

We love SPQR. The food is usually amazing. We go for birthdays, anniversaries and whatever reason we can think up. Unfortunately, this time was a little bit of a miss. The service was sub-par - even for SPQR's standards (they are not known for their outstanding service). The waiter did not know much about wines, clearly had not tasted the dishes he was recommending and it took 26 min for our appetizer to make it to the table (which was garlic toast with the chicken liver mousse) -- so long that even the executive chef noticed and sent prosciutto to our table in the interim. It was not enough of a reason to avoid them in the future, but for a special birthday occasion, I would have hoped for more.

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OT
Portland
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our third visit when in The City. The food is fantastic, the service is knowledgeable.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The food was interesting and I just enjoyed experiencing what they put on the menu, but almost nothing on their tasting menu blew me away. The staff were efficient and pleasantly helpful, but not intrusive. I’m happy I went, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go back again. I might try their tasting menu again during a different season when they explore different ingredients.

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BF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great environment, friendly servers, amazing food.

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T
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three of us sat at the bar...Alex our server was above and beyond...food amazing...wine list fantastic...lots of values and gems as well. Embarassed to ask but had Chef sign two cookbooks for friends who are chef's and he was more than happy to.
Great evening all the way areound

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OT
San Francisco
187 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place and are regulars. The staff treats us extremely well. Recently learned I have some food allergies and they fell all over themselves trying to make sure that I could eat safely. Can't say enough for the creativity and service. Top notch.

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JC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An exquisite menu with creative dishes and over-the-top service. Although all of the wait staff were efficient and attentive we trusted our palates and ultimate decisions to Dia who was extraordinary. She steered us in the right direction from antipasti to dessert, suggesting a perfect wine pairing for each course. We chose this restaurant for a special anniversary celebration and for any future indulgence will definitely think of SPQR par excellence.

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CR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food overall! The service and cleanliness of the bathrooms need some improvement, but the food made the journey worth it.

The starters were amazing and my gnocci over a bed of beef was outstanding.

Definitely recommend!

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FF
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I go to SPQR every time I come to San Francisco when I can plan enough in advance to get a reservation. The food is phenomenal and my favorite restaurant in town. The menu changes with seasonal items. This time around the crab pasta dish was amazing. Our favorite was the black garlic and beef with nettle and fried sage veal ravioli! Definitely a place for a foodie!

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EM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service!

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c
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In our opinion, this is the best place in the Bay Area for pasta. All of the pasta dishes we've tasted are outstanding. While they reliably represent the classic pastas, there is also a creative edge associated with each dish. SPQR pasta is particularly outstanding not only because of the quality but also because of the number offered (~8 - 10). Almost none of the pastas are ordinary, such as spaghetti, but both linguine and gnocchi (my favorite) are on the list. IN ADDITION we love the ambience. It is totally non-pretentious, but there is a quiet elegance. The emphasis is on quiet, since we were able to converse comfortably. It is one of the quietest restaurants we've gone to recently - a gem. We recommend it without reservation, especially if you're looking for great pasta and antipasto dishes.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was fantastic and the server was very knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. The food was over priced, underwhelming, and not even that big enough to share with the other person.

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J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pasta was outstanding and all dishes were so delicious.

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MS
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful, intimate experience sitting at the Chef's "bar" and watching the fine detail and craftsmanship of their work. Loved it.

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JL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Food average at best and very overpriced. I’ve eaten at many fine places, ie Manhatta, Tavern on the Green, Gramercy Tavern and there food is of a higher quality than this place.

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d
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We went on nye, and they had a prefix menu. It didn't look like the kitchen was comfortable executing a prefix meal. While the food was good, the pace of food service was inconsistent and each plate was not explained. We had to keep referring to the menu to understand what was in front of us. Most dishes were prepared well, but unimaginative and the blend of tastes on the plate did not always compliment each other. Presentation was inconsistent between my partners dish and my dish. The $ value was not very good compared to other restaurants.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

The food was average at best. It would have been an okay dinner had it not been so extravagantly expensive. A two top with a bottle of wine for $600 is beyond unreasonable for such average food. The short rib was over cooked and many of the dishes lacked the depth of flavor that one would expect for fine dinning. The tables were also extremely cramped together and the ambience generic at best.

I will not go back.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

A friend and I recently dined at SPQR to celebrate New Year’s over good food and wine. Overall, it was a negative (and grossly overpriced) experience unbecoming of a “fine dining” establishment. A few highlights below:

-Restroom facilities were unclean with used towels and liquid scattered all over the floor at 5:45 pm
-Extremely slow and lackadaisical service, with up to 40 min delays between courses
-Protein “main” course consisted of a single, bland scallop
-Extremely small portions in general— felt more like an d’ouevre sampling than a proper meal

Michelin Guide— take note! This place was an extremely far cry from a proper one-star restaurant. For the money, you are better off trying out Cotogña or Flour & Water. Absolutely unacceptable.

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A
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We ate at SPQR on New Year’s Eve when they had a five course meal with limited options with respect to salad or risotto, shellfish or ribs and chocolate vs cheese for dessert. Everything was nicely presented and many of the items, such as Dungeness crab with black truffle oil were unbelievably good. It was a fantastic special evening. Service was prompt and friendly and we loved being there.

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UP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The management was terrible. We were early. They were late. They didn't care. They were out of several menu items. My date got leaked on in the bathroom and his shirt got leaked on and they told us to call if we wanted it dry cleaned. Why should WE call if THEY made a mistake? Also, they told us our first round of drinks would be covered and it was not true. I think for a place like that the service, timeliness, management and food-availability didn't perform.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

They ran out of 4 of the featured entrees by 8:30 on a Saturday night. They offered an alternative entree of Parmesan & white truffle linguine for $88/plate.
Disappointed

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MH
Tahoe
4 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We visited SPQR before, and it was fabulous. This time, while the food was very good, our service was not. Juan was not helpful, and didn't even seem to know the menu all that well. His service was perfunctory at best. This not an inexpensive dinner, and we expected the same service other tables seemed to be enjoying, and that we, in fact, enjoyed on previous visits. We will not be returning. Hugely disappointing.

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BB
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Way overpriced, your paying for Michelin star not food

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OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique recipes, unique ingredients, and helpful staff, made for a great meal and dining experience. Expansive wine list, and helpful server gave us a very nice bottle of wine.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The server was a lot of fun and the food was phenomenal. We enjoyed the risotto and pork chop!

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MD
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Superb food and wine, great service. The only minor downside was cramped table

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DS
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had pasta tasting menu. Every dish was excellent

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great! Love the food and service is great.

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c
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Maybe it was a case of ordering poorly, but I felt my dinner was heavy (scallops followed by timballo) and not as yummy as Michelin starred food should be. Wish there were more green vegetable and salad options on the menu.... Our dessert had a chocolate mousse that was very delicious and a chocolate paté that was not. Lovely service, but I wish (for the very high pricing) they would have had cloths on the tables.

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R
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Buenísimo!! Estupendo servicio!! La comida deliciosa!!

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KE
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place never disappoints in its creative take on traditional Italian dishes and outstanding attentive service. Although it can sometimes be hard to imagine how the combination of ingredients listed on the menu will turn out, just trust the chef and go for it. My favorite way to explore is the 3 course all house-made pasta tasting with the wine pairing - always a worthwhile adventure!

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BT
Austin
40 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Absolute fantastic Italian food. Pasta was spectacular. Great service, quite pricey but lunch deal is pretty food.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Pastas were well made, but did not have good balance of flavor and everything tasted off.

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KA
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Ive been to SPQR and had a nice experience, but this time they seemed off their game. We sat at the chefs counter which was fun, but everything was extremely slow and it seemed to be so just for us. As an example, it took us 45 minutes to get our appetizer, after the couple sitting next to us (we sat at the same time) had already been served both an app and their meal. The rest of the courses were quicker, but we spent a lot of time just sitting and waiting. The food was also uninspiring. I won’t be rushing back.

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SS
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful meal, pastas were delicious and I'm generally not a pasta fan. Only complaint is the proximity of neighboring tables. One was right up against our table, more like communal seating. We were on a date so it made it uncomfortable to have the conversation we wanted to have. ;) Interior is rather cold and hard edged, (modern lines) and echoey. I wouldn't take another date here but might bring some friends for a quick bite before a show.

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PS
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

My wife and I went to SPQR for a special occasion (birthday) on the basis of the Michelin Star and a recommendation from a neighbor. We were greatly disappointed. The food, while perhaps once tasty at the kitchen, was uniformly barely warm when it arrived. (We did point this out to the staff.) My pork main dish was very fatty which became more pronounced with lukewarm meat. The service was extremely slow. Our waiter noticed this delay and felt compelled to bring us bread to bridge the gaps. In addition, the noise level was quite high and the seating (especially for a very expensive restaurant) was uncomfortably close.

We (my spouse and I) are not novices in travel or high end restaurants. We have dined all over the world at famous and Michelin starred restaurants. If SPQR does not improve the service and get hot food to the table we predict they will soon lose the "Star".

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really nice!

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SF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was good but took over 45 minutes to get our order. When we asked about the delay in getting our food, the server said something lame and did not check on it. The portions are small, so don;t go here if you are hungry.

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