Zuni Cafe

4.7
5934 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Modern European
This James Beard Award winning restaurant with a clientele as diverse as San Francisco opened in 1979. A vibrant Parisian-style standing-only copper bar greets you as you enter on Rose Alley. Zuni's menu changes daily with dishes inspired by traditional Italian and French recipes. Nearly all of the produce, meat, and fish served at Zuni is farmed and harvested in a sustainable manner.

Even without a reservation, bar tables are available on a first come, first served basis and the full menu is available. The bar also serves traditional cocktails made with top-shelf ingredients; refreshments at its best in an environment of effortless hospitality. Whether you dine early or prefer to dine after theater, Zuni is a welcoming haven.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
9.5

Zuni Cafe in the Civic Center is still an icon, and it sits firmly at the top of our list of favorite restaurants in this town.

Ratings 9.0-9.8:If the 8.5-9.0s are the restaurants you’ll frequent for more than just special occasions, the 9.0-9.8s are the all time great restaurants of their city. Restaurants that will be around 20 years from now, assuming the Earth is still around.
What 5934 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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n
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food - and service - and our good fortune to be seated at the table nearest the kitchen! Couldn't have been better.

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l
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Service was first rate. Entree, fish, was dull and unsatisfying. I found the experience disappointing for a restaurant that has maintained a hgih rating over the years.

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I absolutely love Zuni. Every course is exquisite. We indulged in the caesar salad , persimmon salad, chicken and the chocolate pie!!

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V
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Everything was oily—salad, pasta and greens.

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SQ
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the rare restaurants that lives up to its reputation. Amazing on all counts. Food was divine. Service was amazing. Chef even made a special entree for one of our group with food allergies. Very welcoming and worth every penny.

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1
San Francisco
86 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never disappoints. How could it be, it's been around for years & it is always jam-paced.
Chicken continues to impress, fries continue to impress, service continues to impress!
Shared a nice pasta while waiting for our chicken + of course, a bottle of wine.
Quite the Saturday lunch!!!
Thanx Jacob for taking good care of us senior gals!

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Z
Cincinnati
29 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful experience. Food and service were impeccable, fantastic restaurant.

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TD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic service by Teddy

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

The staff are very nice and work hard to keep diners happy. The place was a rather tight fit and noisy, which is the reason for 4/5 stars.
The bread to start was fantastic, as was the polenta (super creamy). The caesar salad was massive. Both the polenta and caesar salad were split between two people. The chicken truly is wonderful (better be at $63), the best from a restaurant I've had, not that I order chicken often. The bread beneath it suffered a bit from being over-infused with the vinaigaette dressing that coated the curly endive on top.

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OT
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing that the high standard Zuni set decades ago, they still maintain today. The roast chicken is better than ever - the service attentive, friendly, professional. Even reasonable prices considering the quality of the experience. We loved it.

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AB
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We took visitors from Greece here, on a Wednesday night, when we could only get an 8:00 pm reservation at the earliest. Once we were seated, we were completely thrilled with the service and the food. What a great SF experience for our friends. We had been here once before in the summer for lunch, so we were expecting excellence, and we were not disappointed. It's expensive so it's not a weekly event, but really worth the splurge.

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CW
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Zuni quality is always top notch. Chicken is definitely worth the wait

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AR
London
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So worth a visit if you are in San Fran. Fantastic ambiance, service and food!!! Loved it! Will be back

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Each time I come there is never gnocchi on a menu. They used to have it more often. The best thing on a menu is no longer available..,,

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous dinner in small room upstairs!

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OT
San Francisco
246 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently reliable for great food and service, Zuni Cafe works for brunch or dinner. Our most recent meal was a wonderfully fresh salad and a brick oven made thin crust pizza. Just perfect. I can't believe they have consistently put out the highest quality food for almost 40 years! Never disappoints.

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MD
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always visit Zuni Cafe whenever we are in SF. Food and service are always excellent. Love this place.

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A
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We chose this restaurant based on the reviews, recommendations, and reputation. Needed a late-night dinner reservation after the theater, so this seemed to be a good choice. The menu was ok, but not great because they had run out of a few things by 10:30p on a Friday night and the service was oddly paced, which leads me to think that the kitchen is not well-organized or managed. Probably would not give it another try unless significant improvements were made.

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m
Chicago
112 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We had an 8:45 reservation and still had to wait a little while for a table. It wasn't a long wait, but the area by the hostess stand is so tiny we were definitely in the way. We were seated in the upstairs, in a small room. It was cute and made it easier to hear each other, but still very loud. We started with the polenta which was delicious! Then we got cod & gnocchi to share. The gnocchi was amazing, really light and fluffy, different than most other gnocchis I have had. The cod was good as well, but the garlic aioli that came with was a little overpowering. The service with drinks was on the slower side, but they were very busy. The other 2 in my group said they would have ordered another glass if the server had come to ask.

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RW
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So relaxed, great service and food is always a 10. I love you, Zuni!

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MR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Dining at Zuni Cafe has long been on my todo list and I was lucky enough to finally book a table on a day I was in SF. I orderd the Zuni Caesar salad, the chicken for two roasted in the wood-fired brick oven and a glass of the Zuni Mount Eden vineyards pinot noir. The salad was fabulous and I would order it again. It is a good idea to share the salad with someone else, as it is quite large. The chicken was perfectly cooked. It was moist and had the wood-fired oven taste one would expect. However, the bread salad was a bit too acidic for me due to the amount of vinegar used, and I also think it would be more interesting it it contained more scallions, garlic, pine nuts and currants than what I received. The dish was also a bit greasy for me. For these reasons, I was a bit disappointed with this signature dish. I disliked the pinot noir. It had an overwhelming strawberry overtone and was far sweeter than any other pinot noir I have ever had. Diners should be forewarned about this wine before ordering it. In all fairness, my waiter told me that it had hints of strawberry, but the srawberry predominates and no mention was made of the sweetness.

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SW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The chicken. The chicken. The chicken.

I took a virgin zuni diner and he was blown away. “I never order chicken in a fancy restaurant. Wow.”

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f
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service. Classic San Francisco experience.

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SD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Zuni is almost always great. Unfortunately this time my dining partner's order was wrong and it took a while to get the right dish. It can happen. We just don't usually expect it at Zuni. If I had been able to talk him into the chicken with bread salad (for two), it wouldn't have happened. He promises to go for the chicken next time...

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a long 3 hour lunch and never felt rushed. The wait staff was good with coursing the many dishes we had and was attentive. The food was amazing and the wine list was good, but slightly expensive with most bottles in the triple digits. That said they did have some good selections for reasonable prices.

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SK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistent, memorable, friendly. And yes, great food. Thank you!

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

Great place, excellent food and service.

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p
San Francisco
77 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Considered by many as one of the finest restaurants in The City, we couldn’t agree more. Zuni has been around for many years, always carefully updated not to lose the ambiance of yesteryear. From the greeting at the front door, to table service and food we could not have been more pleased. A special thanks for a carefully cultivated wine list of well priced wines from smaller wineries presented by a friendly and knowledgeable Sommelier. Our visit was at the special request of our visiting NYC daughter-in-law who had not been here. Zuni live up to her expectations in every way.

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S
Los Angeles
61 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary dinner. Just such a luxury. Excellent waiter.

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WB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We recently brought a friend to Zuni to celebrate her completion of a graduate degree. The servers were excellent, the food was excellent, and we were really happy to be able to bring our friend here to celebrate her accomplishments.

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j
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 2

Our experience was decidedly mixed. The food was excellent as was our waiter. But despite having made a reservation through Open Table a week earlier, we were shown to a table at the top of the stairs decidedly in the way of traffic. The second offered table appeared jerry-rigged, with no chairs only a bench with a cushion. Even the hostess looked embarrassed. There were empty two-tops all around, but she said they were specifically reserved. We politely asked to be shown another table and were taken to a two-top in front of the waiter station, far from either lovely dining room. It was an important evening for us, so we decided to make the best of it. The more desirable table next to us stayed empty for more than an hour. Are Open Table reservations a low-priority for Zuni? Must one request a specific table when making a reservation?

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AM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Zuni and have been many times. We ordered a ton. The only issue we had was that the chicken wasn’t fully cooked, the first time that’s happened in many a Zuni chicken.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was attentive without constantly being by the table, the atmosphere was busy and delightful! Our food was excellent and beyond delicious thank you!

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IG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Overpriced. Wine list truly overpriced. Food is well-prepared but rather ordinary. Service is excellent but that is usually recognized with a gratuity. $300 for a two person dinner seems high, even including a bottle of wine.

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IS
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Bloody Mary ever. Best roast chicken ever (plus, the warm bread salad that comes with it!). Delicious bread. Warm, attentive service. A beautiful building that seems to glow from within. There's a reason it's been around for 20+ years.

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FL
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful time at Zuni. The food and drinks did not disappoint. We were sat a little too close to our neighboring table and by the kitchen which wasn’t my favorite location for sitting but all in all, we were there for the food. The pamplemousse prosecco was liquid candy and a spectacular treat of a drink with a vibrant happy color. The Devil’s Ranch Rabbit was delicate, fresh and perfect for brunch. Lastly, hands down, EVERYONE must have the burger and shoestring potatoes. They are absolute perfection.

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OT
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Overpriced, inattentive wait staff, small plates. One and done!!

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d
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zuni is my happy place. How Holly GoLightly felt about Tiffany’s is how I feel about Zuni. Only good things happen there.

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DL
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Ok, service rather slow, food ok not as good as I thought it’d be

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TV
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Good was great. Unfortunately the service was terrible. It seemed like we were inconveniencing the wait staff when we would ask for more water.

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