Nob Hill Restaurants
Early to Rise
1098 Jackson St., Nob Hill
A good weekend starts with bagels. A great weekend starts with Early to Rise bagels. Recently, Early to Rise pivoted from large communal brunches to weekend takeout (including a meticulous bagel kit and its famous brunch in a bag). The concept totally works. Chef Andrew McCormack cut his teeth at Quince and Jean-Georges, and each house-made crunchy-meets-chewy bagel thick with chive schmear and lox is a bite of heaven.
1722 Sacramento St., Nob Hill
Acquerello has been serving upscale Italian in Nob Hill for 25 years now—with excellent food and a decidedly grown-up setting, it’s exactly the kind of place you want to go to for special occasions. Run by a father-son team from Bologna and an executive chef/partner that’s been with them from the beginning, the classic Italian dishes are unshakably good. There are two private room options that are both relatively formal.
Sons & Daughters
708 Bush St., Nob Hill
Dining here is an all senses on deck experience. There are only 28 seats in the smallish space surrounding a bustling open kitchen so socializing with fellow diners is kind of unavoidable. To keep the focus on the food, the team created an excellent—and at $115 a pop, surprisingly affordable—tasting menu brimming with locally grown ingredients (a lot comes from the restaurant's Santa Cruz farm) prepared in unexpected ways. The wine program is just as impressive as the food.
1760 Polk St., Nob Hill
On Friday and Saturday nights, this sprawling space feels and sounds like a rowdy dining hall and tables are spaced just far enough that you can hear your neighbors' conversation without bumping elbows. The floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto busy Polk Street, which adds to the buzzy vibe. Menu-wise, it’s all small plates that change seasonally, however, the lobster ceviche, lollipop kale, and uni bucatini have become signature dishes. Come with a friend or a date for cocktails and a few sharing plates.
Swan Oyster Depot
1517 Polk St., Nob Hill
This family owned business has been open for almost a century, serving up fresh oysters, clams, crab, and a very famous clam chowder. Go for the Dungeness Crab Louie and the incredibly fresh oysters, which you order at the counter, preferably with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. There is only bar seating and it’s hard to get a seat, so expect a line.