San Francisco Restaurants

Restaurant neighborhood
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.
398 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
Absinthe was an early pioneer both of the craft/artisanal cocktail scene in San Francisco (the absinthe cocktails are still amazing) and of the Hayes Valley neighborhood (they were one of the first in the area). The cuisine slants French, but not in a restricting way—you’ll find a Hawaiian swordfish alongside their famous French onion soup and coq au vin. The upstairs private space is unique in the city for being completely separate, with an exclusive-use bar and entrance.
Bar Tartine (Closed)
561 Valencia St., Mission
Co-chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns have curated a menu that's essentially a culinary trip around the world via dishes influenced by Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Hungarian cuisines. In-house fermentation and DIY is a big part of what they do here, resulting in food that's literally made 100% from scratch. The tartines that originally put Chad Robinson's establishments on the map are particularly good at brunch time (get the smoked salmon). Be sure to snag some of the famous fresh-baked bread on your way out.
1199 Valencia St., Mission
The first thing you'll notice about Beretta is the elegant décor—industrial chandeliers dangle from the high ceilings and glass light fixtures dot the bar. One of the first spots that brought the Mission to culinary fame, they're best known for great Italian comfort food (don’t miss the thin crust pizzas and classic pastas) and an insanely good brunch (how can you not order the carbonara brunch pizza?). The upstairs event space is perfect for an event that feels sophisticated but with a little bit of cool factor.
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