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Restaurants in San Francisco

For the classic San Francisco experience, it has to be seafood and sourdough bread at Fisherman's Wharf. Old-school classics like Swan Oyster Depot in Russian Hill and  are neighbourhood favourites. The Mission District offers plenty of budget ethnic eateries, while dim sum isn't just found in Chinatown; Downtown's Yank Sing is among the best. Add a tip of least 15%, though 20% is typical. Last orders are usually around 10pm.

Top-end

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  1. 1. Kokkari - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Kokkari, San Francisco. Photo by Zane Mattingly

    Located downtown, Kokkari is the city's finest Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, serving traditional Aegean dishes in a casually rustic yet lively setting with a striking fireplace, exposed wood beams and oversized furnishings. Start with the platter of whole crispy smelts (small fish) and mesquite-grilled octopus salad. The rotisserie-roasted lamb chops and pork loin are excellent as well.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10pm; Fri 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-11pm; Sat 5pm-11pm

    Address

    200, Jackson Street, San Francisco CA 94111

    Telephone

    +1 415 981 0983

    Transport

    Bus 10, 12 or Muni line F to Embarcadero/Pier 3

    Website

    Kokkari

  2. 2. House of Nanking - Budget: (Less than US$25 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    House of Nanking, San Francisco

    House of Nanking fans happily wait up to an hour for a seat. An inconspicuous little Chinatown restaurant, it serves Shanghai-style cuisine. The brusque waiter asks about your spice/heat tolerance then recommends appropriate dishes such as lemon noodle soup or dumplings with peanut sauce. Seating is tight, so prepare to be squeezed in.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11am-10pm

    Address

    919, Kearny Street, San Francisco CA 94133

    Telephone

    +1 415 421 1429

    Transport

    Bus 9X, 12, 20 or 30 to Chinatown or California cable car to Kearny

  3. 3. Absinthe - Mid-range: (US$25-US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    This hotspot in Hayes Valley is sexy, fun, reasonably priced and frequented by everyone from the theatre-going crowd to the young and fashionable. Absinthe's brasserie-style decor includes French rattan café chairs, copper-topped tables and a pressed-tin ceiling. Satisfying dishes range from shellfish stew to coq au vin and steak frites. The weekend brunch is excellent.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri 11.30am-12am; Sat 11am-12am; Sun 11am-10pm

    Address

    398, Hayes Street, San Francisco CA 94102

    Telephone

    +1 415 551 1590

    Transport

    Bus 21 to Hayes Valley district

    Website

    Absinthe

  4. 4. Waterbar - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Waterbar, San Francisco. Courtesy of Glodow Nead

    In a waterfront setting on San Francisco's Embarcadero with views of the Bay Bridge and city skyline, Waterbar is a prime spot for dining on fresh sustainable seafood. Shrimp tacos or juicy oysters are enticing appetisers before main dishes such as Dover sole served whole or seared sea scallops with ruby beetroot and crème fraiche.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11.30am-2pm; Sat & Sun 11.30am-2.45pm; Sun-Mon 5.30pm-9.30pm; Tue-Sat 5.30pm-10pm

    Address

    399, The Embarcadero South, San Francisco CA 94105

    Telephone

    +1 415 284 9922

    Transport

    BART/Muni line F to Embarcadero

    Website

    Waterbar

  5. 5. Swan Oyster Depot - Budget: (Less than US$25 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

    Opened 1912, Swan Oyster Depot is a tiny café in Russian Hill that offers a classic San Francisco seafood dining experience. While patrons perch on stools at the long marble bar, fast and friendly servers serve fresh crab, shrimp, oysters, clams, and Boston-style clam chowder. Don't let the lunchtime queue dissuade you - it moves fast.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 8am-5.30pm

    Address

    1517, Polk Street, San Francisco CA 94109

    Telephone

    +1 415 673 1101

    Transport

    Bus 1, 19, 47 or 49 to Russian Hill or California line cable car to Polk

  6. 6. A16 - Mid-range: (US$25-US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    This sleek, casual and lively restaurant in the Marina District is one of San Francisco's best and busiest, featuring Neapolitan-style pizza and cuisine from Campania in Italy, prepared in an open kitchen. Start with the roasted sardine appetiser and don't miss the braised beef short ribs. A16 also boasts 40 wines by the glass.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Wed-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm; Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri & Sat 5pm-11pm

    Address

    2355, Chestnut Street, San Francisco CA 94123

    Telephone

    +1 415 771 2216

    Transport

    Bus 30 or 30X to Marina District

    Website

    A16

  7. 7. Quince - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Book in advance to dine at Quince in the Jackson Square district. Its nightly changing French/Italian-inspired menu has high-quality organic ingredients obtained from nearby farms: artichoke ravioli, garganelli pasta with English peas and prosciutto-spring garlic soufflé. Quince is ideal for a romantic dinner for two.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 5.30pm-10pm

    Address

    470, Pacific Avenue, San Francisco CA 94133

    Telephone

    +1 415 775 8500

    Transport

    Bus 10 or 12 to Broadway and Columbus Avenue area

    Website

    Quince

  8. 8. Yank Sing - Mid-range: (US$25-US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Yank Sing is the most popular dim sum restaurant in the downtown area. Servers briskly whirl stainless steel carts carrying moderately priced plates of exotic dishes around the vast dining room: stuffed crab claws, scallion pancakes, shrimp balls and steamed pork dumplings are just a fraction of the offerings. The aroma alone is exhilarating.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11am-3pm; Sat & Sun 10am-4pm

    Address

    101, Spear Street, San Francisco CA 94105

    Telephone

    +1 415 781 1111

    Transport

    Bus 1, 12, 14, 41 or BART lines J, K, L, M, N, T to Embarcadero

    Website

    Yank Sing

  9. 9. AsiaSF - Budget: (Less than US$25 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Part SoMa District restaurant, part gender-illusionist musical revue, AsiaSF is an unforgettable dining experience. Guests are entertained by curvaceous men dressed as women who lip-sync show tunes when they're not waiting on tables. Surprisingly good Asian-Fusion dishes range from filet mignon with Korean dipping sauce to baby back ribs in a honey tamarind glaze.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Tue & Wed 6.30pm-10pm, Thu & Sun 6pm-10pm, Fri 6.45pm-10pm, Sat 5pm-9pm

    Address

    201, Ninth Street, San Francisco CA 94103

    Telephone

    +1 415 255 2742

    Transport

    Bus 12, 14 or 19 to SOMA District or the BART to Civic Center Station

    Website

    AsiaSF

  10. 10. Suppenküche - Mid-range: (US$25-US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    This lively restaurant in the Hayes Valley is one of the few in the city serving traditionally prepared German dishes such as oxtail stew with spatula and sautéed venison medallions in red wine plum. Suppenküche's modest decor consists of unfinished pine tables within a vaulted dining hall, a proper setting for such hearty, simple dishes.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 5pm-10pm; brunch Sun 10am-2.30pm

    Address

    525, Laguna Street, San Francisco CA 94102

    Telephone

    +1 415 252 9289

    Transport

    Bus 21 to Hayes Valley

    Website

    Suppenkuche Website

  11. 11. Michael Mina - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Michael Mina, San Francisco. Courtesy of Mina Group

    Celebrity Chef Michael Mina serves contemporary American cuisine with Japanese ingredients and French influence at this special occasion hotspot at Battery Plaza. Dinner is served on custom ceramic dishware in a dark walnut and cream dining room. Lunch at the bar features seasonal small plates, soups, salads and delights such as ahi tuna tartare.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm; Sun-Thu 5.30pm-10pm; Fri & Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm

    Address

    252, California Street, San Francisco CA 94111

    Telephone

    +1 415 397 9222

    Transport

    BART/Muni line F to Embarcadero

    Website

    Michael Mina

  12. 12. Boudin at the Wharf - Budget: (Less than US$25 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Watching the bakers at Boudin at the Wharf

    Located at Fisherman's Wharf, Boudin at the Wharf is an industrial-chic shrine to the venerable bread company's famous sourdough loaf. Part bakery, part museum, part restaurant, more than 3,000 loaves are baked here daily. The casual lower-level café serves great clam chowder, while the more formal upstairs restaurant offers classics like Dungeness crab Louis.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Café daily 8am-10pm, bistro Sun-Thu 11.30am-9pm; Fri & Sat 11.30am-10pm

    Address

    160, Jefferson Street, San Francisco CA 94133

    Telephone

    +1 415 928 1849

    Transport

    Bus 10, 15, or 47 to Fisherman's Wharf or Muni line F to Jefferson Street & Powell Street

    Website

    Boudin at the Wharf

  13. 13. The Slanted Door - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    The Slanted Door started as a little family-run Vietnamese restaurant in the Mission District and has since become one of San Francisco's best and largest. The spacious and lively bay-view dining room within the Ferry Plaza Marketplace is the perfect setting for flavourful dishes like cellophane noodles with fresh Dungeness crab and aromatic peppercorn duck.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 11am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10pm; Sun 11.30am-3pm & 5.30pm-10pm

    Address

    1, Ferry Building #3, San Francisco CA 94111

    Telephone

    +1 415 861 8032

    Transport

    Bus 4 of Muni line F to Ferry Terminal or Embarcadero

    Website

    The Slanted Door

Mid-range

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  1. 14. Sodini's Green Valley Restaurant - Mid-range: (US$25-US$45 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Sodini's Green Valley Restaurant, San Francisco. Photo by Garrick Ramirez

    Sodini's Green Valley Restaurant in North Beach is everything you would expect from a small family-owned Italian restaurant. Friendly, vivacious staff serve hearty Italian classics on tables topped with wax-encrusted chianti-bottle candles. Both locals and tourists feast on large platters of clam linguine and chicken parmigiana while Sinatra croons in the background.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 5pm-10pm

    Address

    510, Green Street, San Francisco CA 94133

    Telephone

    +1 415 291 0499

    Transport

    Bus 9X, 39 or 45 to North Beach or Muni line F to Embarcadero

Budget

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  1. 15. Roosevelt Tamale Parlor - Budget: (Less than US$25 for a two-course meal without drinks)

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    Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, located in the heart of the Mission District, has some of the Bay Area's best Mexican food. The taquitos are superb, the chicken mole sublime and the chimichangas enormous, but it's the handmade tamales that have made this humble place an icon. Afterwards, check out the colourful murals in nearby Balmy Alley.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 9am-8pm (until 9pm Fri & Sat); Sun 9am-4pm

    Address

    2817, 24th Street, San Francisco CA 94110

    Telephone

    +1 415 824 2600

    Transport

    Bus 14, 14L or 49 to Mission District or BART/Muni to 24th St Mission Station

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