San Francisco view
Photo: Can Balcioglu/Fotolia

San Francisco is renowned for its diverse selection of restaurants and bars. Plan a romantic weekend in the city and explore a range of mouthwatering flavors, including fresh seafood, seasonal farm-to-table fare, burgers, wood-fired pizza, grilled meats and sushi.

Start your day with freshly baked pastries at one of the city's favorite bakeries, followed by a casual lunch between sightseeing stops. End the day with a romantic dinner at one of the best romantic restaurants in San Francisco.

»Pabu Izakaya

Pabu Izakaya


Enjoy a modern take on traditional Izakaya-style dining at Pabu Izakaya, one of San Francisco’s most renowned Japanese sushi bars. In addition to Chef Ken Tominaga’s award-winning sushi and sashimi, the menu also features delicious dishes such as the Soy-Braised Lotus Root or the Monterey Squid Okonomiyaki. They also offer an Omakase menu and handcrafted cocktails such as the Ume Be Right. Chef Tominaga is a Tokyo native who also owns Hana Japanese Restaurant, so he has quite the impressive resume. He opened Pabu Izakaya with long-time friend and fellow restaurateur, Michael Mina. You’ll find them on 101 California Street, a popular destination in San Francisco’s Financial District.

101 California Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-668-7228

More romantic places to visit in California: Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara and Oceanside. Photo: Pabu Izakaya

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»Bar Tartine

Bar Tartine


Bar Tartine serves seasonal cuisine with an exotic flare in a sophisticated setting. Their menu changes daily and offers bold, traditional flavors from Jutland, Hokkaido, and Budapest. Everything blends together perfectly, creating a delicious meal. Try amazing dinner dishes such as the Black Cod with Chantrelle Mushrooms or Chilled Plum Soup with Noyaux. Alternatively, you can stop in for weekend brunch. They also serve beer, wine, and dessert. Bar Tartine is owned by Tartine Bakery & Café husband-and-wife team, Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson. Chefs Cortney Burns and Nick Balla are in charge of the kitchen, ensuring every dish comes out just right. You’ll find Bar Tartine in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.

561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-487-1600

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»Commonwealth

Commonwealth

Commonwealth is known for its exceptional farm-to-table fare, where Executive Chef Jason Fox exquisitely prepares an array of harmoniously flavored dishes. The restaurant has an outstanding wine list where you will find the perfect addition to your meal. You can order from the six-course tasting menu or enjoy something equally spectacular from the a la carte menu like Popcorn Dumplings or Smoked Pork Cheeks (in a peach mole). The restaurant embraces the definition of its name and is deeply committed to its community; they donate $10 from every tasting menu order to local charities. If you are looking for top romantic restaurants in San Francisco, this is a great place to try. You’ll find them in San Francisco’s hip Mission District.

2224 Mission Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-355-1500

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»Cotogna

Cotogna


Enjoy a celebration of rustic cuisine at San Francisco’s Cotogna restaurant, where the Italian-inspired menu changes daily and is comprised of regionally sourced, spit-roasted or grilled meats and fish, house-made pastas, and wood-fired pizzas. You can try amazing dishes like Summer Squash & Front Porch Farm Polenta, Burrata with Plum Mostarda, or Wild Nettle & Chestnut Honey Tortelli. They also serve fabulous wines and cocktails. Chef and restaurateur Michael Tusk manages Cotogna, and he also owns Quince Restaurant, a local favorite in fine dining establishments. You’ll find Cotogna in historic Jackson Square.

490 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-775-8508 (website)

Sample romantic restaurants on your trip to Laguna Beach. Photo: Cotogna

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»ICHI Sushi and NI Bar

ICHI Sushi and NI Bar

ICHI Sushi serves spectacularly prepared sushi, sashimi, and other traditional Japanese cuisine. They also boast an extensive chilled sake list and offer handcrafted cocktails (like the Cat’s Meow) at their NI Bar. The restaurant is dedicated to promoting sustainability, and the menu changes daily. Enjoy the Omakase service or try ordering something from the menu such as Miso Asari Clams, Cold Somen with Shiso, or Nego-Yellowtail Maki. Executive Chef Tim Archuleta and his wife Erin have owned and operated ICHI Catering since 2006. They first opened ICHI Sushi Bar, their first restaurant, in 2010. You’ll find them in the Mission District.

3282 Mission Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-525-4750 (website)

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»Kusakabe

Kusakabe


Kusakabe provides San Francisco with an unforgettable dining experience, serving a multi-course sushi dinner that is prepared using the principles of Japanese “Kaiseki” cuisine. This type of haute cuisine embraces four elements: five colors, five tastes, five sense, and five methods. Enjoy a dish from the nightly Omakase menu – the Miso-Glazed “Ohyo” Alaskan Halibut is particularly delicious. Otherwise, you can try something from the a la carte menu like Umimasu (Tasmanian ocean trout, lightly poached). Award-winning Executive Chef and owner Mitsunori Kusakabe opened the restaurant in 2014 and is extremely passionate about every meal he prepares. You can find Kusakabe in the Financial District.

584 Washington Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-757-0155 (website)

More California trip ideas: Berkeley, Irvine, Carlsbad and Bakersfield Photo: Kusakabe

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»La Ciccia

La Ciccia


La Ciccia restaurant specializes in authentic Sardinian cuisine. You can enjoy dishes such as the Frega cun Amizzioni e Sumini (Fregola tomatoes, sea urchin, and smoked pancetta) or Pezza de Angioni a sa Saba (seared lamb tenderloin taliata drizzled with saba). They also boast an impressive wine list comprised of 180 labels. Husband-and-wife team Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan opened the restaurant in 2006 and continue to let their love and passion guide their approach to running their restaurant. La Ciccia is located on the edge of Noe Valley.

291 30th Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-550-8114

Romantic California: Encinitas, Oakland, San Diego, Ventura and Solvang. Photo: La Ciccia

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»Maven

Maven


Maven is a hip restaurant that serves neo-American cuisine. Their unique menu artfully pairs creative, handcrafted cocktails with delicious small plates to create a subliminal experience for your taste buds. There are countless combinations, including the 5 Spot cocktail with the Chinatown Duck Sliders or the Ear to Ear cocktail with the Grilled Pork Chop. Jay Bordeleau is the founder and mastermind behind the restaurant, which he manages with the help of his extraordinary team of partners, including Executive Chef Isaac Miller, Kate Bolton (Bar Director), and Selena Donovan (General Manager). Maven is located in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood.

598 Haight Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-829-7982

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»Umami

Umami


Umami restaurant is an Izakaya-style Japanese tavern that serves sushi and other types of beloved Japanese cuisine. The chefs collaborate with sellers at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market to bring the freshest sustainable fish and seafood to Umami. Try something from the Omakase menu (the chef’s tasting menu) or enjoy delicious dishes such as the Ahi “Poke” Tacos, “The Original Umami” Sliders, or the Dojo Roll. The same people who operate The Tipsy Pig, Mamacita, and Padrecito, all located in San Francisco, manage Umami. Executive Chef Hide Sueyoshi runs the kitchen at Umami, and you’re guaranteed to appreciate whatever dish he whips up. You’ll find this restaurant nestled between the Marina District and Pacific Heights.

2909 Webster Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-346-343 Photo: Umami

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»State Bird Provisions

State Bird Provisions


James Beard Award recipient State Bird Provisions is a contemporary American restaurant with an ever-changing menu consisting of dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Stop in and try sophisticated dishes like the Padrons with Cumin-Goat Cheese Fondue, the Charred Octopus with Kampot Peppercorn and Tomato Sauce, or the California State Bird with Provisions (an incredible quail dish). What started as the creation of a recipe for California Valley Quail (the State Bird) eventually evolved into a restaurant, which Chef Stuart Brioza and Pastry Chef Nicole Krasinski opened in 2011. You’ll find this local favorite in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood.

1529 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-795-1272 (website) Photo: State Bird Provisions

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»Super Duper Burgers

Super Duper Burgers


Super Duper Burgers is not your average burger joint. They’ve become famous for kicking their burgers up a notch, and they only use humanely raised, 100% vegetarian-fed beef that they grind fresh daily. A local artisan baker makes all of their buns, while their milkshakes and ice cream cones are made with locally sourced, organic cream. Even the packaging is 100% compostable. Stop in and grab a burger with all the fixings and toppings you desire. They haven’t left out vegetarians, either. The organic veggie burger with hummus, cucumbers, and Super Sauce is delicious. Don’t miss out on the garlic fries! Super Duper Burgers has six locations throughout San Francisco.

783 Mission Street, 415-882-1750; 346 Kearny Street, 415-677-9936; 721 Market Street, 415-538-3437; 2304 Market Street, 415-558-8123; 98 Mission Street, 415-974-1200; 2201 Chestnut Street, 415-931-6258 (website) Photo: Super Duper Burgers

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»Forgery Bar

Forgery Bar


Forgery Bar is one of the newest and hottest bars in San Francisco. Enjoy the chic, lively atmosphere while you glance through their wide selection of expertly curated cocktails, all of which have unique names like the Cool Runnings and the El Vampiro. They also boast an expansive by-the-glass wine list. The bar is a new endeavor of the PlumpJack Group, and it first opened in 2015. Seasoned partners Ken Luciano and Jacques Bezuidenhout manage Forgery Bar, and they’ve managed to create something truly spectacular. Forgery is located in the Mid-Market District, in the up and coming Tech Corridor.

1525 Mission Street, San Francisco, California Photo: Forgery Bar

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»Belga

Belga

Belga is a neighborhood brasserie serving Belgian-, French-, and German-inspired fare with a California twist. They serve dinner nightly, featuring incredible dishes such as the Pan-Roasted Mussels, Duck Leg Confit, and the Grilled Shoulder Pork Chop. They are also open for weekend brunches, and offer diners specialties such as Eggs Benedict with Crispy Pork Belly. The restaurant is modeled after casual French eateries and has a warm, friendly atmosphere. Executive Chef Freedom Rains runs the kitchen, while Cicerone Ryan Murphy, manages the bar. Belga is located in the heart of Cow Hollow, close to Marina and Pacific Heights.

2000 Union Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-872-7350 (website) Photo: Belga

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»Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch is a modern Westcoast fish house that offers a fine dining experience with a casual California style. High quality, sustainably sourced seafood is the star of the show at this restaurant. Stop in and try delectable dishes like Mahi Mahi Tacos, Grilled Salmon Sandwich, Hawaiian Teriyaki Rice Bowl, or Seared Albacore. They also offer an exquisite Daily Catch menu. Award-winning chef Aaron Noveshen and entrepreneur Keith Cox originally founded Pacific Catch in 2003. Noveshen and Cox have since expanded since then, and in addition to its original Chestnut Street location, Pacific Catch has five other sites located throughout the Bay Area, including another San Francisco branch on 9th Avenue.

2027 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-440-1950; 1200 9th Avenue, 415-504-6905 (website) Photo: Pacific Catch

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»Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is the home of Tony Gemignani, who has won the World Pizza Cup eleven times! His restaurant is the place to go if you want to try some of the best pizza in the whole world. All ingredients are authentic and imported from Napoli. They offer every kind of pizza you could imagine (but keep in mind that Tony did win the award for Best Margherita Pizza in the world). They also offer a number of authentic Italian dishes such as Pasta Genovese or the Sausages and Peppers. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is located in the heart of Little Italy.

1570 Stockton Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-835-9888 (website)

Browse great places to visit in Arizona and Utah. Photo: Tony's Pizza Napoletana

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»B Star

B Star

B* Star is a Burmese-inspired eatery serves delicious, healthy Asian fusion foods with flavors from Thailand, China, Burma, India, Japan, and California. Stop in for lunch or dinner and treat yourself to delectable options such as the Kabocha Croquette, Kau Soi (coconut chicken noodles), or the Curry Tofu Portobello Sammy. Their weekend brunch menu boasts savory dishes like the Filipino-style Longganisa Breakfast. B* Star is located in San Francisco’s Richmond District. You may also like the sister restaurant Burma Superstar.

127 Clement Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-933-9900 Photo: B Star

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»Brenda's French Soul Food

Brenda's French Soul Food


If you’re in need of some genuine Southern comfort, Brenda’s French Soul Food is an excellent choice. After you stop by, you may decide that they serve the best breakfast in San Francisco. Relax in the warm, casual atmosphere as you savor the sensational deliciousness of dishes like Chicken Sausage & Okra Gumbo or Smoked Pork Rillettes. Stop in for breakfast or brunch and try the “Nice Big, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes.” You definitely won’t want to pass up on the Hushpuppies! Chef Brenda brings her Southern roots and passion to the kitchen. She opened the joint in 2007 with her lovely wife Libby. You’ll find Brenda’s French Soul Food in the middle of San Francisco’s Cathedral Hill, Civic Center, and Tenderloin neighborhoods.

652 Polk Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-345-8100 Photo: Brenda's French Soul Food

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»Saison

Saison


Saison restaurant serves New American cuisine in a refined, modern setting. Saison is French for season, a name they chose to represent their commitment to a menu that evolves with the diverse flavors associated with each individual season. The multi-course tasting menu changes nightly, encouraging diners to completely trust the Chef. Executive Chef and owner Josh Skenes have taken charge of all culinary activity, earning Saison a three Michelin star rating. Enjoy the dish of the night, which is always made with superior and fresh ingredients. Saison is located very close to San Francisco’s China Basin.

178 Townsend Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-828-7990 Photo: Saison

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»Bouche

Bouche

A restaurant and wine bar, Bouche features dishes created with fresh, natural ingredients from Northern Californian farmers’ markets. The chefs rely on French and Mediterranean influences. Savor incredible dishes such as the Grilled Confit of Pork Belly, the Wild King Salmon cooked in Bay Leaf Butter, or the Poached and Roasted Chicken Breast. Don’t miss the homemade bacon bread and chickpea fries. Owner and Provence native Guillaume Issaverdens hand selects the esoteric French wines the make up the wine list. He first opened the restaurant in 2011. Bouche is located on the edge of the Financial District.

603 Bush Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-956-0396 Photo: Bouche

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»The Bimini Twist

The Bimini Twist


The Bimini Twist offers a unique, intimate dining experience - join Chef Don in his own home for a feast of his creation. Chef Don gets his inspiration from regional seafood dishes and cooks with an emphasis on using fresh, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. His menu changes with every dinner, and it includes flavorful dishes like bright and spicy Baja fish tacos, warm clam chowders, and expertly prepared sushi. The Bimini Twist is located in Ingleside Heights, close to Brooks Park.

Arch Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-592-6391 Photo: The Bimini Twist

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»Hollywood Cafe

Hollywood Cafe

The charming Hollywood Café serves up delicious American diner-style lunch and breakfast daily. They offer several breakfast specials named after classic Hollywood celebrities such as the James Dean. Any one of their dishes is guaranteed to be incredibly flavorful – take the Salmon-Shrimp Eggs Benedict or a Charbroiled Cheesesteak Burger as examples. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try their delicious signature hash browns! Hollywood Café is located in Fisherman’s Wharf and does not accept reservations.

530 North Point Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-563-3779 Photo: Hollywood Cafe

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»Restaurant Gary Danko

Restaurant Gary Danko

Restaurant Gary Danko serves New American cuisine with French and Mediterranean influences in an elegant setting. Their Prix-Fixe menu offers exquisitely prepared dishes like the Horseradish-Crusted Salmon Medallion, and recommendations for wine pairing are available. The nightly menu boasts delicious creations like Roasted Stuffed Quail and Herb-Crusted Loin of Lamb. Tea service is provided with every meal and an expansive selection of cheese from their cheese carts is also available. Naturally, they have an extraordinary wine list. Opening this restaurant was the dream of internationally recognized, highly respected, award-winning Chef Gary Danko, who opened his restaurant in 1999. Restaurant Gary Danko is located in Fisherman’s Wharf.

800 North Point, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-749-2060 Photo: Restaurant Gary Danko

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»Tartine Bakery & Cafe

Tartine Bakery & Cafe

The Tartine Bakery & Café is one of the best places in San Francisco to grab a coffee, buy bread and pastries, and have breakfast. They use as many organic ingredients as possible and the menu, which uses produce and ingredients that are in season, changes frequently. Stop in and try amazing treats like the Coconut Crème Tart, the Quiche, or, if you’re a little hungrier, a Jambon Royale & Gruyere Hot Pressed Sandwich. Tartine Bakery & Café was opened in 2002 by husband-and-wife team Elisabeth Prueitt (an award-winning pastry chef) and Chad Robertson (a renowned, award-wining baker). You’ll find them in downtown San Francisco, nestled between the Dolores Heights and Mission District neighborhoods.

600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-487-2600 Photo: Tartine Bakery & Cafe

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»Quince Restaurant

Quince Restaurant

Quince Restaurant serves contemporary Californian cuisine that benefits immensely from the regional seasonal bounty. Enjoy spectacular dishes such as the Triangoli (a Devil’s Gulch rabbit dish), King Crab, or Young Corn Fritto. They also boast an impressive wine list and a wide caviar selection. Chef and restaurateur Michael Tusk opened Quince Restaurant in 2003. He also owns San Francisco’s Cotogna restaurant. Tusk’s wife and partner Lindsay is the mastermind behind the interior design and has transformed Quince into one of the most elegant restaurants in the city. You’ll find it between the Embarcadero neighborhood and the Financial District.

470 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, California, Phone: 415-775-8500

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25 Best Romantic Restaurants & Bars in San Francisco