59 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Home Style
- Website: http://www.caffemacaroni.com/
- Phone: 4159569737
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Organic, Italian, Sicilian
- Executive Chef: Mario Ascione
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Fireplace, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wine
A word from Caffe Macaroni
Chef & co-owner, Mario and his delightful wife, Stephanie, have a knack for making you feel as if they are cooking and serving just for you at this super-reasonable North Beach nook offering robust Southern Italian fare reminiscent of his native Naples; whether you’ve snagged an outdoor table or are in the small, casual interior, it delivers a pasta fix.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Caffe Macaroni - Best Restaurants in North Beach ›
Caffe Macaroni reviews from OpenTable diners
37 reviews since April 22, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (28)fit for foodies (17)great for lunch (9)great for outdoor dining (8)special occasion (7)romantic (6)kid-friendly (4)good for groups (3)scenic view (2)notable wine list (1)Show More
- The real dealOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/16/2014This place is exactly what you hope a small city centre authentic Italian should be; an exuberant warm welcome, and rush of garlic scented air to wet your appetite. Noise, bustle and a great menu. The seafood on black pasta was outstanding, as were the calamari and salmon. The House Pino Grigio was very acceptable, and the wine list also has some interesting regional Italian wines at reasonable prices. The Neopolitan dessert cake with a glass of Marsala wine rounded off the meal beautifully. Our party were all enthusiastic 'foodies' and Mario and his team did not disappoint us.Special Features:
- Service, Attention and CleanlinessNotReturningDined on 8/2/2014The quality and taste of the authentic Italian food was the best. However, the main waiter-owner never recognized that an OpenTable reservation was ever made. Once having been seated 45 minutes after the reservation, no attention was paid to our table for another 25 minutes. We were never asked if we wanted a refill on our drinks or water, the owner never wrote our orders down erroring on the main dishes and forgetting one dessert, which one of his servers said he would get once the owner approved it for us. Lastly, my wife could not use the bathroom as it hadn't been cleaned in a week. As such, no birthdays or the anniversary we were celebrating was even recognized as were noted in the OpenTable reservation comments.Special Features:
- PatMDined on 7/18/2014This is a real find. I have passed it many times and never realized that it was a spot for such great food. Everything is authentic, classic southern Italian. Tiny, but good!Special Features:
- Great food - great hostsMrRPHDined on 7/11/2014My wife and I loved our dinner at Caffe Macaroni. The staff was fun, the food was wonderful. Excellent service. Great San Francisco experience!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A new "must stop"when in SFseekinggreatfoodDined on 7/5/2014When visiting cities I always use OpenTable, and other apps, in hopes of finding a local gem of a restaurant. It definitely worked this time! Caffe Macaroni is a small, unassuming family-run restaurant that makes amazingly good food and works hard to make you feel at home. The bruschetta appetizer was not the typical topped with tomatoes sort but was more pure and better. I had the halibut special for that day and finished it off with a piece of tiramisu. The owner/maitre d/waiter, and I am sure, dishwasher, made sure we were enjoying ourselves. After-dinner drinks included a good espresso, a surprisingly nice sparkling moscato and some delicious homemade orangecello. All in all, a very memorable experience.Special Features:
- Good Food but Annoying StaffOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 7/3/2014When we first arrived, we were sat on the first level, near a loud group of four people. The place is small, so it was hard to enjoy ourselves. After that party wleft, we were relieved and began enjoying our meal. My chicken dish was very good. My fiance's lamb ragu dish was not very good. While we were eating, another couple arrived. The couple werre Italian tourists (we are locals). When the waiter spoke with them at their table, there was no problem. However, he spent the majority of time screaming at them over our table, as if we were not there. This was so annoying. We will not be back. There are plenty of other Italian places in our neighborhood.
- Good good, service not!Golden1Dined on 7/3/2014Food was very good. Don't expect this to be like other Italian places because the portions were pretty small. Will need one order per person. Pasta was very good, salads were not. Service was the main issue. We were seated upstairs and the service was a nightmare. Took over 30 min before they got water to the table. Drinks were never refilled. We even needed to follow server downstairs to hunt down the check to pay. Overall this could be a very good place to eat but the service makes it a place I would not recommend to visit.Special Features:
- Authentic Italian FoodDisappointedDined on 6/25/2014Equal to some of the best Restaurants in Italy. The pasta was cooked just right.The octopus melted in your mouth. The bronzi had a wonderful flavor. Only a few tables, so get there early or make reservation. Knowledge, helpful waiters.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun little place!MikeVIPDined on 6/24/2014We live in the neighborhood and never noticed this place in over 8 years! We came across it on yelp so we made impromptu reservations and headed over. Food was delicious and the service was authentic Italian, complete with high energy and thick Italian accents!Special Features:
- Cozy place with great foodRazzberryDined on 6/23/2014Though the place is cozy (in other words, small), but the food is pretty awesome! Also loved the ambience there!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome EVERY timeNordoVIPDined on 6/21/2014A while back work took me out of SF and I missed SF and my favorite restaurant. Now I am back from time to time and am so happy my favorite restaurant got even better. I cannot wait until I get to go back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hilarious funLaxdinerDined on 6/6/2014Sit up on the second floor under 6' ceilings be sure to hunch over if you're tall. Let them bring you whatever they want you to eat. The waiters are reason alone to eat here. They barely speak English so you will feel more like a foreigner in Italy. Which is perfect. They forgot to bring me my calamari but they thought they had, so we got into a loud argument which was great fun. My wine was upgraded because they didn't agree with my choice. Again, perfect. When a place is this authentic you truly feel like a friend. I will drop in whenever I'm in SF for sure. Try the afogato for dessert.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Trip to NaplesDavorDined on 5/31/2014I took my wife and kids on a Saturday evening. It was like being in Italy. Food was wonderful: burrata, osso buco, and pasta were all excellent. Service was good and they paid attention to the kids (13 & 11). Would go again without hesitation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing and authenticCosmomamaDined on 5/29/2014This family-run Italian restaurant has a wonderful, cozy ambience and stellar dishes. It is family-run, but has a romantic vibe. Very grownup; charming and personable. Highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Old schoolKirkDined on 5/27/2014Two Italian gents serve the most authentic, delicious homemade food in a no-pretense ambiance. It's cramped, which means you'll talk with other diners. Street life walks by as you sigh with delight at the flavors of this amazing food.Special Features:
- Down to earth italian CuisineekzooksVIPDined on 5/20/2014If you want great food and to be greeted and treated like you are one of the family, this is the place for you. Very unassuming and you have to climb a spiral staircase to get to the upstairs dining room but the wait service is excellent and food prepared perfectly.Special Features:
- Good and badTimmysmomDined on 5/17/2014Real Italians; tiny tiny dining room, delicious tomato cheese appetizer...dry bread, tasteless, fatty, osso bucco and soggy tirasamu. Would go back for a drink and appetizer.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Caffe Macaronirsmd2002Dined on 5/13/2014Within walking distance of San Francisco Financial district, this street corner restaurant is delightful. Diners in our party totally enjoyed the evening. We came directly from work and were able to find seating at the few small tables inside. By evening's end many tables were set up and filled on the sidewalk outside as well. The food was stellar. We enjoyed seafood entrees including salmon, ling cod, and mussels with an outstanding Italian flair. Wait staff was friendly and knowledgeable. Overall, it's an excellent place to eat and is quite affordable at least by San Francisco standards. 5 stars.Special Features:
- HetzleDined on 5/9/2014Service is super friendly, outside seating is noisy but it's on a busy street do that's to be expected. Food is excellent!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A GemPaulbdocDined on 5/2/2014Wonderful food, great ambiance, exceptional staff. Would come back again and againSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 76 reviews are from the Caffe Macaroni reviews archive.
- CharmingMEGANBSDDined on 3/29/2014Caffe Macaroni is an excellent choice for an intimate date night. The restaurant is very small (only 5 or 6 tables downstairs); there is additional seating upstairs. The food was very good (not the best I've ever had), but everything was well-cooked and really tasty. Our waiter was very friendly. The best part was the specials, which consisted of a list that seemed as long as the regular menu. It was nice to see so many added dishes, which made it seem more fresh (like they just made up dishes based on whatever came in from the market that day). The only complaint about this is that there were too many great sounding specials to remember, so having them written down somewhere might have been nice. The desserts were excellent as well!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- neighborhood GemluvthebayDined on 3/25/2014we recently took a trip to the bay and we ate in Chinatown, North Beach, did Dim sum, you name it we ate at a different restaurant every night and would consult with our concierge and my co-workers on the hottest spots to take the kids. On our last night we found a quant little restaurant in North Beach that had a 5 star rating on Yelp and rave reviews from all that had posted reviews and decided to give it a try. We were completely blown away. It's tiny but the food was amazing and the staff was incredible. This little gem turned out to be our favorite on our trip and one of our favorite restaurants of all time. We will make a point of going to this place every time we are in the bay. Get a reservation, only seats about 20 ppl total.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Taste of ItalyitalianissimoDined on 3/13/2014Caffe Macaroni is a true taste and feel of Italy. The owner and waiters are native to Italy, therefore the food is authentic and the vibe is truly Italian! Great Neopolitan seafood options, gourmet salads and pasta cooked to perfection. The garlic and vino are sure to please the senses. You must try the brioche con nutella for dessert! Truly an Italianissimo find in between San Francisco's North Beach and Financial District.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GinnyOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/5/20145 tables inside, 5 out. Mario makes you feel like you are in Naples! A place you can go eat alone. 5 tables on sidewalk. Lots of fish! Loved it!! Thank you Mario!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ServiceEat3VIPDined on 2/14/2014No hostess, worst service I have experienced in 10 years living here. Waiter did not give us water. Took over 30 min before he took our order.
- get new waiters, or at least moreOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 2/14/2014The charm wears off quickly. The waiters here, especially if you sit upstairs, play the character really well. they speak italian to each other because they are italian, and gesticulate alot, etc. However, they are completely disorganized and overwhelmed if there are more than 2 parties seated at any given time. order: it took 20 minutes after being seated for them to even acknowledge us... no water, no bread wine: after ordering it took another 20 minutes for us to get our bottle of wine (even though we were sitting right next to the buffet with the wine bottles and glasses). After reminding him for the third time, he plopped a bottle down on the table with two glasses and walked off to help somebody else WITHOUT OPENING IT! food was good
- God awful. Risked valentine's day.OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 2/14/2014Proprietors were rude even though I had a reservation and didn't seat us until 45 minutes after our schedule time...just left us hanging on the street without even acknowledging that they had messed up. And they did this to a bunch of other couples as well. Then when we eventually got in the staff kept forgetting orders and rushed us out of the restaurant. On top of that, it was clear the kitchen was rushing because the pasta was near raw. There are a bunch of posters with accolades of best italians in san francisco...from the early 90's. Clearly something has gone wrong. Avoid not just because the place is badly run, but because the people running it are obnoxious and have no concept of customer service.
- Food was fantastic, best ItalianOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 1/27/2014Food was fantastic, best Italian food in a long time. We will definitely go back; great, fun atmosphere, so very enjoyableSpecial Features:
- Cute PlacemusicgrrrlDined on 1/25/2014We dined here prior to a show at the San Francisco Playhouse. The food was good, not great. The portions were decent. The service was fine, no complaints. We were seated in the very small street level area and were the only ones there for about 1 hour. After that, the place filled and became very noisey. We had a nice time but will not return.
- It's all about the foodKirkDined on 1/2/2014They've been there 23 years, and serve delicious authentic Italian food in a unique neighborhood setting. Not fancy decor, and be prepared to sit close to other diners. But you will be very happy with the food.Special Features:
- Touch of Naples in SFOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 12/31/2013The food at Macaroni is very consistent, the freshest produce and seafood, excellent pastas especially the seafood en brodo over squid-ink linguini, all presented with warmth and charm. Put yourself in Mario's hands at this authentic trattoria and eat like an Italian -- appetizer, pasta, fish, meat and dessert, all accompanied by interesting, off-the-beaten-path, Italian wine offerings chosen to match the menu. Very reasonably priced for the quality of the overall experience. Our go-to Italian for years, on the outskirts of the North Beach carnival midway.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very good small authenticOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 12/31/2013Very good small authentic italian restaurant. Excellent fish and pasta. A real gem. Comparable to NY or a excellent neighborhood restaurant in Italy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dinner was greatJoellenVIPDined on 12/26/2013Went here with our out of town visiting family and had a great meal and a fun evening. The owners treat you like family and although it was our first time there, we felt like we were regulars who had been coming for years. Not a fancy place but the ambience is fun and festive and great for a group. My daughter said it reminded her of trattorias she had been to in Italy. Food is wonderful and the prices very fair. A great place to bring out of town visitors or when you are looking for great Italian foodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Too Noisy...MichelinStarHunterVIPDined on 12/21/2013The front seating area is really cramped, so be prepared if this is the only seating option. The mussels and clams were nice sizes, but tiny portion. We asked if the music that was blasting over the speakers could be lowered, but it was only turned downed a tiny bit. And alas, my pasta was way too salty. Service was great though as I felt like I was back in New York.
- Neapolitan Incredibile!MarriedItalianDined on 12/19/20135 workmates had our holiday dinner here. We have been long time Scuie Scuie diners but they lost the lease with new owners so this was our first visit to the original. It was like being in Naples said my. Roma wife; everything you would expect. We asked for a traditional Italian meal and so they owner picked out our courses and brought them family style. The sea bass was incredible, pesto very good, salmon very good, rissotto del mar incredible, excellent panna cotta; try the naples desert with chilli spice. Buon Appetito!!Special Features:
- Quaint and AdorableOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 12/18/2013Caffe Macaroni was a great find! The restaurant is TINY, with four or five tables, so it's very intimate and cozy. The food was authetic and delicious (Do yourself a favor and try the ricotta cake!), and Mario and his staff were very personable. I'd definitely go back!Special Features:
- Caffe MacaroniYumYumDined on 12/10/2013I will definitely return to this neighborhood gem. The food is excellent, the staff is very attentive and very pleasant, prices are great, the ambience is romantic and authentic Italian café style. Bravo!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food and service yummyOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 11/16/2013A little piece of Italy in San Francisco. Foid and service always consistent. We always enjoy ourselves, Friends and family love this too. Everything is fresh home cooking.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Authentic southern ItalianOpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 11/16/2013Authentic southern Italian food. Very enjoyable, intimate and personable service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Neopalitine CuisineOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 10/9/2013The pasta with baby octopus was delicious. What made this pasta unique was that it had a little bit of saltiness. That is not a negative thing but a positive one for this type of dish. I would have given my rating a 4 star if it were not for one thing. When I ordered two dishes I was planning to have a pizza with the pasta and baby octopus. Mario suggested I order the bruschetta-like bread. After my lunch he stated he recommended this appetizer because if I had ordered the pizza that I originally wanted I would be too full to enjoy my pasta dish. I appreciate the fact that Mario stopped me from ordering the pizza. By ordering a smaller appetizer I did enjoy my pasta more. This act of good will from him makes me want to eat here more often.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.