242 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://toscacafesf.com/
- Phone: 4159869651
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian
- Executive Chef: Josh Even
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Tosca Cafe
Innovative and fresh Italian cuisine from chef April Bloomfield accompanied by an extraordinary italian wine program and incredible craft cocktails.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Tosca Cafe - Best Restaurants in North Beach ›
Tosca Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
173 reviews since June 22, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (100)vibrant bar scene (90)hot spot (75)neighborhood gem (70)notable wine list (45)late-night find (37)special occasion (37)romantic (32)good for groups (13)kid-friendly (1)great for brunch (1)scenic view (1)Show More
- DisappointingOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 10/17/2014Food was disappointing and the wine list was way too expensive. My pasta dish (Gemelli with cheese) was almost in a cheese fondue sauce. Wine list has a couple of bottles of Italian wine around $60 but everything else between $100-210.
- Extremely DisappointingOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/17/2014There were 4 of us dining. Our waiter was rude and acted like we were annoying him by dining there, no offer of explanation of menu items at all, he just came over and said "what do you want". There were few entrees offered, one was a tough skirt steak, another was rigatoni (which was delicious) and another was a chicken which took one hour to prepare. I would have probably have ordered the chicken but I didn't want the rest of my party to have to wait an hour to eat. The wine list was also extremely limited, the appetizers we ordered were delicious though.Special Features:
- No Friils Fantastic FoodArtCDined on 10/15/2014A no-nonsense fine food experience. Go for the food, service and comfort, not a FooFoo ambiance. That said, I prefer a down home, locals bar ambiance with a super selection from Opera to Oldies on the jukebox. The Crispy Potato side is worth every penny of the nine bucks price!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Salty Salty SaltyHighstandardsforfoodVIPDined on 10/14/2014We started with the meatballs and focaccia (which they don't tell you, but a piece of bread costs like $6) it's good and the meatballs are amazing. Next I had the linguine and clams and it was SUPER salty. The server never came back to check how the food was once it was served so I ate most of it but I also drank about 8 glasses of water. When she finally came back to see if we wanted dessert I told her that the linguine was ridiculously salty and she smiled and said she'd "let the chef know". I told her if she had been anywhere in sight I would have sent it back and she smiled and said she'd "let the chef know". This was my third and last meal at Tosca. It's pricey and there are a million other places in SF to dine.Special Features:
- rustic ItalianOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/12/2014Excellent dinner with several specials, excellent service and knowledgeable wAIT STAFF. I'd recommentd reservations. The bar was very livelySpecial Features:
- Best chicken I've ever hadRinaVIPDined on 10/11/2014I read about this restaurant and was very intrigued. New menu. New management but I had no expectation of having such wonderful original unique menu and bar items. The chicken is worth the one hour wait. Portions are not too large and the service friendly and helpful. I will be backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful mealjcook793Dined on 10/8/2014The staff were delightful and everything we ate was wonderful. Great night out!Special Features:
- Great food, but meal rushed.OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/8/2014Excellent food; first table of the evening and we were rushed; water poured too frequently (arms stretched over our plates to pour while we were eating); side vegetables never came and were offered to us to go after we finished our meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- VERY AVERAGEDebbieDined on 10/2/2014Very average - not sure how this restaurant was voted one of the top 4 in the U.S.
- chickenOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 9/30/2014Remember it when.....smokey, walls vibrating from the disco below and fabulous opera flowing from the speakers. Now it is a swank diner. Limited menu. My hanger steak was chunky and tough and my husband's 'hour wait' chicken had its leg and foot intact. Are you kidding?Special Features:
- Underwhelming Food, Glacial ServicethemuzakDined on 9/28/2014With another couple, my wife and I had a mediocre meal at the Tosca Cafe on Sunday night. My salmon with peppers main was fine, if over-salted on the fish and uninspired overall. The peppers were nice. Basil and tomato sauce rigatoni was the best dish overall and one I would recommend. The clam linguini was poorly received and chicken livers were just okay. We enjoyed a Chianti Classico, not from a recommendation of the server. Our server was pleasant and knowledgable but slow with big gaps between drinks order, food order and delivery in a restaurant that was half-full. We felt like the server was avoiding us a couple of times, which is never pleasant. Restaurant is quite noisy and tough for our older couple to converse.Special Features:
- Excellent!OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 9/28/2014Food was wonderfully prepared with sauces that showed off the food within. Superb! Best Hanger Steak ever! and the Polenta, I am gushing but that is what this food did to me. Would definitely go back next time I am in San Francisco.Special Features:
- ExcellentMattODined on 9/27/2014Delicious food and craft cocktails fit for foodiesSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great EveningBILLRDined on 9/27/2014We could only obtain a 5 PM reservation which was great because we had a plenty of time to enjoy a drink with friends and left around 8:30pm. At no time were we rushed or felt forgotten by the servers. You needs to be patient and don't try to rush the system -- if you are in a hurray then you should go some place else. All of us felt the food was prepared perfectly and one of the finest meals we have experienced. We started with, of course, the meatballs, followed by Bucatini (WOW) and everyone ordered the chicken for two plus several sides. Tosca is obviously popular so go with a positive attitude, relax and enjoy a GREAT evening. Special thanks to server Daniella and the Bar Manager for their recommendations for sides.Special Features:
- jonathanDined on 9/26/2014all very positive with 1 exception . waiter did not offer specials not on menuSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExceptionalSusieQuezeeDined on 9/21/2014When I read that one of the top 10 best new restaurants was in San Fran, I immediately booked a table for our anniversary dinner. What an incredible spot! The food was creative and surprising, the service impeccable and the ambiance was playful, yet romantic. This is a "must" for every foodie in the area.Special Features:
- Great spot, poor foodphilipglDined on 9/18/2014The tuna starter was from a tin - awful. The steak while well cooked came with a weird lemon sauce and totally clashed with the expensive red wine and flavor. The food is too pricey and just not good enough for all the options available nearby. Would recommend it for a bar drink but stay away for dinner.Special Features:
- DisappointedFormerBAbelieverDined on 9/18/2014I took my new boss to this spot during a business trip to SF. His English is limited and the noise level of this place was so high that it was very difficult to have a conversation. Not a good spot for getting to know someone. However, my main disappointment was that the one of dishes recommended in Bon Appetit was not available and not even on the main menu. Instead I had the bucatini (also recommended in BA) and found it to be gummy and over salted. The wines were all extremely over-priced and the one that was somewhat reasonable ($50 for a rose!!!) was not available. Overall, I have to think that putting this among the top 10 new restaurants in the US (according to BA) has to be a stretch. Would not return.Special Features:
- OverhypedOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/17/2014The good dishes: fried anchovies and crispy pigs' tails(save for the ones that were all bone). Pastas: OK but small and served cold; rest nothing to write home about. And the service: ouch. Went on the basis of SF Chronicle review: reviewer was on another planet but maybe he has a different orbit than the rest of us
- Good for foodiesChesapeakeDined on 9/17/2014The food was wonderful. You order and pay by--antipasti, first, second, third, vegetables and dessert. The crispy pig tails are wonderful and many patrons were eating it. The anchovy fritto and minestrone were the best we've ever had. The pasta choices were all tasty and we both had the hanger steak which was cooked perfectly. We shared the blistered padron peppers which were perfectly cooked. By dessert, we could only share a dark chocolate sorbet. Yum. Air conditioning was not working and it was hot. Found service aloof. Wine list has few California wines--the rest Italian wines. We watched April Bloomfield on the PBS show, so it was a good, but expensive experience and Bon Appetit says it's one of the best new restaurants.Special Features:
- We had a great time!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/16/2014Mixed reviews had us wondering if we should make the trek into North Beach, park, etc. We had a wonderful time. Food was very good- not stellar (consider the competition in SF) but everything we ordered was prepared well and quite delicious. Service was excellent from bar to coffee (contrary to reviews). We visited with the couple sitting next to us and were still treated finely, meaning, we weren't shushed out the door. By the time we left, the bar was packed. Good energy overall.Special Features:
- The Publicity is JustifiedFrugalGastronomeVIPDined on 9/16/2014The new owners of this traditional trattoria apparently kept the previous decor. It's not quiet. The menu is small but varied, with the traditional Italian courses. Service was efficient but unhurried - Italian style. Don't plan on a quick meal. Our server was excellent, and knew the wines as well as the food.The wines by the glass were first rate (as were the cocktails). We got the pig's tail (tasty, but a novelty) and the fennel (ethereal). I had the green salad (familiar and unfamiliar greens under a not-too-tart vinaigrette) and the pasta with braised pork shank. My wife got the summer minestrone (surprisingly, delightfully rich) and the mushroom polenta. All were delicious and perfectly prepared, as was the cannoli for dessert.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and ambience.BethDined on 9/14/2014The place is great and I love going there. The bar is extremely slow however. We were seated a while before the server came over and then we ordered drinks and waited and waited. Since they didn't have many people there at that time (the only reservation we could get was 5:15) we could not understand why it took so long. Simple drinks,not fancy ones. Same experience on other visits. Our friends agreed with us that it was all worth the wait, however - the food is excellent and no so precious you can't figure out what it is unlike some other highly rated restaurants in town. Go, and be patient - it's worth it.Special Features:
- maggiamiaDined on 9/11/2014The food choices are limited but very good. the limited menu makes it easier to make a selection. They also have a very good bar menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- lover of SF restaurantsPaulDined on 9/11/2014The service was outstanding. The food was nondescript and disappointing. It was similar to last minute snacks whipped up at home from whatever was in the fridge and on the shelf. The seasoning was off note.Special Features:
- ExcellentrossncDined on 9/9/2014Great food, be sure to order the roasted carrots. Excellent service. Appreciate that they keep a certain percentage of tables open for walk ins.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- a long way to go or restartnewyorknickDined on 9/7/2014We had dinner on sunday 9/7 and was not greeted by the manager for about 5 minutes, despite the fact that we were at the podium, directly in front of him and with no other diners. It only got worse as he walked past us for over 45 minutes with no eye contact. 5 tables were open and finally we asked the woman now at podium if we could have a table because our reservation was 45 minutes old-she apologized and sat us immediately. We ordered extensive food wanting to try everything and it failed miserably. High salt and extreme vinegar in most dishes. A shame that they cannot find a competent local manager to keep the vigil and quality as we would expect based on the new York experience of this English chef. Never again!
- Great FoodBarbaraDined on 9/6/2014The restaurant is ideal for someone who cares more about the food than the surroundings. It is very basic (formica brown tables retro style), I would not recommend it for a romantic night out. The menu is pretty limited too but everything on it looked good and our food was really great. The only disappointing food was the broccoli side dish that was incredibly salty and I could not figure out any reason why it had to be that way (yes lots of people complain and I love salt so I put it down to fussy people).Special Features:
- DisappointedMichaelinsfVIPDined on 8/30/2014I am torn about this review as I wanted to like Tosca more than I did. Starting from the beginning, we were seated promptly. The space itself feels warm like it has history, but not old. Service was mixed, starting well but then sliding into neglect. Our server was friendly but then forgot to refill wine and the length between courses got longer and longer. One person's steak took extra time so they comped a dessert. The food itself was pretty good but very salty. The focaccia bread to start was delicious. I got the radish salad and bucatini which were both good. Others liked their dishes but too salty was a common refrain. The desserts were very one note and surprisingly ordinary. The the wine list struck me as very expensive.
- Tosca delivers #4 Bon Appetite rankTKSFDined on 8/30/2014Been going to Tosca, like many other San Franciscans, primariy as a cool / vintage / perfect bar for many years. When April Blloomfield and team took it over earlier this year, we went right away. Good news: the decor is the same (just cleaned up), the opera and rat pack juke box is still there, and vibe is still authetic and off the radar-ish. Our first meal, when they change over happened was great, but not perfect. However, we went back - when they were named by Bon Appetite the no 4 best restaurant , and the ranking was definitely worthy. All the food was amazing, the service great (funny and knowledgeable staff) - both NYC and SF friends were blown away. Order Crispy PIg Tails, Pasta (any/all) and the Steak.Special Features:
- WowOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 8/29/2014Each course was better than the next! The wow choices were for sure the focaccia bread, bucatini, and the blistered peppers appetizer. Overall it was fantastic.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LuvfoodDined on 8/29/2014Overall good experience. Nice ambiance and good food and great selection of wine. The bar scene is very happening. I would recommend Tosca for a casual group outing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellentfallonVIPDined on 8/28/2014A friend recommended Tosca, so we booked a reservation for vacation... and days later it showed up as a feature in Food & Wine. Hyperbole aside, this is one of the best meals I've had. Each dish was simple, thoughtful, balanced and beautiful. The service was top grade and the atmosphere was friendly and fun. I would go back ANY time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Everything Old is New AgainSanibelTomDined on 8/27/2014Locals talk with reverence of the "old" bar at this location; there are memories... but the memories faded with time. Now, great restauranteurs have arrived from the East Coast to resurrect this gem. We're told that lots of money was spent to restore the old and more was spent to create a modern kitchen. Well worth it! Entry takes you by the long, energetic bar area, the end of which is the cold station, with a meat slicer from the Old World. The open kitchen has enough energy for two restaurants, although there appears to be a smaller, quieter room behind the massive fresco on the back wall. Our server was lacking the kitchen's energy, but the food made up for it. Your cardiologist won't approve, but you'll go home with a smile!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WowStevAVIPDined on 8/27/2014retained the ambience and even better than before excellent menu and preparation great serviceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Gem for the tastebudsMamaKDined on 8/26/2014Tosca was a delight from the moment I sat down, a pleasant dining room, casual but not frumpy. My dining partner and I shared numerous dishes from each course. Each one brought a bevy of flavor and textures that both excited our eyes, noses, and mouths. Creative combinations of fresh food, thoughtfully prepared. The handler steak dish was cooked and seasoned to perfection with a sauce that makes my mouth water just thinking about it! If you're in SF, Tosca will not disappoint.Special Features:
- Wonderful Experience!CarlotaJotaDined on 8/26/2014I've been to Tosca Cafe twice and loved it both times. The drinks are outstanding (go for the Trouble in Paradise) and are made with care by knowledgeable and friendly bartenders. My favorite dish was the Bucatini pasta-- full of flavor and a perfect portion to share. Both the salmon and hanger steak entrees were fantastic, and you can't go wrong with any of the vegetable sides. The ambiance was cozy and friendly, whether sitting at the bar or in the main dining room. A great place to go for drinks and/or dinner!Special Features:
- DisappointingTonyVIPDined on 8/23/2014We were really looking forward to trying Tosca Cafe and went with friends - we are all foodies who eat out frequently. We ordered three starters, and one came relatively quickly. We waited at least 45 minutes and finally asked the manager what happened to our other starters. He very arrogantly said that we had received them! He went back to the kitchen, came back out and informed us that they had been delivered to another table. One brief apology from him which was not sincere. We never saw our waitress again. Manager never returned to our table to see if the evening was back on track. Service and attitude some of the worst we have ever experienced! Food good but not worth the attitude!
- Past in the presentobserverDined on 8/22/2014The renovation keeps the feeling of the Tosca's from the 1970's-90's - I frequented when I lived in North Beach -but with nice lighting, a good menu, restored artworks? a feeling of uniqueness and of course for many of us who spent many late nights there a sense of an ambiance of timelessness. It seemed artful and smart - attractive to people who cherish the San Francisco story and hope to see it continue.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Way Too Loud & Overpriced for ValueJwriterDined on 8/21/2014We were seated promptly for our reservation at 7:15 on a Thursday night. Wait staff was just fine throughout although second drinks were very slow in coming, but no problem with service, friendly and professional. Noise = BOMB, even though the restaurant was not crowded at that point. My dinner partner and I had to lean to within 6 inches of each other to hear what we were saying. When we left at 9, (ears ringing and voice harsh), the crush around the bar made it hard to get to the door but that's a good scene, I suppose. Food portions were very small: very tasty meatballs; foccaccia was quite good; cocktails were VERY small and very expensive. This was a first time at this re-novo SF tradition--but I don't think I'll be going back again.Special Features: