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
113 reviews since May 20, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (68)vibrant bar scene (64)neighborhood gem (49)hot spot (47)notable wine list (29)late-night find (27)special occasion (26)romantic (24)good for groups (10)kid-friendly (1)great for brunch (1)scenic view (1)Show More
- 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined 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 2011Dined 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.
- 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:
- Great food but service lackingsusiekVIPDined on 8/20/2014This was my second time at Tosca and the food was even better than before--we had several appetizers that were outstanding (most notably the radish and tuna conserva). The chicken is a must order, along with the potatoes. We were amazed how juicy and tender the chicken was. The bucatini was also a highlight. However, the chicken took an hour and a half, and the kitchen does seem to have worked out the timing yet (both visits had awkward timing with long waits between some courses and then two courses coming too close together). We also had trouble getting our server's attention to order second rounds of drinks. The food will definitely bring me back, but I hope they work out the service/kitchen kinks soon!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Calmly GreatsfgeorgeDined on 8/20/2014After gentle renovation Tosca Cafe still has it's ersatz character intact but now there is great food !Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, indifferent serviceTastebudDined on 8/16/2014The basic expectation from any restaurant is good food and hospitality. The center of the experience should always be the customer. Tosca delivered on the food but not on the hospitality. The food was great and the restaurant was certainly popular. Our experience was dulled by both innatentive and over attentive staff. Had our waiter taken the considerable effort he took in being indifferent and redirected it into looking after us it would have been welcome. Had our water not been topped up every few minutes by a different staff member it would have been awesome. We also noted the guy on the pass dipping his finger into plates and his mouth continuously with no pause for sanitation! Fix the service and don't oversalt the sides.Special Features:
- Excellent dinnerSFvisitorDined on 8/15/2014Excellent service and excellent food. Loved the Tosca martini!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Decent but not greatOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 8/9/2014First problem...no valet parking, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to find a parking lot or spot on the street in the very busy North Beach area. Atmosphere is Ok, service was decent but food items were either OK or not good. The potatoes, fried in pork fat had a beautiful golden color, smelled fabulous with hint of Rosemary and wonderful crunchy texture when eaten, but then the heavy load of salt just overwhelmed the taste. Everyone at our table for 4 complained the salt was way too much (and I usually salt my foods) . I don't know what would have happened if we had requested a fresh order of potatoes with less salt. We ordered the roast chicken (takes an hour) and a little disappointed that $42 only gets you so-so half chicken.Special Features:
- bevsterDined on 8/3/2014Not only is Tosca back with its iconic cappuccino but the food is terrific and unexpected. We went earl yon a sunday evening so the noise level was relatively low. It was a pleasure all around.Special Features:
- Don't believe the hype - stay awayhauterouteVIPDined on 8/2/2014Seated 30 min late. Service was truly atrocious, with 20-30 minute delays between servings, multiple different servers (none of whom seemed to communicate with one another), never provided basics like silverware or water, having to ask for things several times, requests being forgetten, etc, etc. Just incredibly slow. Much would have been forgiven if the food had been good, and a good value. Sadly, it was neither. Food was average at best (bucatini was basically like making some pasta at home with Prego sauce and some pancetta thrown in, with an appetizer-sized portion), salad was $15 for 8 leaves, and the polenta was small and bland. Highlight was the excellent foccacia bread, but it too was served late and without any means to cut/serve.
- food took way to long to be servedOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 8/1/2014we waited 30 minutes for a table for our 8:15 reservation. Starters came out quick, but took over an hour to get our entrees. Spoke to the manager who bascially said the kitchen does get backed up and it depends "on when you come in". He did comp a bottle of wine.... but what could have been a nice dinner was not that great. Would not go back.
- heavy handed on salteggyVIPDined on 8/1/2014For some reason, all my dishes were way too salty. Great cook on everything, but I could taste salt.Special Features:
- Excellent - would definitely returnmsaisleDined on 7/30/2014Was somewhat hesitant about going to Tosca Cafe as I heard it was super expensive, but ended up being around $60 per head including a bottle of wine. Actually great value for money - the food was delicious. Recommend the meatballs and polenta in particular. Although portions were small we didn't leave hungry at all. Had heard service was bad but I think it was fine - relaxed and unfussy. Space is great - a restored San Francisco classic. Would definitely recommend and will certainly return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- First Time Diner - Loved It!CJStavertVIPDined on 7/30/2014Great bar, excellent menu and preparation, and superior service. This neighborhood insttituion has been revitalized by the new ownership group. They have received great press (Chronicle, Food & Wine, etc.), and the praise has been justified. Highly recommend!Special Features:
- Most amazing dinnerLinluvsfoodDined on 7/30/2014What April Bloomfield does with flavors is unsurpassed, and the chef was in the kitchen this week. The service was spot on and the atmosphere was great, including the old school rock n roll playing. I woke up the next day still thinking about the roasted peppers with tomatoes and mozzarella! Highly recommend this great spot.Special Features:
- grannygooseVIPDined on 7/30/2014We shared the chicken at Tosca's and it was very good. I had the broccoli which was drenched in sea salt and not good. The carrots were fine. Lots of people enjoying themselves.Special Features:
- Poor value.FoodieforlifeVIPDined on 7/27/2014Big ticket prices for tapas sized main dishes. Over salted and gritty pasta and clam sauce. $10 for bread?! Add to that unfriendly and indifferent service, and you have a good picture of our Tosca experience. Skip it.
- Disastrous ExperienceOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 7/24/2014Terrible greeting at the door. That set the tone for a horrible 3 hour experience. We wanted to have an appetizer before we ordered our dinner. Server told us we could not and had to have a complete order. The chicken takes an hour to cook well ours took 2 hours and was awful. Not one dish would drive me to go back along with amateur service with a drive in style ambience at high prices.
- Food was fantastic, service was notEricDined on 7/22/2014Fantastic selection of delicious food, all very good. We lucked out dining at Tosca that evening as it was Chef Bloomfield's first night working at Tosca, fresh from NYC. Generally speaking the service was unimpressive and not attentive, we had an empty water carafe on our table for close to 15min and had to ask if we could see a desert menu, among other things. I would however go back - especially if Chef Bloomfield is working, the food alone is worth putting up with the uninspired service.Special Features:
- Birthday celebrationOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 7/22/2014Totally loved this place. First time there since it reopened. Cocktails, wine, food and service were all excellent. Loved that it was so intimate, few tables. It was really great.
- Very Loud, Great FooddepiccfxDined on 7/20/2014The bar was bustling and the cocktails were great (I had the Trouble in Paradise, which had good balance and wasn't too sweet, and my wife had the Diamond Spritz Fizz, which earned a thumbs-up). For dinner, we sampled a variety of appetizers, all of which were excellent, 2 salads, both spot on, and shared one pasta course (linguine with clams), which was way over-salted (my wife and I both love salt, but in this dish there was simply too much). Our server timed the courses perfectly and provided excellent service. We washed everything down with a bottle of good champagne, so I won't comment on the wine list). All in all, a very fine meal, but, then, there are so many of them in this great dining town...Special Features:
- ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE!!!JilybobVIPDined on 7/20/2014We had issues with this restaurant from the reservation stage to exiting the door. We tried to expand our reservation via Opentable from 2 to 4 and got the 'nothing available within 2.5 hours' message. So we called the listed number for two days and kept getting 'the mailbox is full' message. We decided to take a chance, even with a 2 hour roundtrip drive, and met our friends there. We got there early enough to ask if they could join us, and after checking the computer, we were told that they could accommodate us. Big deal. There were 3 booths and 4 tables that remained empty all evening. It went even more downhill from there. Our waiter, Henderson, puts the A in attitude. Food mediocre. Wine prices shockingly high.
- Wonderful meal at ToscaSFNativeDined on 7/19/2014I'd always wanted to visit the historic Tosca Cafe, portrayed in so many Beat novels. The excellent reviews for the revived restaurant were well deserved. We ordered the special (one-hour) chicken for two as well as some appetizers and pasta, which were well-paced and made for a hearty tasting menu. The sage foccaccia, artichoke, bucatini and especially the polenta with mushrooms were heavenly. The chicken and accompanying toasts were delicious. We also enjoyed the house "cappuccino" and gin-based Polo Cup. Thankfully, there was no picket line that night, but the labor issues are distressing. The other disturbing note was the awful juke box music on the speakers-- why not some fitting Italian music or opera?Special Features:
- magical elixirs and sparkleHaroldVIPDined on 7/18/2014Tosca has the great cocktails,,,made with classical know how and imagination and sparkle and freshness... Also the food is wonderful and Tosca has reinvented itself~ nodding to the past Tosca ~but now it has a beautiful mood and light and quality ! And the bar is the most beautiful and warm hearted in San Francisco with magical elixirs...Special Features:
- absolutely yummyJonicaVIPDined on 7/17/2014The trout was amazing, the Gemelli scrumptious and the artichoke appetizer was delish. The remodel is perfect, the service was quick and thoughtful, the crowd was interesting and my Polo cup was delightful and refreshing... Loved it all!Special Features:
- Updated yet the sameDoloresheightsdinerVIPDined on 7/17/2014Wonderful character decor and atmosphere as the old the old Tosca. For some reason, getting our pasta took way too long even though it was that busy as we went early. 6pm reservations. We had the minestrone which was very fresh and delicious, chicken livers that were yummy on toast w herb salsa, bucatini and rigatoni w pork. Both pastas were very good and on par w Locanda - my favorite place for pasta. Now that they take reservations, try it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.