Woodwards Garden
Woodwards Garden

Woodwards Garden

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.woodwardsgarden.com/
  • Phone: 4156217122
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 6:00pm - close
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Dana Tommasino
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We can accommodate up to 40 persons in our intimate back dining room for private parties (birthdays and small wedding parties are popular). Our entire restaurant can accommodate 49 persons. Contact us for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Margie Conard 8669738542

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Duboce Avenue
  • Public Transit: Bart stops at 16th Mission Street
    Muni stops at Van Ness
    Mission Street Bus stops at Duboce
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Easy street parking as the neighborhood clears out at night.
A word from Woodwards Garden
Our Restaurant is located at the site of the original Woodward’s Gardens, San Francisco’s first amusement park, open from 1866 to 1891. We love that our restaurant is connected to such a sweet part of this city’s past. We like to think that our food also reflects a slower time as it is both ardently seasonal and locally sourced. Our garden opened under a freeway in 1992 and was one of the first of its kind to establish itself in San Francisco’s unlikely Mission District — now a thriving destination. A tiny jewel box, Woodward’s Garden has been likened by many friends and customers favorite neighborhood bistros in Paris. We love the idea - Dana Tommasino & Margie Conard
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Woodwards Garden reviews from OpenTable diners
62 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (41)fit for foodies (40)romantic (32)special occasion (29)notable wine list (13)good for groups (4)kid-friendly (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • I love this place!
    ottoVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Sorry to see them closing up, but they had a great run. thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • SFJim
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I'm so sorry that Woodward's Garden will be closing. It's been such a great place for so long. It will be missed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved it!
    Bob0117VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Service, food and ambiance - all 5 stars! Very sad to see this place close in a few weeks...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • neighborhood gem
    scoot
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The hustle and bustle of an overpass outside...inside this gem, one is transported by cozy dining, excellent staff and delicious food from the heart!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great evening of great food
    cptbyteme
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Super great food served in a comfortable interesting space. We had seats in front so we could enjoy watching all that goes into getting us the tasty food. I'd recommend WG to anyone wanting a great space for a special occasion or for an intimate dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Get in while you can
    PaulH
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I had heard about Woodwards Garden from friends who live in the Mission, but only just now had a chance to dine there. They are closing some time between mid-September to October so don't hesitate to get in and try them. The kitchen is small and run by one of the owners, and the staff are well-trained though not very chatty. But the best reason to go is for the food. It's another spin on farm-to-table, but the attention to detail and use of seasonal, fresh ingredients are excellent. Sure, sitting under a freeway overpass doesn't provide the best ambiance, but that's not really what this place is about. It's all about a small, neighborhood gem who have been doing things right for years. Get in while you still can.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • IMHO
    ozikboyVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The best Food in the city.... thats what happens when the owners are creating the food in front of you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • RE: First Time
    rockytonyVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Hard [lace to find and park once you do. Very unattractive interior with little to warm the room up I had the feeling we were dining adjacent to their storage room. Tables were too close together and it was difficult to have a "private conversation" as the two adjacent tables on either side were virtually right next to us. The food was good but the pork loin I had was tepid and the taste has no special zing or flavor. The service was good but the overall experience lacked any reason to return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surly Rushed service but great food
    SMCorbettVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The restaurant was fairly empty, but we were kept standing at the door for 5 minutes. When seated, the server brought menus and expected us to order right then. We asked for time, and she came back in three minutes. I asked for more time which seemed to irritate her. She came back two to three minutes later, and I again asked for more time. Needless to say, she came back quickly again. At this point we ordered because it seemed she really wanted to turn over the table. The wine we ordered wasn't chilled so the appetizers came out before the wine. The whole meal took less than an hour because of all the rushing. The food was terrific, but we will probably never go back because the server was brusque and uninterested in our desires.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Homey
    Chineselantern
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Like home cooking with special touches. Good place for foodies to try out dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Such a Gem!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    It's been years since I was there last and I took my girlfriend there for a special birthday. The owner was so nice and the little touches with the fresh flowers and a candle on the desert we ordered was really special. The food was great and I just read they are losing their lease. So sad! Try to get there before they close!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MarindinerVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Very good food -- innovative menu and excellent presentation. One of our diners is gluten intolerant and the staff were very accommodating. There were four of us in the party and we all had something different -- every entrée was delicious. The desserts were terrific too. It is an odd location for a restaurant but we were heading to the Public Works building for an art show so it was perfect because the restaurant was just a block away. I would definitely dine there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Eatinit
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Loved it! Everything was prepared to perfection. I'd wanted to go for years and so glad we finally went. Did not disappoint!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Woodwards Garden Delight
    RRRR
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The entire experience at Woodwards Garden is just wonderful. Located in a very urban looking environment, you step inside and enter a world of fine dining and service! The food is fresh, delicious and surprises with some of the combinations. The wine list is short but complex. I look forward to my next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always incredible
    STMission
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    We always love dining here. The small and cozy space conbined with exquisite dishes that exemplify San Francisco comfort food make is perfect for special nights out. The fact that you can actually hear your dinner guests is an added bonus! Hard to find a nice quiet place to chat that also has excellent food these days.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dinerVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Fabulous fresh food cooked well, wonderful wines and wine advice. Understated excellent service. A really enjoyable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Secret Gardens
    gandom
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    As if to step into another time, another place, this restaurant serves up good food and ambience for a romantic dinner.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Harmonious flavors
    WorldFoody
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    We have visited Woodwards Garden twice. We were impressed by the intensity of flavors and the skill taken to blend them into a wonderful dish. The first time we started with an excellent cheese platter. We also shared a wheat berry risotto combining peas and asparagus, expertly done. We tried the lamb tagine featuring tender pieces of lamb shoulder, a very tasty reduction sauce and grilled vegetables. Our friend had the duck leg with polenta and broccoli di ciccio - extremely moist and flavorful meat and excellent greens. Atmosphere is calm and pleasant. Service is attentive and easy. The wine list and suggestions are perfect. Go to Woodwards Garden to savor the food and enjoy the company of your appreciative dining companions...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • So Many Five Star Reviews?
    HoltwestVIP
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Finally had dinner at this restaurant after living in San Francisco for over 20 years. Reading the reviews on Open Table are misleading. This is not a Five or Four star experience, it's just not. The food was only OK and the restaurant is in poor condition. There is a baby grand piano in the already cramped dining room...and a curtain against the back wall that only partially conceals a storage closet. It just seems like they've given up on overall maintenance and appearance...and innovation in the kitchen. Sorry...I hate to write poor reviews, but perhaps they'll step up their game. They've been at that location for years, so there must be something to what they've done in the past.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great neighborhood gem
    Sunny
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Very good food and service. A small intimate scene.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Construction Site
    Maricush
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    I recommended to my friends from Menlo Park to meet my husband and I there for dinner. It was an embarrasing choice for which I had to apologize. The floor upstairs is under construction and extremely noisy. The lights come on full blast unexpectedly. The staff doesnt seem to mind. My lamb shoulder was very dry. Stay away.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 41 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 364 reviews are from the Woodwards Garden reviews archive.
  • thisVIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    really loud table next to us, service was fine, chef put together some wild combinations tha tdidn't make sense and both of our proteins had no flavor to them, very bland meal, won't be back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Fantastic local spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    My husband and I were travelling from Toronto, ON Canada and were on the hunt for a local spot that had great food, terrific service and an unpretentious atmosphere. This restaurant hit all of those components, and then some. The staff was very friendly and the food was outstanding. Flavours were simple but stood out, portions were a perfect size and the menu was definitely specific to what was available in the area and in season. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Back to the Garden
    eatenthere
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    We've eaten at Woodwards Garden several times in the past 4 or 5 years. It's always been really good with an inventive, complex menu. This time, though, the food was pretty disappointing; the pork steak underdone, the duck dish dry with accompaniments that seem to have sat around a while. The food did not seem to have sped from stove to table, the way it should. We hope that things pick-up at this restaurant since we've often loved the food and always liked the environment--a kind of broken elegance with crisp linens and uneven floors. Hoping things improve.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    After driving past Woodward Gardens for years, I'm glad that I finally made the effort to eat there. The service was excellent and the food tasty and well presented. I plan to return on a regular basis to enjoy a laid back and cozy experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    JJDFVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Not awful, not memorable. Nothing was mind-blowing. I think the wife summed it up perfectly when she said it didn't make her feel special. I think any fine dining/high-end cuisine experience should do exactly that. It should make you feel special, from the ingredients to the service. When a place makes you feel like they're doing you a favor and you should be lucky to be there, I think that's a major missed opportunity for them for repeat business. I also feel like their insecurities are showing. Places that do the opposite, the ones that deliver on food, experience, service, and overall wow: Sons & Daughters, Millennium, Frances, Baker & Banker. We will continue to go to these and avoid the Woodward's and Haven's of the Bay Area. Thanks.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lighting so dim you can't read menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I love quaint dining spaces, but the room was so poorly designed I had a piano cutting into my personal space.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sorry dinner at Woodwords Garden
    turnedoffVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We had been going to this restaurant for over ten years and don't know what has happened. The appetizers were average but the main courses while edible were marginal.We tried to order a side order of radishes and were served two. The wine list of California Whites was limited and ordered two glasses of a red with our main course but were served two tiny glasses that were so small they never appeared on our bill. The waitress was pleasant but every question required her to go to someone else for an answer. Years ago my wife got a salad dressing recipe from the chef and we have loved it. The recipe's this time barely passed muster. We are sad. A favorite has so deteriorated that we will not wish to reserve there again
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Food - comfortable Atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The food was delicious. All food prepared from fresh locally resourced providers. The atmosphere was quiet; you really talk and enjoy each other's company. Service was prompt and courteous.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old Europe quality!
    Docdillerdines
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    My wife and two friends dined at Woodwards Garden specifically because it was next door to Brick and Mortar where my sons' band was performing. Indeed during dinner we "ran into" (the dining area is quite small) one of my sons with his girlfriend performer and band manager dining before their set as well. All seven of us had great meals but was notably outstanding was the sensitive and sophisticated service offered by whom I believe was the owner of the restaurant. Her suggestion, pace and style reminded me of what I'd expect at a good French or Alsatian restaurant in Europe. Woodwards Garden apparently is located in one of the oldest continuous restaurant sites in San Francisco. We loved its charm, food and service.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food--weird location
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Great spot for the food--cooked with care by what I'm told are the original owners. Restaurant sits practically under the 101 Fwy, so the entrance is a bit weird. Parking not as hard as you might think, at least not on a weekend evening, but you have to find it yourself, and maybe get lucky. Somewhat cramped quarters but surprisingly quiet for dinner.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Underwhelmed
    devedr1
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    The write ups were rather positive and we wanted to try a new restaurant. Rather disappointing. We order an appetizer of beets and were served one with kale - which actually looked better - we should have kept it. The yellow tail fish was overcooked and dry. Desert was strawberry tart; not bad but definitely nothing that a good bakery could not do better. Very few wines by the glass. Tables are very close together and in a place which is industrial, it is difficult -the conversation of the table next to us was hard to not overhear in an otherwise quiet place. Heirloom Café and others are a much better choice. I assume this was an off night. Some adjustments are needed from our experience: more attentive/helpful service included.
    Special Features:
    Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We loved this place. We can't believe we've never been before! The food was delicious, fresh, seasonal. The ambiance is great; we sat near front windows right by the open kitchen. Feels like you're in a small European town! Relaxed but still special. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not much to look at but great food
    TheIronDukeVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    You have to get past the appearance of the building, and the rather close seating, but these folks (and it is amazingly few folks) really put out some excellent dishes. Everything we had was well presented and just enough different to make my foodie daughter very impressed. Can't go wrong for pre-theater dining. Ton's of close on street parking available Saturday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • a wonderful occasion everytime
    cptbyteme
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    Woodwards Garden is one of those hidden gems in San Francisco. From the meals start with great wine to the finish with delectable desserts and robust coffee, we always have a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High quality , low attitude
    Qzer
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Woodward gardens is located under the highway, but somehow manages to feel romantic and cozy. The menus is always dependable to be delicious and seasonal, and the owner can be relies upon for great wine recommendations. Seating in the front near the windows allows you to watch your chef at work, or sit in the back if you want a table out of the way of the action. Service was very good, as were the citrus salad, soup, and steelhead. I think it would be hard to go wrong with whatever you chose.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of our best dining experiences
    kidfreenight
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The food and drinks were wonderful -- everything from my rose` to the strawberry rhubarb tart for dessert. The salmon with dill creme fresh was amazing. My husband's citrus and burrata salad was equally superb, and his pork with chimichurri was also good. My lettuces salad with radishes was a little lacking, but being the only thing slightly amiss, I still give it 5 stars. Even my decaf americano was really good (DECAF!). The service was traditional french style -- very subtle / non-obtrusive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mission Gem
    samoVIP
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    This place is one of the gems in the Mission. Fantastic food, Best service, great wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Understated and excelent
    dinerVIP
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    The food is very high quality, well made but not overly fussy. The flavors of the ingredients come through clearly. Delicious. And the wine list matches with high quality wines at every price point. A delightful evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My new favorite
    ozikboyVIP
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Everything was amazing... I am not sure I personally qualify for being named a "foodie". But I have many friends who give themselves this ID and have brought me along on their restaurant investigations so I have been to high end places... the food at this place rivals and IMHO surpasses most of them. I had the steelhead and a kale salad . The dessert was a fruit based something(cant remember the name--thanks to alcohol prior and during dinnner lol) delicious.... I'm pretty sure the owners do the cooking as well as host the place... Nice to dine at a non corporate owned establishment. Lastly I could have a conversation with my guests without yelling at them.. although it was a tuesday night...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.