Acquolina

4.1
122 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Acquolina owner Dario Nicotra hails from Livorno, a city on Tuscany's western coast and serves the food of his native Florentine region. Acquolina, which means "mouthwatering" in Italian, is reminiscent of his old days of hanging out at the beach in Tuscany and frequenting a local family restaurant. Acquolina offers casual brunch and lunch options, with omelets, breakfast pizza, pastries, and espresso in the morning and pasta, focaccia, and pizza made in an imported, stone oven in the afternoon. Dinner is more sophisticated, with meats and seafood plus pizza and pasta. Chef Meri Serpillo prepares all of the pasta daily and freshly for each dish. A selection of wines and beers from Italy (and California) complement all the dishes and the fresh fruit cocktails are the perfect aperitif before your meal. Acquolina offers outdoor seating directly in front of Washington Square Park for a classic San Francisco outdoor dining experience and some of the best people-watching in the city.

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Mon - Fri 11:30AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 1:00PM 4:00PM - 5:30PM

What 122 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MW
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful date night. Staff is the best and a ton of fun. Great traditional Italian cuisine in a fun setting. Say hello to Marco and try the pasta preparation in the cheese wheel if you have not had it before.

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MB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic neighborhood restaurant with authentic Italian food. Great experience

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Nice little Italian spot but service wasn't good and food took forever. I liked our waiter though.

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CA
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, service was great! Highly recommend and want to go back soon.

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LL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 4

I really wanted to like this restaurant. The décor was pretty, the location really convenient for our plans, and the menu was varied. Unfortunately, the service leaved a lot to be desired. Our waiter spent most of the night behind the bar talking, and we had to catch his attention (not easy) motion him over anytime we needed anything. Worse, my pasta dish was so over-salted that it was practically inedible. Disappointing.

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ST
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Nothing to write home about. It was ok, not even good, just ok. Everyone in my party was so-so on the place. I can’t put my finger on anything terrible but something isn’t right. I would go somewhere else. There you go.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best Italian food in San Francisco. Fun service, beautiful interior

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JM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is delicious, though portions are small if you don’t order an appetizer. The staff made sure to get us a window seat for our date, it was all very romantic. I definitely recommend!

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S
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I had a great time, my girlfriends and I would definitely recommend this place. At one point they did forget our salad but made up for it by giving us free dessert. They really know how to treat the costumers and we will be coming back.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were here for Valentine's Day and it was my husband’s birthday. They had beautifully presented branzino and it was delicious! Service was ON POINT! There were two guys working plus the manager and a host. They were all so in sync and everything was so smooth and delicious. The wine selection is not great for an Italian restaurant, that is the only downside. Next time maybe we should try cocktails?
Overall, a wonderful experience! Thank you for a memorable experience!

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HC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite Italian restaurant in the north beach. Usually we do not book a table but we did this time as we had a guest from Tokyo.
The waiters were friendly and took care of us nicely, even our guest arrived relatively late.
Every dish was delicious and service was just right, and pleasant.

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d
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Worst service I've ever had. Rude staff, slow to respond.

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OT
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The owner and waiter are super nice and open. Our waiter did not speak much English so he messed up our order. There was a delay for a couple of us. Food was generally good. Wine good.

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KB
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic food, good ambiance. Highly recommend for dates or family outings.

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 3

Server was nice but service was exceptionally slow. A larger party seated after us received their meal before we did. Disappointing. Our meal was so late the nice server donated an extra appetizer. When the food came, it was only for 2 of the diners and we had to wait for the third meal. Particularly disappointing was their rigatoni with chopped pork ribs, 3 pieces of bone with no meat in a sea of red sauce, hidden by a pile of Parmesan. Oh well, we had a night out in North beach...expectations were not high for the cuisine but sadly fell short anyway.

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A
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 1

Unfortunately, the menu for Xmas was limited compared to the regular menu which meant almost no options for vegetarians. They lost our order and our food came way after our neighbors who arrived after us. The food was not very good and they had the TV on despite it being Xmas. I was disappointed.

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L
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Acquolina with a fairly large group and they were very accommodating and friendly. They helped us pick the best options for our large group to share and everyone was very happy with the food. They even brought us desserts to share at the end, on the house! It was a beautiful setting with the lights in the windows and across from the square. Couldn't have asked for a better evening. Thank you!

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OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The meatballs and gravy lacked flavor. Almost like they forgot tonight in the spices. The Caesar salad was meh. The pizza’s were a bit too well done. The crust was dark brown and crispy stiff. We had the margarita and it was flavorful. Will I go back? Probably not.

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MD
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was fantastic and everyone was very nice. I really enjoyed the grandma cake for dessert. I had the shrimp risotto and the shrimp were a little overdone.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

A good experience. Good food, good wines. It was a rainy day, I arrived before the reservation time and I got a table before too. My wife loved it.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 4

Good place to take a tinder date!

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OT
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service, and even better food. Pasta was served perfect, and the wine selection was a great value. Highly recommend this place for a great dinner

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YC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

My food was not good and expensive. Don’t mind paying for good quality. This was very disappointing. Won’t go back.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

We read a bunch of good reviews and were excited to try out this restaurant. Unfortunately the food was quite bland and lacking flavor, and the pasta was undercooked. The sauce was dry, almost like it had been sitting for a while. Our table was so slanted that plates, silverware, and glasses slid towards the edge every now and then. The staff were aware and did not help fix the situation. Definitely not worth the price and not a 4 star restaurant.

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3
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Much too noisy. I could barely hear the person next to me speak. I don't get why a table of four young women need to all try to talk at once and shout over the others to try to be heard first. I guess I was raised differently.

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DL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Food was average at best for Italian. Pizza was soggy and full of grease and the first pasta dish we ordered was undercooked with some strange gel like decoration that was both unattractive and strange. Switched out for second dish and having told the waiter I was vegetarian it still came with bacon on. Dessert was amazing but that’s the only positive. Not sure how they survive in such a competitive market.

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OT
Yorkshire
7 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Table for 8. Sat straight away. Service was excellent. Food really good! Extra treat at the end was lovely. Nice atmosphere, would definitely recommend!

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M
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Cucina italiana come se si fosse in Italia e tanta allegria e buon umore
Bellissima serata e siamo tornati anche a pranzo

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FF
San Francisco
165 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Three great friends sat at the best table of the house in the corner looking out into the street intersection. It was a sunny day in San Francisco and people watching was fabulous. Buses were turning from corner to corner and people were walking from all walks of life. Hostess was friendly and asked us for our drinks. We began our meal with Pizza Diavola which consisted of mozzarella, tomato sauce, Italian spicy salami and we added mushrooms....Pizza comes in a thin Neapolitan crust with robust flavors and delicious. Next comes the Pappardelle al Cinghiale….wide noodles with wild boar and tomato sauce. Delicious with generous portion of boar meat. We opted the Risotto de mare for our entrée. It consisted of Carnaroli rice with clams, mussels and prawns and is excellent. Carnaroli rice is cooked al dente and prawns are crunchy. House made Tiramisu is to die for. It was light and delectable and we were very content and satisfied. Wait staff was efficient and attentive. Will definitely be back!

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FF
San Francisco
165 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Three great friends sat at the best table of the house in the corner looking out into the street intersection. It was a sunny day in San Francisco and people watching was fabulous. Buses were turning from corner to corner and people were walking from all walks of life. Hostess was friendly and asked us for our drinks. We began our meal with Pizza Diavola which consisted of mozzarella, tomato sauce, Italian spicy salami and we added mushrooms. Pizza comes in a thin Neapolitan crust with robust flavors and delicious. Next comes the Pappardelle al Cinghiale...wide noodles with wild boar and tomato sauce. Delicious with generous portion of boar meat. We opted the Risotto di Mare for our entrée. It consisted of Carnaroli rice with clams, mussels, and prawns and is excellent. Carnaroli rice is cooked al dente and prawns are crunchy. House made Tiramisu is to die for. It was light and delectable and we were very content and satisfied. Staff was efficient and attentive. Will definitely be back!

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K
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

We came to dinner here with a small group for a bachelorette. It's a small, cute place. The bachelorette ordered the cacio e pepe with eggplant, which sounded exciting but was greyish/brown, tasted bland, and was quite uninspiring in presentation on the plate. Our waitress was very nice in accommodating the bachelorette's request to order something else and even gave her a free glass of bubbles. We really appreciated the nice service to ensure we had a good time.

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T
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

This restaurant on the corner of a lovely intersection across from the Washington square park is all about the view and the location. Nothing else screams to me to come back. Seems very touristy, not locals. I bet it’s people that can’t get into Tony’s. As a neighbor living less than 5 blocks away, I was highly disappointed. Carbonara was tubes of pasta with high fat bacon/jowl, and the 4 cheese pizza wasn’t delicate—it was heavy and too much cheese. Compare it to Del Fina 4 cheese pizza and it’s a completely different world. Won’t go back.

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SH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We were a party of 9 and didn't really expect much for lunch, but the food was very good. Authentic and good quality pastas, ham, and cheese. The service was OK, but we were also quite busy with each other and didn't care.

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k
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We came in for an early dinner prior to going to Beach Blanket Babylon and it was such a great experience we almost hated to leave! The area is a great people watching spot in North Beach and is a modern clean restaurant. The waitservice was so personable and she could read our mind as when to bring a dish or ask if we wanted a drink. We were not rushed and we didn't have to wait for anything. It was a bit windy so didn't sit at one of the outdoor seats but that would be fun and it definitely makes you feel like you are in Italy at a little neighborhood café. The quality of the food was outstanding! Juicy cantaloupe and very flavorful prosciutto with a balsamic and honey drizzle were ahighlight as was the authentic Italian gourmet pizza! Yum, I still am dreaming of it and my husband's Tuscan soup was very, very good! He would return just for the soup but loved the pizza too. We look forward to retuning and spending more time as we didn't have the dessert but next time!! This is the real deal.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Food was meh - out of five entrees and two apps not one was average, most didn’t like. Plus we asked to course things out as a normal diner would do, and everything just came when it did. The waiters were nice to sing happy bday but aside from that this was a miss.

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FF
San Francisco
165 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Girls' night out on a beautiful evening to a nice Italian ambiance restaurant. It's located in a very busy people watching corner. Ordered a mixed greens salad consisting of tomatoes, onions, grapes and beets. Light and very refreshing! Three of us shared a Tuscan style thin crust pesto pizza with mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes and salmon. Excellent! I had the Pappardelle al Cinghiale...wide noodles with wild boar and tomato sauce. Delicious with lots of boar meat. We also shared an entree of grilled Australian lamb chops with aromatic herbs. Lamb chops were well seasoned and entrée comes with roasted potatoes and mixed vegetables. Good portion size. Hostess was friendly. Wait staff was efficient and attentive. It was a full house that evening. Only drawback is the one toilet available for the entire restaurant. I will be back!

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KL
New England
6 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Not the best dining experience. Had to wait 20 minutes when I had a reservation, had to yell to hear each other, the apps and entrees came out all at once, and my pizza was entirely soggy. So many other better places to go. Would not go back.

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T
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 3

Overall I liked this restaurant. But, the porchetta was way overdone and the chicken scaloppini was dry. I'd only get pizzas and pastas here. Fun atmosphere, just disappointed in our dinners.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I came here to celebrate my birthday, and we had a great time. We ordered a sun dried tomato & pepperoni pizza as well as a margarita pizza, risotto, and a spaghetti - it was all fantastic.

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Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food are both amazing!

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