Big 4 Restaurant

4.5
1503 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Located off the lobby of The Huntington Hotel, the Big 4 Restaurant is a true culinary experience set in a club-like ambiance-with contemporary American cuisine, a classic bar, live piano music nightly and rich in San Francisco history. Set in an elegant early California decor, rich green leather banquettes and sparkling beveled glass surround an incomparable collection of Gold Rush and Western Railroad memorabilia. Guests enjoy the heady ambiance while savoring perennial favorites from renowned Chef Spencer Wolff, who brings a wealth of creativity to the menu with his focus on locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. The Big 4 Restaurant is a true local favorite--a San Francisco culinary gem. Casual attire for breakfast and lunch, smart casual for dinner.
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What 1503 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JJ
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went this last Saturday night for my husband's birthday. The service was fabulous and the food equally outstanding. We were disappointed that the supposed "dress code" is NOT enforced. My husband and son were dressed in jackets and ties. Per the website it says the dress is " business casual". The man sitting next to us came in a jogging suit. The table on the other side, the men were wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and tee shirts. Hardly appropriate for the setting of a formal dining room.
In spite of the fact we loved our meal, we would be hesitant to return. If you have a stated dress policy, you should abide by it.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Before concert at Masonic.

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J
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Reservation was on a Saturday @ 5:30pm before a concert at the Masonic. Enjoyed a drink at the bar prior to being seated promptly at 5:30pm. Our waiter was very attentive and inquired if we were attending the concert; was very timely with providing service (without making us feel rushed) and helpful in wine selections (believe the waiter’s name was Phil). My wife ordered the filet mignon which she commented was delicious and I had the lamb (which was tender and flavorful). All in all, a very enjoyable experience for a night away from the kids in the City.

P.S. After attending the concert and a couple other bars in the City, ended back at the Big 4 for a night cap given we were staying at the Huntington Hotel. Not surprising, seating was very limited in the bar area, but there was a small table and chair near the piano where my wife sat while I went to order drinks at the bar. What happened next was most appreciated, a waiter near the bar came over and inquired, “Is that your wife by the piano?” I replied, “Yes.” To which he said, “Let me take care of you, what can I get you both?” I answered and then he said, “Alright, go relax and I’ll bring over another chair (from the dining room) to set beside your wife along with the drinks.”

On a very busy Saturday night, truly appreciated the initiative taken by this waiter (wish I caught his name) to ensure our night ended on a wonderful note… thank you!

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SJ
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is such a great spot. The chicken pot pie cannot be beat! The service in the restaurant is great - the bar is another story. The bartender was SO SLOW - it was ridiculous! No charisma or fun - like a good bar should be! But the clientele is nice and we met great people sitting next to us. It was a cold and rainy night so it wasn’t crowded like it usually is - and we really enjoyed it!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I definitely will be going back

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j
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

We usually love this place, but tonight it was not good at all! Salmon was definitely not fresh.
We waited 45 min to get served, not the usual, so disappointed
Other guests in the bar were also complaining about their food
Hope they get a handle on this

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MB
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal, great service. Classic SF experience!

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PD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Although this was a friend’s birthday, I love this restaurant anytime. The food is consistently good and the service attentive without being intrusive. Not only a unique dining experience but a real value given all the factors.

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d
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a celebration of 46 years of marriage, with two good friends joining us. Our waiter was quite good, although he had numerous tables, I did not feel ignored, especially if you watch how he was going from table to table. I am sorry I have forgotten his name, but we were at Table 46, because he told us so. The hostess was highly distracted by her cell phone, she definitely was composing / sending a text. I believe we stood there at 30 - 45 seconds before she even looked up. One of our guest got up to use the toilet, he commented she was still engaged with the cell phone and someone else was waiting to be seated. FYI so this is not all negative, she did it when I got up from the table and when we were leaving. Dinner was very good, along with appetizers. I really enjoyed the Steak Tartar. Definitely a place to return to. Thank you.

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LD
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you Ron for your great service....again! Another memorable experience.

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JW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, warm, welcoming and classy. Very elegant and perfect for our 40th anniversary. Great piano bar, beautiful décor, easy parking with valet. Loved every minute being in that beautiful atmosphere. Thank you.

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SM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a perfect visit. Phil, our server, was attentive and professional. The food was excellent and the atmosphere so pleasant.

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EO
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Been here several times before and enjoyed it. This visit was below par. Food was OK but not great. Service was OK but not great. It's a lovely venue....very traditional and comfortable. Prices are out of sight....$48 lamb chops much better elsewhere. Probably not going back. Too bad.

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LA
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best cioppino in the city! We love this place. So delicious.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Have you ever had bread that you couldn’t spread cold butter on? Well imagine that 10x worse. This bread might as well be Swiss cheese. Also, I order a glass of wine and it might as well have been a shot of wine. I’ve gotten more wine at a church service. The server was great and the staff were great but come on guys. Furthermore I was asked to have my hat removed to eat a pot pie. Guys what are we doing here? It all boils down to me expecting 5 star experience and getting 2 star

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent . We return to Big 4 seasonally when in CA for winter. Most appreciate the ambiance and reliability despite transitions at the owner/ Huntington Hotel. Such a unique location.

Menu is great - nice variety and food was excellent.

Very friendly and professional employees make all
The difference.

Not inexpensive but worth the price.

Keep up the good work.

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CW
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The perfect place to go for an occasion or before/after a show at the Masonic. Staff does their best to ensure you get to the theater on time.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice food and ambiance. Couldn’t hear the piano where we sitting so that was a little disappointing but didn’t have a huge impact on our night. Would recommend this restaurant.

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RM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Classic old-school restaurant with a lot of San Francisco history. Highly recommend it along with the accommodations at the Huntington hotel. Great place to take out of town guests for history lesson about San Francisco

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MB
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb service great food fabulous surroundings piano player was great

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JD
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great classic Sf restaurant. We were worried that it would be "renovated" when the new group purchased the Huntington a few years back. They have kept and preserved the classic ambiance and retained many of the long time staff. Alway a great place to eat.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Business dinner

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JM
San Diego
71 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant. Attentive service and very tasty food.

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M
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

There are a few tables in the restaurant where the noise level is low enough to allow conversation. If you can get one of those, I totally recommend the restaurant -- for that reason. The food is unob jectionable. The service ios excellent and friendly. And the management is accommodating once you are there. But don't even try to call -- they never ever ever answer the phone. The space is elegant. If they would just put in some ways of lowering the noise level, it would be a five star choice.

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The room was elegant and chic yet incredibly comfortable and inviting. Noise level away from the bar was very low.
The cocktails were quite generous and The food was wonderfully prepared and simply divine. I’ll be back in a hurry, for sure

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LZ
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was lovely as usual

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MM
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We are so glad that this jewel is open again! After having gone here for lunches and dinners for several years, we had an unpleasant experience and hadn't been back, but when we saw that there was new management decided to try it again and were we rewarded....the food is wonderful as is the service!

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D
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Place but expensive. Service was above expectations. Yelp review was right on.
Loved it.

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KR
Central Coast
14 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Had OpenTable reservation weeks in advance for 815pm, but had to wait 45 minutes for our table. Don’t pay $55 for the Kansas City steak. Salmon, Branzino and lamb chops were very good. We enjoyed the meal, but won’t be back. Just not worth it.

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LS
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved it. Branzino was excellent. Got a corner booth looking out into the restaurant. Service was impeccable. It was just the two of us, but saw several groups too. We will be back!

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DP
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Tonight's dining experience at The Big 4 was a mixed bag. I've had much better wedge salads ($18) than the one I had here tonight. The filet mignon ($55) was outstanding. It was cooked just as I ordered it and was excellent quality beef. I ordered french fries instead of asparagus, but the plate arrived without the fries. I called that to the attention of my server, and he said he would get some fries for me. That never happened. Given the prices here, I would expect flawless service.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A great pre concert spot on Nob Hill. The only negative was the check in experience. We were running late due to holiday traffic and had no way to notify the restaurant. The number on the reservation was incorrect and when connected through the hotel we received a message with no prompt for a voice message. Very frustrating that the restaurant provides no means of customer communication for same day reservations!

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SJ
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is wonderful - you can’t go wrong! Great atmosphere and good ju-ju!

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OT
New England
50 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Nice atmosphere , the pork chop and chicken pot pie were very good . Steak Tartar was average . Would not order it again . Service was fair at best . Only real complaint was ridiculous small size of the $15 Martini .

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SJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The Big Four, long a fabulous higher-end restaurant and icon in the region, has faded somewhat. Servers were good-spirited but in short supply, resulting in long waits to ask for a drink, dinner status, or other questions. The decor is still very lush with rich woods, moderate lighting and leather, but booth seating was very saggy and made sitting uncomfortable for more than a few minutes. The paper menus, inserted in leather folders, had been re-used too often, with visible spots and water-stain wrinkling. Enjoyed the live pianist on entering, doing a medley of holiday music with moderation and sophistication - matched to the ambience of the place. I will return, and hope this was a temporary dip and not a trend.

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S
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This was the worst experience I have ever experienced especially being on my birthday night. I booked a reservation a week in advance for 7:45pm and wanted to take my girlfriend to a nice dinner. We showed up 10 minutes early and we let the hostess know that we were checking in and will be at the bar. His exact words were “you’re early” with an attitude. That didn’t sit well with both of us, but we let it go. As we were sitting in the bar enjoying a drink my girlfriend noticed a couple who came in a little after us got seated right away. By that time it was 8:05. She got up and went to another hostess who was working and asked if the table was ready and why they got a table before us. She looked up our name and in the computer and she said we had reservations. Clearly I had the confirmation for the reservation and the other person deleted it. That was the breaking point. I’ve eaten at some of the finest restaurants and I have never been treated like that. One of the waiters noticed something was wrong and came over to our table and asked if everything was alright. We told her no, but it was too late to fix anything. We had that bad taste in our mouths. While I was waiting for the bill I got online called Fior d’italia and they took us in right away. We had the best time and one of the best meals ever. I would’nt recommend The Big 4 to anyone nor will my girlfriend. I think you’re hostess should have a reality check and know he is in the hospitality industry and treat everyone equally and always go above and beyond for your customers. Word of mouth travels fast. That’s how you guys and your help make there money. Especially the bartenders, waiters, waitresses and busser’s.

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JJ
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

This is my third meal at The Big Four. The other two have been exceptional ... This time was mediocre at best. Very disappointed in the food, service, and the cost was exorbitant for what we got. Burger (for children) was so blackened that it was inedible. Looked like a hockey puck and didn't taste much better. Server was nowhere to be found for much of the time. Think we'll cross The Big Four off of our list.

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S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a delightful dinner we had, after going to Grace Cathedral, sitting at the corner table!
The chicken pot pie was fabulous..the crust was perfect ...with big chunks of chicken too.
The staff was attentive and professional. The bar was festive and the piano player added
lovely ambiance. Thank you!

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We waited 20+ minutes for our 1:45pm lunch. Not a single person stopped to help or seat us. We spoke to 3 servers and was treated as if we were horribly in the way. My 88 year old grandmother was exhausted from standing and we ended up leaving. Horrible experience for what should have been a wonderful day out with family.

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OT
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Terrible service at the front desk. Long wait for a reservation. Limited and uninspired menu. Beautiful, old, traditional San Francisco restaurant that was unfortunately packed with small children and understaffed.

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