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Diners' Choice: Best Ambiance restaurants in San Francisco

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Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best ambiance in San Francisco? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Sushi Hashiri restaurant
5 (207)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
A progressive approach executed from a deep history of Kappo and Omakase Edomae Sushi. Two of Japan’s historical culinary concepts brought together combining hyper-seasonal ingredients and premium fish selections direct from our private purveyor inside the world renown Toyosu fish market in Tokyo, Japan. Hashiri’s focus is to exemplify its re-evolving cuisine to showcase Japan’s richest seasonal ingredients.

Hyper seasonal multi course Kappo & Omakase Edomae Sushi dining experience at the sushi counter.

Hyper seasonal Omakase Edomae Sushi dining experience at the sushi counter. Tue & Wed

Due to limited seating capacity, internationally imported goods to curating your daily menu, cancellations or "no-shows" within 72-hours of the reservation will incur the full amount of their dining experience. Cancellations for parties 5 and more requires 5 day

Top review
Dined on Jul 6, 2024
Most authentic edomae sushi I've ever had in San Francisco -- perhaps California! The head sushi chef came from Ginza and took over when Hashiri reopened last year. US major cities have a lot of fancy overpriced sushi places but they lack the authenticity of traditional Japanese cuisine (yes I'm being pretentious) and try to appease the American audience with visuals. Not Hashiri! They stay true to the fresh seasonal ingredients with no frills & attention to each step of the preparation. Their sushi rice was so perfect...no need to rate or explain each menu since you just have to be there & experience it yourself. I forgot to take pics of everything because I was too excited. Amazing, top tier service as well. Our server was so sweet and professional! He translates occasionally for the head chef. He definitely made the already great experience even better. I hope Hashiri gets the hype it deserves and I can't wait to try their Kaiseki place in Saratoga. ($150/person omakase)
A photo of Fare Play restaurant
4.9 (25)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
Fare Play is a pop-up restaurant created by Chef Brenden Blaine Darby, a San Fanfrisco chef, farmer, and artist with a diverse background of culinary collaborations with NOMA, Manresa, Martin Berasategui, and Yoshi's SF. The menu of Fare Play is inspired by Brenden's grandmothers while also showcasing hyper-local and their time working at Michelin-starred restaurants as well as jungles, deserts, and regenerative farms across the globe.

Our atmosphere strives to be a new third place for SF Locals with a unique service style reminiscent of eating with family.

Fare (/fer/) -noun
A range of food of a particular type.

Play (/plā/) -verb
-engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Our menu features local produce from queer farmers across the Bay Area from roots, stems, seeds, and flowers.

Come with an open mind and leave with a full heart.

Top review
Dined on Jun 9, 2024
The decor was fun, and the chef was personable and gracious.
A photo of Presidio Kebab restaurant
4.9 (55)
$30 and under
Pacific Heights
About the restaurant
Turkish food inspired by our chef from Istanbul. Fresh dishes made daily prepared in house!
Top review
Dined on May 30, 2024
Wonderful restaurant! Great food, excellent staff. Highly recommend.
A photo of Nisei restaurant
4.9 (42)
$50 and over
Russian Hill
About the restaurant
Nisei presents a contemporary approach to Japanese American cuisine by combining deep Japanese flavors, refined cooking technique, and Northern California's finest ingredients. The restaurant is a personal reflection of Chef David Yoshimura's unique experience as a Michelin starred chef and second generation Japanese American, or Nisei.

Nisei can accommodate most severe allergies with advance notice, however due to the nature of the tasting menu format, we can not meet all dietary restrictions or aversions. In order to maintain the spirit of our cuisine, the following items can not be removed: Salt, sugar, soy sauce, and egg cooked into items.

All Experience prices below reflect a 20% Service Fee and 8.63% SF Sales Tax applied to the base price of each experience. This Service Fee goes towards paying our employees a livable wage as well as providing health insurance.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 5 days ago
amazing dinner. Worth the hype! We will be back for sure
A photo of The Palm Court at RH San Francisco restaurant
4.8 (1617)
$50 and over
Potrero Hill / Dogpatch
About the restaurant
The Palm Court is located in RH San Francisco's Gallery at the Historic Bethlehem Steel Building. Recalling the distinctive glamour of San Francisco's Gilded Age, the stunning statement space is sheathed in Italian Calacatta gold marble and features a cascading center fountain, towering Medjool date palms and glimmering chandeliers. Adjacent to the restaurant, two luminous wine bars offer exceptional wines and Champagnes from around the world.

For group dining inquiries, please email: sfhospitality@rh.com

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Everyone in the restaurant makes you feel special and welcomed as soon as you enter the doors. I always choose RH when I want to show my guests a good time! Our server Rachael was so attentive and sweet. ❤️ My favorites - Treat yourself and start with the Chips & Dip with Caviar! Decadence in every bite! Pair it with a glass of champagne! The Rose Spritz is a perfect summer drink! Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp added…it’s cooked to perfection! Wagyu Steak with Truffle Fries…the steak melts in your mouth! Save room for dessert! I LOVE the Butterscotch crème brûlée.
A photo of Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar - Fairmont San Francisco restaurant
4.3 (1916)
$31 to $50
Nob Hill
About the restaurant
A visit to San Francisco is not complete without experiencing Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar. The Tonga Room offers exceptional Polynesian Cuisine in a tropical setting that includes thunder and rainstorms. It is the perfect escape after a busy day of meetings or shopping along Union Square. Be sure to try the Mai Tai, voted the City's best by Conde Nast Traveler.

Dinner is seated on a first-come first-served basis for all parties under 10. Hurricane Bar guests are welcomed on a first-come first-served basis.

The Island Groove performs a live set starting at 7:00 pm. A $15 per person cover charge applies to all guests seated in the restaurant or bar during the entertainment, regardless of the time they arrive.

If you would like to make a reservation for 10 or more people to the Tonga Room, please give us a call at 415-772-5000 or email us at tongaroom@fairmont.com.

Top review
Dined 3 days ago
We loved the Tonga room!! My son was celebrating his birthday and I can’t think of a better way to ring in 17!
A photo of Mr. Tipple’s Jazz Club restaurant
4.8 (799)
$30 and under
Cocktail Bar
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
About the restaurant
***Best Jazz Club in the City, by San Francisco Magazine***
Mr. Tipple’s is a craft cocktail bar featuring live jazz.
Reservations have a 90min time limit from reservation time.
There is a $20/guest min for table service
Mr. Tipple’s heralds back to a 1950s NYC basement. Cozy. Dark. Boozy. The intimate setting features local jazz artists up close and personal. It’s a joint where you come as you are, hear great music, tap your toes, and sip a properly chilled cocktail.
My name is Mr. Tipple. Just a simple and laughable bloke hailing from London. I run a recording studio. My friends joke that you’ll oft find me spinning cocktails, not reeling tape. After a few too many, I usually just sit back and enjoy the music, having forgotten to hit record. Regardless, the band is always jiving, the whiskey is always cold, and we’re having a smashing good time.

Top review
Dined 5 days ago
Great spot and good food. I wish there was hoisin sauce and spoons for the dumplings
A photo of Sushi Hakko restaurant
5 (250)
$50 and over
Marina / Cow Hollow / Presidio
About the restaurant
**Welcome to Sushi Hakko on Union St. + Fillmore St.**
We'd like to offer our tasting menu that's reflecting Chef Alex Kim and his team's pursuit of top notch sushi experience. Our approach is a harmonious crossover of authentic Edo-mae style with Western skill. From fish to rice, cooking rice to garnish prep - a true synergy of not only Californian but Japan.

**Sushi Bar Experience**
For the best experience of our tasting menu, we'd recommend the sushi bar seating, where chef will serve and explain the dish by dish, piece by piece with an extensive information of the skills and ingredients.

**Regular Tables**
Our regular tables are also available for the tasting menu and you can make a reservation at any time slot to your convenience.

*Large Group*
For any party of 7 or more, please kindly call us at 415.814.2886​ or email at sushihakko@gmail.com. We will get back to you asap.

All parties will be subject to a 20% service charge.

We look forward to serving you soon.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 1 day ago
Wowww ! Everything was amazing ! Amazing service amazing food !!!
A photo of BIX restaurant
4.7 (4846)
$31 to $50
Financial District / Embarcadero
About the restaurant
An exceptionally stylish supper club, civilized speakeasy, a sophisticated saloon. Each of these "personae" is housed in a soaring two-story interior distinguished by a gently curving mahogany bar, fluted columns with ornate capitals, stunning original art, plush banquettes, cozy booths, starched linens, glittering glasses, and polished flatware.
Overall, the ambiance is pure 1930's and 1940's - tasteful art moderne reminiscent of the glory days of Cunard and French Line ships. Fashionable and glamorous are the hallmarks. Trendy is simply not a part of the BIX culture.
The clientele at BIX ranges from San Francisco movers-and-shakers to "savvy travelers" - owner Doug Biederbeck's term for the many diners in the know from out of town who patronize his establishment.
All of them step from the featureless alley into another world - a world of superb cookery and libations, of sparkling service, of stylish nostalgia, of polished live jazz. That world is BIX.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Wonderful restaurant, ambience was incredible, attention from waiter was outstanding, food, martinis, overall service were great. I definitely will come back next time at SF
A photo of Dirty Habit restaurant
4.5 (825)
$30 and under
Downtown / Union Square
About the restaurant
Our bar-centric concept plays host to a vivid social scene and creative craft cocktail menu with an emphasis on rare brown spirits. In a prime location perched five floors above the streets of the developing high-tech start-up epicenter in SOMA, Dirty Habit serves as an intimate hideaway for locals seeking inventive offerings and a sociable dining atmosphere, both inside the restaurant and on the spacious, heated outdoor dining room.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 5, 2024
Came to here to celebrate my birthday with my family and the interior design was amazing. Not a lot of food options which I didn’t like but it was a decent experience.
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