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Permanently Closed - Ernesto's Italian Restaurant

83 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Groups

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This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - Ernesto's Italian Restaurant is your home away from home. Authentic Italian food at affordable prices. Don't miss our baked clam appetizer while enjoying our warm garlic olive oil bread. Everyone has their favorites and everyone walks away full and happy. Come hungry, leave happy knowing you'll be back.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Italian, American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday: 4:00PM - 9:30PM
Friday & Saturday: 4:00PM - 10:30PM
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Phone number
(415) 386-1446
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Call for details.
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Cross street
24th Street
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Takeout, Wine
What 83 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipBluEyeBob (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on June 22, 2017

I am sorry to write this review. I had an engagement in San Francisco, and Ernesto's was in the neighborhood. I made a reservation, which was confirmed. I had given my phone # and permission to text. When I arrived at the time of my reservation, June 22, 2017, at 7:00 there was a note taped to the front door that the restaurant was closed due to an illness. I have owned a restaurant and I know unexpected things can occur. What really bothers me is that I wasn't notified about the closure. I waited almost a month to post this, and, to this day, I haven't even received an apology. I was looking forward to this dinner, but it wasn't to be. I wound up eating at a food truck.

SPICEOFLIFE (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on June 18, 2017

Owner/ chef Jimmy was out sick (with aneurysm) since 5/30/17 (so says the note on the door)
Did NOT dine there for Father's Day and went elsewhere after reading the note on door.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on May 14, 2017

Friendly and reliable neighborhood Italian restaurant. Service staff know the customers and are knowledgeable about the menu. The menu covers the standard list of Italian favorites with daily specials. The wine list selection is very good, too. I would definitely recommend Ernesto's to anyone looking for excellent food at affordable prices. Good ambiance!

JanetPlanet (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on May 13, 2017

Loved this quaint Italian restaurant on Clement street. Wonderful attentive waiter, delicious food and amazing Tiramisu!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on May 10, 2017

Average. Fairly good service, but not creative or particularly memorable food.

kurtis (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on April 28, 2017

Frutti da mare was fantastic. The specials were really good too.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 19, 2017

Greeted merrily at the door. Excellent attention. Delicious Salmon meal, bottle of wine and classical music. Not pricey, nor pretentious but welcoming and a lot of thought was put into the menu.

jimmie (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 14, 2017

I have been going to Ernesto's for over 30 years, first at the old place and then at the newer location next door. While the new version is not so wonderfully funky as before, the food is just as great. The veal saltimbocca is to die for. The service is friendly, efficient, and makes he place fun to go to. That latter quality being critical to dining enjoyment.

vipVirgocook (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 11, 2017

This is a nice traditional neighborhood restaurant, but nice enough for a date. You can hear the other people at your table! The service is excellent and the pasta is great. They also have some daily specials that sound tempting as well, but their pasta is good. We tried the sautéed calamari appetizer this time in lieu of the fried. It was really good and I would get it again. Had the pasta with the shrimp which was great. Don't forget the dessert - we had the spumoni pie at the end. Delicious and definitely one to split.

vipVirgocook (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 8, 2016

Great neighborhood Italian restaurant. Went on a rainy night - very cozy and had perfect calamari and delicious pasta. Nice selection of non-pasta dishes as well, which were very tempting and next time may try those. Everything prepared well and there was a nice selection of pasta preparations. Reasonably priced too. A real find.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on September 24, 2016

I use to eat at Ernesto's in the 80's when I was a child. It use to be the place to go for dinner, the food was amazing and there was always a line out the door. I use to order the Chicken Parmesan and the Wedding Cake for dessert. I was sad to see the Wedding Cake was not on the menu anymore. I decided to have dinner at Ernesto's because I was in the city that day and only 6 min away from where I was. I wanted to see if it was still as charming and wonderful as I remembered, but unfortunately it wasn't and I was very disappointed. The servers were hard to understand and quite rude. The person behind the bar was hitting a bag of ice with a wine bottle to break up the ice, which was disruptive and very loud. The servers kept closing the door which gave off a huge loud metal on metal bang sound, it was so annoying! Sadly, I would not return.

SnobBob (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 24, 2016

Excellent prawn pappardelle entree! Warn & cordial service!

talasian (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 9, 2016

I have been here several times and each time has been a good experience. The food is delicious and reasonable. A great neighbor restaurant.

woodtavern (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on July 29, 2016

We got there early when no one else had arrived. The waiter kept chatting with us, but wouldn't (didn't) take our drink order or our food order. Then a large group of local clergy came in and he ran over to tend to their needs. We soon realized that he was the only waiter, and the busboy didn't speak English. Just as he was walking to our table, a group of eight rather large local fellas came in, and he fell all over them. They had their food almost at the same time as we finished finally ordering. Then a local couple came in, and they tried to chat it up with the waiter, but he was seriously sweating by then. When we at last got our food, it was barely average. It was the fresh fish special of the day, but it didn't taste fresh or special. Definitely wouldn't return. ps - their wine list is sub par, and triple the price of retail.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on July 16, 2016

Food took an hour to come out and was (no surprise) cold. It was also (surprise) bland.

RobertG (Sacramento)
5.0  Dined on July 1, 2016

Excellent service and good, though not great, food. I will definitely eat there again.

realgoodfood (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on May 7, 2016

Ernesto's is an institution and often over looked. We have been eating here for 20+ years and have never been disappointed. The service is outstanding, the wine is wonderful, and the food is not to be missed. We always order the clams appetizer and are never unhappy with the choice.
The wait staff is fun and funny, attentive with out hovering, and always helpful with options.
I can not wait to go back.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on February 13, 2016

I have been going to Ernesto's since 1988. I was excited to share the dinning experience with my 9 year old after Mass up at USF yesterday. The three of us walked in at 6:15PM for our 6:30PM reservation. Only four other tables had been seated and one of them had some USF alumni who gave us a warm greeting. Doug, the gentleman who waited on us, is a nice fellow and obviously is a favorite of the regulars. He just seemed like a nice person. Now for the bad part...we were seated at 6:20PM we ordered at 6:30PM our appetizer and salad came out at 6:35PM and then nothing for over an hour (we are talking pasta and fried calamari). The three tables that were seated behind my wife and daughter, were seated 30 to 40 minutes after us and they all got served their salads and entrees prior to us getting our entrees. So much for a relaxed Valentines dinner. I've never done this before but I finally had to get up and leave prior to receiving our final of three entrees at 7:50PM (the calamari never made it to the table and the first entree landed at 7:40PM and the next (for my wife) came at 7:50PM. Just an overall terrible experience. I don't know what the kitchen was doing and why, if they missed our order, they wouldn't have moved us up in front of some of the other tables to get the food out to us. Just plain unacceptable to serve me first (an hour into our sitting) leave my nine-year-old daughter and wife without a plate of food...meanwhile everybody else who came in after us was getting their food simultaneously and having a good dining experience. This is sad because I really was looking forward yto going back to the Ernesto's experience that I was used to. I will probably never dine there again because of the experience my wife and daughter had… With all of the other opportunities to go to good Italian restaurants, in The City, Ernesto's has dropped way down the list.

Jesse (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 3, 2016

Great service. Excellent Italian food. Highly recommend.

JRRP141228 (Tahoe)
3.0  Dined on December 27, 2015

Ernesto's is a great neighborhood gem! We have been dining there for well over 20 years, but over the course of time we're noticing that the quality of both food and service are slipping and the prices rising to once was a restaurant you could enjoy as a casual meal out to now becoming more of for special occasions only. My favorite dish is Chicken Ernesto's and their pizza is fabulous!