Gary Danko

4.8
761 reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary French / American
Nineteen years after opening its doors in San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, Restaurant Gary Danko continues to refine its award-winning combination of classic French cooking, thoughtful and inventive use of local ingredients, and personable yet impeccable service. “You don’t just open a great restaurant,” says Chef Gary Danko, “it’s a constant work in progress.”

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.4

Gary Danko is a taste of a fancier, older San Francisco you're probably not used to. Fortunately, it's a very delicious taste.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 761 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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T
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and the food was great and they gave us the VIP treatment 👍🏾

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JC
San Francisco
60 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This is the restaurant I compare to all others. Dining at its finest. There’s really no comparable experience in San Francisco. I’m already planning my next visit.

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2
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

GD has been consistent in their quality of food and service! It’s my go to restaurant in SF! Always have great experience there!!

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D
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the reservation process, to our arrival, to our departure, everything was absolutely spectacular. We did the tasting menu with the wine pairing and we look forward to doing it again as soon as we are back in San Francisco. Food is exquisite, and Laura our server was exceptional!

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KV
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and delicious food. Would recommend to anyone who like to try something different.
Little on the pricier side, but worth it.

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NK
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I went to Gary Danko 9 years ago and it was my favorite restaurant for the longest time. My favorite dish was the duck breast. I decided to go back when I visited SF and the food was good but not as good as I remember. I really enjoyed the seafood options like the scallops were delicious and the pork dish was good too! Very classic style and the service from when you walk in, to when you leave was remarkable. One of the best services yet. Definitely good for special occasions.

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LI
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food and service was excellent. The restaurant was very crowded and noisy, but we still thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

A restaurant with an incredible reputation, we went to celebrate a birthday and some personal accomplishments. I was impressed by the decor and overall feel of the place, also the service was overall outstanding but really only when dishes or drinks were brought to the table. There were times when it took minutes (to ask for the bill it took >5 min, the entire time i was keeping my eye out for the waiter) to get service. Again, not that the service was bad, it was pretty incredible, but for the money you are paying I shouldnt have to wait 5 minutes to be able to flag someone.
The food....we had 7 courses in total (yes a lot of food) between two of us, it was really delicious! Highlights include the risotto, thai seafood curry, and the bison. The quail was pretty tasty with the mushroom and cornbread filling....it was a very interesting dish. The only dish i didnt like was the oyster dish...it was a 1/5. I like oysters (have never had them cooked though, these were cooked), and i was REALLY excited for them, but alas, they were completely underwhelming and in fact they weren’t even palatable (i really disliked them). Also, the bread is extremely average. Like grocery store bread is better than what they offer. It’s also cold. It’s nice as it will make you eat more of their food but the bread is usually a plus not a negative as in this case. The ambiance was fantastic, felt very fancy and elegant, I liked the vibe and the decorations. We were just a little too close to people on both sides. I felt anyone could have listened in on our conversation and our date just wasn’t very private.
Overall, this is a great restaurant, the ambiance is chique, food is delicious (except for bread and oysters), service is on better side, but for a Michelin star restaurant and a ~330$ bill between two people, it left a lot to be desired. They also got my congratulations wrong, which is bizarre because I was very clear in my reservation with what we were celebrating.

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SE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my girlfriend to dinner as a surprise to celebrate a special occasion. I had preordered caviar service, the staff did an extremely excellent job of timing and serving it. The food was amazing, everything was perfect. The staff was one of the best that choreographed and polished team I’ve ever seen. I’ve worked in hotels, restaurants, catering , and European pastry shops, for 40 years... this was the best dining experience I’ve ever had. I have eaten in some very expensive restaurants in my life, but this dinner was the most enjoyable and memorable dinner, Thanks to all the staff, we will be back often.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb service and food

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MS
San Francisco
60 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Let’s start w the bartender on the early / 5:30p shift on Friday July 12. He wasn’t efficient nor was he friendly. I had to ask for a water in addition to my drink. Felt he should have automatically asked me if I wanted a water or poured me one. He wasn’t at all friendly and did not check in with me at all as I had my glass of champagne. (Was waiting on our resie). I’d go as far to say that he was grumpy and snobby. Once we were seated in the restaurant, the waitress (short hair, large glasses, a bit older) rushed us and kept on rushing us throughout the meal. Frustrating. The best part of the service was the guy who brought the bread! Friendly. Mind you - I love the food, always have - and GD used to be the best cheese course this side of France. However, though the appetizers, meal and dessert were great - the cheese course now pales in comparison to what it once was. No cheese from France and many of the cheese were a bit pedestrian at least in comparison of what they used to offer. Finally, wine bottle list is fine - overpriced but that’s to be expected - and there are some gems. But! - the wines by the glass list is hideous and grossly TOO overpriced. So what used to hands down be a Relais Chateau 5 star dining experience is now wallowing at an average 3 rating...

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E
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Husbands birthday but we did not tell you.

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S
San Francisco
70 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, wine list, special drinks & service. Perfect place for a special occasion. And we love the fixed price for 3, 4 or 5 courses, you get to choose!

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DD
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was generally good not not special. Many restaurants in SF feel more creative and vital. Gary Danko seems to cater mainly to the tourist trade, and it is a little jarring to spend $400 on dinner only to be surrounded by little kids watching videos at the table, and tourists in shorts and t-shirts who have obviously been walking around all day. Oh well, what do you expect when you set up a restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf.

The service here was quite good, and the wine list was great. Several dishes on the menu were delicious, although many were safe to the point of being boring. The one real stinker on the menu was the salmon medallions - surprising since this is one of the dishes Gary Danko is known for. I found the salmon to be utterly tasteless and the horseradish flavor in the crust to be completely overpowering. In general, I found the food to be way under-salted (and I generally favor less salty food). I just found myself wanting to put salt on almost everything, perhaps to boost the flavors.

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and professional staff.

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KP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our dinner until later when one of us became very ill. What a bummer after such a wonderful yet insanely expensive meal. We also gave them a chance to make it right but they didn’t.

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JL
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our second trip to Gary Danko. Fantastic fine dining. Service that rivals nearly all the other Michelin starred restaurants but with additional warmth. Also a great value for the level of experience

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EN
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

As a background I have been dining at Gary Danko for over 15 years. I have always enjoyed the experience. However, the last two times that I have dined there the experience was less than expected. I would like to comment that the food is consistently good and the wait staff is always professional. My review is not directed at them, however it is directed at the management style of the restaurant. In my most recent experiences I felt everything was very rushed. In fact, from the time my girlfriend and I sat down to the time we got our bill was slightly less than one hour. I might go to Denny’s or IHOP if I want to finish my meal in one hour, but I certainly do not go to Gary Danko to be rushed. Not sure that I will make plans to dine there again anytime soon.

I sincerely hope that the management team of Gary Danko do you read these reviews. I would love to continue to be a guest at your restaurant but not under the circumstances where I have to shove food in my mouth this fast because the next course already coming.

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T
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service was top notch. They are a Michelin star restaurant for a reason. It made our anniversary dinner extra special.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The most consistently good fine dining in SF

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GN
San Francisco
121 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic and fantastically expensive. However they were extremely accommodating as a fifth joined our party unplanned. The take-home treat was especially good: pineapple cake in a decorated wrapper. All the food was stupendous: lobster, cheese (comes out on a huge tray but looks scary and old; this doesn’t appear to be the cheese they serve you; cheese portions were dinky), artichoke soup with a great mushroom/cheese crouton toast, chocolate soufflé. My only complaint is that the first Cosmo was unimpressive. The second much better. At least they can improve...

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j
Cleveland
58 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our third time in SF in the last 10 years. We went to GD the first two visits and wanted to try a few other restaurants this time. Well out on our morning jog we wound up in front of the restaurant. We had to Make a last minute reso.
Arrived a few minutes early and sat at bar until table was ready. We were politely taken to our seats.
Had a perfectly prepared dirty martini and my wife had a lovely glass of Chardonnay.
Our amuse was a lettuce and bacon soup- wow liquid Cobb salad. Phenomenal!
I did 4 courses and my wife had 3. We also got a 1/2 bottle of reasonably priced white burgundy.
We had:
- Crab salad. Simply art on a plate. A bit bland but the sweet crab was spectacular.
- Artichoke soup. Perfect balance of richness and the acidic artichoke. Yum!
- Maine lobster. Perfect in every way.
- Sea scallops. Can’t go wrong with peas and Morels. Scallops were explosive in sugar content that were exceptionally seared to Medium Rare.
- Stuffed Quail. Perfect simplicity.
- Chocolate peanut bar. Pure heaven!
- Butter cake. Wow. The crunchy outside and velvety interior was to die for.
To summarize. They have not lost a step. They continually knock it out of the park.
The service also lived up to the food.
If we had any gripe it would be the take away muffin. My wife and I talk about them year after year. This time they just did not live up to what we remembered. They were good however not the divine experience of the past two visits. These were smaller, dryer and there was little to no crumb. The taste was good however as we have preached over the years about them being life changing- this time they surely were not.
All in all a spectacular evening.
Cheers!

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KW
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the most elegant restaurant in San Francisco. The service is like no other. The food and it’s presentation is unbelievable. It is truly a special restaurant.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Rude comments about us not drinking

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EM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and nice servers, very good 5 course dinner. Nice location, nearby parking garage.

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E
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time dining at Gary Danko. We were celebrating our anniversary dinner with another couple. It was amazing. Every bite was exquisite, from the begging to the end. Each pairing was matched perfectly enhancing every bite. The cheese options were delectable and I thoroughly enjoyed my take home breakfast the next morning.

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OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

To put into words how we were treated is impossible. When we requested for tuna to be done a certain temperature, the waitress look down on us like we didn't know what we were talking about. after we had out apps, they took my girlfriend's drink away cleaning up the table while she was still drinking it and when we mentioned something they again looked down on us and brought her a half a drink with the remark " here is a fresh half a drink to make up for your half a drink" after dessert which was the only good part of the whole dinner they brought out a little pineapple upside down cake wrapped up to take home. when we asked the waitress what it was she said this is your breakfast after you leave all your MONEY here at Gary Danko !!!! HOW RUDE !!!! We felt belittled and judged. we have eaten at restaurants with Michelin 2 & 3 stars and that were triple the price of this sad disgusting restaurant. The food quality is not Michelin the service is a local diner at best. The only delicious thing we had was the soup and the desert. I got a duck it was okay at best, my friend's got two orders of seared tuna that I definitely make better at home. overall the food was okay at most but the service was a disgrace!!!!!!! I hope they get their Michelin star taken away because it's really bringing down the hole respect of the Michelin star restaurants.

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SP
New England
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good atmosphere, discreet courteous service, excellent food, classy interior and unlike many high end restaurants in Europe -not snobbish.

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PK
San Francisco
65 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful 35th anniversary dinner. Great service and wonderful food. The crab salad and duck entree were fabulous. Also the wine pairing selected by the sommelier was spot on.

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OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Restaurant for a night out. Everything we ordered was delicious and service was perfect. Loved the menu with options of a Tasting or pick your own courses.

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BB
Omaha
40 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Service & food were great but it was more expensive than expected since the wine list contained fewer reasonable priced wines. They have an extensive selection of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines which run higher than other French regions or comparable US wineries. Several tips for first time dinners. Unlike most course priced restaurants, this one allows you to mix any selections in your course selections such as three meat courses and their courses are larger sizes so two three course dinners for most couples should be enough to share especially since they provide a complimentary petit fours selection at the end of your meal along with “breakfast” cupcakes to take with you.

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HS
New England
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food! The staff is incredible and the wide array of options is outstanding.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional Food!! Exceptional Service!! Beautiful restaurant!! and one of the most affordable fine dining in SF!! Compared to $100 per person on average to $250 to $1000 per person at others fine dining in the Bay area, Gary Danko is a must try!!! You will not be disappointed!!

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OT
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was awesome, the service, food, presentation was great too. We cannot wait until our next dinner here

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J
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was pretty good. Certainly old school in there. It was hot because of the heat wave and they had no AC. Not a huge fan of the sommelier. He was rigid in his wine choices. Old school again. Seemed to go through motions. No creativity. Although food was good, it’s tough to compete against some of the more up-and-coming chefs. Ate at The Progress a couple of nights before and the menu there was fresh and original compared to the choices at Gary Danko.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was awesome! I was surprised I left with a full stomach.

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PG
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Temperature was so hot we had to leave dinner early. It was my birthday but I lost my appetite with incredibly hot room. I know that getting the A/C to work was challenging but the restaurant should have compted dinner for a pretty uncomfortable setting.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience and I’ll definitely be back!

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M
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place to celebrate a special event. The food and service never disappoints!

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