Katia's Russian Tea Room and Restaurant

4.3
170 reviews
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$30 and under
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Russian

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About

Katia's serves classical Russian cuisine with a light California touch. We use fresh local ingredients and allow them to shine in popular dishes such as Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Pozharski, Shashlik and Golubtsi. Our Blini with herring, caviar or smoked salmon, Pel'meni and Potato Vareniki will satisfy any 'flour' food lover! Start your meal with 'zakuski' (little bites) of appetizers like Olivier or Vinaigrette salads, eggplant caviar and our house made dill pickles and marinated mushrooms. Our beef-based Beet Borsch or tart Green Borsch, and the Vegetarian Mushroom Barley soup will warm you on a cold day and, served cold, will cool you on a hot day. Finish your meal with a glass of our brewed tea in a silver podstakannik with a piece of Napoleon (some say the best dessert in the City), the meringue torte, blinchiki or cherry or cheese vareniki. We serve California wines, award winning Georgian wines and a selection of Baltika beers from St. Petersburg that complement our menu.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Russian, Eastern European
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Wednesday - Friday: 11:30AM - 2:30PM
Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday: 5:00PM - 9:00PM
Friday & Saturday: 5:00PM - 10:00PM.
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Phone number
(415) 668-9292
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Katia Troosh
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Private party facilities
Please contact us for further details.
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Private party contact
Katia Troosh: (415) 668-9292
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Balboa Street
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Parking details
Balboa Street has parking meters operating from 9am to 6pm, Monday thru Saturday, so day time parking is very easy. In the evening, diners arriving before 6pm can usually snatch a parking place. After 6pm parking gets more difficult.

We have attempted to join forces with our neighbor restaurants to arrange for valet parking but the City has not allowed it. For large private parties valet parking can be provided.
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Entertainment
Alex Yaskin, our accordion player, has been with Katia's since we opened. He is a popular Saturday night fixture and adds a great dimension to your dining experience. Alex likes to announce to his audience: 'You will never hear this on an accordion anywhere else!' And, true to his promise, he plays from his repertoire of classic accordion pieces, Russian songs, show tunes, the Beatles and Stones, and some very current popular music. Make a request--or a 'wish' as Alex calls it--and prepare to be surprised! Alex is available for private parties at Katia's and for other private venues as well.
Additional
Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Entertainment, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 170 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
3.9
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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j
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We actually never got to eat a Katia's because they were so overcrowded and overbooked it was almost impossible to open the front door. They should have closed for a private event. Not a nice way to start the evening.

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t
Central Coast
15 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

neighborhood gem..................good luck Katia in your new endeavors !!!!!

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f
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So Sorry to see this restaurant close. It has been one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants for many years. Katie we are all going to miss you and look forward to your cookbook. Your food is like my grandma used to make....the BEST.

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OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Katia's has been consistently good. She serves tasty, authentic Russian food in a very friendly, fun atmosphere. We hve enjoyed going there for years!

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f
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Katia's didn't disappoint; I'd had a recommendation from a friend and had read through a number of stellar reviews, so I walked in with pretty high expectations. Delicious traditional Russian fare (do not pass up the piroshkis!) that was on par in terms of cost in SF. Absolutely spot-on borscht, fabulous (and meaty) pelmenyi . . . and I went with the sweet cheese dumplings for dessert, which I highly recommend. A wonderful dinner -- I look forward to returning when I'm next in town.

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N
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The owners were very friendly and welcoming. We were there early and the food came quickly and was delicious.

We will return.

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MC
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been eating at Katia's for 20 years and every meal is special and filled with love. The blini are delicious, the apricot jam wonderful, everything we eat (and we've eaten most of the menu) is prepared with care and love. If you want to experience Russian food, this is the way to do it... And the kissel...yum...

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D
Calgary
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Food was great but the wait to be served and the food preparation was very slow. Took 2 hours to have a dinner for 2 people.

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s
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

They weren't prepared for our reservation and not very polite about it.
Food was good, but most dishes were over salty.
Took a long time to get served.
Cold came in (no effort to prevent cold temp from outside coming in)
Waitress was very nice (daughter of owner?)

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Over the past ten years, Katia's has become THE place to go for pre-Lenten traditional Russian Blini dinner for me and my lady-companion. The attention to detail and special little touches compensates for the slightly higher cost of the whole meal with libations. The blini are more like French crepes rather than the usual "pancakey" ones that are served in an ethnic-Russian home or at a church luncheon. A pleasant option available to my friend and her daughter (who joined us again for Blini , after being introduced to Katia's last year) was to get extra caviar instead of the marinaded herring (my preference - Katia's herring is exquisite..!) While waiting for the Blini we had a portion of braised Pilimeni and the Zakouski assortment with beet salad option. Instead of dessert we had hot black tea with jam served in authentic tall glasses nestled in silver-plated filigree metal holders - the house specialty apricot jam for the gals and the usual strawberry for me. Katia herself had given some very serious thought to retiring last year, but we are very fortunate in her still being here for us..! Thank you, Katia..! Katia's is the last of the "Old World" Russian restaurants in San Francisco - when she does indeed retire, the "party" will be over: ..."the room will go silent, the silence punctuated only by the single echo of a distant door slamming shut..." GB

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PE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Disappointing, soup was cold Service slow. Understaff. We were waiting for the food for ever in total and between meals. Small portions and over priced...

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E
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I had been to Katias a few times. She normally was a great host and her and team was always relaxed. This night I was basically ignored, had a reservation and was treated as if i didn't... No hello or nothing first question ”do you have a reaervation” ...”don't recall your nane” instead if welcoming.

She did found my reservation after checking, She started prepping my table and then left it in the middle of it... Table there waiting to be fixed, didn't delegate it to anyone.

Then continued serving the others some napoleon... Because that was super important.

Then the musician arrived and she started talking to him while we were waiting and waiting... standing... We saw one if the weiters dropping some food items in the floor and picking them up as nothing has happened near fge kitchen.

that is when we left. No one cared we did... The Katia restaurant as remember it, no more. Just FYI we drove from Sunnyvale for this and found something else in the city.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Katia's was an absolute treat! My date and I enjoyed dinner there on Valentine's Day this year and were beyond thrilled with our experience. The food was absolutely delicious, so homey and comforting. We loved the salads, herring, salmon, lamb and stuffed cabbage. Katia came out to bring us some chocolates and dessert recommendations, all were just perfect. Our meal was so special and so reasonable, we can't wait to come back to taste the rest of the menu.

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E
San Francisco
154 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Awful experience. Seated without enthusiasm and then we sat, and sat. waited for water, drinks, anything. there were only 3 other parties there, one of which apparently contained friends of the owner, and she chitchatted with them and brought the man back to the kitchen while we sat. and sat. no one spoke to us, took drink orders, or even said it will be a few minutes. and we sat while they ignored us.
finally, 20 minutes later, one of us asked the owner chitchatting with her friend if she could take our order and she was flat out rude about getting to us when she felt like it. the whole place heard her and everyone seemed embarrassed. she proceeded to lecture us about a "story" involving a comment someone else (apparently another she made wait) who said waiting wasn't as bad as being in an accident. WTH? we finally left. not sure what happened to a well reviewed place, but time to hang up the shingle. lot of anger and bad service and nothing to justify any of it.

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JM
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The only great spot for Russian, old time recipe, delicious food in San Francisco!
Piroshki, Borsch, Pelmeni, Napoleon, Vareniki with sour cherry and so much more!!!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Charming neighborhood restaurant with good food; however, because they were short staffed that night we had to wait over an hour for our food. We will probably go back for the ambience and food.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Katia's provides delicious food and a warm ambiance.

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OT
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Katia's Russian Tea Room was a wonderful find. Everything we had was like a home-cooked meal! I would have swarn grandma was back amongst us, cooking in the kitchen. We found it comfortable, casual and relaxed. If I lived in the city this would be a home base.

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BG
Little Rock
61 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Friendly service, live music and the best pastery crust ever!!!

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OT
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very comfortable. Tasty food. Amiable host and wait help. Great background music.

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JS
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Absolutely stellar cuisine. Fantastic Russian food. Reminds me of home. Everything was tasty. I am craving it a week after I have had it.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best Russian food I've had in a long time! Katia was so kind and friendly I honestly felt like I was walking into my aunt's home. The food came out quick and hot and phenomenal! Conversation also flowed easily and endlessly. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a nice, warm, hearty meal and great conversation.

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TL
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A special Find since our friend and guest that evening, Ralph Butterfield, went to UC with Katia's Dad and studied under the same professors. Both became architects in SF. Ralph designed the Bank of America Building based on the basalt cliffs he saw in South Dakota. The granite used was found and sourced from South Dakota. After a wonderful meal and great service, the Katia photos were brought out and memories restored. A small piece of SF history remembered that night. We will be back.

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m
San Francisco
72 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Group dinner and everyone enjoyed the food and the fact that we could have conversation without a problem. Katia is very friendly and was helpful in our ordering -- sometimes joining in with our conversation. It's a casual atmosphere, with white tablecloths which made it nice. We shared some appetizers and each person ordered an entree trying out the different items. The beef stroganoff wasn't what I thought but was OK. The poached salmon was very good and cooked perfectly. The lamb dish (not kebabs) looked like the beef stroganoff and the person who ordered it said the meat was tougher than the beef. We shared a couple of desserts; the napoleon is what to order! It was good and not too sweet.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

By far one of the best Russian restaurants I’ve been to. My girlfriend described Katia’s food as if it were her mothers cooking... Need I say more:)

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KC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Katia's was a fantastic surprise. The service was delightful and the food was absolutely delicious. Flavorful and interesting choices for me, a vegetarian.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A pleasant experience overall- delicious food, delightful employees.

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J
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Old school feel and hearty comfort food. I found a gem that I will be returning to again and again. Only improvements I could ask for is a little low background music would be nice and the bread was just sliced loaf bread and was a little stale. Other than that the good was delicious and the atmosphere was cosy, cute, and relaxed.

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l
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's a really wonderful place. Everything is done with TLC. Katia spent time with us and that was great. The waiter was very nice and attentive. The food was delicious. I highly recommend Katia's!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Got there for mothers day celebration for my wife and 2 kids at 525 for a 530 reservation. They pointed us to our table that still had the last party's dishes. 5:45 still nothing so i bused the tables myself. Sat there until 6:05 and then went and got water and menu's by myself. Waited until 6:20 and still no one came to our table (meanwhile they made rounds to everyone else).

We left at 6:30 and I had to find another place (sushi bistro right next door luckily) and salvaged the celebration.

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CP
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love authentic (preconmunist) Russian food and Katia serves it up with a friendly smile. What a wonderful little gem. We will be back.

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

A quaint little restaurant with very friendly and entertaining staff. My favorite item on the menu was the beef Piroshki. It is a must have if you go.

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DR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Katia's is a delightful and authentic Russian Tea Room and Restaurant. It's intimate dining room is hosted by Katia and her staff.
The Saturday night music was lovely and engaging. A nice trip to another culture.
Loved the Napoleon with Russian tea!

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OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Loved the borch (beet) soup! The menu has some rare finds with authentic Russian dishes. We had the special treat of talking with Katia while there. The waiter made a special trip to have the rye bread available to go along with our meal. He offered tastings of the wine offerings. Their German riesling was very good -- not too sweet, not too dry. Katia was bringing her special Easter bread out from the oven while there causing for us to drool.

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MO
San Francisco
52 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always love Katia's. Katia herself is a gem. Food is always first class love being able to carry on a conversation without shouting. Always save room for dessert--the Napoleon is heavenly.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The very best Blini in San Francisco..! The menu is very classic Russian cuisine with a very festive touch. The last of the "Old World" style subdued elegance.

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D
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very quaint, good food, and they even had live music (accordion player).

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice dinner and service!

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D
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very fresh seafood. Value for the dollar. Wine pour was a little light but the meal and service were great. Will return to this restaurant.

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DC
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The Napolean dessert was excellent! Parking was extremely difficult. Spent 15 minutes looking for parking.

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