San Francisco’s Most Iconic Restaurants

The OpenTable team

Seasons change, trends come and go, but these restaurants have withstood the test of time—and have become integral parts of the San Francisco dining scene. Here are San Francisco’s OpenTable Classics: the places that continue to excel after 10+ years. There’s a reason they’re still around: they keep giving us a reason to come back.

Restaurants:Kokkari Estiatorio, Foreign Cinema, House of Prime Rib
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Mediterranean, Californian, Steak
Neighborhoods:Financial District / Embarcadero, Mission, Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness

Kokkari Estiatorio

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Financial District / Embarcadero
6,829 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
There are many things about this financial district spot that make you feel like you’re either in an ornate ski lodge or someone’s large home in the mountains. High ceilings with wRead more
95% recommended
Best Overall in San Francisco Bay Area
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Foreign Cinema

$$$$·Californian·
Mission
7,186 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
It’s hard to believe this much-loved, uber-popular, and constantly-busy Mission restaurant has been at the top of its game since 1999. Nothing about this place feels dated. The namRead more
93% recommended
Californian in San Francisco Bay Area
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House of Prime Rib

$$$$·Steak·
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
11,241 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Good for Anniversaries
This SF classic has been around since 1949 (it’s as good as ever), and they devotedly follow the traditional steakhouse model: you’re here for one thing, steak’s what they know andRead more
96% recommended
Best Overall in San Francisco Bay Area
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Zuni Cafe

$$$$·Modern European·
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
6,620 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
This well-lit, loft-looking space, has two-story floor-to-ceiling windows, which creates a bright and relaxing environment to eat their amazing food in. They make an epic roast chiRead more
94% recommended
Healthy in San Francisco
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Slanted Door

$$$$·Vietnamese·
Financial District / Embarcadero
11,723 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Fit for Foodies
This iconic Ferry Building spot—from famed Chef Charles Phan—sits on the embarcadero and has enormous windows, with a front-row view of the Bay Bridge, for some epic water watchingRead more
83% recommended
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Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

$$$$·French·
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
6,378 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
Don’t be scared off by the name, there’s no chance you’ll forget anything about your meal here (though it depends how much absinthe you drink). They’ve definitely got the whole FreRead more
91% recommended
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Marlowe

$$$$·American·
SOMA
2,692 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
This American eatery is the third restaurant from the great team behind Park Tavern and the Cavalier. They serve the same beloved burger at Park Tavern, which is made with about 20Read more
82% recommended
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Boulevard

$$$$·American·
Financial District / Embarcadero
8,264 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
Aside from their impressive menu of traditional Californian-French dishes, this iconic SF restaurant (a stronghold from the 90s) gives you a breathtaking view of the Bay. They’re nRead more
97% recommended
American in San Francisco Bay Area
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Spruce

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Presidio Heights
3,738 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
Spruce is in Presidio Heights and both are quite fancy. While this upscale American restaurant is steeply priced (and probably best for a special occasion), it’s also knock-it-out-Read more
92% recommended
Contemporary American in San Francisco Bay Area

Perbacco

$$$$·Italian·
Financial District / Embarcadero
6,153 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
A busy and bustling financial district spot, which is a popular destination for all the suits who work in the area. This sister restaurant to Barbacco (next door) uses fresh and loRead more
92% recommended