San Francisco’s Most Iconic Restaurants

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.

The OpenTable team
Restaurants:Kokkari Estiatorio, Foreign Cinema, House of Prime Rib
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Mediterranean, Californian, Steak
Neighborhoods:Financial District / Embarcadero, Mission District, Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

Kokkari Estiatorio

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Financial District / Embarcadero
7,359 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 wood beams, oriental ...

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Mediterranean in San Francisco Bay Area
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Foreign Cinema

$$$$·Californian·
Mission District
7,518 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 name (and restaurant) h...

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Californian in San Francisco Bay Area
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Experiences available
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House of Prime Rib

$$$$·Steak·
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
12,123 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Groups
  • 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 and they do magical thi...

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Steak in San Francisco Bay Area
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Zuni Cafe

$$$$·Modern European·
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
6,651 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Lunch

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 chicken (for two), a ve...

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Slanted Door

$$$$·Vietnamese·
Financial District / Embarcadero
11,120 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Scenic View
  • Hot Spot

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 watching. They’ve been servi...

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Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF

$$$$·French·
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
6,504 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies

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 French thing down pat (...

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French in San Francisco
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Marlowe

$$$$·American·
SOMA
2,664 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Hot Spot

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 20% lamb and comes wit...

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Boulevard

$$$$·Californian·
Financial District / Embarcadero
8,167 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies

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 not joking around wit...

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Californian in San Francisco Bay Area
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Spruce

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Presidio Heights
4,148 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies

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-of-the-park deliciou...

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Contemporary American in San Francisco Bay Area

Perbacco

$$$$·Italian·
Financial District / Embarcadero
6,405 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List

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 locally-sourced Califo...

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