Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to Main Content
OpenTable logo
A photo of Social-action-lists-female-hero thumbnail

Explore the Best Women-Led Restaurants in San Francisco for 2019

March 8th is International Women’s Day. In celebration, we created a list featuring some of the most exceptional women in San Francisco’s culinary scene. This constantly evolving city is home to a top-notch food scene paired with its neighboring wine country. There are colorful outfits, out-of-the-box thinkers, famous bridges, and uber-iconic painted ladies. Next time you’re in town, we invite you to celebrate women (and eat something delicious) at one of these top spots.

A photo of Otlogo
The OpenTable Team
Updated January 29, 2021
A photo of Boulevard restaurant

Boulevard

$$$$
Californian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.9
8377 reviews
For more than 25 years, chef and co-owner Nancy Oakes' restaurant on the Embarcadero waterfront has remained a fine-dining go-to, reigning as a modern, elegant classic. Oakes, winner of the 2001 James Beard Best Chef: California award, has long been a pioneer of Californian cuisine. Before opening Boulevard in 1993, Oakes ran the trendsetting L'Avenue, which a game-changer on the culinary scene in San Francisco at the time. Ornate surroundings of mosaic floors, bronze accents, stained glass, and spectacular bay views suit both business lunches and romantic celebrations.

A photo of Nightbird restaurant

Nightbird

$$$$
Californian
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.7
633 reviews
This elegant, boutique spot in Hayes Valley is the first solo project of chef and owner Kim Alter, a longtime fixture of the Bay Area food scene. Alter achieved critical acclaim while leading two Daniel Patterson Group restaurants in Oakland. Additionally, Alter received a semifinalist nod from the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: West. Her creativity extends beyond food and into the interior design of Nightbird, where you’ll find simple decor that provides a refined, serene backdrop to a 10-course tasting menu that varies by season. Alter layers dishes with fresh ingredients and flavors in interesting combinations.


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Foreign Cinema restaurant

Foreign Cinema

$$$$
Californian
Mission District
4.7
7878 reviews
This Mission classic has drawn people in for two decades with its large, open-air central patio, nightly movie screenings, and elegantly executed menu. Chef and co-owner Gayle Pirie, a San Francisco native who co-authored two cookbooks changes the North African and Mediterranean menu daily. Pirie, along with John Clark have received multiple James Beard Foundation nominations for Best Chef: Pacific and Most Outstanding Restaurant awards. Foreign Cinema, with its extensive wine program, high ceilings, and low lighting, continues to be one of the city’s most romantic restaurants.


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Frances restaurant

Frances

$$$$
Californian
The Castro
4.7
3324 reviews
Chef and owner Melissa Perello, a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef of the West, named this tiny, chic restaurant after her grandmother, Frances. It’s always packed, though the staff saves 10 counter seats for walk-ins. The cozy neighborhood restaurant serves Californian cuisine. With all the ingredients sourced from Northern California farms and local city markets, the menu changes daily according to what’s fresh and seasonal.


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Lao Table restaurant

Lao Table

$$$$
Thai
SOMA
4.7
309 reviews
For 20 years, Lalita Souksamlane has brought the Thai culinary experience to San Francisco with her Osha Thai locations. At Lao Table, she focuses on food she grew up eating in Northeastern Thailand, in a town that bordered Laos. Much of the Laotian menu encourages diners to eat with their hands; staff provides a bowl of water at each seat for hand washing. Diners here should expect a delicious, hands-on (literally) meal!

A photo of State Bird Provisions restaurant

State Bird Provisions

$$$$
Californian
Western Addition
4.7
2401 reviews
The popularity of State Bird Provisions is due in large part to co-owners Nicole Krasinski and her husband Chef Stuart Brioza. This dream team has won two James Beard Awards including the 2015 Best Chef: West award, along with Best New Restaurant back in 2013. At this eatery, the innovative menu contains tapas-style shareable plates, which waiters serve dim sum-style on rolling carts that are pushed around the restaurant. State Bird's namesake is the California Valley quail, also typically found on the menu.

A photo of Marlowe restaurant

Marlowe

$$$$
American
SOMA
4.5
2645 reviews
Chef Jennifer Puccio leads Marlowe, the epicenter of the restaurant extraordinaire Anna Weinberg’s Big Night Group’s restaurant empire. She also is executive chef at Leo's Oyster Bar, Park Tavern, and The Cavalier. Her impact in the culinary industry doesn’t go unnoticed, and as a result, she’s won a nomination as one of the Best Chefs in America according to the James Beard Foundation. This SoMa spot brings a high-energy, casual bistro vibe with white tiled floors and walls, and leather banquettes. Waiting guests tend to gravitate towards the bar to grab cocktails while waiting for their table.


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Octavia restaurant

Octavia

$$$$
Contemporary American
Pacific Heights
4.6
2202 reviews
Chef and owner Melissa Perello, a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef of the West, opened this elegant, yet casual spot with a fresh rotating menu. Sara Hauman recently took over as chef de cuisine. Pastry chef Sarah Bonar makes the pastas and fresh-baked bread in-house, and the frequently changing menu bases its offerings on sustainable and seasonal ingredients. Together, this women-powered team serves up some of the best dishes in town.


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of A16 - San Francisco restaurant

A16 - San Francisco

$$$$
Italian
Marina / Cow Hollow / Presidio
4.6
4602 reviews
Co-owner and wine director Shelley Lindgren is one of the country's most respected Italian wine experts, as well as co-owner of SPQR and two craft cocktail bars. Her wide array of wine knowledge has granted her restaurant nominations for Outstanding Wine Service from the James Beard Foundation. Known for Lindgren's impressive collection of Italian wine varietals and chef Nicolette Manescalchi's rustic Italian cooking, A16 pioneered the Bay Area's casual-gourmet pizza craze with its wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas. The menu’s pizzas, pastas, and antipasti change with the season, but its popularity doesn’t.

A photo of Cocotte restaurant

Cocotte

$$$$
French
Russian Hill
4.7
1220 reviews
Co-owners Aurore Martinez and Mikael Audry operate Cocotte as a Provencal-style, French rustic rotisserie with a limited yet welcoming space. Seating near the front of the dining establishment provides an excellent spot to watch the cable cars and people. The menu focuses on classic French dishes: roast chicken is a particular highlight, and a family-style rotisserie to-go menu fulfills quick dinner needs.


Experiences available
View Experiences
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
Copyright © 2023 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 700, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking LogoPriceline LogoKAYAK LogoAgoda LogoRentalcars LogoOpenTable Logo