Barcino

4.5
479 reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates

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Pre/post Theatre
Barcino is The Absinthe Group's newest venue serving Catalan-influenced and inspired cuisine. Located walking distance from Civic Center and the performing arts centers, Barcino features specialty cocktails, and Spanish wines and sherries.
What 479 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AG
Austin
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great place for cocktails and Spanish-oriented bar bites. The service was friendly and helpful from the host->bar->table for dinner. They have a great selection of Vermut and other Spanish cocktails in addition to a full bar serving very capable "other" cocktails. The food was delicious with one exception... the meatballs. They were flavorful but overly salty. The Ibérico jamon was delicious. The portion was small but I understand I'm not in Barcelona! Great location, nice atmosphere. I was a chill place. My co-workers who live in SF say that there's better Tapas in the city. I was pleased.

GF
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food with friendly and fun service. We will definitely be back!

BB
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable meal, shared with friends prior to going to Hamilton. The ambiance and lighting was delightful and the food delectable. The service was wonderful. Great place. Try it out.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a wonderful experience at Barcino. The food and service are impeccable and I love the Gin Tonic menu. The Tortilla, Gambas, and seasonal salad were delish along with the Jamon Serrano and Pa as go-tos. Thanks for another amazing meal!

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Overall place has gone down hill. Service was poor, waited over 20 minutes in between dishes. Octopus totally overpriced and covered in salad, was this just for decoration? Made it impossible to eat. Pretty disappointed, used to be one of my favorite

m
Central Coast
30 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a celebration dinner on a Saturday night (not opera season). We were greeted warmly. They gave us a booth. Cocktails are a bit of a wait as the bar can get backed up. Food comes out pretty quick. It's a nice place for tapas. The dishes are classed by smaller to larger. Though I wish they were all a bit larger for the prices. There was s croquette dish that had one croquette which was challenging to share, so sharing can be a challenge for groups. However, I have been here a dozen times and love the place. People are friendly and do their best to be accommodating. The food has wonderful flavor combinations and the cocktails are fun. Gin tonics on draft? Yes!

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great tapas and cocktails and love the back in the day Fern bar experience.

J
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

4 of us had a pre-opera dinner. We arrived early for a 6 PM reservation and the waiter offered happy hour bargains-500 mL carafe of wine for $15, oysters $1/each as well as the menu. Food was excellent and filling. Hanger steak was particularly good as were the shrimp and beet and fennel salad. Service was excellent with serving plates cleared quickly and new plates provided during the meal. We will be back!

SL
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

First time at Barcino will
Probably be my last time. While service was excellent and the waitstaff very attentive, they cannot make up for the menu and the prices. The gambas we shared were well done and garlicky but the beets with braised fennel was not great- the fennel was more stewed than braised and the flavor
Combo w an odd “hummus” just didn’t work at all. The potatoes were ok. Drinks were good but very $$$. And although we went early to go to a concert, I could barely hear my date over the loud ambient noise. All over - between 3 stars and 3.5 stars. And there should be an icon for overpriced stickershock

TD
New England
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Barcino is nice place to dine. We had the chefs choice. With wine menu that went well together.
Your staff group needs more outgoing people.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The only real problem we had was the woman at the front. Her service was so apathetic and verging on grumpy. We met friends at the bar, very nice service, for pre dinner drinks and then checked in. She wanted to put us at the worst table in the back so we asked to wait until a better one opened up. She just didn’t care about her job and her attitude was rude and unappealing. Pity because I won’t be in a hurry to go back.

c
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

The food was good but nothing was suggested or expained to us. The waiter was very rude.

JU
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Went for pre-Symphony dinner. We had the set tapas menu. Everything was great except the meatballs that were way too salty.
Because of the Symphony, we had to rush off but we could’ve easily lingered to enjoy more.

AT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Great bar, unique drinks and good quality food. The only low item was the wait staff. Unfriendly and didn't seem too interested.

KP
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

There was HAIR in our paella.

PN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was absolutely delicious and very interesting drink menu. Was actually able to carry on a discussion with my table mate without shouting.

BJ
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This restaurant offers a lively atmosphere, friendly staff, and lots of menu options that are creative and inviting. The patatas were crispy but delicate inside. The sauce with the gambas had just the right amount of spiciness. Wonderful beet salad! More to sample my next visit.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Food was subpar- nothing great. Server made odd comments about my dates dietary restrictions (nut allergy & vegetarian) found this rude and not amusing. But allergies that require an epi pen is not funny and it is not uncommon for a person to not eat meat...

q
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food and all that business. Service didn't seem happy with us but I don't know if that was related to our group or if they're just like that.

DB
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I already have recommended it to a friend. The menu is limited but very nice with something for everyone. It is an excellent location for the symphony and opera and other attractions of the neighborhood. The wine selection was lovely and the cocktails were good.

DF
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant before the symphony. Good food, good ambience.

H
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Happy to try this, given the loss of favorite Arlequin. A bit pricier but still a decent value, nice atmosphere, and efficient service for a before-performance dinner.

K
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOW! This is by far the best tapas we've ever had, including in Spain! Each dish bursts with flavors and is cooked to perfection. Combinations of ingredients and spices are superb. Great wines to match and inventive cocktails. We want to bring friends next time so that we can sample more of the menu.
Four tapas for two are almost too many -- we were hoping to try a dessert but were too full!

We'll return for sure!

PC
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Barcino is one of our standard restaurants when we attend opera, symphony or events at Veterans Memorial, along with Chez Maman, M'Sieur Benjamin, Plaj and Barcino.

We had five small plates plus dessert - the Hamachi in Sauce was good, the Serrano Ham with toast was a very generous portion of flavorful, good quality ham (Bellota is a more subtle flavor but close to twice as expensive so it's more of a splurge item), Baked Oysters with a garlic/pimento sauce was good. Barcino's meatballs (albondigas) are a real treat, rich and filling. The fish croquettes are also a reliable item.

Desserts were fresh and flavorful. The churros came with both chocolate and crème anglais and were very, very fresh; right out of the fryer. The fruit empanada was not quite as good, but still a pleasant change.

We've always found Barcino to be a pleasant, reliable pre-performance dining option. We do tend to eat there early (about 5:30) so we have plenty of time. Noise level at that time is low enough that two or four people can have a reasonable conversation. Service has always been attentive and pleasant.

Quality of food is good, preparation is consistent from one visit to the next, staff is competent and helpful. We like it a lot.

AP
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

The food was bland and oversalted. The baked oysters with chorizo were glutinous and surprisingly flavorless, the meats and cheeses were OK but nothing special, the bread that accompanied the tomato chutney was oily, and the omelette was spongy and overly salty. Very disappointing.

LO
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Tapas are outstanding! Great value! Perfect for before Opera or Symphony.

c
New England
8 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant atmosphere for drinks and dinner....a gathering place. Excellent service.

e
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good food , wine , service , we would go back

SV
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our fifth visit to Barcino, it has become our favorite place in the area. The food is delicious and beautifully prepared. The ambiance is metropolitan and yet down to earth. The wait team is professional and helpful.

We will definitely continue to dine at Barcino regularly.

JF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant for pre-opera or symphony. We shared 5 items among 4 of us which was just right before a performance. Don’t want to go to sleep after a heavy meal

J
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Slow service, only so-so food. Great gin tonics though.

l
Austin
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Sit at the chef's counter, eat the octopus, ask for a wine recommendation and enjoy the beautiful plants and the San Francisco sun surrounding you.

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

Had an absolutely delicious meal with a friend before the Opera. We chose the "tasters" menu (not sure that is what they called it) and it was delightful! Will definitely plan to go there often before Opera and Ballet performances.

F
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Just don't order the paella. If you know your paella and understand the dish, don't order paella here. It is truly awful. The cook needs to learn what paella is or just take it off the menu. The rest was the food was excellent, the octopus, the cauliflower, and the desert. Nice ambiance, our waiter was not very polite and we felt rushed.

ML
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Barcino is a great place to go before a performance. The staff is helpful and the service is timely.

I
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Creative and delicious take on Catalan food and drinks. Classic tapas reimagined and elevated. I’ve been to many Spanish restaurants in the Bay Area and Barcino’s cuisine is a standout.

BH
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I rarely bother to write reviews, but Barcino deserves this. First, we arrived 30 mins. late due to horrific traffic from the south bay. I had called the restaurant to give them a heads up (OpenTable showed no availability to reschedule the reservation) and left a voicemail. When we arrived they were extremely accommodating and seated us without issue. We were a bit rushed for time since we were attending a concert at Davies Symphony Hall down the street, and they quickly took our order, delivered drinks and food and presented the bill in time. Logistics aside, the food was great - fresh, tasty and authentic. The gambas (shrimp) and tortilla (Spanish omelette) were particularly good, as was the wine. They also have a nice selection of vermouth (not to be confused with what usually goes into a martini) and sherry just like you'd find in a tapas bar in Barcelona. Next time (and there will be a next time!) we'll plan for a more leisurely experience.

PM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was interesting and tasty -- oysters (raw or baked), shrimp, octopus, beet salad, patatas bravas, .... But, even more positive was the service. In the first place, we were going up on the evening of the Warriors' final game of the season -- it took over two hours from Mountain View to Hayes Valley. Stuck in traffic on 101, we celled ahead to have our reservation held -- no problem. But now we're running late for our SF JAZZ concert (Linda May Han Oh -- check her out), gotta have fairly speedy service: No problem, and no compromise with quality. The service was beyond great. We definitely recommend Barcino on all dimensions. (And we are big former fans of the former Boxing Room)

ML
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Terrific and responsive waiter. Food very good, wine recommendation spot on. AND we got to sit in a booth!!

R
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good experience, service was a little slow but understandable since they were so busy.

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