If you are looking for a quick bite during lunch, Tacos Cala uses the restaurant's Hickory Street back alley entrance to serve affordable Mexico City-style tacos with rice and beans every day from 11 am - 2 pm. Unwind in the evening with Cala's sangria, mezcal margarita or other cocktails. Vegetarians will love the sopes playeros with the restaurant's "midnight" black beans. Past desserts like coconut flan or chocolate ice cream with palanqueta have finished meals off on just the right note. Reservations are recommended, though walk-ins are quite welcome.
Monday–Wednesday, Sunday 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Thursday–Saturday, 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
We have two large group dining options: a communal table for 13-20 guests in the bar area of the dining room or a smaller communal table for 9-12 guests in our private dining room. These seated dinners are served family style and consist of a set four-course meal with an individually plated dessert.View Private Dining Details
What Insiders Are Saying
The seafood and vegetable-focused Mexican food at Cala is some of the best in San Francisco.
Disappointing on every level. Out of four dishes ordered between two people one (trout tostadas) was good, except there was no indication on the menu or from the waiter that the trout was raw - which meant my girlfriend wouldn’t eat them. Another (saloicon) was ok, though nothing special, but two empanada dishes were so tastelessly and ungenerously filled, that it was virtually impossible to tell the shrimp from the vegetable filling. Cocktails were style over substance with 3 out of 4 pretty hard work to get down. If I’d paid half what I did, I’d have still felt ripped off.
Interesting combination of ingredients but not quite sure if they work together.
The noise level was disturbing for having a meaningful conversation
I love Cala and think their service is great. But, I do not like the 20% mandatory tip. It leaves no room for improvement with their staff (which there could have been with our waiter). He was very knowledgeable and a qualified waiter, but we had to wait on our check for several minutes which impacted our other plans. had I been able to only leave 16-18%, he would have got a better picture of where to improve for future customers.
Lovely dining room and quieter than most. Extremely convenient to Symphony and Opera. Light, tasty version of Mexican food. Serving sizes are all small, which can make dinner quite expensive. Service wasn't quick. So choose an early reservation time if you're planning to dine before a performance.
Get the trout tostada!
Enjoyed trying 3 small plates and 2 entrees with my three friends. The Halibut Ceviche was outstanding.
It was exciting tasting the different flavors of each ingredient and savoring them. The coconut flan for dessert was very tasty. This restaurant showcases some of the varied cuisines from Mexico and makes them shine. So nice to have a restaurant that is not the typical "Mexican" food we are already used to.
Can't wait to return!
Cala never fails to amaze with its inventive and incredibly delicious food. The charred sweet potato with bone marrow salsa is not to be missed. But you could say that about all their dishes. Can't wait until my next visit.
It was our first visit, a group of 6. We walked in to a nearly empty restaurant at 5:00 and they would not seat us until the entire party arrived despite ample space and knowing a couple people were running a few minutes late (not sure what the point was).
Service was better than average, the space is interesting. The food... not so much. We shared a number of plates and there truly was nothing that stood out (or I have not had far better elsewhere). In a few cases just flat out disappointing. I do appreciate their including the tip in the prices. Thank you. It’s a great trend. That said, even taking that into account it was really pricey, and I think all of us walked away hungry as the portions were super small.
Likely won’t be returning.
Horrible slow service. Seriously overpriced. Very tasty food
Loved every second of it.
The food was great, lots of corn flour but all the flavours were well paired.
The food was great, the service was quick and friendly. We will be back to try more dishes!
Absolutely fantastic as always. Food and service are always top notch.
Recommended by a friend. A must if you’re in San Francisco. Adrian was great!
The meal at Cala is one of the best I have ever had. The food is creative and delicious, with unusual ingredients and combinations. Don't miss the sweet potato and bone marrow. It sounds strange but it is fabulous. The service is amazing and the staff is friendly and available. You look around and someone is right there. I will definitely be returning to this restaurant.
Best high end mexican cuisines I have eaten. Pricey...but well worth it.
The trout tostadas were fantastic! Eye-pleasing and fresh tasting. Camarones were ok; the shrimp flavor was overwhelmed by the carnitas and sauce inside. Fideo had clams only and no mussels, but that was ok; filling dish, but I would try something else next time
Love this place but in past visits the rockfish has been much better. This time: a little dry and kinda tasteless. All else was wonderful.
The food and service were outstanding. Unfortunately, when we arrived at home, our clothes reeked of oil.
Even though we aired them overnight, they had to be taken to the cleaners. It was as if we had dined at Benihana.
Line ran into a bit of a snag on final course but the staff was very accommodating and we took in stride.
It was ok. The restaurant it was nice.
The tip is included and in my opinion is very high: 20%
Outstanding meal. One of the best we had on our latest trip to San Francisco.
Went to Cala for the first time months ago, and made a point to go again next time I was in town as we had wonderful food and impeccable service! I’m sorry to say that this time round, though the food was great (the trout tostadas are to die for!) as I expected it would be - the service was poor - our server did not provide any menu recommendations or information though we asked her for some, she was absent for most of our dinner and rarely checked to see how our meal was. Another runner who brought us a dish was far more engaging and pleasant than she was. At point she pushed her arm between us as we were holding hands and talking closely, to place 2 spoons on the table. Not sure why she didn’t just placed them on the other side of the table where it was open - it was uncomfortable and felt intrusive. Lastly, my partner had ordered a cocktail and was keen to order another one but she took so long in getting back (the ice was melted in the glass) that we forgoed a second drink as by that time we were disappointed and ready to call it a night. Hope to have a better experience next time as we do love Cala and were surprised by this less than enjoyable dining experience.
We loved the range of preparation and flavors. So wonderfully different from the northern Mexican cooking that I grew up eating.
Awesome awesome awesome
Exceptional vibrant fresh exiting food. Charming attentive staff. Worth every penny. We had a lovely evening. Will be back.
Sat at the bar with a friend bartender acknowledged us immediately witha gracious smile. However, she failed to return our drink order for about 10 minutes. All we got were two beers on tap so at least it was quick to make. The food was delicious though portions were tiny. I understand he small portions though, as the quality is very good and I'm sure labor costs are skyrocketing for restaurants all over the city.
Once we got the food we were never checked in with. We had wanted to order some more food but decided to head over to Mourad instead. I do like that the gratuity is built in just wish we had received some more service.
The ceviche and abalone tostadas were exceptional. The fried mixed seafood was good. Neither of us enjoyed the Black Cod en Pipian, the sauce had an off flavor and the grilled green onion was so fibrous that it couldn't be cut with a knife or eaten.
With so many fantastic restaurants in San Francisco to try and new arrivals all the time, a return visit to Cala is unlikely.
Always a pleasure at Cala. This is my favorite SF restaurant, hands down. Delicious, welcoming, and authentic. Cala supports their workers with better wages and their customers with transparent pricing. I'm in love with this place and if the sopes playeros ever go off the menu I will cry.
The food was bland, very small portions and expensive. For example a main calamari dish had tiny pieces of calamari and was filled with mostly potatoes. The dish was recommended by our server. The quesadilla was tasteless. This is our second try in an effort to support Cala. I will not be back.
Place is great. Jeff and Oceano were excellent waiters. 10/10
They need ventilation - the food was good but my clothes smell like a Chimichanga burrito post-dinner.
Found it overpriced and underwhelming. We were both disappointed
Absolutely amazing! My Mother and I were on a road trip and only had one night in San Francisco and chose to eat here and it was the best decision! The ambiance was warm and cozy, the service friendly and knowledgeable, and the food was orgasmic. I would highly recommend Cala to anyone looking for good food with good company.
The food was surpisingly good. Very fresh, amazing tostada’s with fresh trout and healthy entree with different taste then usual
It was great!
Every dish we tasted was exceptional! The kind of place where, when you see a server go by, you wish you had ordered that! Very original and creative. Very friendly and efficient service
nice ambiance and professional service but at the end of the day $200. is just too much to pay for a dinner that leaves you still feeling hungry. Most dishes we had were overly salted too (maybe to encourage more drinks?)
A really cool venue, delicious drinks & food, fantastic service AND it's a social enterprise!
Lack of value and uninspired presentation and bland flavours.