Cento Osteria

4.5
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184 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Ideally located on the Embarcadero, and with sweeping views of San Francisco’s renowned waterfront, CENTO Osteria invites guests to experience seasonal Italian fare in the style of a classic osteria. Chefs Donato Scotti and Gianluca Guglielmi have created a menu of simply prepared, crave-worthy food enjoyed in regions across Italy, which pairs perfectly with a carefully curated selection of wine, cocktails and beer.

CENTO’s warm, open and inviting space, including a spacious outdoor patio, sets the stage for remarkable wood-fired Italian specialties crafted from housemade ingredients that are prepared with a native Italian’s touch. Patio seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Please join us for our Apericena which is an Italian style happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3:30 - 7pm with dinner seven nights a week starting at 5pm. And now open for lunch and brunch!
What 184 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
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
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76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

REVIEW
Nice location and pleasant inside but if this is good Italian food then I have never been to Italy ! And I was in Rome, Naples, Ischia, and Milan this summer where your found, in most instances, excellent Italian food. And you can in SF at Del Popolo, Defina and A Mano to name a few .
Now I will give this place an out on food as maybe I ordered the wrong dish, Spaghnettoni , but it was fat noodles smothered in pesto to the point of not tasting the pasta at all.! It was so filling that you could not even eat all of it post antipasti. By the the way the antipasti was tolerable but not great. Service was prompt but impersonal which, when you have 6 people, you would expect some friendliness. Wait person kept pushing the Branzino (sea bass) and looked ok but I never got a comment from the tow who tried it .
I life in SF, travel to Europe three times a year and SF is a good "foodie" town with good choices So hard to think I would return but I should give it a second chance. Just hard to spend $60 for appetizer, main course and wine plus tip and tax and be disappointed again.

ST
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Cento! We took some friends who lived in Italy and they said that the food was "the real deal". Very knowledgeable, professional, friendly staff. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming feel right across the street from the bay. We took the train from Menlo Park then an easy 20 minute walk to the restaurant. Irini, the manager is really special.

AE
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Nice casual place, good value, pretty loud though due to bar scene. Nice staff - very outgoing and helpful!

SF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was super slow. only 3 tables full and it took almost 45 to get lunch. Appetizers were better than the main meal.

LD
Miami
56 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was amazing. Host was very accommodating

R
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, wonderful staff...nice wines! We will definitely visit again!

FF
Nashville
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Really nice location with views of the bridge, but sadly the food is disappointing. Pastas lack flavor and wood fired pizzas overdone. Was overpriced for the quality.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As we had to carb up before the SF marathon, we decided to try this place to get pasta. Living not too far, I cannot believe we did not go there earlier!! The food was really really good for all of us (4 adults and a toddler), and our waitress was really nice and she paid attention to us the whole evening. We got burrata salad, the fried shrimps and the heirloom tomatoes salad as appetizers, and then my family got the rigatoni and I had the squid ink pasta. I really enjoyed my dish - pasta was nicely cooked and the dish was very flavorful. Same comments were made for the rigatoni. The 3 desserts we got (pana cotta, lavender pot de creme and affogato) were a hit as well. The wine was also really good. We did not try cocktails bc of the marathon, but definitely planning to go back!!

p
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Antonio the waiter was darling! So accommodating! Food delicious. Can’t wait to go back

HA
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a fabulous dinner at Cento Osteria. It is always a treat to come here.

BB
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

My team truly enjoyed our lunch at the restaurant. I would only recommend additional waitstaff to support the needs of your clientele.

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

Fantastic food is back at cento! one of the best Northern Italian food in the city .
Thanks to The master chef !!

F
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A peaceful place for lunch during the week. Great food and service, and cooling breezes from off the bay.

s
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

food was mediocre at best again, it was my second visit
not a great value for money

B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

There was a confrontation between the staff that was not handled professionally. The wait staff supervisor (women with lots of long hair) was yelling (repeatedly) at one of the waitresses in plain view of the guests and in front of other servers. She not only yelled but she walked away and went back yelling using her hands at least twice. The server was obviously upset and on the verge of tears the remainder of the time she was there. It was very disturbing to us and ruined our dinner experience. Food was ok, service was ok. Overall the experience was a big disappointment.

M
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food. Late afternoon on Friday we brought my 8 year old nephew in and they made every effort to keep him happy and us as well. Excellent Calamari and Asparagus Salad. The Ragu was an all around favorite.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

After work there can be many large groups in the restaurant which makes it very loud. Call ahead to check before dining.

BN
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great local restaurant with delicious pasta and fish. We had the sea bass with artichokes. The servings were very generous and the fish was super fresh. Service was friendly and efficient. Love the location; would definitely recommend.

LP
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend! Service is excellent and the food devine!

CW
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing branzino and pasta. I’d pass on the burrata app, but everything else was great. Got a great wine recommendation

OT
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Excellent food with good wine selection. Genuine Italian dishes not found in run-of-the-mill places. Highly recommended.

CP
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was an amazing restaurant! We had such a lovely meal and our waiter was so great! We got the chicken, pizza and potatoes. Everything was so fresh and cooked to perfection. I highly recommend going to this place!

D
London
9 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You would be very hard pressed to find a better lunch of the burrata salad and casonsei anywhere in the area. The ravioli is among the best I've ever had.

I loved going here when I worked one block away. I since changed jobs and now it's a 15 minute walk away and I still love going here.

Everything on the menu I and my table mates have tried has been top notch - the salads, pizzas and pastas.

LC
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great feel and food here, super service too. Don’t miss the brown butter sage pasta.

B
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great mixture of good food and great service. Menu is out of sight!!

BW
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

Lovely space - but that’s the end of the good story.

Such a great environment. But so empty at happy hour and prime dining time on a Wednesday evening. Why? Well, we soon found out.

Two of us started at the bar where the bartender was generally ambivalent - neither good nor bad. We had a couple happy hour apps and drinks. Olives were good. Pizza was so-so. Wine was inoffensive.

Then we moved to a table when our third person arrived. (We could pick any table we wanted at 7:30pm because it was 70% empty.)

The first server asked if we wanted sparkling or still water. I asked if the sparkling water was house made. She did not understand what I meant, so I explained “do you make the sparkling here in the house or is it already bottled?”. She said no, it is their own. Then she brought the bottle which was already open so I thought it was house made. I make a point of boycotting the transiting of water from around the planet - especially to a place that has really good quality water - and I pay already a gazillion dollars to live in such a place.

The second server was in the words of my companion, “seems rather grumpy and quite unhappy to be here.” He also had difficulties understanding us and limited in his ability to describe the dishes. My friend ordered a specialty cocktail that we all three found to be revolting. I asked nicely if my friend could have something else and he either had no ability to understood or didn’t want to understand. So my friend just ordered a beer. Never took another sip of the cocktail and the server took no notice.

I asked for more water and he brought the unopened bottle to the table and cracked the seal. I said - hey, I thought this was house made. He said proudly that it comes from Italy. Grrr. (Broke my eco rule and had to pay $14 plus tax and tip for that misunderstanding.)

The food was the very definition of mediocre. That could have been overlooked if the server had seemed to care or have a clue about service.

A
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Oily pasta, not a single soul in the place at lunch time on a weekend, didn't have black tea, just not very impressive

TP
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Initially service was great. When it came time to pay the check we literally had to wait 15 minutes to get another waitress to help. Our waiter Daniel did not to come back to our table as he was busy serving a table of 8 who needed several bottles of wine opened and serves. 15 minutes for that? Hmmm. Food is great.

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We initially had a group of 10 but due to a long day 6 people cancelled on us. The restaurant appeared a bit upset by this but the restaurant was largely empty and we were the last table they serviced before closing the restaurant. So although I feel bad for over booking our needs it does not appear to have had any major impact on the restaurant. We did apologize a number of times.

KT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you, Danny for making it a wonderful birthday dinner for my friend! We had a delightful time. The pizza by your recommendation was so delicious - I’m going to bring other friends over! And the gnocchi melted in my mouth. My friend loved her raviolis and the desserts topped off a fab night into a very memorable one! I’m so glad to have discovered this restaurant and will see you soon!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Allthing are good!!

4
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came for a post wedding celebration. Not a formal planned thing, a spur of the moment (for weddings) event, CENTO was beyond wonderful!

Their accommodation of us and terrific service alone was terrific. But add to that fabulous food and interesting wines are worthy of many repeat everyday celebratory visits.

Branzino is a must. Whatever ravoli they offer, order it. Pizza. Wood fired. What else do you need? Fantastic artichoke appetizer. Hope you get there before they are out of season.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Our server was professional, but rather unfriendly, and did not seem terribly invested in our experience.

The radicchio-bean salad wasn’t worth ordering—the beans completely overwhelmed the flavors and textures of everything else.

The pizza dough was wonderful, but the flavors were unbalanced—anchovy/caper/olives were overly salty without anything to offset them.

TT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The ambience is a little too bright, turn down the overhead lights a bit please. The pizza had great flavors and crust, but came out a bit cold, but will certainly try it again. Salad was great and the homemade raviolis outstanding!

LB
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

The salad was mixed greens out of the box with some dry chicken. There are so many good restaurants in this area so Cento Osteria was a big disappointment.

TM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

I visited Cento Osteria with a friend from out of town for lunch. She ordered the squid-ink pasta, me the cacio e pepe. Hers turned out alright, the calamari was cooked well but the pasta was a bit bland. My cacio e pepe was instead some decent pasta swimming in what I can only guess was pasta water instead of the creamy peppery cheesy coating that it should be. I think they took the easy way out instead of properly tossing it together and it shows as all the ingredients tasted like they were of high quality but the preparation left it a mess.

Service was above decent but nothing exceptional. I'd still recommend Cento for their pizzas, but their pastas leave much to be desired.

R
San Francisco
75 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we six ordered was delicious. The staff was very welcoming and fun. We will return!

MP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely love this place. Such a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. Everything is delicious.

LC
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful space with open kitchen and a wonderful ambience. Some lovely views of the water, and just a good vibe. Ask for Antonio he’s an excellent server. The food at brunch and dinner have been outstanding. Fresh ingredients, some creative combinations and a menu with good variety. Don’t miss this place, we have it on repeat!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed everything we ordered ... service was attending and good. For sure will come back again and recommend it.

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