Central Kitchen

4.6
1173 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
central kitchen is a restaurant in San Francisco’s mission district that creates thoughtfully cooked, locally sourced ingredients from northern california.

Salumeria is a deli and larder that showcases a selection of Italian inspired house-made salumi and prosciutto with a Northern California sensibility.
What 1173 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and was able to answer questions around diet restrictions as well as make recommendations for our gluten free companion

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a
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Overall it was very average for a trendy SF restaurant that came highly recommended from a friend.
Pasta - both duck and the pork belly - was delicious. Everything else, especially the pate and cauliflower starters, were so so.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We loved it. The music is way too loud. But the owners know it. #turnover

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PM
San Francisco
113 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Music was much too loud to allow enjoyable conversation so could give only three stars for ambiance. Too bad as it is a lovely space. The large selection of vegetables is a real plus on the food side. While we ordered two different pasta dishes, they each seemed to have the same basic sauce with different meats. At the prices charged, we would not have expected this. The service was exemplary.

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MS
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Service and ambiance were great, but the food was mediocre. We hyped ourselves up for this experience after reviewing their menu. Unfortunately, several of the dishes had odd flavors and the polenta was bland with an off putting texture, and the corkage fee was $25! The best part was sharing a bottle of Bartholomew Park Cab (2004) and catching up with friends we haven’t seen in years.

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SF
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Central Kitchen is a must during SF Restaurant Week. The food is amazing and there is so much of it. I said after last year's visit I will return and after this visit, I will.
I'll attempt a stand out dish: the pate from the first course (from the larder) comes to mind. Oh and the fry-bread. The cauliflower from the second course had a wonderful nutty flavor and while the roast chicken from the main course was delicious, the potatoes were like nothing else I've ever tasted - rich and creamy. Desert was mission impossible after everything else, but I ate some anyway. So many complimentary flavors and textures.
Wine by the glass from the menu filled the bill.
I just talked myself into another visit. Go!

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OT
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful evening, great food, pasta to die for and great service. We did the tasting menu (highly recommended) and were very happy. Will always come back!

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OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We decided to try this place out for Restaurant Week, but won’t be going back. It’s sad when the best thing you can say about a place is their great ambiance. Service was a snail’s pace but management apologized. None of the food was *bad* just unremarkable especially for the price point.

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K
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved the restaurant week menu with amazing wine pairings. Wonderful variety and flavors!

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FH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We went for the Restaurant Week menu and were definitely not disappointed. The food was excellent and we were stuffed afterwards for sure. The highlight of the night was the dessert, which is not a course I usually think of. This dessert, though, was everything a good dessert should be - rich, creamy chocolate custard topped with a scoop of coffee ice cream, deliciously crunchy toasted almonds, and a perfect oreo/caramel/salt crumble. Yum!

Service was what defined the night. We had a late reservation and were seated promptly. The restaurant was packed. Service was smooth, with the team checking in often, especially when they felt on their own that we had waited too long for the next course - we had not noticed, but super appreciated the proactive hospitality.

We will definitely drop by again in the future!

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MB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Amazing fixed price menu for restaurant week. We had the best waiter, which was the cherry on top of a fantastic meal. Can't wait for our next visit!

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B
Phoenix
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Sports bar ambience with circular bar at the center of the restaurant, surrounded by blaring TVs at every angle. The booths at the periphery are rather cramped and small. Food is well prepared, big quantity and tasty. Service could be improved with no greeters at the door and no staff in sight for a good while.

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m
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time dining at Central Kitchen. The food was great but we especially appreciated the attentive service. I recommend the fry bread with burrata and the pasta dishes. Would not order the polenta again though. Definitely will return!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great pasta dishes and duck breast!
Loved the fried bread

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k
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Creative matching of ingredients, precise cooking and beautiful presentation. Great taste in general. The restaurant itself looks beautiful and cozy, however the noise level is way too high (vicious circle between loud and energetic music, and patrons having to speak over the music) and doesn't match the quality of the food nor the design of the restaurant.

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RH
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 5

Birthday dinner. Arrived at 5:30. Timing of food to table was incredibly sluggish. Spent most of the evening commenting on how slow everything was. Server was wonderful and apologetic. We were literally the first people to be seated after opening so it was confusing. Requested a birthday candle, didn’t happen - but at that point we had been seated for over 90 minutes so we really just wanted to leave. More apology. Brought another dessert that we didn’t want to compensate. $166. It was really just a painful dinner - so sorry it was a special occasion - we won’t be back.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service wasn’t great. Server very unfriendly.

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M
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite restaurant in the city! Amazing flavors in every dish & wonderful service.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome New Year’s Eve! And Karine was a spectacular server!!!

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P
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quality food with a big plus for any pasta dish.

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PN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 5

It was my third time being there. The food used to be better. This time it was salty and expensive. I was not able to have it.

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JB
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Amazing food, great service but except for the date on the receipt you wouldn’t have known it was Christmas Eve. Just a minimal vagueness of the holiday season in decor and none in music. Don’t need to have 7 foot tree, flashing lights, and jingle bells blaring but a slight effort and some holiday atmosphere would have been appreciated.

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MM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant!!! The food and service were outstanding. Overall we had a very good experience.

Definitely we will be back.

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FO
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I've been to Central Kitchen twice now. The initial time I liked it but nothing really stood out though their pastas are genuinely refined and what I liked the most. This recently outing, I was indeed disappointed. Flavors were okay. My pasta which was a farfella with mushrooms and short ribs(I cant recall though it was 3 days ago) had a so so texture. Portion was unbelievably small for $24. A good appetizer size but not dinner portion. That's my main gripe. Plus, I like things warmer during the winter, not super hot but not room temperature. On a cold night. Room temperature gets cold too fast.

My husband had pork loin. He is a lean, 5 ft 10 inch guy. He is slim and doesn't over eat but it was barely enough to fill him. We had a beet salad to share. It was so small. Not meant for sharing. We thought 1 app to share and each a main would be enough. But we were hungry.

Though tasty was the pork and the beet salad...unfortunately the petite size could be addressed.

I think for such a casual restaurant, you need to order a salad or bread, a pasta and an entree EACH to be full.

My husband and I left the restaurant not full and we actually had to go get crepes for dessert because we were a tad but "hungry". I mean I got a strawberry crepe with chocolate and a scoop of ice cream and whip cream. Then I was happy and full. He had to get a banana, ice cream and whipped cream crepe.

For $80 for two. It's not that much...but for the weird texture in the pasta. And the small small pork entree. And NO wine. It was so much more than we imagined for a simple casual Monday night dinner. So many other options in the city. I would go to Flour and Water instead.

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MM
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience from start to finish. Excellent service and beautifully prepared delicious vegetables. The duck breast was fantastic too.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything was excellent except one farfalle pasta dish. Will definitely go back.

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s
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I came here with friends to enjoy a holiday dinner and it was absolutely phenomenal. The food was delicious and their wines even better. Everyone was very friendly and the ambience is very nice.

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S
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Overall food was good not excellent. Per portion size is on the smaller side but ok for one person with an appetizer. Our waitress recommended the pasta dishes since they are a sister to Flower&Water. I thought the pasta dishes were good but not excellent. Good ambience.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and great food and drinks!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING! We cannot say enough about this place. YOU HAVE TO COME. We are from the south of Italy, so we use to eat well, healthy and tasty. But this place is to try. The best experience along all our California Trip. We took a testing choice from the chef, accompanied by the suggested wine for each course. It was excellent from beginning to the end. Also our waiter was professional, discreet and friendly. don’f Miss Central Kitchen if in SF!!!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We got the pleasant ridge cheese selection from the larder- very good! Would have loved to know which cheese was which 🤔. The basil campanelle was excellent, the favorite dish by far. The king salmon was cooked to perfection but we were not crazy about the sunchoke/mushroom conservative sauce. I enjoyed a Indian Springs aperitif cocktail. The service was great and the ambiance was lovely

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ML
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time! Decided to go with the chefs choice for dinner and we were so happy we did. Service and food were amazing. Can’t wait to go back!

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r
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

My husband and I are trying a new SF restaurant every month, and Central Kitchen was our November pick. The environment is casual and very basic, which is fine. The food—the most important element of the evening-was merely good. No one in our party of 5 had a rave review for their entree, and the several appetizers we tried were unexceptional. All 5 of us agreed on a “B” grade for CK.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Servers were pretty unaccomodating. Food was good but nothing really special. Server was not very polite.

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CF
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved every thing we ordered. Ambiance was great and our server gave us great recommendations, we were not disappointed.

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

food is still great but the background music was much too loud

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H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service is what really stood out. Very attentive staff checking on a regular basis. The food was outstanding. We partook in the tasting menu. The highlights were the fry bread with burrata and the dual pasta course. Pasta with 'marinara', meatballs, with crispy breadcrumb and chili flake topping was on point. Only downside was the lamb course was well done and a little tough. I should have just stated our preference on meat temperature ahead of time.

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely loved this place - will be going back again!

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RO
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, friendly service. Amazing food in a comfortable environment.

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SI
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Still dreaming about the Seared King Trumpet mushrooms!

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