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  5. Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
¡Chao Pescao!, San Francisco, CA

¡Chao Pescao!

4.6
4.6
250 Reviews
$30 and under
Latin American
Chao Pescao is a new casual Latin Caribbean restaurant from longtime San Francisco restaurateur Rene Denis inspired by his Cuban-Colombian heritage. The name, translating roughly to “see you later alligator,” captures the friendly and fun spirit of the restaurant. Cocktails are inspired by many of the traditional drinks from Latin America, while the food pulls from the comforting Cuban and Colombian home cooking of Denis’s childhood. The menu is rounded out with other Latin American favorites with particular emphasis on dishes designed for delivery. Chao Pescao is located in the Civic Center Plaza at the heart of the city, across from City Hall.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Private dining

Private dining

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Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Latin American, Colombian, Cuban

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Sat 11:30 am–8:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (415) 621-2200

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Chef Rene Denis

  • Catering

    Please visit our website at www.chaopescaosf.com and view our Events Menu for details.

  • Private party facilities

    Chao Pescao's mid-town location and latin-caribbean menu makes this city favorite a winning choice for private group dining, and Chao's plentiful array of Latin-themed cocktails and fine wine list will please every guest.

  • Private party contact

    Dan Shaw: (888) 654-2841

  • Neighborhood

    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness

  • Cross street

    Larkin

  • Parking details

    $5 Parking Mon-Fri after 5pm and all day Saturday with validation at the the Hastings Parking Garage.The UC Hastings Parking Garage is located at 376 Larkin St between McAllister and Golden Gate. The Civic Center Garage entrance is located at 355 McAllister. Street parking is also available and is free after 6pm.

  • Public transit

    Public Transit Stops: Civic Center Bart & Muni Stations - 2 blocks MUNI 5 Fulton - .5 blocks 19 Polk - .5 blocks 47 Van Ness - 2 blocks 49 Mission/Van Ness - 2 blocks Golden Gate Transit - .5 blocks

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 250 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. NL

    NicolleL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was amazing! They have the best Colombian empanadas in SF. I’m Colombian and it’s very authentic!
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious!
  3. PT

    PThangConner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing place! Waiter, Mike, was amazing with the recommendations & overall accommodations! Ordered 5 different plates & they ALL looked amazing & tasted even better! Looking forward to the outdoor patio they will build in front & can’t wait to go back!
  4. LA

    LaurieA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had the best service ever! They were kind enough to hold our table for us when we called and let them know we were running late due to traffic from the pride weekend. They knew we were going to a show and recommended entrées that would come out quickly. They even helped us with directions to the theater. The vibe was positive and energetic and the food was amazing! I would definitely go back there in a heartbeat.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent service and great food!
  6. TC

    TeresaC

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall3food4service4ambience2
    This place was very good in most respects except that we were seated next to a party of six who were exceptionally loud. There is basically no noise dampening in the space. Every other table was speaking quietly. Even so, I will probably go back, they had a lot of nice vegetarian options.
  7. LM

    LaurenM

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service, tasty cocktails, and amazing empanadas
  8. AL

    AL67t876t

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything we ordered was very good for the price. Portions were very appropriate. Enjoyed the happy hour offerings.
  9. NM

    NehaM

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was my second time going here, and it was an excellent experience overall. Food, cocktails and service - all was great.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food, fun atmosphere, friendly staff, definitely recommend.
  11. VI

    VICTORC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was really tasty and filling, the drinks were also really good. The service was excellent, our waiter was very attentive and friendly. Definitely will be coming back here for the great food options.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Went there last night before concert and it was excellent. The only challenge ones that our reservation table wasn’t ready until 40 minutes late, but we sat at the bar, were served free appetizers , seated the second to the table was clear and were also given a complementary dessert so they did more than enough to make up for it The ambiance.is bright, creative and colorful, so too the food and cocktails. Service is warm and friendly. Overall something a little different and a great asset to the Civic Center neighborhood
  13. CA

    CleanAirGal

    San Francisco

    101 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    101 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    We love dining here before a show and enjoyed our cocktails and vegan entrees. It so nice that they have a wide variety of menu options that suit everyone from a carnivore to soy-free to gluten-free to vegetarian to vegan. Everything was tasty as usual. We look forward to our next visit. Fantastic staff, too! Thank you.
  14. J

    Jeffied

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My third visit. Chao Pescao has become my go to place in the civic center of SF. Consistently good tasty food and outstanding service. Both dinner and lunch menus are terrific. Lively upbeat decor. I love it!
  15. k

    kateh

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    great place for a causal bite before the opera or symphony. too noisy for my liking but the food was unusual and very good. will go back, KH
  16. LB

    LauraB

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    The setting was inviting, the food was good and the service was attentive. Portion sizes were generous. We look forward to going back and trying more menu items. We did not try the cocktails, but enjoyed the zero proof grapefruit rosemary and pina colada.
  17. c

    californiafoodies

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great vibe and food. Huge portions. Perfect pre-Orpheum theatre place.
  18. G

    Guilhermedico

    San Francisco

    41 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Chao Pescao bills itself as a restaurant with pan-Latin American cuisine. The main course options here, following the cuisines of Colombia and Cuba, are mainly pork, chicken, and a little beef. They do not offer fish/seafood options or Brazilian entrees on the menu. That said, they do offer dishes for vegetarians and vegans, with jackfruit instead of meat. During our last visit here six months ago, they had just added Leblon cachaça to the restaurant's extensive repertoire of alcoholic beverages and we suggested the bartender include caipirinhas on the list. Unfortunately, Chao Pescao still does not have a caipirinha option currently. However, they do offer a “Lula Livre” cocktail made with cachaça and my dining companion enjoyed that. I had a glass of sangria, which I liked. The service at Chao Pescao was excellent. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful in answering questions about the menu, making sure we were satisfied with the meal and his own waiter service. Having become accustomed to Brazil’s pão de queijo (little balls of tapioca flour filled with gooey cheese from Minas Gerais), we were disappointed with the rather dry, not very cheesy Pan de Bono. The huge main course we split, Bistec de Palomilla, was a thin cut of meat, cooked almost bone dry. Those are two items we will not order on our next visit here. It would be nice if Chao Pescao would add some fish and other seafood items to the menu. After all, both Colombia and Cuba have seacoasts! The price of our meal, including drinks, 3 appetizers of enormous portion size (Pan de Bono, Repollitos, and Maduros), Bistec de Palomilla, a delicous dessert, Crema Catalana, and tax and tip, totaled just $61 per person. That was just $4 more than the $57 we spent at Chao Pescao six months ago, not bad considering the current inflation spike in the U.S. Chao Pescao is a nice option for a reasonably priced dinner near Civic Center performing arts venues.
  19. JF

    JohnF

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Good food and they are putting a lot of effort into the menu. Chicken was excellent however you can tell that the dishes need finishing; i.e a garlic sauce for rice and beans or alternative sauces. Need a fish dish as well. Service, drink and atmosphere are very good to excellent. This will be a winner eventually. Love the effort as SF needs a Cuban/Latin restaurant.
  20. S

    Samantha

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We really felt welcomed and had such a positive dining experience overall. The food was incredible! Flavorful, well presented, and sizable portions. Truly no other place like this in the city. We weren't even halfway through our meal when we were making plans to come back! 100% recommend!
  21. RM

    RichardM

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time here and it was fabulous! Food was amazing and the service was excellent! Keep up the good work!
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Alexandra went above and beyond to make our night especial! We will def go back!
  23. S

    Stella

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Came here on a wed night. We were running late due to traffic downtown and they were kind enough to hold our reservations. It’s a super cute restaurant, very colorful. Strong drinks! Very reasonably priced food. Love the gluten free and vegetarian options which were all labeled on the menu, so helpful for those of us with dietary restrictions. Service was prompt and attentive, the manager checked in with us twice. We were rushing to a show @7:30 and only had an hour for dinner and we managed to finish our appetizers, 2 rounds of drinks and take our dessert to go. Will definitely return.
  24. CO

    CarolineO

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Food was outstanding--great choices...our waiter was pretty busy so we didnt' get our second glasses of wine (it was impossible to flag the poor guy down he was running so fast!) We'll be back soon!
  25. HM

    HikeandMighty

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Great place to try something different with a hardworking staff, even though they are short-handed. Service is slow but everyone is polite and determined to do the best under the circumstances. Empanadas are a must try. Cocktails are pretty and delicious. Encourage you to give this place your business.
  26. DJ

    DeeJ143

    San Francisco

    49 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    The food is delicious and the service is good although they were very backed up and obviously in the weeds with "show diners" so for our 515PM rez we were seated @535pm and our order taken 20 minutes later. We were not starving so NO complaints, we could SEE they were slammed and we KNEW what we wanted and ordered empanadas, mango habanero chicken wings and maduros with black beans to start and it was delicious!! Then we ordered the arepas which were also excellent and we could not finish however we couldn't possibly pass on coffee and dessert. The Latin Caribbean kitchen is an adorable spot tucked away on a side street next to the Asian Art Museum a short walk from BART or Hayes Valley. The room, presentation and flavor of the food and cocktails is excellent, service seems to be ramping up and everyone was very friendly. We already have a reservation in 3 weeks before a show and KNOW what we're trying next!!
  27. D

    Daniel

    San Francisco

    162 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    162 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Wonderful service and interesting food. We really liked the ambiance, as well.
  28. s

    sffoodie109

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    First time here and will definitely be back. The food was delicious. I want to try everything. Entire staff is super friendly and efficient.
  29. a

    albertb

    San Francisco

    49 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My favorite is ropa vieja ,husband had pozole. We shared salad n fries. Every dish is excellent. Helados tres leches was good. Portions are generous so we had for next day. Been here many times and convenient after movie at opera plaza, opera or nearby civic center
  30. SM

    SmithM

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience3
    The chicken tasted either like the oil was burned, or very old. The Elote was great, empanadas were just ok…
  31. J

    Jazzguy1

    San Francisco

    72 reviews

    5.0

    72 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We stumbled on to !Chao Pescao! while perusing Open Table. It was a great find. Our party of 4 selected among the many delectable-sounding, Cuban-based items on the menu, and we shared and enjoyed all of the dishes we ordered. My wife celebrated her birthday with a slice of delicious chocolate and coconut pie which was complimentary. It is nearby all of the entertainment venues in Civic Center, and parking on the street or in the municipal garages is ample.
  32. p

    ptownangel

    San Francisco

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We found this little gem when looking for a place to eat before going to the Orpheum theater. It was delicious! All of our food was cooked perfectly and our waiter, Mike, was very attentive. My husband cannot eat gluten. Most of the items are gluten free. They even have a dedicated fryer! I would highly recommend!
  33. NK

    NoKale

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Food was wonderful and the staff was great. I left happy.
  34. BD

    BrynnDad

    Sacramento

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a wonderful evening. We sat in the bar at a hightop with a nice view of the community garden out the window. When you go make sure Erin takes care of you. She is fantastic! and if you can talk to Carlos about all the special rums and get his unique Mojito, go for it! The food is amazing too.
  35. L

    Lila

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 9, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Yummy food, excellent vibe (loved the music and energy). Will be back for hhr!
  36. r

    reachfar

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Great and friendly service. Interesting and unique menu. A little noisy
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    A hidden gem with a very good ambiance. Service was very good. We had the Caesar salad with shrimp. Everything was good but it only had 3 shrimp, which seems like a small amount for the price. The empanadas were fun. The arepa (fried chicken) was good but not impressive. Cuban sandwich was delicious.
  38. FL

    FoodLover

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    The food here is good and the staff are super friendly. It's a great dinner spot before heading to the symphony or even or to the Chase Center for an event.
  39. F

    Foodie94611

    San Francisco

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food is very good. Portions are large. Wait staff is very pleasant and efficient. The ventillation (open front door, fans) is good, which makes it a bit chilly. Prices are reasonable. Kitchen is somewhat small, so sometimes they are slow in preparing dishes. Definitely a good place to eat prior to events in the area (opera, ballet, theater), but be sure to allow enough time.
  40. C

    Cale

    San Francisco

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    2nd time. Food was great.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from ¡Chao Pescao! using the Order Online button. ¡Chao Pescao! also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (415) 621-2200.

¡Chao Pescao! is rated 4.6 stars by 250 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Google Map for ¡Chao Pescao!

272 McAllister Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Larkin

  • Neighborhood

    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Sat 11:30 am–8:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Latin American, Colombian, Cuban

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    $5 Parking Mon-Fri after 5pm and all day Saturday with validation at the the Hastings Parking Garage.The UC Hastings Parking Garage is located at 376 Larkin St between McAllister and Golden Gate. The Civic Center Garage entrance is located at 355 McAllister. Street parking is also available and is free after 6pm.

  • Public transit

    Public Transit Stops: Civic Center Bart & Muni Stations - 2 blocks MUNI 5 Fulton - .5 blocks 19 Polk - .5 blocks 47 Van Ness - 2 blocks 49 Mission/Van Ness - 2 blocks Golden Gate Transit - .5 blocks

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Chef Rene Denis

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (415) 621-2200

  • Catering

    Please visit our website at www.chaopescaosf.com and view our Events Menu for details.

  • Private party facilities

    Chao Pescao's mid-town location and latin-caribbean menu makes this city favorite a winning choice for private group dining, and Chao's plentiful array of Latin-themed cocktails and fine wine list will please every guest.

  • Private party contact

    Dan Shaw: (888) 654-2841

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