Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen

4.2
143 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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About

Dispensa: Italian for pantry. A place for savory herb blends, succulent preserves, and fresh produce, straight from the garden.

Our kitchen features an indoor charcoal oven, the first of its kind in the US, that utilizes sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel. Without gas or electricity, we create simple, flavorful dishes using perfectly tender meats and vegetables

Welcome to Dispensa. Real California ingredients with a rustic Italian flair.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, Contemporary European
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Hours of operation
Dinner
Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(415) 896-4021
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Michele Bevilacqua
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Cross street
Golden Gate
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Parking details
There are a few public parking lots close to the restaurant.
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Public transit
Civic Center BART, Powell Street car, Cable Car, MUNI
Additional
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 143 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
3.8
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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BR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

The food here is often wonderful, often not. The service, while energetic, is also spotty. Long waits because they don't seem prepared for the pre-theater crowd. And this restaurant is a boon for the pre-theater crowd, which is this restaurant's main reason for being, I believe. Will we go back? Yes, because it's so convenient; we just wish they had their act together a little more.

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JM
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 1

This restaurant lacks serious ambience. The food was decent but

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FT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Staff was very friendly. We had a 6:30 reservation and they were out of the rib eye so two of the party were disappointed, very limited menu . The lamb shoulder was very good but came out quite rare, wasn't asked how I would like it cooked. Good spot if going to the Golden Gate theater, next door

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SC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great find! We ordered several dishes and shared family style because we wanted to try it all.

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L
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This restaurant was new to all 4 of us. We were pleasingly surprised by the quality of the food and service. They obviously care about their clientele and show it! We shall return!

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S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

So happy to have found this gem of a restaurant. We enjoyed the kale salad and pork chop at a hi-top table where we had a view of the open kitchen. Just two people in the 'kitchen' making magic and working in great harmony. The food was delicious, ingredients were fresh and served in time for us to get to the theater. We will definitely be back again.
Our waiter was WONDERFUL!!

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DC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great cuisine- excellently prepared- quality-superb. I appreciate the owner/chef- he took time to converse with his client and explain the menu.

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T
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Good food, in the Tenderloin but near to theaters. Recommended!

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d
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

They did not have a kids menu or even pasta but the adults enjoyed their meals

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JL
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

service was terrible, the food wasn't good enough to make up for the bad service

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal before show. Excellent service so we could relax a make it to the theater

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S
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our third or fourth visit. Things are still great. I had the steak this time. I think I'd pick the pork chop or cornish game hen over the steak next time. They're all excellent, but the chop and hen stand out. Always get the pinsa bread - its worth it. The service continues to be excellent and they got us out in time for theater - despite SHN moving up curtain time by half hour.

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great staff and food. The organic beet salad was large enough to share and the porkchop was perfectly flavorful.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Our waiter kept forgetting things to bring to the table that we had requested. Otherwise we would’ve given the place five stars because the food really was excellent.

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MA
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a hidden gem in the theater district. Fresh organic dishes and great service. The chef came to our table to explain how the lamb shank is cooked and it is not a medium rare dish. The shank was perfect and you could smell the rosemary. A nice selection of Italian wines, but limited choices.

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NB
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

They were very accommodating with seating request. The food was very good, although my husbands steak and vegetables were cold from sitting and waiting for my Cornish Hen, which was delicious. The salad and side of mushrooms were delicious as well. Super convenient if you're going to the Golden Gate Theatre. Very, very nice owner and staff. We will visit again.

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AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great new spot with a friendly staff and good ambiance. Some growing pains to work through as a new spot that's theater adjacent but can't wait to come back when they've settled in and give them five stars

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BD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Limited but delicious menu choices. Long wait between being seated and having our orders taken but the owner comped dessert to make up for it.

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HT
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Our reservation specified a low top table, but it was not held for us and we had to settle for an awkward high top. The chef tables along the kitchen are very uncomfortable- the light is bleak and the view of the dirty back hall is unappealing. The smoke from the open kitchen is also quite unpleasant- it smelled like kerosene the entire meal. The food varied from nondescript to decent, with one high point being the creamy polenta. The prices are far too high for the environment and quantity, however. Its proximity to the theater and the friendly chef are its most redeeming qualities.

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s
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service.

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OB
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place. Met the owner who was awesome and even brought over the pan where he cooked our lamb shank just to pour over a little more sauce for us! Will definitely be coming back.

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M
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 2

Good food, poor service

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RB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was very good & fresh but limited fairly expensive menu. Service disorganized & slow. Got loud as it filled up. Next to Golden Gate Theatre.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time before going to the theater on a Tuesday night. The food was amazing and I knew after ordering the bread(!) it was going to be a delicious dinner. We ordered the Pork chop and the cauliflower. I would go back often!

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FT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

The food was good but nothing special. We ordered the octopus starter and there was barely any octopus...
The entree portions were generous, but the game hen was slightly dry and the fish special bland and I had a hard time finding the salsa verde, which would have made it a lot more interesting.
The wine was delicious and the staff very nice! But overall, we spent $150 for 2 people, which might have been justified for a better meal.

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r
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

Decor is spartan, mismatched and blah. Food is blah at best. The pork chop was large, but lacked flavor. It really needed salt and pepper, but neither was on the table. The squash underneath was burned and only semi eatable. Some of it tasted unpleasantly bitter. It was too noisy to talk at the small table. I will never go back.

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LG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Super kind and friendly service, excellent wines by the glass. Definitely plan to come back!

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MH
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A very small restaurant and tables very close together. Food quality was very good. The location is perfect if you are going to the Golden Gate Theater.

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d
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Imaginative and not your typical Italian restaurant - great food and chef/owner was cordial and proud of his very fine establishment and food.

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b
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Too noisy too busy near show time. Had to ask for bread and aside plate. Size of portions unequel

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SN
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 1

Extremely crowded and noisy at 6:15 PM on a Tuesday; could not carry on conversations. Good Italian red wine. Had to pay $3.00 for bread, which never came, had to request again. One of 4 of us enjoyed her meal (the rib eye steak), 2 others ambivilent. My pork chop was undercooked, tough, almost raw, no side dishes except grilled squash and (thankfully) a grilled lemon half. Expensive dishes, we would not return.

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R
San Francisco
64 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and wonderful service. Go!!!

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JR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

While the food was great, the service was poor. Yes we were in during the pre theater rush but they around the corner from the theater and should know how to handle the crowd. I arrived before my wife and friends and sat at the table for a good 15 minutes. I was barely seated and given no menus or water. No one ever came by to check with me at all. After the rest of my group showed up it was another 15 minutes before we were able to flag down someone to give us some water and menus. The place is not that big so they are able to see us trying to get their attention. I then had to practically stand in the way in order for someone to take our order. That is 30 minutes in a restaurant with no interaction from the waitstaff which is just ridiculous. The food was excellent and it is around the corner from the theater so we will give it another try but they have a lot to make up for.

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

While the food was good it was expensive and small portions. It was all a la carte including the bread and water. The menu selection is limited and items on the menu were not even available on that day due to “freshness” concerns which made the selection even more limited.

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S
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our second time eating here. Awesome pre-theater dinner choice if you're going to the Golden Gate theater or others nearby. The pork belly app was astounding. Last time I had the pork chop entree and it was great. This time I tried the game hen and that too delivered. The Pinsa bread was a nice side.

Its not the most romantic place. And the noise level is definitely energetic. But the location is perfect for theater. And the food is really, really good.

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T
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I enjoyed a pre-theater dinner last week. We shared a salad and appetizer and a main course. All were nicely presented and delicious. The wine list provided a number of Italian alternatives. The two we selected did not disappoint. The wait staff was remarkable with their polite service, always with a smile. Despite being busy, they were always available without being assertive. The chef even helped serve while there was a lull in the kitchen. We enjoyed a brief conversation with him about his charcoal grill. Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen was a nice find for us. We will certainly be back!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good place to eat before a show at Golden Gate Theater. Been there twice. First meal was great. This time was good. Need to go again to confirm the great rating.

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DB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great place to grab dinner before going to the theater at the Golden Gate.

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NS
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our meal and experience at Dispensa very much. It is extremely convenient for a pre-theatre meal. The fish of the day was rock-cod and it was prepared creatively and was delicious. My dinner companion raved about the rib-eye steak and how tender it was and how it was prepared. Both meals were quite large. The wine recommendations by the waiter were spot on- nice selection of Italian wines.
The service was friendly and nicely done. I plan to return.

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EK
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food, friendly atmosphere , professional service !!

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