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Ristobar

4.0
580 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List

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About

In Italy, ristobars are casual, comfortable neighborhood gathering places where friends and family convene to conversate, eat, and drink. In San Francisco, restaurateur and pastry master Gary Rulli’s stateside version of a ristobar is a destination for rustic Italian fare and artisanal pizza, best enjoyed with Italian beer, wine, and good company. Rulli’s Executive Chef Mossimo Covello combines the best products and practices of Italy with the bounty of fresh ingredients available in the Bay area.




Visit ristobarsf.com for details
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, Pizzeria, Wine Bar
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Hours of operation
Monday | Closed

Tuesday | Closed

Wednesday - Thursday | 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Friday & Saturday | 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Sunday | 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Brunch | Saturday - Sunday | 11:00 am - 3:30 pm

Happy Hour | Tues - Fri | 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Phone number
(415) 923-6464
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Mossimo Covello
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Cross street
Scott St.
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Parking details
Meters FREE after 6pm Mon-Sat & all day Sunday. Pierce St Garage-Metered (btwn Chestnut & Lombard).
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Public transit
MUNI #30/30X on Chestnut at Scott; Lombard: MUNI #28, 43 & 76 + GG Transit
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Special events & promotions
See Private Party Facilities
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

RISTOBAR can accommodate parties of up to 65 (seated) or 100 (reception-style) in our expansive and visually stunning dining room guaranteed to transport you and your guests to Italy. Our semi-private dining room accommodates 20 that is perfect for every occasion from luncheon to intimate dinner.

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What 580 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on all time ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
3.9
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1.0Dined on December 11, 2016

The restaurant is closed!!!! We made a reservation and confirmed it, only to arrive with the whole family and find out that it isn't even operating!! Please fix this listing!

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1.0Dined on December 9, 2016

When I arrived at the restaurant I found a sign posted on the door on the door saying that the restaurant was closed until further notice. This was less than 5 hours after I made the reservation.

That Open Table booked me into a restaurant that was closed says a lot about the low quality of Open Table. Send me a form to review your booking service and i'd be happy to fill that our as well.

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1.0Dined on December 8, 2016

No RistoBar! It was just dark. Still that way. Such a popular place - what happened?

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2.0Dined on November 12, 2016

We lunched there on Saturday and were quite excited because it was recommended by a friend. Our server was fantastic--very friendly, sincere and accommodating. The food, however, was so disappointing.

The Tagliatelle egg pasta, beef reduction, organic hen of the woods mushrooms, parmigiano “vacche rosse” was extremely bland and the Spaghettoni Rummo, San Marzano tomato D.O.P. tomato sauce, burrata fresh basil, which was ok.

Thought the portion was on the generous side, the price was too high given the flavor only fair and not great or excellent.

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3.0Dined on October 30, 2016

Brunch items were hot and miss. Benedict was great though. Service was a bit sloppy .. Awesome location and ambiance though

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3.0Dined on October 16, 2016

We were looking for authentic Italian in San Fran. We loved the Octopus appetizer; that was the highlight dish of the night. Everything else was good (pasta, steak, tuna and chicken). The truth is, when I pick "Italian" the only reason is because I want Tiramisu for dessert. Unfortunately they ran out. I am still disappointed. My husband tells me it is my curse because I seek out restaurants for the Tiramisu and I am always told they are out; never fails. So, I ordered cream brulee. It was good but no comparison to Italian Tiramisu. Honestly that is my reason for the "good" rating vs. the "outstanding". I am still upset I did not get the Tiramisu. We drove down there just for the dessert. (I live in Alaska and picked an Italian restaurant so I could have Tiramisu while on vacation.) I talked my party into Italian just for the dessert. (They wanted to go to China town.) I am starting to wonder if restaurants advertise and put Tiramisu on the menu just to trick me into going there. For this restaurant, no wow, just bummer.... I really just wanted Tiramisu, which I called ahead to confirm they had.... As we speak I am learning to make my own.

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4.0Dined on October 9, 2016

excellent spot for big party. We had a birthday brunch for 10 for my father. Got pizza and salmon & bruschetta for appetizer. All was great and very reasonable.

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3.0Dined on October 8, 2016

The restaurant itself is great. The food was great, the restaurant was really nice and the wait staff was all friendly. That being said- they are WAY understaffed. Many people were being turned away even though they had open table reservations because they were overbooked. There were probably 6 people working the whole entire restaurant. They didn't have time to clean off tables when guests left, the bathroom needed attending, they needed a hostess badly because guests waited 10 minutes to even be acknowledged, and the waiters there were trying to do it all. Whoever owns this place need to get their act together because all they need is more staffing. I wouldn't suggest to any of my friends to go here because there is not enough staff.

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1.0Dined on October 8, 2016

Terrible brunch experience today - probably my worst at a restaurant in SF. Huge delays with seating, drinks after over 1 hour only received part of our order. What did arrive other than crostini was burnt and inedible.

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4.0Dined on October 2, 2016

Excellent waiter . After delivering our cocktails, allowed us plenty of time for conversation before ordering appetizers. More time for uninterrupted conversation before we ordered main courses. He was obviously attuned to the fact that we wanted to talk and did not intrude. At the same time he was observant and knew when we were ready to order. This is a skill I wish more waitstaff adopted. Going to a restaurant is not always about eating although we chose Ristobar based on previous visits. The food is very good.

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2.0Dined on October 2, 2016

We've come here several times for dinner and the food has been good and service has been reliable. We came for brunch and had a much different experience. It took us an hour to get our food and our server rarely checked in on us. The hostess was incredibly sweet and helpful, though!

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4.0Dined on September 24, 2016

Very nice place, though on the louder side. We paid over $300 for 4 and every dish and wine glass was worth it. Our waiter was great. However, it seemed the service and maintenance was a bit (s)lacking. Shortly after arriving, I had to point out to staff that the men's room was dirty and out of toilet paper etc. Apparently, no system in place to watch out for such details, which can really turn off customers. On the other hand, I arrived after 8 pm on a Saturday, so maybe the earlier dinner crowd wrecked the bathroom. Still, someone should be compulsive about checking the bathrooms!

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2.0Dined on August 17, 2016

Unfortunately nothing about our experience stood out. Service & food were only so so. It was our first time dining at this restaurant, but sadly we probably wouldn't go back.

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5.0Dined on July 16, 2016

I haven't been here in a while but it was every bit as delicious as I remembered. Service is excellent, the ambiance is lovely. My husband had the lamb chop app and I had the risotto. I am a stickler for risotto and this one was perfect. And even though we rarely have dessert, we decided to indulge and I had the huckleberry cheesecake with graham cracker crust - um, yeah! And my husband had an amazing sorbet. We won't wait this long again before we go back.

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3.0Dined on June 19, 2016

The food is very good !!
Great place to meet friends for lunch or dinner.
You can sit inside for a more typical dining experience or outside. The outdoor seating reminds me of Italy !!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2016

Great place! Have not been here in a while and very Happy to come back!

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2016

Great food, very friendly and accommodating staff and favorite Italian wines on their list. Creative menu and perfectly prepared al dente pasta. The Burrate was outstanding too. A real Slow Food restaurant.

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3.0Dined on June 4, 2016

Disappointing change of menu makes this now just a run-of-the mill Italian restaurant lacking any incentive Milan-style dishes. It's okay, just not especially distinctive.

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5.0Dined on June 4, 2016

Food excellent. Service stellar. Really amazing experience. Would highly recommend. Every dish was fresh and delicious. We will come back again and again.

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2.0Dined on May 21, 2016

I've been going to Ristobar for several years and was very disappointed in this visit. They have changed the menu to be much more casual and focused on pizza and a few pastas. There were only two non-pasta entrees. If you want pizza or are taking children out this is a good spot, but not for grown ups who want a nice meal out. Our waiter was nice but didn't know anything about Italian food.

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3.0Dined on May 11, 2016

So sad I used to enjoy this restaurant and recommended it to people. I have tried it twice under the new chef and have been unhappy both times! I could go on about what was wrong with the food and presentation but suffice it to say I won't be coming back or recommending it .

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2016

Great food and great service. Highly recommended.

The pastas and the fish specials are excellent.

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5.0Dined on April 30, 2016

Pizza was delicious - the combination of goat cheese and asparagus (the way they cut it was interesting too). Wine were tasty and nice healthy pours.

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3.0Dined on April 16, 2016

The service was outstanding, which disappointed me greatly once I tasted the food. My party ordered a lot of food and it was all subpar. The pomodoro sauce was severely lacking in flavor, seasoning, and depth. The pasta noodles were too al dente. The dessert was nothing overly exciting or impressive. A big disappointment since I reviewed this restaurant in great detail.

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4.0Dined on April 2, 2016

Also loved the 9 oz wine pours by the glass! and the food was delicious!

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2016

We love this place. We generally go back for the happy hour pizza and drinks, never a disappointment.

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3.0Dined on March 4, 2016

Pleasant atmosphere, excellent service but each of the items we ordered although nicely presented had very little flavor.

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5.0Dined on February 20, 2016

We had a wonderful bottle of wine from Abruzzo that was a little tannic when it was opened, but became really lush and smooth as it breathed. We had the seabass tartare and the duck breast as appetizers. The tartare was absolutely delicious. Then we shared the cavatelli with pork ragu that was incredibly delicious, almost more of a broth with the pork and small dice of carrots. And then we had the halibut, that was beautifully cooked on the outside while moist and tender on the inside and accompanied by sauteed asparagus and spinach and a delicious sauce. Our waiter, Michaelangelo, was delightfully accommodating and helpful. The only downside of the evening was the noise level. I've been to Ristobar several times now and this was definitely the noisiest I've seen it. But the delicious food, with great ingredients and housemade pastas, beautifully prepared, made it all worthwhile!

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3.0Dined on February 13, 2016

I could overlook the terribly slow service if the food were exceptional. However, the food was also mediocre.

I did enjoy their crab salad appetizer and their breadsticks. Both of which were overpriced though. Nevertheless, they did taste good.

Other than that, I probably find no need to come back. I tipped the server well. She tried. I appreciated the gesture of giving us a free tiramisu for the very slow service. That was nice. She got her tip. The restaurant, however, is still mediocre.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2016

It has been some time since we've been to Ristobar and it still as good as remembered. The food was great and although there was a large group in the main room we were placed in a overflow area we didn't feel forgotten….

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2.0Dined on January 30, 2016

Highly mediocre food and service in a mostly empty restaurant on saturday night.
Place was only about 1/3 populated. Bar empty.

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1.0Dined on January 23, 2016

I normally don't review places because most of the ranked places in SF are delish & my take won't be anything new. But this place was the worst dining experience I've had in SF.

I had a craving for steak tartar, googled, & Ristobar was #1. Now, and this was my bad, I didn't make sure that it was still on the menu before we booked.

I booked 4 at 8:30, arrived on time. The hostess sat the 4 of us at a horseshoe table for 5. As we tried to configure 2 couples at a table with 2 seats at the ends and 3 along the window, I told her I had reserved for 4. She told me nope - it was 6. I didn't want to argue but only after we got oddly arranged did she come to us again, admit her mistake, and reseat us at the proper table.

The waitress didn't arrive for several minutes. We had to ask for a drink menu. Twice. I ordered a mid priced bottle of wine for the table. She brought it 10 mins later, and upon arrival set our wine bottle down on our table, turned, and presented and opened wine for the table behind us. That couple had brought wine with them from the bar, mind you. So she served the couple who already had drinks at their table before we could get our first one. Then, she turned to the other couple at the table to our right, who were half way through their meal, to tend to them. They apparently needed something from the kitchen. So she disappeared for several minutes, leaving our unopened bottle just sitting in the middle of our table.

Say she was gone another 10 minutes so we alerted the host. Once the waitress arrived, she didn't present the cork or offer me a taste before pouring it out, as I watched her do for the other couple.

When I asked if there was tartar off menu, she curtly said no but recommended the crudo instead, which I ordered. It was old fish and completely flavorless. No salt, soy, spice. She didn't check on us one time during dinner, and the pizza the men ordered were just cheese pools.

Honestly, I think she saw the beards & tats& judged.

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2.0Dined on January 21, 2016

My husband and I tried to get a table at Ristobar several times before. However, even with many open tables, we were never able to get seated as walk-ins. We took the restaurant week opportunity to make a reservation and go. Overall, the servers were friendly and the ambiance was good. The food and high prices for it were the main problems. The food was bland/flavorless. My entree had sand in it. We tried items off of the regular and SF Restaurant menus and wouldn't return to have any of it again.

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2.0Dined on January 5, 2016

One of. My favorite go to restaurants really let me down.I am chalking it up to after holiday.
Food not good and the poor little waitress told us that since tomatoes were"out of season"
and the bruschetta would have broccoline.ok but after experiencing other lacks in the foods I realized that they were just out of things!
The waitress was sweet but incompetent.It was definitely amateur night.
That said,I will be back!

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4.0Dined on December 23, 2015

The restaurant is beautiful. There were 5 of us and first we were a little disappointed in the menu, there weren't abundant choices. They had quite a few pizzas and we all didn't want pizza. Just a few dishes in each category, and they didn't seem appealing, Until they came! Yum. Everything was delicious. My slow cooked beef in reduction sauce over polenta was tender and flavorful, the Tagliolini was light and delicious, and the pear pizza was yum! Our only complaint was our waitress wasn't overly friendly. Not super informative, like she didn't wanted to be there or she didn't seem glad we were there(she did have a wrapped arm so we cut her some slack because we don't know the story, maybe things would be different if she didn't) We'll give it a retry for sure!

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3.0Dined on December 15, 2015

I have been going to Ristobar for many years . It has been one of my neighborhood favorites, I loved the deco, the food and I could always find a table at last minute. Not this time though! We went there on a Tuesday night like so many other times. We noticed the menu changed and all of our favorites were no longer there. By then we learnt that they just got a new chef. We were optimistic and hope the new chef would surprise us. We ordered a few things. The first dish came, we were disappointed then we thought they could not mess up the next dish as it was so simple (grilled prawns). Boy, we were wrong, those prawns tasted old with weird texture. The pasta was only decent dish. At the end of the meal, I was so sad to realize that I just lost one of my neighborhood favorites.

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5.0Dined on December 13, 2015

Had brunch here a few times. Their Italian Benedict is so good. The staff is really nice and relaxed. Their Americano coffee is the best. I love this place.

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5.0Dined on October 29, 2015

We frequent this restaurant often as it is one of our favorites in the Marina. What a surprise to find out that they now offer an amazing burger on the Happy Hour menu. Fries included and they are also fabulous. Just another reason to visit often.

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4.0Dined on October 18, 2015

We sat outside for the quiet, facing the side street not Chestnut. Great entree for both of us. Fine salad, too. The server could have passed by a couple more times if we needed help, which we did.

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1.0Dined on October 11, 2015

The service was horrible but the food was mostly good. The table arrangement for 6 was awkwardly set so that conversation was difficult; the table was not properly set and we had to ask for napkins and silverware; the waiter told us they had run out of napkins, so he took napkins from an empty table at our request; we told the waiter that we needed to leave by 7:30pm for a concert, and yet, we had to track the waiter down to get the bill. The food was not served all at the same time; we were halfway through dinner before we could get the server to bring the wine we ordered to the table. All the desserts, except for the zabaglione which was undercooked, were the best part of the meal. None of us will ever go to this restaurant again.

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