SPQR

4.5
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3426 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
SPQR is a Northern California restaurant inspired by Italian cuisine and wine. An acronym for Senatus Populesque Romanus, SPQR translates to “The People and Senate of Rome” and was the emblem of the Roman Empire. We strive for a balance in offering the highest quality of food, wine and service we can for each guest’s experience in a relaxed, fun, and inviting atmosphere. If you would like to dine at our Chef counter please mark your reservation. Please inform us of any allergies or dietary restrictions as we will try our best to accommodate.
What 3426 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Austin
4 reviews
Dined 5 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent. I brought friends to experience the kitchen counter seating and from start to finish both their mouths and their minds were entertained. What a great way to spend an evening.

KS
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In from Los Angeles , dined with a local

KS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved my birthday meal, both dishes were full of flavors and textures, very rich and filling. Perfect meal for a rainy night. Service was perfect!

C
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had not been to SPQR in about 5 years. I stopped going because the menu never seemed to change and I thought the pricing was high, even for San Francisco. Well, the pricing is still Very HIGH, but the quality is incontestable. Petrale sole for 47$ ??? It was delcious, but that is not a particularly expensive fish. Two of us had 3 glasses of wine each (my partner was drinking 1/2 pours) and we split a dessert wine. We split 4 courses. The tab was $290 with tip. We sat at the wine bar and our sommelier, Juan, was very knowledgeable and guided to some delicious wines that paired well with our food choices. The meal was excellent and I like the small, local vibe of SPQR, but at those prices this is a once a year trip for me.

M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Maybe lunch time food is not as good as dinner. I didn't feel Michelin grade restaurant. Pasta was not cooked well. Also I felt salty. The chicken liver mousse had too smelly. However broccoli dish(appetizer) was excellent.

VB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food3service5ambience3

Food is OK not great, service is OK not great

JK
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I think I got turned off by the repetitive nature of the menu. I think the back-to-back risottos including one with white truffles turned me off to the rest of the menu. The truffles were past their prime and not worth the surcharge. I left feeling my last four courses were basically "baby food." I feel sad writing this review since I make my own pasta by hand at home and hoped for so much more. I'd go other places if I was in the mood for Italian.

B
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Loved the biscuits and tomato garlic soup as first courses. Our second course of cocoa rigatoni was unique and flavorful, however it was barely warm. Our main courses of the scallops and the pork chop were nothing special, as you would expect them to be at a Michelin starred restaurant, and again both were just lukewarm at best. Very disappointing and we would not go back nor recommend! Too many good restaurants in San Francisco.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The hostess left something to be desired. She wasn’t communicative or welcoming. Our experience was unpleasant until we were seated. The dining experience was outstanding. The food, wine, and wait staff were exceptional.

JY
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

1. price is high based on the food served.
2. the restaurant had asked twice if there was a special event for the dinner, and we told them twice there were celebrating two birthdays. other than just provide two little candles, no other offer. kind of disappointed.

R
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We arrived late for our reservation (I called to let them know) but the hostess was very gracious and our counter seats still available. We were so late we then had to rush to get to a theater on time but the staff could not have been nicer about accommodating our needs. Now I must return to more leisurely taste more of the delicious foods I saw being prepared.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best meal we’ve ever had in San Francisco!!!

N
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Overall a very good restaurant and great for a date night. The dishes we ordered were both fantastic. I ordered the pasta with a brown sauce and don't remember the meat that came with it, don't remember the name of it. Was a perfect balance of each flavor and went very well with our wine. My wife ordered the Gnocchi. We shared the dishes. Hers was very good, but some bites had too much pepper. What stops me from giving them Five stars is the tables are absurdly close together. Like they might as well be one table. While the guests next too us were nice, I don't enjoy literally sitting closer to a stranger than my own wife. Second, they didn't have a single red sauce pasta on the entire menu. The small menu was too catered to mushrooms and creme sauces. While I truly enjoy those pastas they basically had 3-4 choices total with minor variations of mushroom or creme. They could do better. May or may not be back.

SM
London
6 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic. The only complaint would be the seating arrangements. One may feel as if they’re sitting in the middle seat on a 2 hr. flight. Overall, excellent experience as to be expected from SPQR.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were seated early and served by a great staff. Loved the squid ink pasta. The chop was solid, if a little expensive. The hot chocolate cake dessert was by far the star. Very good meal!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience1

We came to the restaurant for the first time for my partner’s birthday dinner with high expectations based on its strong reputation. However, it did not live up to our expectations for what is to be expected of a restaurant with a Michelin star. For example, while the quality of the ingredients seemed excellent, their integration into coherent dishes with satisfying flavor profiles fell short. Indeed, we would say in certain instances, ingredients seemed to be thrown together haphazardly. Also, the ambiance fell far below what is standard at even our neighborhood casual restaurants. The radio music from the 80 and 90s and the interior decor were well out of date. We are able to get much better quality food with better ambiance at a better price point at one of the many other Italian restaurants in San Francisco. Overall, we were displeased and disappointed.

TL
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Every single dish is prepared with great thought and is superb. Service is wonderful and attentive.

SF
London
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was spectacular! The chef was on site and everything that came out of his kitchen was magical! The wines were perfect for our dinner.

L
San Francisco
56 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

When you pay $33 for a pasta dish (which ends up being $40 with tips and taxes) we expected sensational dishes, and all 4 of us were disappointed in our dishes, which was very disappointing. More salt might have brought out the flavor. Also, the chocolate torte with vanilla gelato, (which needed more caramel.) wasn’t crazy good. But what WAS fantastic was the beet salad! Crispy cold greens, it was absolutely divine! Maybe having that first set the bar high.

m
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food is flavorful, fresh and fabulous. There is no doubt this is one of the best Italian restaurants in the City.

OT
San Francisco
206 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

SPQR is as good as it gets in SF and its Michelin star is well earned. However, the prices are skyrocketing which puts it out of reach for the 99%. Maybe more for a special occasion now.

DM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Not worth the money - doesn’t deserve a Michelin Star

RM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of if not the most excellent restaurants in SF. Exceptional food, a well curated wine list and fantastic service.

N
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and service were amazing. Dia is awesome.

TM
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The restaurant is a novelty. Michelin starred but small, cramped, noisy and with a very limited menu.
Wine list is OK, but don’t ask for a cocktail.
Recommended by a friend as his favorite SF restaurant , we both got handmade pasta which was great.
Service is good, but there are few good seats in the house.
Good, but not great.

SS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience2

This was a mixed bag of an experience. Our table wasn't ready when we arrived so we had wait outside for about 10-15 mins. The octopus was great as well as the wine and the fettuccini. The salmon was mediocre, lacking seasoning. Definitely would recommend the molten cake to cap the meal. The reason this felt off as a meal is the fact that we were sitting very close to the two tables beside us and it felt very impersonal, especially on a special occasion

s
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Hard to understand why this place has a Michelin Star. Based off of my experience with other restaurants with a Michelin Star, I would've expected much more across all elements - food, service and ambiance; and in this case, SPQR did not deliver. The food was good, but I did not find it exceptional. The service was mediocre - it took us 45min+ to get our appetizers; meanwhile, another couple that arrived perhaps 20-30min after us, sat down, ordered, and got their food before us. It seems they were regulars and clearly received preferential treatment. I get it, you want to treat your regulars well, but this should not come at the expense of your other paying customers. When our waiter finally brought our food, he apologized and told us the kitchen was backed up - well yeah, I'm not surprised there would be a back up if you're putting orders that come in later at the front of the line.

As for the ambiance - it's a small restaurant and the tables are closely crammed together. I could clearly hear the conversations of the tables on both sides of me. At one point I couldn't even hear what the waiter was saying to me because the woman next to me was laughing practically in my ear.

TLDR: Plenty of other more reasonably priced, less overrated delicious places to eat in San Francisco.

C
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Absolutely amazing meal! One of my favorite restaurants. Service is top notch... knowledge of staff with wine and food makes the experience even better. Could not recommend enough.

s
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great but it just gets TOO HOT in the restaurant

TE
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

We had higher expectations regarding the food. A starred restaurant should offer more than just a "regular upscale" restaurant. Everything was good, but nothing special that you would come back for. The wagyu steak could not have been of a particularly high grade wagyu beef. The steak was about what you would expect from any regular steakhouse.
Service was ok but nothing more than in any other restaurant.
For the prices I am sure SF has a dozen places you should try first..

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience3

the octopus was very good!

ML
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Definitely not worth it. I was excited to try my first Italian michelin starred restaurant but it was a complete let down. The food was not amazing. We tried wagyu steak and rabbit thigh. Both proteins was very blend and tasteless. Price was ridiculously expensive for the food we got. (Total of $180 for 4 dishes) Service wasnt the best either. Most of the time our water glass was empty and had to wait 5min to get it filled. I would not recommend this place at all. If you are celebrating your anniversary or birthday, go find other restaurant. I dont know what the michelin judges were thinking of when they decided to give this place one star.

CK
Hawaii
8 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service and great wine. Our waitress recommended a bottle of wine that was awesome. Our food was wonderful and we would definitely go back.

DA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

This would be five stars throughout but a star taken off because our experience didn’t start out very well. We arrived bang on time for our reservation but our seats at the chefs counter weren’t ready. There was nowhere to wait. They eventually offered two seats at the bar, but the seats were so close together it was physically impossible to actually sit on them, so we just sort of milled about getting in the way. There was a lack of communication between staff. But once we were eventually seated at the chefs counter, our experience was great. The food was excellent, the staff friendly, and the five course pasta tasting menu was excellent value.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience3

Food is not good as usual during last 2 visits.
Too salty and too cheesy... pretty disappointed.

R
London
19 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

A neighborhood restaurant, unpretentious, but Michelin rated. And deservedly so. Mustard capellini with guinea hen ragú! Mushroom risotto, many thoughtful dishes. Yum!

i
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Absolutely not worth the price. I'd be disappointed even if the pasta were $10 rather than $35.

J
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

It's good - value isn't really there though. Kind of crammed, food quality is good but not much quantity. I eat a good amount but ordered 2 entrees which I was full after. 1 wasn't close to enough. Also, it's expensive for what you get. Look, it was alright but in the price range you're going for great and that's not what you'll get here.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall1food2service4ambience3

The salad was appallingly bad from presentation, taste, temperature.

Value is questionable.

We won’t return.

JH
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food was very good, some dishes we loved, some were just good, but nothing we didn’t like. Service was warm and helpful, very thorough with marks and timing.

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