SPQR

4.5
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3390 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 3390 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
69% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

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
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

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
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

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
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

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
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 3

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
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

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.

GD
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every meal is amazing ! It’s our neighborhood favorite ! Every dish is a showstopper ! We love it

TP
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Flavors and service are exquisite here. Approachable and expert staff.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have been to SPQR a few times now but this dinner was the best. It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a vet long time. The wine recommendation by the waitress was on point. It took the kitchen a bit longer to get our dessert out and they brought out another one in the mean time and we finished both! Usually dessert is an afterthought but they were really good. Every bite of food we had was delicious.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First post-Baby date, so we went to “an old favorite.” And SPQR did not disappoint. We had a wonderful, knowledgeable server. And the chefs made an effort to treat us and explain their processes to us. It was a fantastic experience.

SS
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Sadly dinners at SPQR was much more average than I expected.

Unfortunately, the dinner started poorly when we were seated a a table so cramped several guests had to stand for us to be seated. Our table was sandwiched between the back of another guests chair and another table (and inch from each). Oddly the restaurant seemed to have shifted tables in our row too close for comfort creating an ambiance that felt more like the middle seat on an economy flight than fine dining.

Next, it took over 40 mins to get a glass of wine. The wine was fine, but I was very disappointed that our server wasn’t helpful when asked about the wine list.

Of our three courses, the appetizer quite literally fell flat. We ordered the heirloom tomato, mozzarella, and fried onions salad and were confused when the salad arrived with no cheese to be found. When I asked the waiter he explained that the cheese was intended to be mousse. Either the dish had been sitting so long that the mousse had gone flat or they had failed to plate with cheese mousse. He did bring some mousse to the table to complete the dish.

Of the pasta mains, the gnocchi was lovely (definitely a strength). Desert was good too.

Overall the seating, lack of initial service, and appetizer issue definitely resulted in a much more average experience especially as food was not good enough to outweigh negatives.

WB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Big fan of SPQR, always great!!

m
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Nice atmosphere and friendly staff. Food was presented beautifully, yet lacked flavour or cohesive flavour. For instance, the white truffle risotto, was watery and lacked depth. The truffles themselves were inconsistent, once we notified the staff, they even agreed the truffles were too early in the season, yet they still charged us the full $88 for the plate.

N
Calgary
17 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great first experience at this long time gem. Looking forward to next time!

OT
Jacksonville
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just amazing! The quality of the food is outstanding.

OT
London
7 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

not bad, not good

J
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Disappointed. Appetizers were lackluster. Octopus was wooden, dry, and overcooked (the opposite of what I had at Che Fico last week). My semolina gnocchi was lovely, light and airy but massively over sauced, as were the other two pastas. There appeared to be a half bowl of soup left after the pasta was eaten. Not very Roman. The service was great and the recommended wine was perfect. The over saucing of all three pastas is a conceptual problem, not one of execution and needs the chef’s attention.

CB
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Sea Urchin Pasta...
Octopus antipasta...
Amazing.

Report
OT
Hong Kong
5 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great italian restaurant, they don't have one solid theme, but all the dishes were solid in balance and palate, but as expected, more on the rich side for the pasta. The sweet corn pappardelle, fazoletti with chanterelles, and risotto with white truffles were standout dishes, with the clafoutis dessert being our favorite.

NK
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Disappointed. I was looking forward to eating there. The food is overrated. It tastes fine but nothing outstanding for the price. Service is average: always had to wait for water refills, even wine refill took longer than expected. :(

MW
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

This placed must have changed ownership/management in the last couple of years. It used to be one of the best Italian spots in SF, but now it is completely meh. Very expensive for uninspired, over-salted dishes. On a more positive note, the wine list is still great.

OT
San Francisco
203 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can't get any better than SPQR! As if they weren't superlative enough, they are working around my newly diagnosed egg allergy with aplomb and either steering me to non-egg dishes or creating some. Really appreciated.

l
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 3

The food is Not quite the caliber I remembered but still the same price.

T
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about this place! Service was great, and wine guy was able to bring us 2 bottles of amazing Italian wine to complement our food perfectly. The chicken liver mouse appetizer was to die for. Espresso and Cappuccinos at the end of our meal arrived hot and delicious. Would highly recommend and will most definitely return

E
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the opportunity to meet Michael at an event at Pont Reyes creamers a month or so ago, during the event we decided to book a dinner at his restaurant. Not only is he a humble, friendly, human being - he is an amazingly creative and fantastic chef. The space is small and lively. The service was top notch and the food was fantastic. We started with a fresh fig, mozzarella, and mortadella platter (Michael was actually inspecting and cutting the figs when we came in). Our family of four devoured that. Next up was a waygu pastrami, buried in a cloud of whipped potatoes - the whipped potatoes were so light, airy, and fluffy - not heavy at all and perfectly complimented the waygu pastrami. My daughter called it culinary magic. We also shared a grilled octopus which was great. For the main we shared a raviolo (featured on the front cover of his cookbook) with fresh shaved white truffles and the pork royal - giant pork shop with pork belly, perfectly cooked with a madeira/pancetta reduction sauce. Both of the dishes had amazing depth of flavor without being overly complicated. We ended with two deserts - one was complimentary due to the birthday we were celebrating and the other was like a deconstructed s'more. Both were amazing and we left very satisfied. Since we had our kids with us a drove into the city, we did not explore the wine list as much as we would have liked. But we will definitely be going back in the future and exploring a tasting menu with a paring in the future.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best restaurant in the city. Any pasta dish is a must-have.

SH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The meal and service was absolutely phenomenal – highly recommend

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every course was outstanding. Perfect service. Plan to spend 2-3 hours there.

BB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Overall the food was bland and underwhelming. The tomato mozzarella salad had no mozzarella. It was just mozzarella liquid. The two pasta dishes we got were bland, watery and not even hot. This place is way too expensive for the sub par food we received.

The service was just ok even though everyone was nice. But it took forever to get our order in and then once that happened it took forever to get our antipasti which was literally tomato and cheese.

The best thing was the wine. It was really delicious and the sommelier helped us find the best option for us based on our tastes and price point.

AC
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We have a new favorite! What a wonderful meal. The service was attentive with great suggestions. We cannot wait to go back. It’s inspired us to venture into the city to try more restaurants.

OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing!

d
Dallas
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

In town for a weekend trip and found this jewel on opentable. The food and service were both awesome! The restaurant is small and probably the reason for the small deposit after you make the reservation(Don’t let that scare you away!) This place is worth the visit and my wife and I will be back when we come back through San Fran.

GG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Reservations were at 5:45. There were four of us. After ordering our salads, it took 45 minutes to arrive at our table. My “little gem” salad was tough, not in keeping with little gem expectations, and nothing exciting. My Risotto was super salty and watery. I didn’t say anything, but shared a fork full one of my with my co-diners, just to be sure it wasn’t me, and his first reaction was, wow, that’s salty! Nice wine list, but waiter never came by to fill water glasses, had to hunt that down several times. Waitress was personable. Desserts were excellent. Two out of four people liked their entrees. I won’t be going back.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the restaurant. Ruined by the experience at the door. A business dinner. The woman I was meeting arrived at 5:25–from out of town. I was introducing her to one of my favorites.

At 4 minutes before the 5:30 opening the woman at the door was curt: “we open at five THIRTY!!!”

Ok so she waited on the street. I heard this story on arrival at 5:32. So it had to be off putting—an empty restaurant, a couple minutes early, so unwelcoming.

We were first. Offered a table right in the front door—pushed up against a table for 2 other people. I asked if we could have another table.

I heard an audible (Sigh).

Empty restaurant!

The retort: “so... where do you want to be” — all put out. I said: “how about any of the tables ... for 2?”

Again— back at me. “So, I asked you WHERE?”

So off putting. So unnecessary. So unwelcoming. I’ll never go there again when I’m trying to show a business associate the city. All from the nasty door experience. So disappointing.

MM
London
61 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another great night out at one of San Francisco’s best restaurants. Looking forward to our next visit already.

JD
New England
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service is amazing and the food is even better. I highly recommend this restaurant!

JA
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was great. Restaurant was a little cramped. The food did take exceptionally long to come out, though they knew that and comped an appetizer and dessert. I would go back.

SS
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was good. The truffle dishes were awesome. The ambiance is good. We got a great table buy the window. The service however was way too slow. The waitress insisted the chef wanted us to place our full order and they would pace the meal appropriately. However, 2.5 hours for a three course dinner was too much. Many tables were complaining about the slow food service. Our waitress seemed to have too many tables to keep up with our food and drink orders.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The service and food were excellent. creative and delicious takes on Roman cuisine. Charming host and servers. Very upbeat and energetic environment. A bit loud and pricey but totally worth it!!

C
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

SPQR NEVER disappoints!!

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