Zuni Cafe

4.7
5824 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Modern European
This James Beard Award winning restaurant with a clientele as diverse as San Francisco opened in 1979. A vibrant Parisian-style standing-only copper bar greets you as you enter on Rose Alley. Zuni's menu changes daily with dishes inspired by traditional Italian and French recipes. Nearly all of the produce, meat, and fish served at Zuni is farmed and harvested in a sustainable manner.

Even without a reservation, bar tables are available on a first come, first served basis and the full menu is available. The bar also serves traditional cocktails made with top-shelf ingredients; refreshments at its best in an environment of effortless hospitality. Whether you dine early or prefer to dine after theater, Zuni is a welcoming haven.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Modern European
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Hours of operation
Brunch:
Sunday, 11:00am - 2:30pm
Lunch:
Tuesday - Saturday, 11:30am - 5:45pm
Sunday, 2:30pm - 4:45pm
Dinner:
Tuesday - Thursday, 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Friday - Saturday, 6:00pm - 12:00am
Sunday, 5:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 552-2522
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Rebecca Boice
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Cross street
Between Franklin & Gough
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Entertainment
Piano
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
9.5

Zuni Cafe in the Civic Center is still an icon, and it sits firmly at the top of our list of favorite restaurants in this town.

Ratings 9.0-9.8:If the 8.5-9.0s are the restaurants you’ll frequent for more than just special occasions, the 9.0-9.8s are the all time great restaurants of their city. Restaurants that will be around 20 years from now, assuming the Earth is still around.
What 5824 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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LO
San Antonio
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We only ordered the chicken and an order of shoestring potatoes, which they told us would take at least 60 minutes. 50 minutes later the chicken arrived, not the potatoes (server forgot-2 things on the order...) and went quickly to get them.
The chicken flavor wise was delicious, but for it having been pulled out of the oven at 50 minutes, it was not hot at all, just warm. But that chicken had not come out of the oven just then...
Potatoes... for those to be a rush order, weren’t hot either... very good, but again, those fries had not been pulled out of a frier just then.
I am not complaining, but really, for a 63 dollar chicken it should be perfect, right?

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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Went for dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Maitre d’ had read my note in our reservation and confirmed the plan for a candled dessert without the birthday girl noticing. Service was exception and food was fresh and good. Zuni is old guard, and that means the food might not be as inventive as some newer standout SF restaurants, but it runs like a well oiled, and delicious, machine.

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BF
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love Zuni and have been patrons for years! This visit did not disappoint...food delicious and our server was fabulous!!

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R
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have always wanted to eat at the Zuni Cafe but had trouble getting reservations. This time I planned 30 days in advance and it was well worth it. The food was amazing. We had the chicken for two and it was fantastic. I highly recommend!

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OT
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We ordered everything but the chicken. Perhaps the best thing to do is order only the chicken. Decent meal overall.

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JH
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very nice experience, with excellent food. A little loud, but not a real problem. It seemed everyone in the place was having a really good time, as were we!

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C
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a very good dining experience at Zuni Cafe. The food was delicious, though two in our party commented on how the appetizers were actually better than the main course. The desserts were amazing, the wine recommendations were excellent. I just wish the portion sizes were slightly larger and I felt I didn't get the value I expected for the price.

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j
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. We were two couples who had a lot to talk about and photos to share. Our server was wonderful, making it easy to change seats at the table, share dishes, and sit and talk as long as we wanted. And the food: We all loved every dish, each prepared with a mix of side ingredients that enhanced the primary flavors.

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TC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zuni is my favorite restaurant in the city. We always take any out of town guests here. It’s the quintessential SF restaurant.

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MD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Food was a huge disappointment.
Pork chop was hard as a brick and less than 1/2" thick.
Beef dish was underwhelming.
And for the price we felt ripped off. Was embarrassed as I really talked up the place.

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m
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I've been dining at Zuni for over 20 years so to go to dinner and have an $80 undercooked (with semi-raw dark meat) chicken for two was a huge disappointment. We left half of it, which was neither inquired about nor noticed by our harried server. It's sad when an old favourite standard seems to be coasting on its reputation. Next time I'll make the chicken from their cookbook instead!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So delicious as always!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot

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AG
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Have heard so much about Zuni and was excited to try it. Chicken for two was delicious, as was the Caesar salad. Brevette steak not so good. Texture was tough, seemed microwaved. They were out of the two things we were most anxious to try, which was annoying given that it was a weeknight and not even that late into the evening. Run out to Whole Foods and buy more leeks if you have to. All in all, a solid meal and the restaurant itself is very pretty but wasn’t memorable enough to make me rush back.

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TB
Puerto Vallarta
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 1service 3ambience 4

Went to Zuni for probably the 20th time over the years. Ordered the signature dish: roast chicken for two. Chicken was so salty it was nearly inedible.
Heard they are under new management...hope this isn’t a continuing problem. Love this classic SF spot.

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M
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My step daughter used to wait tables at Zuni many years ago before moving to France.
She is in town visiting and wanted us all to dine at Zuni as well as introducing her French boyfriend to this fabulous restaurant!
Outstanding food and atmosphere!

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S
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A great place for dinner prior to going to the Symphony, Opera or SF Jazz.
Had their classic Caesar salad which was very good although a bit too heavy on the dressing.
Quail was one of the best I have ever had, moist and tasty. Pasta dish was also fantastic.
Their famous roast chicken takes an hour to prepare. Not sure how that works for a place that turns tables fairly quickly.

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JG
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant has managed to maintain the quality, service and generally high standard that it had when it opened. Wish I could come here more often!

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AR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Don't get me wrong. This place is good, but given how many great places there are in SF, I don't believe that good is good enough in this price range. The restaurant has become a bit complacent due to its longevity and reputation. The food was OK, upstairs seating is extremely loud so you have hard time hearing even the people on your table, service was good but with a bit of attitude initially which later improved.

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L
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

Came in expecting to try the famous chicken but ended up getting the Petrale sole and the pork chop. Both were fantastic! Service was exceptional too.

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OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In town to visit with friends.

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MB
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Dined pre theater on a Saturday evening. Tables sit @ 6:00 which gives plenty of time to enjoy your meal before the short trek to your show. We split the Caesar Salad, the grilled squid and the famous roasted chicken, wiht a side (big plate) of shoestring fires. Simple, well executed. Caesar has a more vinaigrette rather then ranch dressing which was awesome and the bread stuffing also carries across the acidity with the champagne vinaigrette dressing that helps cut thru the fat from the chicken. Staff was very attentive without being troublesome. We will be back.

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R
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were told to go and try the chicken, and we were glad we did! So flavourful and tasty. Definitely more than enough for 2, I would suggest 3-4 people.
I tried some oysters, and they were delicious.

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t
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zuni is an SF original.
Particularly notable, the cocktails were fantastic, the onion soup outstanding, and the desserts were incredible.

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

I love Zuni. Consistently good!

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c
San Francisco
104 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the oysters the hamburger and Caesar salad
My friend had the salmon and she loved it
Best lunch in San Francisco

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DS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Average at best. I’ve live a few blocks away and have heard great things, so I finally decided to give Zuni a try. The entree portions were very small, the service was average, the wine list below average, the value was not good and the decor and ambiance was very dated, but not in a cool vintage way. If I wouldn’t have had a gift card to apply to my dinner, I would have been furious that I had a mediocre two hundred dollar dinner for two.

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OT
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service. Food was even better this time. The roast chicken was abundant and super juicy. The stuffing was delicious as well.

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SC
London
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sensational food! Roast Chicken with the bread salad marinade!!!!! Great people and great staff

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TW
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always amazing food....quality cocktails and great service.

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H
San Francisco
110 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Their chicken is simply superb. The cesar salad is quite good too.

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JL
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious and satisfying food, well prepared. Personable and attentive service. Highly recommended!

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T
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dining at Zuni is always wonderful!
Signed,
A Happy Customer for over 30 years

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NC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my all-time favorites. Always great. Love 100%.

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G
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance was welcoming, the food was delicious and the waiter (who was a surfer) was friendly and fun.

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s
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always perfectly seasoned, delicious. Service is always helpful while avoiding being intrusive.

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LP
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, clean and beautiful restaurant! The food is always amazing, clean, and the staff are always friendly.

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HT
London
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, the wine was some of the best I’ve had! The roast chicken is a must and is absolutely delicious!

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AR
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best meals of my life. Thank you for bringing uour roast chicken to the world.

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E
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Like all the reviewers, got to order their famous chicken & bread salad. As good as I remember it from > 20 yrs ago. Our waitress was wonderful. Grateful that we got a last minute reservation after someone canceled & they were able to accommodate us. Made it to the Symphony in time. Thank you.

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