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Permanently Closed - Rose Pistola

1461 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

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This restaurant is permanently closed. Voted the best new restaurant in the country in 1996, Rose Pistola is a celebration of the bawdy, friendly but sophisticated side of San Francisco’s Italian district – North Beach. This stylish gathering place personifies the vibrancy of its namesake, a North Beach denizen who ran the most colorful bar and restaurant in the neighborhood. With its San Francisco-style dining counter, booths cozy dining room and lively bar, Rose Pistola invites everything from a leisurely glass of Chianti and a bowl of home made pasta or wood fired pizza, to a traditional, Italian-style feast of seasonal antipasti, whole roasted fish, and local vegetable sides. Executive Chef Steve Walker overseas the kitchen and has added his more rustic style to the menu. A full bar and approachable wine list round out the experience. Live jazz trios play in the bar 4 nights a week.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Hours of operation
LUNCH: 11:30 am to 4:30 pm every day.
DINNER: 5:30 p.m. every day.
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Phone number
(415) 399-0499
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Steve Walker
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Cross street
Between Green & Union Streets
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Parking details
We have valet for $12 per car, payment at curb to valet in cash or credit card.
Valet is nightly 5:30pm to close, and daily from 11:30am to 2pm.

There are public garages are within 2 blocks: Powell/Union, Filbert/Columbus, and Vallejo/Powell.

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Public transit
Muni lines 9x, 9bx, 20, 30, 41 & 45 all stop within a block of the restaurant. The Powell-Mason cable car line stops about two blocks from the restaurant.
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Live jazz Sunday & Thursday nights 8-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday nights 9-11 p.m.
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Special events & promotions
We have live jazz trios 4 nights a week (Thursday thru Sunday) in the bar area facing Columbus Avenue. Checkout the calendar on our website.
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1461 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on February 4, 2017

Came for the gluten free menu choices. Many options were available, but no gluten free pizza nor pasta - which was fine with me! But, the waiter did not know what substitutions would need to be made, etc. It would be nice if the chef would label items "GFA - Gluten Free Available" to help customers choose. The pizza dough (I hear) was a bit chewy and not crispy like it should be with that gorgeous Italian pizza oven. My steak was cooked as I ordered, kinda. I wanted "warm, but still very red - if you can do that as 'rare', perfect". there may have been a timing issue in the kitchen, because the steak wasn't even warm enough to melt the butter on top. I wanted it as rare as the steak could tolerate - and it was rare, but too rare for the dish (or perhaps it sat waiting for the other meals to finish?). Service was a bit ... pushy. Wanting to take our order repeatedly when we were trying to enjoy our cocktails (we were seated about 20 minutes before our reservation time, so the rush was confusing). the sides with my steak were perfect. So - not bad, can accommodate food intolerances, but needs some work.

Nichole (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 26, 2017

This was the place we went to a few years ago and the all we could remember were the mussles... Couldn't remember the name of the place so I did my research and found it. Wanted to go since we were in town for a doc appointment... We were not disappointed.... The service was beyond perfect and the food was Divine! It was a happy friendly atmosphere.... I would definitely recommend this place to everyone! We will be back for sure....

Jcave (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 21, 2017

Great name, good food and a waiter that was very busy but was charming when he got to us. Not a particularly wide menu but he wine was good.

OpenTable Diner (Mexico City)
3.0  Dined on January 20, 2017

This was convenient for Beach Blanket Babylon but the food just wasn't all that good. We had the recommended pizza and it was dry and flavorless. My caesar salad for $14 was limp and also flavorless. The service was ok and it's a pleasant place but one does expect good food.

vipOpenTable Diner (Kansas City)
5.0  Dined on January 17, 2017

Outstanding as usual. We always eat here when in the area. It was our waitress's first night & she was terrific

vipJohnMartin (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 15, 2017

We had a special occasion with friends after a museum visit. The dinner was wonderful the ambience was great! It was the end of a perfect day!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 12, 2017

The special for the night was Farfalle (bow tie pasta) with a cream & pignole nut sauce. The pasta was boiled to death, too soft, and the fairly tasteless sauce flooded the bowl; I was eating soup. The menu was pretty limited for spaghetti dishes so don't go there if you're looking for an authentic Italian restaurant. I'm guessing they're catering to one time customers; the tourist trade.

vipSFdiner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 10, 2017

Service and food were excellent. While waiting for my guest to arrive, I was offered water and some fresh bread. The waitress was very attentive, courteous, and prompt in serving us the meal and keep the water glass full. The mussels and scallops came out piping hot and were cooked to perfection and so delicious. This was my first time here but it will be my go to place to invite friends and family. The place is neat, clean, and a lovely ambiance.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 5, 2017

Very nice staff

Tinlady (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 3, 2017

We live in Central California and found Rose Pistola several years ago when on a mission to find a restaurant at which to entertain a large group of friends who would join us on a future visit to San Francisco. While strolling through North Beach, we stumbled upon the restaurant and couldn't have been more pleased! The menu changes almost daily, depending on what can be locally sourced, so everything is very fresh and creatively prepared. The ambiance is perfect for a group yet we've also dined at the restaurant for romantic special occasions in the city. By-the-glass wine selections are limited but sharing a bottle chosen from their extensive wine list makes up for it. Their staff are more than able to recommend appropriate pairings and are service oriented from the moment you're seated until you've enjoyed your final-final. Buon Appetito!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 3, 2017

The food was phenomenal but the service was lacking. Since I had made a reservation well in advance, I expected to be seated at a nicer table. We were seated behind a large pole, which I had read happened from other reviews so I was not surprised. However, I was surprised that it took about 20 minutes for us to order an appetizer. The restaurant was probably 30-40% occupied so I'm not sure what the hold up was. No apology was offered for the delay.

Other than the service, the menu was fantastic. Dessert options were limited but that was just fine - the appetizers and entrees were outstanding. Especially the chicken over kale and potatoes.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

I want to start this out by saying that I was beyond excited to eat here. I had read so many great reviews and a few clients said that it was great!

This was worst dining experience I have ever had. From start to finish. The hostesses were disinterested and didn't greet us, didn't speak to us when they sat us at the table. Despite my trying to engaged them in polite conversation.

The waiter was cheerful and the music was great. That was the only reason I didn't get up and leave after our first two "courses". We sat through all four really trying to give them our best effort to enjoy. They were weird and bland. It was like someone was trying to be creative but completely missed the mark.

I can honestly say I have never left a restaurant wanting my
Money back until this experience.

vipMIssChatterbox3 (St. Louis)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

NYE dinner was $80 prix fixe and no tablecloths. Food was okay but would nothing to write home about.

NeilBez (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on December 30, 2016

Fabulous restaurant. We were here 2 years ago when we visited San Francisco and loved it. Made a reservation this time to meet long time friends here and they LOVED it! Food was great. Our waitress Ava was terrific!

Marie (Orange County)
5.0  Dined on December 30, 2016

Food is delicious, but a little expensive. Would be nice to have longer hours for happy hour.

vipDiningFineAnyTime (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 28, 2016

After many years of dining here, I still regard it as my "go to" North Beach spot. Sitting at a window table in the afternoon, late night at the bar, or relaxing with friends over dinner in the main room, it all works.

xaocty (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

We reserved and we're given a terrible table in the back. Ended up going to bar seat. The service was sketchy- had different people serving- didn't know who our server was. They didn't bring food right to table as soon as it was prepared do it got cold. Barrata was good.

vipFoodie50 (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on December 20, 2016

2 dishes out of our 4 where wrong and served cold. We asked to have it corrected and there was no acknowledging of the mistake. Not a good choice to repeat. Will not be back.

DylanSAZ (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on December 17, 2016

Delicious food, attentive staff and an energized crowd keeps us coming back each visit to SF.

EricDB (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 17, 2016

This was our second dinner at Rose Pistola -- great service, great food, and a lovely ambiance right in the heart of San Francisco's Little Italy (North Beach). Highly recommended!