Scala's Bistro

4.4
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5292 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Since 1995, Scala's Bistro has garnered a reputation for classic, elegant dining. Warm, earth tones, original murals, beaded bistro lamps, and rich, mahogany booths evoke a dramatic Old World café. Fresh, innovative, Italian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes enhance the Scala’s menu while continuing to pay homage to the old Scala’s favorites.
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What 5292 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BB
San Francisco
96 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall3food4service3ambience2

We have been to Scala's several times. The fact that we had a reservation meant little regarding being seated on time. We still waited. When I reminded the hostess, who is a very endearing woman with a great presence and personality for handling the hungry customers, that we were waiting in the bar upstairs, she sat us immediately. The booths are small and the atmosphere is really loud. The servers are fast and the food is good. The sommelier is a rare individual who has great aplomb in performing his duties. All of the appetizers, main courses, and wines were delicious and moderately expensive $470 incl gratuity for four persons. The restaurant did provide a nice dessert with candle for my wife's birthday. However, the restaurant has constant activity and the noise can be exacerbating for a conversation. Scala's is a restaurant where you go to enjoy good food but not necessarily dine and converse unless you like to speak loudly.

a
Kansas City
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome wine list, amazing menu, really cute space, and cute holiday decorations. Very friendly staff. We had a wonderful dinner after the Nutcracker! It is pricey and pretty noisy, but that didn't bother us!

c
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service1ambience4

Food uninspiring. The waiter did the minimum. Once we were he ignored us, fussing with his phone
One of us had to go get him to clear away our dishes.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, service fabulous.

MG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a delightful server this visit. He was very engaging making our experience a good one. It is very noisy, even on a week day afternoon.

L
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Very good food, it was a very busy lunch. We got a window seat with lots of entertainment on the outside.

MW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

8 of us arrived at 6:00 after a long wait finally they brought bread and drinks, the main course took another hours to come. We were very dissapointed of the service.

KS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Hostess was a disaster! Couldn’t figure out that we had a reservation for 4 people. Waited quite awhile for our table. Then she sat us at a “large” 2 person table. When our actual waiter arrived, he fixed the situation. Glasses were dirty. Bloody Mary was the most watered down icy drink. But the food was very good and our waiter was wonderful.

CP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

I was disappointed in the menu. The food was ok but the service was really poor. The noise level was awful, couldn't understand from the accent and the overall service was not good. Wouldn't waste my time to go back. And.. I have been there before and the food was really good, as was the service.

MG
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

The was a mix up in our billing that was resolved before we left. Some of the meals were to peppery for members of our party1

BC
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Normally a great place to eat - there were a fair amount of inebriated SantaCon participates wwho were loud and a bit obnoxious.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience4

Birthday lunch

KM
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Decent service eventhough they were understaffed and quite busy when we were there. Food is good, not great, and I think they could stand to change their menu with greater frequency, but it is reliable and a fair choice when looking for a sit down place for lunch near Union Square.

LG
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food4service2ambience3

While the food was good, the bistro is woefully understaffed. Our server was so harried - as was all the other employees - that he left before taking our full order. Trying to get someone’s attention was nigh impossible.

LZ
Sacramento
14 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Our server, Mary, was delightful. The food was delicious served hot. Our only complaint was the noise level. We were seated in the bar area, with a large, boisterous group.

Please give our special thanks to Mary and chef!

MG
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Simply horrible.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tasha the waiter was terrific!

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious, our number one spot every time we come to San Francisco

RJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Been coming back to Scala's for years, usually during the Holidays to enjoy the downtown bustle. Has always been an enjoyable experience. Couple things hit my on this latest visit for dinner with friends. The room was very loud to the point of making conversation an effort. Festive atmosphere seemed somehow lacking. Maybe from lack of Holiday decorations. Decor feels like it needs refreshing. First round of drinks arrived after a painfully long wait. Thankfully they were generous and properly prepared. I 'd rate the food as adequate to good depending on what you order and as such a bit overpriced.

MR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

First time going to this restaurant. The food was average. We had two of the pasta dishes, a Caesar salad, squash salad, calamari and the roasted chicken. Our waiter was terrible, poor customer service. After bringing our food he never came back to check on us or to make sure the meal was to our satisfaction. The only reason I am giving this restaurant 2 stars it's because the busboy was outstanding. $18 for a Caesar salad that is just mediocre is just isn't worth it. The place is super loud. Very disappointed with this place.

OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience2

One of my favorites. They changed the lighting which is now more sterile and has a whole lot less ambiance. The service, while decent, was uncaring and not what we were used to. Hostess was awesome. Still a huge favorite and recommend but not the same as it was before.

PL
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience2

I was hoping this would be a great dinner our last night in San Francisco. However, it turned out to be one of the worst. The Caesar salad dressing was very acidic, and not what you normally would get for Caesar dressing (I have had many and this didn't even come close). We ordered a margarita pizza which was under done and tasteless. The sauce had no taste to speak of and the mozzarella was a very cheap grade. The reason I can be so critical with the pizza is I own 4 pizzerias in CA and this was by far the worst.

Stay asway, the hype is just that, hype!

d
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Excellent food!

JJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Scala's has been my favorite restaurant on Union Square for many years, the food has never disappointed me or my friends. The service is great. I will be back soon.

OT
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Very slow service. Menu very limited. The overall quality of the dining experience at Scala’s has definitely gone downhill. We won’t be back and I will no longer recommend this restaurant.

J
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time celebrating my daughter’s 17th birthday at Scala’s. The hosts were very accommodating, the meal was spectacular, and the desert was thoughtfully delivered with a lighted birth candle. Great experience!

RF
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

As a wheelchair user, I always forget the Scala's likes to stack up chairs along the entryway. I'm sure folks who have a long wait really appreciate this, but it makes me feel unwelcome to have to move chairs to enter the space. I ordered a burger and fries, protein style (no bun with lettuce meant to pick it up). They got lettuce on top, but not down below. And one cloth napkin doesn't really cut it for picking up a poorly wrapped burger. My waiter was great and the burger was well cooked even if the presentation was not up to par. I stay at the Sir Francis Drake every year and I usually eat at Scala's at least once. Maybe next year I'll remember about the chairs.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

The food was very good and the service was great dispute it being a very busy night. It’s a little crowded and noisy but over all a good restaurant to visit in Union Square.

AW
London
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A lovely restaurant with very friendly staff. It is very popular so necessary to book. We both had pasta which was delicious. The member of staff who served us was very friendly but also very helpful. We would love to come back next time we are in the USA!

BC
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friday night dinner there after tree lighting at Union Square. Great service...very attentive/friendly hostess (seemed like the manager or owner). Food was delicious. A bit pricey, but it's San Francisco and quality was worth it!

TS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good food, seated right on time, server very nice but a little slow, although it was black friday so the poor fellow was probably a bit shagged. Great salmon, raviolis and best fritto misto around.

L
New York Area
50 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Have been coming here for many years, it used to be much better food. And the prices have gotten very high, $34 for the salmon entrée that was just OK, prepared in advance. I think they are getting by on tourist business which is not too demanding, especially at the holiday seasons, as a San Francisco resident is disappointing to me

C
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I thought the stuffing could have been more flavorful, and I was disappointed that there was no cranberry sauce. Also, I thought it was priced on the high side for what we got. The turkey was a bit dry.

e
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Always good. Staff are extremely personable. This review must be at least 80 characters in length I am told. Accordingly, it will be the last such OpenTable review I write.

VS
E. Tennessee
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service! Nice atmosphere and setting.

KS
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Took forever to be waited on by server. Hubby actually went to the hostess and asked if we had one. Chicken was good, but congealed mass of way overcooked braised greens was not, and usually I can’t find a vegetable I don’t love. Pizza crust was hard as a rock; hubby could only eat out of the middle. Way overpriced in my estimation, lovely ambience, though.

O
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you for making our evening so special!!

DK
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was amazing and the staff was friendly and welcoming. The noise level was a bit high but that’s because there was a table of people that had no regards to other people around them. Definitely recommend eating here!

OT
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great dinner with my team after Dreamforce. Food, wine and service was excellent.

FD
Palm Springs
373 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A very lovely lunch, delicious, reasonable portions, and great service. Charming!