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.
What Insiders Are Saying
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.
It kills me to write this review as I'm as big a fan as anyone. I've been here many times over the course of the last 20 years. The Ceasar Salad is still the best in San Francisco. After that, our experience was pretty awful. We were brought vodka martinis when we ordered gin martinis. We waited a good 45 minutes between salad and entree, with no explanation, and not a lot of attention by the waitstaff. And the entree, grilled swordfish, felt like something served from the '80s. Zero creativity, marginal flavor, swimming in butter and oil. Either it was just a one-off bad night at Zuni, or they are on cruise control. I'd still recommend Zuni in hopes that I experienced the former and not the latter. Get the Ceasar and hope for the best on the rest of the menu. Zuni Cafe you are a SF treasure...live up to your hard earned good reputation.
Lovely wait staff. fine food. Interesting view of the alley behind - truly interesting!
I hadn't been to Zuni's in many years and the food and dining experience was just as spectacular as I remembered it to be. It's such a special place and the food is still excellent. The staff is top notch and our waiter was a total doll! Everything from our cocktails and wine to sharing small plates while we waited for our chicken was perfect. I was a bit nervous about the timing of the chicken (not to be skipped) as we had a 7pm show to make however everything went so smoothly and we couldn't have asked for a better evening.
Zuni is such a dining pleasure - one of the few constants I can count on. The ambiance is light and clean, open and inviting. The service is friendly and helpful and the food delightful.
Saturday lunch started with regional chilled oysters on the half shell and the Zuni’s Classic Caesar. I followed with thinly sliced duck with a hazelnut pesto and the house-made Meyer lemon gelato with candied citrus provided a refreshing end to our meal.
Warm welcome. Tasty cocktails. Famous roast chicken was succulently delicious.
The food was outstanding; the atmosphere lovely; and the wait staff some of the most attentive and friendly of all time. We were there to celebrate our wedding that afternoon and they made us both feel like kings. We look forward to celebrating anniversaries and events of all kinds at our new favorites restaurant.
Food was ok but not as good as we were told it was. The place was extremely noisy. It was expensive. So we're quite disapointed. Note that our waiter was perfect and very kind.
We arrived at opening as we were going to see a matinee of Hamilton. We were warmly greeted and the wait staff was excellent. The food was delicious. A special thank you to all at Zuni Cafe for making this experience wonderful!
To be able to deliver at the high level Zuni does for such an extended period of time is a remarkable achievement. To seemingly not miss a beat after the passing of Judy Rogers is a testament to her enormous talent as a chef and restaurateur, as well as to the team.
Aside from trouble finding parking for lunch, everything was fantastic. Delicious assortment of oysters, top notch olives, amazing roasted cauliflower and potato soup. And the roast chicken with bread salad is a classic. Excellent service as always.
It was a nice meal! Beautiful building and very central. Attractive crowd.
Always good, never a disappointment. Crowded but took us right on time.
Great food overall. Worlds best Cesar Salad, Bloody Mary. Roast Chicken. Great waitstaff.
One of my very favorite restaurants where I chose to have my 70th birthday. I am a huge oyster fan and they have the very best. They even made sure I was able to add an extra person at the last minute to our reservation. Two of us flew in more than 1000 miles just to be together at Zuni Cafe!
I've been coming to Zuni for decades! The quality has not gone down despite the demise of the owner/chef.
I have lived in SF for 38 years and have enjoyed the signature roasted chicken/bread salad many times. However, I have not visited for several years. Has the recipe for the "bread salad" been changed? I remember it as being composed of "hunks of bread with pine nuts and currants. However, at my recent visit, it appeared to be "slices of bread" -- not nearly as enjoyable as I remember. (The chicken continued to superlative.)
Once again, excellent bistro food. Service was excellent. The Caesar salad was excellent with a beautiful side of anchovies and the signature chicken roasted in the brick oven was delightful with the bread salad hidden underneath. The only negative was the table. We were placed in the upstairs on bench seats with a wall for the back. It was quite uncomfortable. I placed my bag between my back and the wall which did the trick, but I would avoid this table in the future. I think they should place pillows for diner’s comfort.
We had The Chicken: enough said.
After many fine dining experiences at Zuni, this visit was disappointing. The Caesar salad was over
-dressed and the cheese was grated rather than shaved as it used to be. Our fries were never served...simply forgotten. A second aperitif took way too long to arrive at the table.
Service was slow. Forgot two things I ordered. Portion was small. Therefore; pricey for lunch.
Chicken is a mainstay here, but note it takes an hour after ordering and don’t try to pre-order /pre-pay, that is not possible. Menu seems a bit limited (check menu online). Overall a great experience.
Zuni is always fantastic. Been enjoying it for years and it’s always a total pleasure. Love all the people there, so wonderful
I didn't get the charm of Zuni Cafe.
I think the chicken is overrated
Lina was our waitress and she was simply excellent! My wife and I had an amazing dinner sharing oysters, salad, pasta and petrale sole...………..extraordinary. Service was terrific in every way possible...….from keeping water in our water glasses to new place settings with each item. [I have been raving about Zuni Café every day since!!!].
I have been eating at Zuni since it's opening. I always recommend the chicken to anyone I bring for the first time. Unfortunately, the last couple of times I have been disappointed. The chicken was good, however, the frisbee and radicchio placed on the top was underwhelming!
The server was completely devoid of any emotion!!
PS the caesar salad was great..
A go-to place whenever family is visiting from out of town.
Very mediocre meal. Disappointed in Zuni the first time ever. Service so so and the food was very ho hum.
Yes, the Zuni Cafe is a bit on the louder side. However, that can not detract from the wonderful cuisine and professional mixologist creations. The staff was first class. This is the place! A complete and must restaurant to visit and enjoy when in the city.
We go to Zuni's a few times a year as a girls night out getting oysters, the signature chicken, and a bottle of wine. It has always been spot on and delicious and I look forward to it every few months.
I have been coming to Zuni since it opened. My fav place for lunch in city. You feel like you are outside (all the Windows) and it is fun with excellent food
The oysters are divine, Caesar salad perfect, the best hamburger in city and if you have time, the chicken is just delicious.
From your experience with the checkin crew, having a divine glass of wine at bar (standing up) to the waiters , clean up staff it is so fun. A great team
Lovely place, great food, nice staff
40 years and counting. It’s so hard to believe, and yet Zuni remains one of the few truly iconic San Francisco restaurants offering seasonal, locally sourced and always deliciously prepared food. Without question, the service is some of the best in The City. The wine list is not overblown, but always offers an excellent choice of both domestic and foreign bottles as well as a wonderful selection of craft cocktails. Likewise, the menu is never more than one page in length, yet never disappoints or leaves one wanting for more choices. And simply said, there is only one “best roast chicken and warm bread salad” in San Francisco, or practically anywhere, and that prize has always belonged to Zuni Cafe. Thank you Zuni for establishing and maintaining such a high standard for excellence! We always look forward to our next visit...
Some in my group have been going to Zuni for 20 years and one for 33 years! Zuni never disappoints! We love that it feels like dozens of private spaces. The oyster selection is always a treat, the salads fresh and beautiful and the chicken and swordfish were wonderfully seasoned and moist. The house Chardonnay was terrific(wish I could buy it at retail). The service was attentive, friendly, and helpful. Can’t wait to go back!
I love Zuni. Consistently great food/service that makes me glad I went. Not cheap but at the same time a good value, and that’s hard to do, though they make it look easy. I’m a fan.
Had another wonderful dinner at Zuni. The request was made for a table for 2 in front of the window, and we were given the Best Seat in the House, which is the table for 2 upstairs in front of the giant windows. Thank you for accommodating this! Our server (Jacob) took the best care of us and was attentive without checking in too much.
Zuni continues to remain my favorite restaurant in the city and I can't wait to return!
We were celebrating our honeymoon and chose Zuni! Our server, Julie, made the experience even more special! Food amazing as always.
I hate to write bad things about Zuni because i have eaten there for 20 years but the last three visits have not been worth the effort . I will not return. The ceasar salad is good ! but the hamburgers are not as ample or tasty as the old days. Previous visit the chicken was dry- which would have been unheard of a few years ago. I feel very bad about this!
We had a fun experience, for sure, and the service was superb. The food, however, was way overpriced. Everything tasted good, but not great. I think we paid for the table and the ability to sit and eat in a upbeat, SF atmosphere.
Good, not great -- dishes competent, nothing special. Service was excellent and helpful.
Everyone there was super friendly, service was awesome and we had a great time!!!