Zuni Cafe

4.7
5775 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 5775 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
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Service was terrible. Both entrees came out lukewarm, water was not refilled, additional drinks were not offered. For $136 I expected more.

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JK
Cleveland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food all the way around- best Caesar salad we’ve had. wonderful anchovy appetizer, and burrata salad was impressive. Cozy atmosphere

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

Wonder full , amazing food and service

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LB
New England
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great food, noisy. Fairly expensive corkage fee $30. Able to easily adapt many items to be gluten free.

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ZL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fresh ingredients served in tasteful manner. Very attentive service!

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SF
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Overall, we had a very good meal. 2 of us had the always good roast chicken. Unfortunately the burger which one of us had was not great. It was overcooked and the bun was somewhat dry

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m
London
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great place - love coming here - always make you feel welcome - annoying the chicken takes an hour as that is what we come for but never allowed to pre- order. Despite this it’s fun, lively and wld recommend to anyone.

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LC
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was fantastic, as always! We were tucked in a tiny upstairs seat next to each other, so it was a little awkward at first and I was sad not to see much of the restaurant at all -- we'd been planning this dinner for the better part of a year, and I would have liked to see some windows, or maybe the oven from above? But our server was genuine and lovely, and of course the food was excellent: quail with lentils and chanterelles, porchetta, the classic Zuni Caesar, a Joseph Swan pinot noir, walnut cake and nocino for dessert. I still love Zuni. And next time we'll eat at the bar!

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

Wonderful!!

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HG
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I haven’t been to Zuni in 10+ years because it’s so hard to get a reservation. It was as good (if not better) than I remember. I highly recommend this place.

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c
San Francisco
101 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Zuni

So fun
We had 6 different oyster varieties and split a Caesar salad. Then we had "the best hamburger inSF"
We finished off with lattes

Everyone is so friendly and warm
My favorite place for lunch

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B
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a lovely dinner at this restaurant. The food was made from fresh ingredients and was very flavorful and beautifully presented. Service was very accommodating and nice. Very nice place for a special occasion as it is on the pricey side.

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JH
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Honestly, I am not sure I would recommend Zuni Cafe. the ambiance is wonderful and so is the chicken for two. But the menu is quite small and my husband felt he had little to choose from if you do not want the chicken. His main course was the bavette steak and he did not enjoy it. It was tough and very expensive for such a small portion. Again, except for the chicken, the portions are quite small and pricey. We have always loved Zuni Cafe but I must say that we were disappointed with our experience this time. The service is lovely though.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Zuni, for 30 years it has never disappointed me.

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P
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This place is known for the roast chicken, so much so that every other table seems to order the chicken. I had it years ago and it did live up to its reputation, but on our most recent visit, the chicken was not that much more memorable than any other roast chicken. In fact, it was quite dry and lacking in seasoning. But the pork chop that I had a month before was excellent. Just goes to show you can't judge a place based on one dish.

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OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service, food and atmosphere elevated a delicious meal to a very special and memorable dining experience!

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

Julie our server was the BEST we’ve had there in a long time. She upped her game when we spilled red wine. Our time there was incredible & every dish was perfect.

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

Zuni is a classic and Julie was amazing!

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DH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant in ALL the Bay Area!
We go for special occasions and brunch on Sundays

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JS
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I was disappointed. Four of us had dinner there. Unfortunately we did not order the chicken, which is the specialty of the house, leaving a small number of entrees to choose from--2 fish (salmon and trout), one vegetarian, and one of rabbit. The appetizer and salads were good--especially the Arugula salad with nuts and goat cheese, and the trout was well prepared and tasty. However, I chose the "vegetarian" dish and was surprised at how ordinary it was for such a well known and loved SF restaurant. It had no theme--just 4 vegetarian items on the plate.

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JR
Raleigh
16 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My return to SF and Zuni after 30 years and it was better than I remembered. The best Caesar Salad ever and of course the must-have Roast Chicken for Two.

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E
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous meal at Zuni. Our waiter was fun & knowledge. We enjoyed every course. I was recommended this restaurant from friends in Melbourne & I will recommend it to others.

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CB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I have been celebrating special occasions at Zuni for many, many years. Our most recent anniversary celebration showed that this place has not lost a step. Terrific service, friendly without any stuffiness. We splurged from oysters to dessert and every dish was amazing. No doubt an expensive night out, but definitely worth it.

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G
London
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Get a chicken if there are two of you.
If there is one of you get a chicken.

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PD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite place when we come into the city. The chicken is a must!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Lost its edge. Won’t be back for a while.

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SF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We were seated close to late night evening closing time right by the huge and BUSY open kitchen and wood oven. It was fabulous for true foodies fascinated by how a great restaurant ticks.
Food was excellent, especially the huge breads, the nettle soup with delightfully crunchy croutons and cheese, and the creative appetizers. Too late to order a one hour roast chicken, but delighted to watch them coming out of the wood-fired oven!

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C
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Classic menu. Fresh ingredients. Excellent service

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PT
San Francisco
398 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This is an outstanding restaurant. Service is impeccable. Food is excellent. We started with chickpea soup and moved on to halibut. We ended with raspberry sorbet and a pavlova. Highly recommended.

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BW
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved lunch with a friend. The halibut was excellent and the fries not to be missed.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we ordered was delicious—can’t ask for much more

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CA
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zuni always satisfies my desire for a super fabulous San Franciscan meal

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D
Hawaii
26 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had the roast chicken. It was tasty. The hour wait to cook was long, and worth it. We nibbled on stuffed fibs while waiting for the chicken. $60 was a bit pricy for the chicken-for two

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P
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

It is just so mediocre - which is such a shame because I want it to be good so badly.

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MA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was very good but the server was snooty, and became even more so when we didn't order appetizers. I felt her goal after that was to turn the table over as quickly as possible.

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d
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch with David, Chef of the Jungle~ The food is simple and simply unsurpassed. Our server, aka, waiter, Carlos was professional, attentive and tuned into our timing and needs. It is so good to see the Zuni crew front & back, and this included the ladies at the door, holding up the standards, in fact, surpassing them (ie service) now that Vince has moved on and Judy has passed. Been dining and connected here since the early 80's. Thank you all for continuing to make this a hallmark afternoon. db

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AM
Sacramento
8 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Just ok. I was excited by the history and charming ambiance of this restaurant but the food and service didn’t really stack up. Both my colleague and I ordered Caesar salads. I asked if My salad could be topped with salmon. The waiter said people usually do shrimp, but he would ask. He came back and said it would be no problem. My colleague said he would like the shrimp on his salad. After a few minutes the waiter returned to ask how many shrimp should be on the salad- they are $3 each. My colleague said 4. The waiter returned again to tell me I would be charged the full price of the salmon meal. When the bill came, sure enough, they charged $12 for the salad and $12 for the shrimp. For me, they charged $12 for the salad and $34 for the 5 oz of salmon.

This seems like an easy one but, in my opinion, they didn’t get the experience right. I likely will not return. I would grade them at about a C- for the overall experience.

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OT
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Zuni Café always provides excellent food and service. It is our “go to restaurant” for special occasions!

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y
Berlin
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was truly amazing.
We had the oven-roasted chicken, which was totally worth the 60 minute wait, and the buttermilk panna cotta for dessert, which was absolutely awesome. Every bite of the chicken was absolutely perfect, juicy meat (including the breast), crispy skin, hands down the best version of roast chicken I have ever eaten by far.
The panna cotta was also amazing, not too sweet or heavy, but really light (tasting).
The only thing I could do without were the shoestring potatoes, which were a bit greasy for my taste and didn't add much.
Service was very proficient and unobtrusive, so it was a very enjoyable experience overall. Would definitely go again and can highly recommend it.

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JB
San Francisco
68 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There’s a reason why Zuni is famous for its Caesar salad & roast chicken. It is absolutely delicious...

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