Zuni Cafe

4.7
5676 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Modern European
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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 5676 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
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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3
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3.0Dined a day ago

Disappointing. Not the Zuni we knew and loved from the old days.

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3.0Dined 2 days ago

We were disappointed because the famous roast chicken was dry.

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3.0Dined 2 days ago

Tasty food, no doubt.
Extremely pricey.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

A bit on the pricey side for the amount of food you get but damn it is delicious

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Went for the famous chicken. Took just over an hour. In the end it was really just...chicken. Not worth the wait. I'm sure their other food is great

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Had another nice dinner here with the food very good overall. The signature roast chicken wasn’t quite as moist as it has been in the past. The French fries and Cesar salad were excellent.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Zuni is always the best, a San Francisco classic. The roast chicken is worth waiting for.

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3.0Dined 7 days ago

Sad portions. Sent back a dish but was never corrected. Cafe with its prime solidly behind it.

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4.0Dined on August 11, 2018

Zuni is always stellar. Best Polenta anywhere in SF. Menu is solid with great choices. My one "however" is that this was the first time that I've ordered the chicken and it was overcooked. 5-7 minutes fewer minutes would have been ideal. Could not easily cut it because dry and knife seemed like a butter knife when utilized. Like I said, first time ever disappointed in anything and you should expect and probably will get great every other time. Great place in all other regards and I will continue to frequent Zuni.

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5.0Dined on August 11, 2018

Fresh everything!

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5.0Dined on August 11, 2018

We had the roast chicken and figs for appetizer. Food was very tasty. Chicken tender and juicy. Even white meat. Service excellent. And we could even hear each other on a fri evening!

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5.0Dined on August 11, 2018

It’s hard to go wrong at Zuni … Fun environment, great chicken (as if you didn’t know that already)… Super friendly servers… And very accommodating… Great job as always… Love to see a little more variety in the menu but don’t ever get rid of the chicken....

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Zuni is perfect for a relaxing dinner with great service. The staff is attentive (if you're seated in the right room) and you get to have as many courses as you can stomach. The chicken and shoestring potatoes seem to be on every table when I visit.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2018

Great service and the roasted chicken lives up the hype. Just a good time, well crafted cocktails and amazing strawberry sorbet. Will be back with friends.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2018

Zuni was as good as I remember it being when I lived in SF 15 years ago.
The hostess was friendly and warm and the waiter was exceptional.

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Zuni is like Christmas. So many wonderful memories of dinners past, yet it still delivers every time. It helps that the margaritas are always perfect 👌 the burgers and shoestring potatoes consistently spot on And with servers as gracious and knowledgeable as Teddy, it’s the best every time!

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2.0Dined on August 7, 2018

I've been to Zuni many times (one of my go-to places for out of town guests and celebrations) and strangely, this last experience was a huge disappointment. An unbelievable disappointing experience! Three out of the five dishes we ordered were bland, uninteresting, sad. The two items that were great were the caesar salad and the fries. The duck, roasted peaches, the squid were bland. For dessert, we shared the pavlova and it was okay. The best thing I had was the Monkey 47 martini and the genmaicha. In the past when we shared the appetizers, the servers was nice enough to bring the order already split into two portions. This time, the server left us a plate which was adequate but doesn't show exemplary service as in previous visits. I have to assume this was an off day because I've always loved my food and experience there. I will be back next week for another special occasion. Hopefully, this last experience was a fluke.
Or perhaps I need to order only their stellar dishes such as the roast chicken and pizza. Of course I would recommend Zuni but now with some reservations.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

As in the past times we have been to Zuni, the food (especially the chicken salad and french fries) are great! The atmosphere is fum and the staff is always very friendly, professional and accommodating! One of our absolute favourite places!

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4.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Zuni Cafe is the first place I go for dinner whenever I visit San Francisco. The food is consistently delicious and the service is excellent. The brined chicken for two served atop a bread salad with mustard greens, pine nuts, currants and scallions is absolutely one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever eaten, and it’s only one of many wonderful foods to choose from on the menu.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

I would definitely return, the service was impeccable, the atmosphere was delightful, the food was excellent, and although it wasn't inexpensive it was a great value for a wonderful dining experience. When we sat down we quickly decided on the whole roasted chicken [highly recommended] along with it's 1 hour prep time. Then we decided on wine and starters. I was pleased that the waitstaff offered me a sampling of two different wines to taste before choosing the one that most appealed to my pallet. We had 2 starters: I would not recommend the bruschetta, but the Caesar salad was one of the best I ever had and although we split it for two in reality it was large enough for more. Likewise the roasted chicken was a huge portion suitable for at least 4, we each consumed a half breast plus a drumstick and took home 2 half breasts and 2 full thighs, yummy yummy for later. BUT maybe the best part of our relaxing 2 hour dinner was secret shenanigans as we ordered desert. It was my friend's birthday and I informed them ahead of time to put a candle in our desert. So when we ordered the waiter gave me a wink of the eye to let me know the candle was on its way, perfect sign language. It was a great surprise to my friend.

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3.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Caesar salad the best! Chicken fed the three of us. Excellent! Calamari misto order skimpy for the price. Wines by the glass waaaay overpriced. Acme bread delicious.

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Always a treat. But next time I'm ordering the chicken & bread salad. Fabulous.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Going to concert

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Always a classic. I've lived in SF for 30+ years and avoid popular tourist spots, but since I was a City Hall anyway I met a client here for lunch. We sat at a tiny table at the bar (grateful we could get in) and next to a Dutch couple. Nice conversation with our neighbors, reliable service and excellent food. Always good!

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3.0Dined on August 3, 2018

I hav been going to Zuni since Judy opened. Unfortunately, the service on Friday was not what I have had over the years. I asked that our salads and fries came at the same time. Our fries did not arrive till we finished our salads and at the same time our pizza came! I had to flag down the busboy for water twice and hold up my wine glass to order another. Our waiter almost seemed bothered by us being there.
Very disappointed.

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Ordered the roast chicken and it was delicious. Our water is Julie was nice and attentive live piano music playing added to the ambiance. Husband complained about the bread being on the floor inside the basket and Manager Ren acted on it quick and put it on top table and must have told all the servers cause they were all on the same page, now that’s what I call a restaurant that cares. We’ll definitely keep coming back. Thank you Zuni for a great experience.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

ZUNI!! Love you more than ever. What a mid-Market institution. Food and vibes are great, service great... just a plain old fun, delicious spot that really spotlights the best of SF food traditions. Congrats!

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3.0Dined on August 2, 2018

We really thought it was going to be greater than it was for it’s price. Our waiter forgot something we ordered and checked on us once

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4.0Dined on August 2, 2018

The hamburger used to be much better.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

This is a go-to place for great roasted chicken with shoestring potatoes, a wonderful vibe with conviviality, attentive service, fun bar, and an all-around good time. It’s noisy, but full of good spirit.

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4.0Dined on August 2, 2018

The atmosphere and staff where great. The food was very good, but a bit pricy. The menu changes each night, so check with the restaurant before you go to see if you like what the offering is. If we had more time, we would have ordered the famous roasted chicken. It's supposed to be amazing, but takes 1 hour to make. Supposed to be worth the wait.

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2.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Service was very slow and the servings were small for how pricey it was

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4.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Always a solid meal great fresh salmon local!

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4.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Food is still incredible - drinks and service a little slow and time to reinvest in the dining spaces.

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4.0Dined on July 30, 2018

Fantastic food. Try the roast chicken. Service is becoming very SF arrogant and inattentive.

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2018

Zuni is famous for their roast chicken but what you don't hear about is the warm bread salad - I like to call it a savory pudding - under the roast chicken which is absolutely delicious. Soft bread with greens, pine nuts, currants, and a delicious dressing. Our server was a delight and went out of her way to insure we had a great dining experience.

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4.0Dined on July 30, 2018

Fantastic as long as you can ignore watching junkies shoot heroin on the sidewalks outside. Not exactly what you want to be looking at during a nice meal.

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2018

I've been told to check this place out and finally did for a good friend's bday. Great experience, food, service, ambiance! We did get the chicken and despite being just chicken, it was delicious! Tried some starters and two desserts - so sampled a good amount of food and loved it all!

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

We like to treat ourselves to a meal at Zuni Cafe once a year. We always order the classic dishes: roast chicken, shoestring potatoes & Caesar salad. Everything was tasty, but some of the shoestring potatoes were not crispy. We took home enough leftovers for another meal. We saved room for dessert & had Pavlova & Santa Rosa plum sorbet with brown sugar shortbread cookies on the side.

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4.0Dined on July 29, 2018

I had high expectations for this restaurant, and although the service was excellent, and the ambience/decor en pointe, i was disappointed with the food. Maybe i expected too much? The fried squid appetizer was a bit over-fried and the risotto rice too crunchy and undercooked.

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