SPQR

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4.5
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3316 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
SPQR is a Northern California restaurant inspired by Italian cuisine and wine. An acronym for Senatus Populesque Romanus, SPQR translates to “The People and Senate of Rome” and was the emblem of the Roman Empire. We strive for a balance in offering the highest quality of food, wine and service we can for each guest’s experience in a relaxed, fun, and inviting atmosphere. If you would like to dine at our Chef counter please mark your reservation. Please inform us of any allergies or dietary restrictions as we will try our best to accommodate.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.5

An ambitious restaurant, and a good one at that. SPQR is making a run at the San Francisco pasta crown, mostly with ingredients we can't pronounce.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 3316 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ZZ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Nothing to right about. The food is good, not amazing.

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S
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I don’t know why this place has a Michelin Star. I’ve been half a dozen times and have never been wow’d. Had a soft carb there tonight which was awful. It was fishy, which it should NEVER be, coated with a hard thick cornmeal crust which overwhelmed the delicate crab, swimming in a pool of some kind of pungent sauce. I’m from Maryland so I know soft crabs and this was definitely not fresh and not good.

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

Overall the food was outstanding and the service was very good. The negative aspect was that we were seated at the bar with very uncomfortable chairs even though we had reservations. The SPQR hostess indicated that Opentable reservations automatically are seated at the bar ( not a table) even though this wasn't clear when the reservation was made. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the restaurant was very busy, we could not be moved to a table in a timely manner. ( it was our wedding anniversary). I would recommend calling the restaurant to confirm a table reservation if this is someone's preference.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Charged me for a 2015 Barbaresco and they brought out a 2016. When I called the waiter out on the difference he said “they are the basically the same” and didn’t adjust the price. We were also seated 30 minutes after our reservation time. Do not recommend, undeserving of any Michelin mention whatsoever.

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SW
Denver
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

SPQR is my hands-down favorite to place to meet friends for dinner in the city. The ambiance is cozy and intimate...I feel like I have been transported to a neighborhood restaurant in Rome. And the food is simply delicious! Sit at the bar, enjoy a sparkling wine, witness the chef at his best and delight in mouth-watering food that warms the soul.

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MV
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was beautiful and delicious and the service warm, friendly with just the right amount of attention.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Very disappointing food and service.
We took friends here the other night for a special birthday dinner and we were all completely underwhelmed with the food preparation and service. Considering their prices we expected a lot more.

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d
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food and service where great. Felt like sardines in a can. Over crowded and very noisy. Not comfortable

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Too expensive. Food wasn’t great

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here with a friend for a birthday celebration. Had an absolutely fantastic time! Our server David was attentive, knowledgeable and generous. He took great care of us! Kitchen staff was interactive and even brought out a special birthday treat. The food was amazing! Every dish was well executed, looked beautiful and treated great. The fresh pasta, so perfect! Definitely feeling the birthday love! Will be back and would recommend to anyone looking for top notch service and great food!

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RV
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My son and I had a lovely dining experience. The food was delicious, and the service excellent. The evening was definitely a highlight of our stay in San Francisco!

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p
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food, wine and excellent service. Seating is a little snug.

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AR
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Went to SPQR years ago and loved it. We were able to order 5-6 appetizers, everything tasted amazing! From memories from before, when we had an event in the neighborhood, we decided to go back and didn't even think twice.
Service was great, the menu was limited and the prices for appetizers were 24 dollars + even for 6 pieces of warm asparagus. In SF, I feel that we can do better then that...
4 appetizers later, yes, taste wise it was great but there are plenty of places with the same level of great food, so it needs to be reasonable and it wasn't.
Even at 6:30 the place was half empty, we noticed the same old tables and décor as from before it was new. Our final impression as overpriced and outdated.

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b
San Francisco
87 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful time sitting at counter. Great wine, food. And conversation.

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L
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

I used to love SPQR but like Rome, its empire has fallen. Overpriced and uninspired food with lackluster service is now the norm there.

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n
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Returned back to SPQR after a year or two off. The wine and food continue to please after so many years as a place to go on Fillmore. The hostess and waiter were ultra professional and engaging. And the close proximity to other diners has not changed, however it felt comfortable and not overly noisy in such a small space. The prices have increased substantially since our last visit and are now pushing the limit for a neighborhood date night out meal. I assume success begs this outcome, but it creates a special occasion only type of vibe.

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WT
Charlotte
8 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The menu presented on Opentable and the restaurant website can be a bit misleading as it appears the chefs create daily menus and determines what will be on it daily. The white sauce pasta dishes show online made me very excited but when I got to the restaurant I discovered not one dish with white sauce. And at least 3 of the items on the already small menu weren’t available. Therefore I just chose a dish without having any idea whether I would like it. It was an ok dish but not what I would expect for the price. I probably won’t return. However, this place seems to draw a regular crowd and serves as a gem in a thriving SF neighborhood.

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JK
Sacramento
9 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Super and creative food. Tables area a bit close together and noise level high.

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s
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing time at SPQR!! Service and food were amazing, as was our brief chat with the Executive Chef. We will be back soon.

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J
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our engagement just an hour after it happened. This place will hold a special place in our hearts forever.

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JN
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding. The assegiati di primi was incredible (particularly the squid ink mezzalune) and the wine pairings were extraordinary (especially the Ligurian cruvin) and beautifully explained by the attentive waiter. Highly recommended

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food and service

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was in the City and wanted to meet with an old high school friend. The setting, the food and service was all fantastic. One note: the butter leaf salad with bacon wrapped apricots was over dressed with the vinaigrette.

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s
San Francisco
144 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

SPQR never disappoints, but this time was even better than usual! Every pasta we had was better than the next--rich sauces with an incredible depth of flavor and unexpected combinations of ingredients that somehow worked. The calamari and scallop stew was outstanding as well. Service was impeccable, as always.

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C
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

I love the food here but the service is substandard for a restaurant at this price point and quality. We were at brunch on Mother's Day and had excellent food but disappointing service, with slow delivery of food and busing. Servers are polite and nice but the distributed service model doesn't seem to work. Also, we were charged $16 for a kids pasta with red sauce, which I found outrageous, even for San Francisco. It's a shame because the food is wonderful but we won't be back.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

For a restaurant that requires a credit card to confirm the reservation, it was off-putting when upon being seated and served out water we were told that four out of the six Primi Piatti- all past dishes- were sold out, especially when the three Secondi Piatti were uninspired and quite expensive.
Food quality was solid and generally flavorful (although not so much the capellini in hen ragu), the waiter was very friendly and accommodating, but it left a question about the one star rating.

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KA
New Orleans
13 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Extremely strong in every category with consistently great food and service. Tight quarters are overcome by innovative Italian dishes that are not available anywhere else.

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IK
New England
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 1

We were looking forward to an incredible meal, and while many aspects of the food were excellent, there were some disappointing elements to our dining experience. First, the tables are so closely spaced one feels like one is eating family style with complete strangers. To either side of us we had patrons who carried on loud innocuous conversations to such a degree that a conversation between my dining partner and I was all but impossible.

We had to wait 40 minutes before we were served and when the meal was brought we experienced yet further delays as one if the main courses was incorrectly submitted to the kitchen. Yet while overall the food was good, the proportions were inconsistent-at time large enough to share and for other items, barely enough for one person.

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OT
San Antonio
4 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

No sabía que esperar y supero mis expectativas!
Excelente entrada y las dos pastas buenísimas.
La recomendación de vino también excelente!

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J
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

For the first time, my salad was soggy when it was delivered to the table. I love this restaurant, but find when they use a “spring mix” for salad, meal is not as perfect as usual.

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SH
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 1

My date had the scallop dish was great but was unbelievably garnished with popcorn! For $30 to get something that looked like it belonged on the kids menu was annoying. My pasta dish Marezett was half cold and was so salty is seemed like I was drinking seawater. Service was great.

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d
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Stunning, seasonal menu. Excellent wine list. Ideal for a celebratory meal!

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AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience all around! We sat at the chef’s table and were able to watch all the cooks in action. They were short staffed in the kitchen and the head chef jumped in to kindly help out his team. The food was beyond five stars including a very unique starter of pan fried scallops with white corn and POPCORN! Service all around exceeded expectations. We loved how diverse the staff was.

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TS
Denver
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed a 9 course sampler menu with wine pairings and dessert. Everything was delicious, fresh, and the service was excellent. Highly recommended.

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HH
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I have been to SPQR many times and it's always a treat. However, my last meal was the least exciting. Innovation on the menu seems to have slowed and the staff has turned over. I think you need to be careful about what you order, consult the staff, and be cautious about the wine prices! I'll be back, but I'm not in a hurry.

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SF
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

SPQR is a good place for a special meal. We ordered several dishes to share. Each was very inventive and super fresh. I was , however, surprised that there were so few leafy greens on the menu.

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p
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

SPQR is still on our favorite list, although we continue to complain about the excessive saltiness of much of the dishes.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

It took 40 mins before we could even order. Very uneven pace of serving (got first dish very fast after having ordered and waited more than 30 mins for the second dish). Hardly any check in or service throughout. Were seated at the counter and there was constant freezing cold air blowing, so we all had to put on our outerwear and wearing that throughout the entire dinner. When mentioning the cold air the waiter just replied “yeah, you got the breezy seating”.... The food was a mix of really good and disappointing (unfortunately mostly the latter) - eg the ricotta salad was really boring and bland and the buckwheat pasta dish was very salty and underwhelming. The best part (and it’s really good and highly recommend) was the pecan cake with salted caramel and meringue. We also really liked the ricotta/salami appetizer.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our evening-had an amazing waiter,
Pasta special was perfection, music awesome!

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JG
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

SPQR is, to my mind, the best place for pasta in San Francisco. In my most recent visit, a few days ago, all of the 8 pastas on the menu had ingredients that were new to me, and the two that I tasted were extraordinarily delicious. My friend and I shared an appetizer of duck liver mousse with jam which was plenty for the two of us and the best such dish I have had anywhere in town (I order duck liver mousse or pate whenever I see it on a menu). It came with 2 pieces of toast made from levain (country) bread, which were a perfect match for the mousse but insufficient to contain more than half of the mousse we had been served. My only complaint about SPQR is that when we asked for more toast for the remainder of the mousse, we were charged $7 for 2 pieces of toast. That seems exorbitant and unworthy of an otherwise-admirable restaurant.

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