Zuni Cafe

4.7
5920 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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.

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 5920 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
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Each time I come there is never gnocchi on a menu. They used to have it more often. The best thing on a menu is no longer available..,,

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous dinner in small room upstairs!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
246 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently reliable for great food and service, Zuni Cafe works for brunch or dinner. Our most recent meal was a wonderfully fresh salad and a brick oven made thin crust pizza. Just perfect. I can't believe they have consistently put out the highest quality food for almost 40 years! Never disappoints.

Report
Helpful
MD
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always visit Zuni Cafe whenever we are in SF. Food and service are always excellent. Love this place.

Report
Helpful
A
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We chose this restaurant based on the reviews, recommendations, and reputation. Needed a late-night dinner reservation after the theater, so this seemed to be a good choice. The menu was ok, but not great because they had run out of a few things by 10:30p on a Friday night and the service was oddly paced, which leads me to think that the kitchen is not well-organized or managed. Probably would not give it another try unless significant improvements were made.

Report
Helpful
m
Chicago
112 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We had an 8:45 reservation and still had to wait a little while for a table. It wasn't a long wait, but the area by the hostess stand is so tiny we were definitely in the way. We were seated in the upstairs, in a small room. It was cute and made it easier to hear each other, but still very loud. We started with the polenta which was delicious! Then we got cod & gnocchi to share. The gnocchi was amazing, really light and fluffy, different than most other gnocchis I have had. The cod was good as well, but the garlic aioli that came with was a little overpowering. The service with drinks was on the slower side, but they were very busy. The other 2 in my group said they would have ordered another glass if the server had come to ask.

Report
Helpful
RW
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So relaxed, great service and food is always a 10. I love you, Zuni!

Report
Helpful
MR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Dining at Zuni Cafe has long been on my todo list and I was lucky enough to finally book a table on a day I was in SF. I orderd the Zuni Caesar salad, the chicken for two roasted in the wood-fired brick oven and a glass of the Zuni Mount Eden vineyards pinot noir. The salad was fabulous and I would order it again. It is a good idea to share the salad with someone else, as it is quite large. The chicken was perfectly cooked. It was moist and had the wood-fired oven taste one would expect. However, the bread salad was a bit too acidic for me due to the amount of vinegar used, and I also think it would be more interesting it it contained more scallions, garlic, pine nuts and currants than what I received. The dish was also a bit greasy for me. For these reasons, I was a bit disappointed with this signature dish. I disliked the pinot noir. It had an overwhelming strawberry overtone and was far sweeter than any other pinot noir I have ever had. Diners should be forewarned about this wine before ordering it. In all fairness, my waiter told me that it had hints of strawberry, but the srawberry predominates and no mention was made of the sweetness.

Report
Helpful
SW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The chicken. The chicken. The chicken.

I took a virgin zuni diner and he was blown away. “I never order chicken in a fancy restaurant. Wow.”

Report
Helpful
SD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Zuni is almost always great. Unfortunately this time my dining partner's order was wrong and it took a while to get the right dish. It can happen. We just don't usually expect it at Zuni. If I had been able to talk him into the chicken with bread salad (for two), it wouldn't have happened. He promises to go for the chicken next time...

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a long 3 hour lunch and never felt rushed. The wait staff was good with coursing the many dishes we had and was attentive. The food was amazing and the wine list was good, but slightly expensive with most bottles in the triple digits. That said they did have some good selections for reasonable prices.

Report
Helpful
SK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistent, memorable, friendly. And yes, great food. Thank you!

Report
Helpful
M
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, excellent food and service.

Report
Helpful
p
San Francisco
74 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Considered by many as one of the finest restaurants in The City, we couldn’t agree more. Zuni has been around for many years, always carefully updated not to lose the ambiance of yesteryear. From the greeting at the front door, to table service and food we could not have been more pleased. A special thanks for a carefully cultivated wine list of well priced wines from smaller wineries presented by a friendly and knowledgeable Sommelier. Our visit was at the special request of our visiting NYC daughter-in-law who had not been here. Zuni live up to her expectations in every way.

Report
Helpful
S
Los Angeles
61 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary dinner. Just such a luxury. Excellent waiter.

Report
Helpful
WB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We recently brought a friend to Zuni to celebrate her completion of a graduate degree. The servers were excellent, the food was excellent, and we were really happy to be able to bring our friend here to celebrate her accomplishments.

Report
Helpful
j
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 2

Our experience was decidedly mixed. The food was excellent as was our waiter. But despite having made a reservation through Open Table a week earlier, we were shown to a table at the top of the stairs decidedly in the way of traffic. The second offered table appeared jerry-rigged, with no chairs only a bench with a cushion. Even the hostess looked embarrassed. There were empty two-tops all around, but she said they were specifically reserved. We politely asked to be shown another table and were taken to a two-top in front of the waiter station, far from either lovely dining room. It was an important evening for us, so we decided to make the best of it. The more desirable table next to us stayed empty for more than an hour. Are Open Table reservations a low-priority for Zuni? Must one request a specific table when making a reservation?

Report
Helpful
AM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Zuni and have been many times. We ordered a ton. The only issue we had was that the chicken wasn’t fully cooked, the first time that’s happened in many a Zuni chicken.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was attentive without constantly being by the table, the atmosphere was busy and delightful! Our food was excellent and beyond delicious thank you!

Report
Helpful
IG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Overpriced. Wine list truly overpriced. Food is well-prepared but rather ordinary. Service is excellent but that is usually recognized with a gratuity. $300 for a two person dinner seems high, even including a bottle of wine.

Report
Helpful
IS
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Bloody Mary ever. Best roast chicken ever (plus, the warm bread salad that comes with it!). Delicious bread. Warm, attentive service. A beautiful building that seems to glow from within. There's a reason it's been around for 20+ years.

Report
Helpful
FL
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful time at Zuni. The food and drinks did not disappoint. We were sat a little too close to our neighboring table and by the kitchen which wasn’t my favorite location for sitting but all in all, we were there for the food. The pamplemousse prosecco was liquid candy and a spectacular treat of a drink with a vibrant happy color. The Devil’s Ranch Rabbit was delicate, fresh and perfect for brunch. Lastly, hands down, EVERYONE must have the burger and shoestring potatoes. They are absolute perfection.

Report
Helpful
OT
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Overpriced, inattentive wait staff, small plates. One and done!!

Report
Helpful
d
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zuni is my happy place. How Holly GoLightly felt about Tiffany’s is how I feel about Zuni. Only good things happen there.

Report
Helpful
DL
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Ok, service rather slow, food ok not as good as I thought it’d be

Report
Helpful
TV
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Good was great. Unfortunately the service was terrible. It seemed like we were inconveniencing the wait staff when we would ask for more water.

Report
Helpful
BF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

one of the best restaurants we tried during our visit of S. Francisco

Report
Helpful
MS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I first went to Zuni Cafe 15 years ago—we try to go back whenever we’re in San Francisco. This time we celebrated my Mom’s birthday there (she’s wanted to go for a long time) and it was fantastic! So great that a restaurant can still be so delicious and special after so much time!

Report
Helpful
KL
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

Salad small, waiters didn’t seem happy , lamb below average, couscous soggy , tagliatelle small and too greasy , water service poor.

Report
Helpful
MS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zuni Cafe is my favorite. I ‘ve been going for many years. I used to live less than a mile away. Now I make plans to go whenever I’m in the city. It never disappoints.

Report
Helpful
UB
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

The oysters were good and my pheasant was nice, but the anchovy dish had a heavy dose of lemon (don’t bother using the bread to mop up what should be delicious olive oil) that bit the back of your taste buds. My wife’s mahi dish came out chillingly cold and seared raw. They briefly apologized when we asked about the temp, but we were rather disappointed that the extent of their solution was to throw it on the grill for a few seconds and give the same cold plate back to us.

Report
Helpful
R
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What and exception evening at Zuni. Wonderful food and fantastic service.

Thanks for the personal touch from Rob S. So much appreciated!

Report
Helpful
m
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

After setting our dinner up for a birthday celebration it was completely missed by our server who also forgot a dish and insisted it was our fault. Unfortunately we paid nearly $300 for this experience. I did appreciate the service of one bartender who fixed a drink that was too sweet.

Report
Helpful
s
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been coming here for years and always have a great meal. The first thing I do when making SF plans is to book my table at Zuni. Caesars salad, bread-stuffed roast chicken, and a gateau victoire may be the perfect dinner!

Report
Helpful
SO
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We wanted to experience this famous restaurant, but it didn’t quite meet all our expectations. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough stamina to wait an hour for the special roast chicken! An artichoke appetizer was fabulous but the Spaghetti Nero with squid was dry and bland. In general the sauces and homemade sausage were great, thr roast meats more routine. Excellent service.

Report
Helpful
WB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a fantastic meal — loved the cozy rustic ambiance of the dining room and be able to view kitchen staff at work. We’ll be back 🥂

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 4

Very small portions and very expensive for what it is.

Report
Helpful
WY
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved every minute of the hour and a half experience. We were seated so that we could watch the orchestration in the kitchen. Ordered their famous roasted chicken for two with a baked ricotta and prosciutto appetizer with our cocktails. Fabulous food and personal attention from our server.

Report
Helpful
PD
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Families traditionally trip into the city.

Report
Helpful
F
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Zuni Cafe is a gem. Beautifully and tastefully decorated with a copper top bar to hang at. The bartender let me taste all the whites by the glass, a nice touch. We were seated in a somewhat exposed table, not the best but what can ya do? Service was a bit spotty, a surprise. We had to stop someone to ask for bread and were not offered a refill despite ordering the roast chicken that takes 60 minutes. We enjoyed the winter squash soup which they kindly split for us. The chicken, their signature dish, was delicious; we passed on dessert. I’d return any time!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
148