SPQR

4.5
3334 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 3334 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
69% of people would recommend it to a friend
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WC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Seared tuna is defiantly over cooked. I’d called fuller cooked tuna instead of seared fish.

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B
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Second time at SPQR and I would say both times we enjoyed the restaurant. We were not blown away, it wasn't perfect like we've experienced at other Michelin star restaurants, but it was good and still worthy of the price in my opinion.

Food - App and 2 of our 3 pastas were great. Good flavors and quality that I think aligns with a 1 Michelin star restaurant. One of our pastas was lukewarm at best which was disappointing but our only complaint.

Service - Our waitress was great, exchanges silverware between every course and very attentive. The other staff also jumped in to clear dishes promptly and fill water.

Ambiance - Only complaint besides the one cold dish was that tables are placed very close together, it's not a large restaurant and our conversation was by no means private. On the way home we were able to assess how the 2nd date at the table next to us seemed to go as we were as close to them as if we were all sitting at a 4 person table.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We sat at the counter and chef Hati was super fun and informative. We had fun dining experience.

It would have been perfect if our counter seat does not small like toilet air that was down the hall way.

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SF
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

The good quality was noticably lower than previous visits. I hope this was an off night, and not a trend.

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JB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

The service and hostess was great- attentive without being overbearing. The meal was uninspired. Nothing on the menu spoke to the wonderful fresh ingredients of summer. Everything heavy handed. I lived in Italy for 3 years and this did not cut it. We won't be going back.

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t
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 2

Overpriced by 40-50%. A further indignity was the unanticipated $3.50/person upcharge on the bill for "healthy San Francisco." This totally bogus charge (sometimes called "SF mandates" or something similar) is simply additional margin for the restaurant. My wife & I will not be returning.

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S
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Terrible service. My waiter did not offer any bread, assist in pouring our wine, ask if we would like more wine, or take our dirty dishes. Definitely not worth the price.

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RB
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

We were looking for an Italian fare open on Sundays. Although our plans changed and ended up going on a Tuesday evening, the restaurant did fill up quickly upon our arrival. The food was good, but not outstanding and not a lot of basic Italian options.

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K
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

SPQR was delicious and the service wonderful, as always.

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LS
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

The food was nice but as an overall experience it is lacking diversity or an attractive atmosphere. For the money/expense at Spqr there are a handful of better experiences or methods of spendings money. I would only suggest you visit if you desperately want to sit at a michelin acclaimed establishment. Instead choose an alternative.

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r
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious refined food and warm professional service. Tables are very tight...essentially a four top for two parties. Opt for the counter for a better experience.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for delicious foods and wine also service was perfect!

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w
San Francisco
117 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

We waited an hour for our main courses. Someone came by and said that food delivery was slow because I had ordered my scallops cooked through. I replied that might have added 2 minutes to the cooking time, but an hour had passed since we ordered. The noise level was tremendous. The actual food was tasty. Other diners were advised that the buckwheat pasta was available with sauces other than the menu listing, but when we inquired we were refused. My wife commented on ordering the buckwheat pasta that she was avoiding white carbohydrates. At the end of the meal, the kitchen sent a lavish dessert as an apology, full of sugar carbohydrates. The bill was costly. We will not go back.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So so so gooooood

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JW
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

Been there quite a few times and never had to send back a dish. Total disappointment. At least the wine was great

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J
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a perfect evening for 6 foodies! Quality, preparation, and food presentation were exceptional. SPQR is slightly loud/noisy and pricey, but in the end it was an otherwise perfect evening.

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ZZ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
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 on June 21, 2019
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 on June 20, 2019
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 on June 19, 2019
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 on June 19, 2019
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 on June 18, 2019
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 on June 18, 2019
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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L
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Overall a good dinner. Service and ambience were great. All except one dish were very good to great. The one exception was the special of the night pasta - Raviolo Di Uovo. This was the most expensive pasta option and featured black truffle. The first one that came to our table had the egg yolk center completely cooked through like a hard boiled egg. When I brought this to the attention to our server, he was very quick to see the problem and told us we would get a replacement ASAP. This turned out to be only a few minutes so kudos for the fast turn around. The second one had the right consistency for the egg yolk, but the pasta itself was very doughy and thick. This is easily the worst example of di Uovo pasta I have every had - in Italy or abroad or even at home with my limited cooking skills. Granted it's not a common item and also challenging to make, but I would think a restaurant of this caliber and the offering as the special of the night would have resulted in a decent execution. I only blame myself for not pursuing this further and request a refund of this item. I don't plan to return though.

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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
San Francisco
7 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
89 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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