SPQR

4.5
3233 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 3233 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
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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JT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Great service, excellent wine list, interesting menu combining traditional italian dishes with modern flair. Overall, a great neighborhood gem. The biggest detractor is the dining space. Tables are ridiculously close to one another. So much so, that a quiet conversation without your neighbors knowing your life story is pretty well impossible.

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MN
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Disappointed with food quality and price.

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good place for special occasions - pricey but delicious!

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KO
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Overall experience was not unpleasant with SPQR however ultimately me and my wife were left wanting. The Wine and the Service were by far the best part of this experience. The food itself was nothing special for paying a huge amount. For the prices that they charge one would expect a much greater food experience. I would recommend someone go to Rich Table or The Progress.

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PB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service, delicious food. But very expensive.

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SY
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food. Great service. Lovely presentation. Extremely overpriced. Hope you're rich!

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D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very nice and attentive waiters. Came for Valentine’s Day and there was a pre-fixe menu for $85 each - 4 courses. It was a bit pricey for what we got but for a special occasion it was a good experience.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is fantastic. Total gem in the city.

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K
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

food service and wine were all excellent, we sat at the bar and the bartender was a pro and he had a nice easy personality and you could tell he new his job well. The only down fall was the small serving of the delicious gnocchis

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PB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food comes out a bit slow, but it was very good when it arrived

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

A bit disappointed actually. This has been a go to place if we wanted superb Italian food. Unfortunately our dishes tended to be too salty on this night! The service staff remain as superb as ever, and the sommelier made great suggestions. So, I will come back w a bit of caution and hope that this evening was the exception and not the (new) rule.

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r
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Over priced

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasure to have a meal at SPQR. The wine list is fantastic. When the bartenders pair wine and food the experience can be extraordinary.

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E
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

We have dined now the 4th time at SPQR. The first 3 visits where fantastic, but our 4th try was a big
disappointment. Both our Pasta Dishes where cold. Unfortunately, we had tickets for an event and
thus did not have time to send them back. Very disappointing for a Michelin Star Restaurant.

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SK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Unique combination of ingredients artfully combined for delicious flavors. Service and staff are wonderful. Friendly, thoughtful and knowledgeable.

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g
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Couldn't eat lamb ragu, they must have tried to gourmet dish, it was $33 and I basically ate only a few bites.

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P
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Maybe it was an off night but it seems that SPQR is not what it used to be. Everything we ordered just wasn't well prepared. Salad was over dressed to the point of being a bit soggy. The other appetizer was a tort with crust so hard it was difficult to cut and chew. Worst part of all was that both pasta dishes came out over cooked. We've had some great meals in the past at SPQR this wasn't one of them.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Pleasant restaurant with excellent service! 2 of our 3 meals were very good. The 3rd was way too salty. Thought that it was very expensive for lunch.

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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Disappointed. Both of the pastas we ordered were over-salted, the bucatini with blue cheese, and an abalone "alfredo" pasta. We also waited a long time between the salad and main.

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RA
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing, scrumptious, surprising, delightful. Spent the evening with my grad student daughter at the Chef’s bar - so fun to watch the prep and cooking and then do shared plates. We had the buffalo toast to start, followed by toasted octopus which was super tasty, followed by the most incredible hand-made fettuccini with shaved truffles and then perfectly cooked scallops. The dessert torta was like a butter cake but better. Great wine pairings! Would definitely come back.

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c
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat at the Chefs table. Great spot overlooking the kitchen. Food was delicious. I had the lemon linguini with abalone - fantastic dish. Would definitely return!

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about SPQR is special and enjoyable. Working through the menu is a delight. The unique choices only make ones wine selection more interesting. Glad we traveled to Dan Francisco and followed friends recommendation.

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KF
Vancouver
104 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve wanted to come here for several years but haven’t had the chance to get back to San Francisco until tonight. It was worth the wait! We sat at the counter over looking the kitchen and we saw first hand the care and attention to detail when preparing the food. The atmosphere is cozy, the service is top notch. You won’t be disappointed.

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SK
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love this place and try to go when we're in town. We brought friends who had not been before and they loved it, too. Also, there's a great wine list!

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OT
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Lunch and service were excellent but $34 for a plate of pasta for lunch is ridiculous. I know this won’t get posted, Opentable only post positive post. Waste of time .....

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CS
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

The price is really expensive and the portions too tiny. We spent almost 200 $ for two people and yet we were hungry. The waitress was rude. The space was too tight. We actually could touch the neighbouring tables easily. Not worth at all. I would not advice anyone to go to SPQR. One question: If we had abandoned the restaurant because we didn't like it, would you have refund us the 50$ of the reservation??? Thanks.

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SP
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

We love SPQR. The food is usually amazing. We go for birthdays, anniversaries and whatever reason we can think up. Unfortunately, this time was a little bit of a miss. The service was sub-par - even for SPQR's standards (they are not known for their outstanding service). The waiter did not know much about wines, clearly had not tasted the dishes he was recommending and it took 26 min for our appetizer to make it to the table (which was garlic toast with the chicken liver mousse) -- so long that even the executive chef noticed and sent prosciutto to our table in the interim. It was not enough of a reason to avoid them in the future, but for a special birthday occasion, I would have hoped for more.

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OT
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our third visit when in The City. The food is fantastic, the service is knowledgeable.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The food was interesting and I just enjoyed experiencing what they put on the menu, but almost nothing on their tasting menu blew me away. The staff were efficient and pleasantly helpful, but not intrusive. I’m happy I went, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go back again. I might try their tasting menu again during a different season when they explore different ingredients.

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BF
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great environment, friendly servers, amazing food.

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T
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three of us sat at the bar...Alex our server was above and beyond...food amazing...wine list fantastic...lots of values and gems as well. Embarassed to ask but had Chef sign two cookbooks for friends who are chef's and he was more than happy to.
Great evening all the way areound

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OT
San Francisco
189 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place and are regulars. The staff treats us extremely well. Recently learned I have some food allergies and they fell all over themselves trying to make sure that I could eat safely. Can't say enough for the creativity and service. Top notch.

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JC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An exquisite menu with creative dishes and over-the-top service. Although all of the wait staff were efficient and attentive we trusted our palates and ultimate decisions to Dia who was extraordinary. She steered us in the right direction from antipasti to dessert, suggesting a perfect wine pairing for each course. We chose this restaurant for a special anniversary celebration and for any future indulgence will definitely think of SPQR par excellence.

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CR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food overall! The service and cleanliness of the bathrooms need some improvement, but the food made the journey worth it.

The starters were amazing and my gnocci over a bed of beef was outstanding.

Definitely recommend!

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LS
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Matthew and his amazing team create the most delicious and memorable meals. The best pasta dishes ever!

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FF
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I go to SPQR every time I come to San Francisco when I can plan enough in advance to get a reservation. The food is phenomenal and my favorite restaurant in town. The menu changes with seasonal items. This time around the crab pasta dish was amazing. Our favorite was the black garlic and beef with nettle and fried sage veal ravioli! Definitely a place for a foodie!

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EM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service!

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c
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In our opinion, this is the best place in the Bay Area for pasta. All of the pasta dishes we've tasted are outstanding. While they reliably represent the classic pastas, there is also a creative edge associated with each dish. SPQR pasta is particularly outstanding not only because of the quality but also because of the number offered (~8 - 10). Almost none of the pastas are ordinary, such as spaghetti, but both linguine and gnocchi (my favorite) are on the list. IN ADDITION we love the ambience. It is totally non-pretentious, but there is a quiet elegance. The emphasis is on quiet, since we were able to converse comfortably. It is one of the quietest restaurants we've gone to recently - a gem. We recommend it without reservation, especially if you're looking for great pasta and antipasto dishes.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was fantastic and the server was very knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. The food was over priced, underwhelming, and not even that big enough to share with the other person.

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J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pasta was outstanding and all dishes were so delicious.

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