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
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.
Everything was oily—salad, pasta and greens.
Absolutely wonderful experience. Food and service were impeccable, fantastic restaurant.
Fantastic service by Teddy
The staff are very nice and work hard to keep diners happy. The place was a rather tight fit and noisy, which is the reason for 4/5 stars.
The bread to start was fantastic, as was the polenta (super creamy). The caesar salad was massive. Both the polenta and caesar salad were split between two people. The chicken truly is wonderful (better be at $63), the best from a restaurant I've had, not that I order chicken often. The bread beneath it suffered a bit from being over-infused with the vinaigaette dressing that coated the curly endive on top.
Amazing that the high standard Zuni set decades ago, they still maintain today. The roast chicken is better than ever - the service attentive, friendly, professional. Even reasonable prices considering the quality of the experience. We loved it.
We took visitors from Greece here, on a Wednesday night, when we could only get an 8:00 pm reservation at the earliest. Once we were seated, we were completely thrilled with the service and the food. What a great SF experience for our friends. We had been here once before in the summer for lunch, so we were expecting excellence, and we were not disappointed. It's expensive so it's not a weekly event, but really worth the splurge.
Zuni quality is always top notch. Chicken is definitely worth the wait
So worth a visit if you are in San Fran. Fantastic ambiance, service and food!!! Loved it! Will be back
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..,,
Fabulous dinner in small room upstairs!
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.
Always visit Zuni Cafe whenever we are in SF. Food and service are always excellent. Love this place.
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.
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.
So relaxed, great service and food is always a 10. I love you, Zuni!
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.
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.”
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...
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.
Consistent, memorable, friendly. And yes, great food. Thank you!
Great place, excellent food and service.
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.
Anniversary dinner. Just such a luxury. Excellent waiter.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Overpriced, inattentive wait staff, small plates. One and done!!
Zuni is my happy place. How Holly GoLightly felt about Tiffany’s is how I feel about Zuni. Only good things happen there.
Ok, service rather slow, food ok not as good as I thought it’d be
Good was great. Unfortunately the service was terrible. It seemed like we were inconveniencing the wait staff when we would ask for more water.
one of the best restaurants we tried during our visit of S. Francisco
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!
Salad small, waiters didn’t seem happy , lamb below average, couscous soggy , tagliatelle small and too greasy , water service poor.
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.
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.
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.