Zuni Cafe

4.7
6216 reviews
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$31 to $50
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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 6216 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
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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t
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service

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t
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely charming place, great food, great service! For a recent lunch, we had a round of oysters, and Zuni's signature Caesar Salad, followed by the chicken, all split among the 4 of us. More than enough for all and sooo delicious.

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l
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious fresh food combinations and informed waiter to describe and suggest options. Iconic Caesar salad (and yummy dressing) followed by. chicken still memorable. Desserts beyond description. Wait staff attentive and pleasant. Impossible parking so leave car at home.

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GR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Never fails to more than satisfy!

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DG
San Francisco
111 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Can’t beat the Caesar salad. Entrees of pasta, a burger and a chicken sandwich were devoured with gusto!

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c
San Francisco
112 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place for lunch. love the food. We had so much to eat. Great oysters (they even had some wonderful not on the menu ones), polenta, Caesar salads and the blackberry scone to die for. Lovely rose wine.
Love the ambiance and vibe, Like old San Francisco with cross table chatting.
Been coming here since it opened and a wonderful place.

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FV
Mexico City
3 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

While the food was mostly delicious; both dishes (specially one) were served either cold or warm.

Further, the food was brought almost right after ordering it. This is a relative issue; some (specially those who come in real hungry) may think of this as a perk, while others (like myself) who enjoy tasting the bottle of wine before the food is ready, may think of this as a downside. In my experience at Zuni Cafe, when the food was brought to our table, our bottle of wine was almost full, so we faced drinking a full bottle with only two main courses to accompany it with.

Again, this is merely relative.

Moreover, the dessert we ordered was not available at that time anymore. We do not make a big deal out of this, as we are aware that, in restaurants like Zune, dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients gathered on the very same day in which they will be cooked.

To me, the main issue was that the food was not at the right temperature.

Nevertheless, a great culinary experience.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meeting a family member, who I had not seen in awhile.

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C
Atlanta
35 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food. The highly vaunted chicken is not worth it. Not very good. Takes an hour to get. Somewhat dry and $63.00? If ever in Atlanta, try Piuju Belly on 14th. Their chicken is much better, crispy, juicy and $23.00 in 15 minutes. The other items at Zuni were very good. Stick to them.

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Must eat place when in San Francisco

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PP
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great except for the table next to us where two guys constantly used their outdoor voice.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was excellent! Service was good but not great. Our server was clearly having to staff too many tables and even though we were one of the first people to arrive for lunch our food ended up taking a significant amount of time.

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DB
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic - service, cocktails, appetizers and of course - the famous chicken. Such a solid place that never disappoints!

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SM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Zuni is a must if you are visiting San Francisco. The selection of oysters and wine is robust. They are famous for their chicken, but it is a time investment so be sure to plan accordingly.

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JS
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic meal. Incredible Cesar salad. Delicious steak. Bread is bomb. Salmon was so tasty and light. Chicken is some of the best you will ever chow on. Eat it all here and then get drinks and dessert. It’s a fat kid restaurant but you won’t feel fat afterward.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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H
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a 1:15pm lunch reservation on Pride Weekend and asked if they could seat us early (noon) and it wasn't a problem, which was great. Remember that the outside tables are always open and you don't need a reservation for them. If you're walking by along Market and see a table, grab it! The cocktail are great (try the San Francisco or the house favorite Balsamic Bloody Mary) and when you ask for the burger medium rare, it's gonna be pink inside, but that's what you want, right? The stack of shoestring fries are huge!

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GI
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

I ordered a beef dish with potatoes and the potatoes were potato chips. The beef was almost raw. For $34!!
I would expect potato chips with lunch. Not dinner. Very disappointed. The Bloody Mary was good. That’s about it

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KE
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a special experience.

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KB
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had one of the finest dinners at Zuni's, we eat there a lot but the food was exceptionally good this evening and Julie was our favorite server we have had!!!
Thank you , Kim and Clarence Barker

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OT
San Francisco
106 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Zuni's ambience is uniquely comfortable for its casual, non-fussy, relatively tranquil efficiency. The food is consistently good in quality (ingredients and presentation) and matches the atmosphere. The menu is more variable than the most, although on this visit we shared the shoestring potatoes, the Caesar and the focaccico burger garnished with only the cheddar. This was my first experience with the burger, and I am not a carnivore; however, the texture, tenderness, temperature, flavor and volume of the beef was instantly likeable and the first mouthful, unforgettable. The staff moves efficiently and with service basically in keeping with minimalist menus, is always available. The Zinc clientele was characteristically mixed but strangely and nicely quiescent.

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LO
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great burger -pricey but good! Service was great

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DA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great meal here and this experience was no different. The service was not rushed and our waiter had no problem helping us through our indecision by offering great suggestions. Thank you Zuni!

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NY
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always Fantastic!!!!

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

Always a treat to dine with friends at Zuni

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OT
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, excellent food and wine... as always. Zuni is consistently great!

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P
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Everything was wonderful, however being seated right next to the upstairs servers station was a little distracting, would avoid this table by the window if you want to enjoy a leisurely meal of the roast chicken, which takes about 1 hour from time of ordering to being served.

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BP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food and service. My favorite restaurant in SF for 30 years.

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SM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The Caesar was bland compared to Judy’s. Chicken breast was moist. Mustards were a bit of a mess. Oysters were wonderful. Front of the house was terrific. Wine list could include a few inexpensive wines.

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CQ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent from start to finish! Great wine list by the glass and by the bottle. Our server was excellent and helpful. The Caesar salad, and the gnocchi were huge standouts! Also the chicken of course was delish. Check out there reserve wine list for sure! Only thing I would have changed was being able to see the reserve list earlier. We missed out on a ‘06 Pierre Peters!

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KH
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for the famous Zuni chicken and it absolutely lived up to expectations. We were seated in a lovely two top upstairs next to the window, and the ambiance was perfect. Our service was attentive but not overbearing, and all of our dishes were delicious. Highly recommended.

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CF
New England
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Roast chicken is fantastic as are the cocktails. Stellar service and great bread.

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l
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

Average food.. Poor service. Not what I expected.

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EK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is great! Amazing service and fun atmosphere. Most importantly, the food was incredible.

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TM
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We love Zuni! To celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary, we chose Zuni as it is one of our favorite restaurants. Of course, we ordered their fabulous chicken. And it was almost fabulous. Not quite up to its usual moistness and the huge amount of greens covering it was a little too much. Service was great - Hayden adorable. We will come back but hope for more perfect Perfect Zuni chicken

Btw - still the BEST Caesar salad anywhere.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I made the reservation and when she showed up she was dumbstruck how different the place looked and the fact that it was still here after 25 years. She told me that this was the restaurant where her older brother met my moms boyfriend at the time and now my dad now. Incredible and amazing experience!

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R
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The dinner we had was good and we enjoyed our evening in this great restaurant.

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BJ
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Meal, as usual. We make Zuni our special dinner/drinks out place ......and have been doing this for years. It never disappoints ! We had the roasted chicken which is a classic. We will be back......!

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

EXCEPTIONAL!!!!
The chicken was the best!!!

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l
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Service was just so-so, really pushing us to drink and order more.... food adequate, burger over cooked and not very flavorful.

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