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Italian Restaurants
San Francisco

Italian Cafe

Avoid This Tourist Trap

This section includes our editors' recommendations for Italian food in San Francisco. We do love to eat... and eat & eat. San Francisco has the best Italian restaurants in America. It's hard to go wrong... unless you stick to the touristy places you see on the tops of the taxi's. However, these are NOT paid advertisements -- our opinions aren't for sale.


Rose Pistola is a great restaurant featuring excellent California style Italian food.

Little City - Italian food served tapas (little plate) style...

Buca Giovanni is a very authentic Italian restaurant in a romantic basement deep in North Beach. It's always reliable with great food and has been around for years. A meal runs around $30 per person.
800 Greenwich @ Columbus 776-7766

The Stinking Rose - Garlic to the Max - $25/person

has excellent vegeterian pasta at low prices in a cafe style atmosphere. Located in the trendy Marina District. Italian food at 2027 Chestnut 474-3400 (North Beach location also). ($15 for 2). Click on their logo for more info...

Il Fornaio is a California chain, but has great Italian authentic food in a romantic atmosphere. Excellent bakeries in the restaurant and in a nice park (Levi's Plaza). About $70 for two.

Caffee Macaroni (click to see more) is a real Italian restaurant and they sure don't serve spaghetti! The waiters speak Italian and make very authentic Italian food in a critically acclaimed restaurant for about $25 per diner. It's a small place in North Beach @ 59 Columbus / 956-9737

North Beach Restaurant

Mixed reviews from diners of this classic-type Italian restaurant. Generally positive reviews from diners of the food, but several complaints regarding service. $40-$50 per meal (total with salad / tip / tax / drinks). 1512 Stockton Street @ Columbus in the heart of North Beach 415-392-1700

Our Readers Recommend:

Venticello Restaurant - "we go every year and always eat there... great food at a reasonable price and a nice atmosphere..." (Thanks to J.V. 2/97) Others call it delicious but pricey with great pizza and tasty pasta. A cozy atmosphere but service with an attitude for a whopping $35 per person.
1257 Taylor @ Washington 415-922-2545

Ti Piacera - Northern Italian restaurant recommended by a reader for great value.

1507 Polk St. 415-771-9946

Word on the street is... "Lupa Trattoria is our favorite SF Italian / Roman cuisine and is in Noe Valley on 24th St near Castro. Service is very friendly and all the wait staff is Italian. Great selection of appetizers - my favorite is the grilled radicchio with goat cheese. I recently had the crab risotto special, which was very light and flavorful. Of course I can't resist the tiramisu."

4109 24th Street. San Francisco. Phone: (415) 282-5872

We heard... "I tried a new Italiana restaurant in the Castro (on Market St.) Repastoria Satyricon. The food was great (I had a salmon and pasta dish and my partner had the polenta), the ambience was warm and cozy, and there was a decent selection of wines by the glass. Service was very attentive also."

2251 Market St. @ Noe St. - San Francisco. 415-565-0733


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