Flowers, chocolates, cards with cheesy love quotes, or maybe a Valentine’s Day getaway, there are many ways to show your love to that special someone on February 14th. But, one thing is for sure, whether you plan to go big or go small, you can never go wrong with including a romantic dinner into the mix. Especially in San Francisco.
As one of the most culturally diverse cities in the U.S., there is no shortage of amazing restaurants or cuisine options. It’s been held as one of the best cities for foodies on many lists and bolsters a long list of Michelin star restaurants. But don’t worry, there are also just as many amazing budget-friendly restaurants that won’t be disappoint!
From upscale restaurants to unique hole-in-the-wall eateries we’ve included some of the best restaurants to explore for a great meal with your sweetheart on V-day.
So let’s get to it…
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1. Café Jacqueline
Looking for the perfect spot for a first date? Café Jacqueline, is a great choice! A venture by Chef Jacqueline Margulis, It’s a tiny eatery it’s located in North Beach, where you’ll find old-school service. They only take reservations by phone. It’s known for its ‘slow food’ approach where every dish is made-to-order. It’s a laid-back spot that makes perfect for romantic dinners in San Francisco where you can take the time to really get to know more about your date. The menu includes varying lunch and dinner soufflés, giving these French dishes an interesting twist. Fair warning, though, each item is meant for sharing, so make sure you aren’t heading there with Joey!
2. Firefly Restaurant
Fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits? Mashed potatoes and gravy? While these dishes may not exactly scream Valentine’s Day dinner to you (or maybe it does, we’re not judging!), you’ll change your mind once the food is on the table. This is the perfect spot for couples looking for a more casual date night and an amazing meal. Apart from a delectable menu featuring everyone’s favorite comfort food, the restaurant’s cozy and intimate atmosphere makes it a great choice for Valentine’s Date.
3. Penny Roma
Co-chefs Ryan Pollnow and Thomas McNaughton of Flour+Water Hospitality Group bring Italian cuisine to your plate using locally-sourced ingredients. If you’re looking for one of the most romantic restaurants in San Francisco, look no further. For those who don’t prefer the moody ambiance of the dining room, the courtyard featuring a water fountain and retractable roof makes for the perfect spot for Valentine’s Day date. Enjoy an eclectic collection of natural wines curated by Flour+Water Hospitality Group’s Wine Director, Samuel Bogue, that pair beautifully with the hand-made pasta dishes on the menu.
Don’t want to go all out on Valentine’s Day yet want to make it special? Trestle offers fixed-price meals which don’t cost more than $39 per person. Made with high-quality ingredients, the restaurant is a popular date spot, and probably one of the most romantic budget-friendly eateries on our list. Not just delicious food, you also get a craft beer and wine served here; but most people agree that the add-on pasta is definitely the highlight. For the herbivores out there, they also have vegetarian options!
5. La Ciccia
What makes La Ciccia the most romantic restaurant in San Francisco? The fact that it’s headed by a husband-wife duo, of course! Apart from the inherent lovey-dovey vibes, this seafood-focused spot has some intriguing items on the menu. Fusilli with sea urchin or baby octopus stew wouldn’t be the first dishes to pop up in your mind when you think ‘Italian,’ but their bold menu is what makes La Ciccia a unique choice.
6. Foreign Cinema
As the name suggests, you get more than a delectable meal at the Foreign Cinema, you also get a movie! Going strong for 20 years, this is one of the best romantic restaurants in San Francisco, where you can enjoy a meal and a movie without worrying about being late for either. The courtyard is decorated with string lights and heat lamps which create a cozy atmosphere that even romantic rooftop restaurants in San Francisco can’t compete with. With 18-foot ceilings, marble, and stone expanses, the indoor seating is not too shabby either, so you’ve got options when you head to this place. Airing classic and contemporary foreign movies, you can enjoy delectable Californian fares with ingredients that have been sourced directly from farms. Oh, and don’t miss out on getting yourself a wine bottle from their truly extensive wine list.
7. 25 Lusk
25 Lusk is not just one of the most romantic rooftop restaurants in San Francisco; it’s one of the trendiest. With dim lighting, cozy ambiance, and ever-evolving champagne and wine list, make for the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner. While the rooftop seating is undoubtedly ideal for romantic dates, there’s also the main restaurant and the social space to choose from.
From classy outlets with an elegant vibe, to SanFran spots where you can find some easy-on-the-pocket grub, we’ve listed the coziest, most romantic spots in the city. Clearly, San Francisco is the dream city for those who believe the way to heart is through the stomach.
Tasting delicious cocktails with your first date or sharing a delicious candlelit dinner, what are your plans this Valentine’s Day?
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