12 Great Date Night Restaurants to Try in San Francisco

Courtesy of Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
Courtesy of Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
Deanna Morgado

Nothing ruins a date night like a bad choice of restaurant. Make sure that never happens again with our list of San Francisco date night restaurants. San Francisco is the city where both food enthusiasts and novices have an overflowing number of choices when it comes to eating out. Take your date to any one of these restaurants and your night will undoubtedly be unforgettable.

1. Outerlands

Restaurant, Cafe, American

© Naomi Yamada/Flickr
Outerlands is one the best choices for a brunch date in San Francisco. But that doesn’t mean you and your date should pass up on grabbing dinner here. The place has a unique rustic décor in an intimate setting. The food is always fresh, locally sourced, and tastes absolutely delicious.

2. Terzo

Restaurant, Mediterranean

What makes Terzo great for couples is that it specializes in sharing small plates, bringing people together even further while dining. Most of the dining is communal too, so you’ll get to socialize with other guests in a non-intrusive way. The Mediterranean eatery serves up amazing food in a lovely, warm atmosphere.

3. Firefly Restaurant

Restaurant, American

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© _e.t/Flickr

At Firefly Restaurant, there’s a couple of things you can count on: incredible food and amazing service. The American comfort food served here also takes on a bit of a modern twist, which makes Firefly a great place for couples who want a night out, but also love to keep the setting warm and familiar. The constantly changing menu will leave both you and your date on your toes, adding to the excitement.

5. Chambers

Restaurant, Fusion, French, Japanese, Mediterranean

When you or your date can’t decide what kind of dinner to get for date night, Chambers is the perfect resolve. This innovative spot has found a way to create a menu with influences from the French, Japanese, and Mediterranean. Located in the gorgeous Phoenix Hotel, Chambers has a romantic ambience that will make it a date night staple.

6. Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

Diner, Restaurant, Bar, Brasserie, French

6. Absinthe Brasserie and Bar

Located in Hayes Valley, Absinthe Brasserie and Bar features an inspiring French menu. Since it’s close to entertainment hotspots like Civic Center, it’s perfect for grabbing some delicious food before or after catching a show. Absinthe Brasserie and Bar is also a top pick for more than just catching a dinner. The extensive menu is great for brunch and lunch dates too. And don’t worry, the two of you won’t find any hallucinogenic absinthe here.

7. Mina Test Kitchen

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican

If the two of you are looking for the unexpected during your dinner date, stop by Mina Test Kitchen. Owner and chef, Michael Mina is constantly hosting pop-ups here with guest chefs in an upscale atmosphere. You virtually never know what you’re gonna get.

8. Mac Daddy

Restaurant, American

Have a little extra food fun with your date at Mac Daddy. The menu offers creative and playful mac ‘n’ cheese plates, along with other yummy American fare. The place is cozy, perfect for an intimate date that will still keep things light and lively.

9. Lazy Bear

Restaurant, American

If you’re really looking to impress, get yourself and your date to Lazy Bear. Don’t let the casual name fool you, this place offers some of the most fine dining in the whole city. Once just a pop-up, Lazy Bear became such a favorite that it took up a permanent address in San Francisco. Lazy Bear offers a unique, “communal dining experience,” essentially meaning it’s an entire dinner party with the rest of the patrons, which includes over 15 courses.

10. Serpentine

Restaurant, American, Mexican

PB&J credit Kristen Loken_preview
© Kristen Loken

There’s so much for couples to love at Serpentine. Extensive brunch, lunch, and dinner menus leaves couples with plenty of options. The classic comfort food served here takes on modern undertones of both Mexican and American Southern. The vast and delicious food menu even has a specialty drink menu to go along with it.

11. Cala

Restaurant, Mexican

This is a great place for couples who love Mexican food but want to be a little fancier with their date night. The food here is a step above and beyond any ordinary Mexican eatery. Even if you or your date aren’t sure what to order, the staff at Cala is so accommodating that, a lot of times, you can just let them know what you like and they’ll find the perfect plate for you. This is a true upscale place that couples will love.

12. Akiko’s Restaurant

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi

Akiko’s Restaurant offers some of the best sushi, fit for any date night. This stylish spot serves up both traditional and contemporary Japanese sushi and other seafood. The ambiance and cozy setting creates a romantic night out for couples. The menu is full to brim with authentic seafood of the highest quality.
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