The Best Restaurants Around Union Square, San Francisco

Photo of Amanda Limond
9 February 2017

Union Square is the perfect place for anyone to enjoy San Francisco, whether you’re a tourist or a local. Some of the best dining establishments in town are in or right around the corner from Union Square. Check out our complete list of all the best restaurants to lunch, brunch, and grab a drink for a truly memorable time in one of this city’s most beautiful areas.

Bancarella

Cafe, Dessert, $$$
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Bancarella, San Francisco
Bancarella, San Francisco | © Ernesto Andrade/Flickr
The brainchild of Italian pastry chefs Gary and Jeannie Rulli, this cafe, situated right in the heart of Union Square, will leave you satisfied and delighted. Order a delicious pastry in this chic spot, or indulge in a drink from their full bar. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Bancarella really can’t be beaten.

Emporio Rulli

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Emporio Rulli, San Francisco
Emporio Rulli, San Francisco | © Ernesto Andrade/Flickr
Emporio Rulli is a joint cafe connected to Bancarella, but this restaurant offers paninis, salads, and special coffees or lattes. This company also specializes in wedding cakes and Italian tortes, which we’re guessing are all as amazing as their cafe-ready menu. Emporio Rulli also boasts a prime seating area inside their shop as well as outside in the middle of Union Square.

ENO Wine Bar

Bar, Charcuterie, Wine Bar, American, $$$
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Eno Wine Bar's Chicago Location
Eno Wine Bar's Chicago Location | © Jen Knoedl/Flickr
Specializing in wines, cheeses, and chocolates known as ‘eno trios,’ ENO Wine Rooms are perfect for brunch in the city or a night out with friends. This bar is proud of the fact that they educate their guests about their wines, their menus, and their flavor pairings. They welcome novices as well as aficionados, and all are guaranteed to have a good time.

Johnny Foley’s Irish House

Bar, Restaurant, Irish, $$$
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Johnny Foley's Irish House, San Francisco
Johnny Foley's Irish House, San Francisco
For a classic pub experience complete with authentic Irish fare, be sure to visit Johnny Foley’s. Just a short walk from Union Square, this lively restaurant and bar boasts nightly live entertainment, ranging from rock and roll covers to jazz piano. If you come for a late night meal, be sure to do so before 10 PM, when the kitchens close.

Sears Fine Food

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Sears Fine Food, Union Square, San Francisco, California
Sears Fine Food in Union Square has been in business since 1938 | © Matthew Kiernan / Alamy Stock Photo

Originating in 1938, this restaurant has a history of serving up delicious Swedish dishes. Hilbur and Ben Sears quickly became noticed for their pancake recipe and opened up shop in downtown San Francisco, where they would park two pink Cadillacs out front when customers lined up down the block. Today, nostalgic decorations keep the new location of Sears Fine Food on par with its former legend, not to mention that their food is still delicious.

Boba Guys

Bubble Tea Shop, Tea Room, Tea
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Boba Guys © lizasperling/flickr
Boba Guys | © lizasperling/flickr
For any and all tea lovers, Boba Guys is the place to go. Created by two quirky best friends who bonded over milk tea, this spot definitely does not fall short of anyone’s expectations — they use only organic local milk, fresh pressed tea leaves, and house-made syrups. Just a quick walk from the center of Union Square, it’s certain to quench your thirst.

Farallon

Restaurant, Bar, Seafood, $$$
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Farallon, San Francisco
Farallon, San Francisco | © Dion Hinchcliffe/Flickr
Though a bit more expensive than our other picks, Farallon is a nationally acclaimed seafood restaurant with a delicious range of raw and cooked seafood. If your party is looking for intimate seating, you can choose between private dining and the JellyFish Lounge, an open and lively bar serving fresh shellfish and appetizer picks. Your Union Square trip wouldn’t be the same unless you treated yourself at Farallon.

Scala’s Bistro

Bistro, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Scala's Bistro, San Francisco
Scala's Bistro, San Francisco | © Ming-yen Hsu/Flickr
Scala’s is a hot spot in San Francisco. Chef Larry Finn has been a phenomenal cook since childhood, and boasts great reviews from the New York Times as well as executive experience at several high brow Manhattan restaurants. With a Parisian interior and a delectable Italian menu, Scala’s Bistro is an inviting masterpiece of flavor and class.

Hops and Hominy

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Diner, South American, American, $$$
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Union Square Allee
Union Square Allee | © Allan Ferguson/Flickr
The winner of 2016’s Open Table Diner’s Choice award, Hops and Hominy offers a taste of the South right in the middle of downtown San Francisco. Only a five minute walk from Union Square, make it a point to indulge yourself with their cornbread, mac and cheese, delicious meats, or a Southern classic like grits. If you’re homesick or looking for a new flavor, then Hops and Hominy is the place for you.

Burrit Room and Tavern

Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Bistro, American, 0
Burritt Room + Tavern
Burritt Room + Tavern | © John Bristowe/Flickr
A part of the Mystic Hotel, this cocktail lounge boasts a speakeasy vibe with cozy booths and amazing booze. An outstanding feature of the Burrit Room and Tavern is their jazz night, which they host six times a week. Not only are their cocktails spectacular, but their food has been highly ranked by countless magazines. Stop into the Burrit Room for a relaxing night.