Top 10 Restaurants To Dine At In Nob Hill, San Francisco

Photo of Lauryn D'Angelo
9 February 2017

Perhaps one of the most famous neighborhoods in San Francisco, mainly for the steep slopes that tourists and locals regularly trek, Nob Hill is a haven for all kinds of cuisine. These 10 restaurants are worth the climb – or cable car ride.

Nob Hill Cafe Exterior | © Nob Hill Cafe

Nob Hill Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Established more than 20 years ago, Nob Hill Café is a family-owned restaurant with authentic Tuscan cuisine and an extensive wine list. With outdoor seating perfect for people-watching, pastas, pizzas and classic Italian dishes go down even more easily. It’s the perfect place to refuel after a trip to Grace Cathedral, which is only a block away.

Mason Pacific

Bistro, Wine Bar, American, $$$
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Tonga Room
Tonga Room | © Flickr/neekoh.fi
A relative newcomer to the Nob Hill scene, Mason Pacific opened in 2013 to strong reviews. The bistro is right on the cable car line at the intersection of Chinatown, Nob Hill and Russian Hill, making it an easily accessible place to meet. Chef Sean McTiernan’s seasonal menu features local ingredients with a twist, and the chef and sommelier are constantly evolving the dinner and wine offerings together. Don’t miss the burger on a pretzel bun.

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Most famous for impressive tiki-style beverages, and a barge floating in a lagoon right in the middle of the restaurant, the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar has been serving up food and drink at the Fairmont Hotel since 1945. After undergoing a $1 million restoration, solidifying its status as one of the nation’s first tiki palaces, the Tonga Room remains as popular as ever. It’s worth a trip to experience delicious Asian-style cuisine and, of course, tropical libations.

Seven Hills

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Swan Oyster Depot
Swan Oyster Depot | © Flickr/brian gautreau
A gem of an Italian restaurant on Hyde Street in Nob Hill, Seven Hills serves up Roman-style cuisine with local flair. The menu changes slightly on a regular basis based on what’s in season or available, but the Ravioli Uovo, a mainstay, is a must for any pasta lover. Seven Hills also has extensive gluten-free options for those with sensitivities or intolerances.

Swan Oyster Depot

This Nob Hill spot is a seafood lovers dream. Open during the day only from 10.30am to 5.30pm, it frequently has a long line to get to the counter, but it’s worth the wait. From the freshest oysters to clam chowder to smoked trout and salmon, there are few places that have been serving up seafood like this since 1912. Opt for the crab fat (dip your sourdough right in!) if they have it. But be warned: it goes quickly.

Swan Oyster Depot, 1517 Polk St., San Francisco, CA, USA

Sons & Daughters

One of the most unusual – and expensive – options in Nob Hill, Sons & Daughters is heavily influenced by seasonal and locally grown food. They also pride themselves on an excellent wine program, with selections that balance and pair perfectly with the food. With an open kitchen, guests are treated to an interactive experience as they dine on a set prix fixe menu.

Sons & Daughters, 708 Bush St, San Francisco, CA, USA

House of Prime Rib | Lauryn D'Angelo
House of Prime Rib | © Lauryn D’Angelo

House of Prime Rib

Restaurant, British, $$$
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A classic steakhouse featuring – you guessed it – choice cuts of prime rib, this Nob Hill mainstay opened their doors more than 60 years ago, withstanding the test of restaurant time. It has a limited menu (guests can select their portion size of prime rib, and choose between classic steakhouse side options). This place is renowned for keeping it classic and consistently doing everything well. The service at House of Prime Rib is also exquisite, and guests will feel like they’re dining like Don Draper in Mad Men.

Acquerello

Restaurant, Italian, Contemporary, $$$
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This two Michelin-star restaurant has been producing top cuisine in Nob Hill for 25 years. The tasting menu of both classic and contemporary Italian food is served in a traditional, elegant dining atmosphere. Guests are treated to the finest service as well. Though Acquerello’s prix fixe and seasonal tasting menus are expensive, the quality of cuisine and professional staff make the experience well worth it, especially for a special occasion.

1760

From the same owners and team behind Acquerello, 1760 is a ‘modern, ingredient-driven’ restaurant featuring the best ingredients in the Bay Area in a contemporary presentation. The food is meant to be shared among the table so everyone can have a taste of the experience. The cocktail menu pairs perfectly with offerings like lobster ceviche, burrata and crispy octopus. More casual than Acquerello, 1760 is trendy but still delicious.

Venticello

Situated right in the heart of Nob Hill, Venticello offers beautiful views of the Bay outside, while providing a rustic, Tuscan experience inside. A wood-burning oven produces top-notch Neapolitan-style pizzas, and everything on the menu, from bread to pasta to mozzarella, is made in-house from scratch. The classic San Francisco dish, cioppino, is one of their best dishes.

Venticello, 1257 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA, USA