Top 10 Affordable Romantic Restaurants in San Francisco

  • Looking for the perfect spot for a romantic dinner in San Francisco? Whether you're planning a first date or celebrating an anniversary, the city's diverse culinary scene has you covered. Our guide to the top 10 affordable romantic restaurants in San Francisco features everything from Michelin-starred elegance to cozy neighborhood gems. Each venue offers a unique blend of ambiance and exceptional cuisine, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience. From innovative tasting menus to stunning bay views, these restaurants set the stage for love to bloom over exquisite meals. Ready to explore San Francisco's most romantic dining destinations? Let's dive in!

1. Atelier Crenn

Address: 3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-440-0460

  • About Atelier Crenn:

  • Atelier Crenn, helmed by renowned chef Dominique Crenn, offers an intimate setting with its innovative 'poetic culinaria' menu. The restaurant's artistic presentations and commitment to sustainability create a unique and romantic dining experience. Each dish tells a story, with the multi-course tasting menu changing seasonally to reflect the finest local ingredients. The minimalist decor, featuring soft lighting and natural elements, allows the food to take center stage. Atelier Crenn's three Michelin stars are a testament to its exceptional quality and creativity.

2. Acquerello

Address: NEAR VAN NESS &, 1722 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-567-5432

  • About Acquerello:

  • This Michelin-starred establishment serves refined Italian cuisine in an elegant, converted chapel. Acquerello's extensive wine list and impeccable service make it ideal for special occasions. The restaurant's tasting menu showcases modern interpretations of classic Italian dishes, with options for wine pairings curated by their sommeliers. The dining room, with its vaulted ceilings and warm color palette, creates an atmosphere of understated luxury, perfect for a romantic evening.

3. Lazy Bear

Address: 3416 19th St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-874-9921

  • About Lazy Bear:

  • Lazy Bear offers a communal dining experience with an ever-changing tasting menu. The rustic-chic decor and interactive kitchen create a warm, intimate atmosphere perfect for couples. Diners are seated at long tables, encouraging conversation and shared experiences. The open kitchen allows guests to watch the chefs at work, adding an element of culinary theater to the evening. Lazy Bear's innovative approach to fine dining, combined with its cozy, cabin-like interior, makes for a unique and romantic night out.

4. Quince

Address: 470 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-775-8500

  • About Quince:

  • Quince's contemporary Californian cuisine, sourced from their own farm, is served in a sophisticated setting. The restaurant's commitment to seasonality and attention to detail make every meal special. The elegant dining room, adorned with crystal chandeliers and plush seating, provides a luxurious backdrop for Chef Michael Tusk's award-winning cuisine. Quince's three Michelin stars reflect its exceptional quality, making it an ideal choice for couples celebrating milestones or simply indulging in a world-class dining experience.

5. Saison

Address: 178 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-828-7990

  • About Saison:

  • Saison offers a unique fine dining experience focused on open-fire cooking. The restaurant's minimalist decor and innovative menu create an intimate atmosphere for couples. The open kitchen, centered around a custom-built hearth, allows diners to witness the artistry of the chefs as they prepare each course. Saison's tasting menu changes daily, showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients prepared with primal cooking techniques. The restaurant's commitment to simplicity and purity of flavor, combined with its warm, inviting ambiance, makes for an unforgettable romantic dinner.

6. Kokkari Estiatorio

Address: 200 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: +1 415-981-0983

  • About Kokkari Estiatorio:

  • This upscale Greek restaurant features rustic-elegant decor and a fireplace, creating a cozy ambiance. Kokkari's Mediterranean flavors and attentive service make it a romantic choice. The menu offers a variety of mezedes (small plates) perfect for sharing, as well as wood-fired meats and seafood. The restaurant's warm lighting, exposed wooden beams, and comfortable seating create an atmosphere reminiscent of a Greek taverna, transporting diners to the Mediterranean for an evening of culinary delight.

7. Gary Danko

Address: 800 North Point St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-749-2060

  • About Gary Danko:

  • Gary Danko's classic French cuisine and impeccable service have made it a San Francisco institution. The restaurant's intimate setting and flexible prix-fixe menu are perfect for a romantic evening. Diners can create their own three, four, or five-course meals from an array of seasonal dishes, each executed with precision and artistry. The dining room's soft lighting, crisp white tablecloths, and elegant decor provide a sophisticated backdrop for a memorable date night.

8. Spruce

Address: 3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-931-5100

  • About Spruce:

  • Spruce offers sophisticated American cuisine in an elegant, yet comfortable setting. The restaurant's extensive wine list and attentive service create a romantic atmosphere. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, including produce from the restaurant's own farm. Spruce's dining room, with its chocolate brown walls, leather chairs, and modern artwork, strikes a perfect balance between luxury and comfort. The bar area, with its marble-topped counter and extensive cocktail menu, is ideal for pre-dinner drinks or a more casual date night.

9. Benu

Address: 22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-685-4860

  • About Benu:

  • Chef Corey Lee's three-Michelin-starred Benu serves innovative Asian-inspired cuisine. The minimalist decor and expertly crafted tasting menu provide an intimate dining experience. Benu's culinary offerings blend Eastern and Western techniques and flavors, resulting in unique dishes that challenge and delight the palate. The sleek, modern dining room, with its neutral color palette and subtle lighting, allows diners to focus entirely on the culinary journey. Benu's wine pairings, featuring both classic and lesser-known selections, enhance the dining experience.

10. Nopa

Address: 560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415-864-8643

  • About Nopa:

  • Nopa's rustic-chic decor and wood-fired cuisine create a warm, inviting atmosphere. The restaurant's commitment to local, organic ingredients and lively ambiance make it perfect for a casual romantic dinner. The open kitchen and communal tables add energy to the space, while still offering intimate seating options for couples. Nopa's menu changes frequently, showcasing the best of Northern California's produce, meats, and seafood. The restaurant's late-night hours and excellent cocktail program make it a favorite for both early dinners and after-hour dates.


  • San Francisco's romantic restaurant scene offers something for every couple, whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a night out together. From the poetic culinary artistry of Atelier Crenn to the rustic charm of Nopa, these top 10 restaurants provide not just meals, but experiences to cherish. Each establishment brings its unique flair to the table, combining exquisite cuisine with thoughtfully designed atmospheres that set the stage for romance. As you explore these culinary gems, you'll discover why San Francisco remains a top destination for food lovers and romantic souls alike.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make reservations at these restaurants?

  • A: Yes, it's highly recommended to make reservations, especially for the Michelin-starred restaurants. Some, like Atelier Crenn and Lazy Bear, may require bookings weeks or even months in advance.

Are there dress codes?

  • A: While specific dress codes vary, smart casual to formal attire is generally appropriate. It's best to check with the restaurant when making your reservation.

Do these restaurants accommodate dietary restrictions?

  • A: Most of these restaurants can accommodate dietary restrictions with advance notice. Be sure to inform them of any allergies or preferences when booking.

Which restaurant is best for a special occasion like an anniversary or proposal?

  • A: Atelier Crenn, Quince, and Benu are excellent choices for milestone celebrations due to their exceptional service and ambiance. However, the best choice depends on your personal preferences and budget.

Are there any of these restaurants with a view?

  • A: While not all have scenic views, restaurants like Saison and Gary Danko are located in areas that offer pleasant city views. For the best views, you might consider making a reservation around sunset.

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