San Francisco's Haight District is most notable for revolutionary thinking, not necessarily revolutionary cuisine—who needs food when you have love? Small, affordable and universally approachable restaurants populate the Haight Street dining scene, including Cha Cha Cha's for sangria and tapas in a lively Mexican-themed dining room and Askew for delectable vegan and meat-friendly skewers. Just a few blocks over from Haight Street, Cole Valley is a mature, grown-up Haight Street with expensive rents and restaurants like the delectable Eos restaurant, a delightful Asian fusion Cole Valley restaurant with an intimate neighborhood feel and an extensive wine and sake list. San Francisco’s North Panhandle and University of San Francisco neighborhoods offer dining opportunities to suit both students and non-students populating the area, boasting options suitable for most any budget.
1640 Haight St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.861.8868
Mediterranean. Self proclaimed as the “only serious restaurant on Haight.” Bia’s offers a delicious array of Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes hailing from Greece, Turkey, and Persia. An aromatic in house bakery, home made desserts and a diverse wine bar keeps customers coming back nightly to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Dine inside or out in the quaint garden found at the back of the restaurant.
598 Haight St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.551.7900
American. RNM hails itself as a “sexy” venue to enjoy an eclectic take on American food. A San Francisco restaurant on Haight Street, RNM calls on inspiration from French and Italian cuisine to create an urban fusion of new American food. Come down to lower Haight and enjoy some people watching and a tasty glass of wine.
568 Haight St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.829.2024
Italian. A warm and stylish bistro, Uva Enoteca offers top rated Italian dining experience. The menu boasts elegantly plated traditional pizzas, salads, cheeses, pastas and paninis, as well as robust entrees, all crafted with farm fresh ingredients. Italian wines carefully selected to pair perfectly with the Italian cuisine dominate the excellent wine list.
Cole Valley Restaurants
945 Cole St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.731.1343
Italian. The focus of Bambino’s Ristorante is Italian, but the menu showcases both traditional and more innovative approaches to the well-loved cuisine. Wild seafood, locally grown produce and range- and hormone-free meats arrive daily from the best local purveyors for dishes like calamari with lemon caper tartar sauce, butter lettuce & green apple salad with pomegranate vinaigrette, Cajun linguini, chicken and Prosciutto cannelone, and pancetta wrapped filet mignon.
EOS Restaurant and Wine Bar
901 Cole St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.566.3063
Fusion/Eclectic. Named for the Greek goddess of the Dawn, but gastronomically residing in a unique Asian Fusion realm, Eos embraces libations as great rejuvenators with an extensive wine and sake list and a menu that boasts a wide array of eclectic dishes meant for sharing. Eos is a perfect compliment to its surroundings in the ever-cosmopolitan Haight neighborhood with rotating art on the walls to match the art presented nightly from the kitchen.
North Panhandle/USF Restaurants
2078 Hayes St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.387.2828
Chinese. Modern, Asian-inspired décor sets a chic stage for dining at Abacus, a San Francisco Chinese restaurant on upper Hayes Street near USF. Aromatic, artfully presented dishes oscillate between familiar favorites, like Mongolian beef and kung pao chicken, and contemporary interpretations like won tons stuffed with mushrooms, pine nuts & parmesan, katsu-style pork with spicy cilantro lime dipping sauce, and sautéed prawns and scallops with fresh mango.
Bar Crudo - Divisadero St
655 Divisadero St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.409.0679
Seafood, Fusion/Eclectic. Bar Crudo is a modern raw bar with an emphasis on fresh seafood prepared in creative ways. The fare is available cooked, chilled or raw, and the menu boasts flavorful dishes like lobster heirloom tomato salad, Louisiana “devil” prawns, seared scallops with spicy coconut curry, fresh oysters, Dungeness crab, and Rhode Island fluke with jalapeno, basil and mint.
Tsunami - Panhandle
1306 Fulton St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.567.7664
Sushi. Hip and stylish, Tsunami has a vibe that calls to trendsetters and in-the-know professionals. The loft-like space features exposed brick, modern Asian art, white oak and nods to vintage style, setting a stage for enjoying both traditional and innovative preparations of Japanese cuisine. The bar features an enviable array of high-end spirits, and the sake list offers one of the largest, most sophisticated selections around. Late-night dining makes this restaurant a perennial hotspot.
528 Divisadero St., San Francisco CA 94117; Tel. 415.522.0800
Mediterranean. An alluring Mediterranean grill in San Francisco, Ziryab is impressive with an array of aromatic Mediterranean fare. The lengthy menu features kebabs, wraps and flat breads along with more traditional entrees, and the kitchen favors the home-made and organic approaches whenever possible. The bar features plenty of attractive cocktails, an excellent wine list and hookahs.