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Foreign Cinema

The Best Date Spots in the Mission

The best date spots in the neighborhood

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Nailing the perfect venue is an absolutely essential component to the success of a date. But here's the thing: What makes a great first date spot is definitely not the same as what makes a place the best to celebrate a special occasion or even a second date — so deciding where to take a plus-one doesn't always get the same answer. Every situation has different needs — neighborhood, vibes, price point — and it can be tricky to find the right bar or restaurant if you've never been there. So next time you're trying to pick a fitting location, just consult this guide. We've got you covered if it's the Mission you're cornering.

In need of the best date spots in other neighborhoods? Check out this ultimate guide to dating in San Francisco.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. First date, drinks: ABV

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3174 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 400-4748
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ABV just might be the most perfect first date spot in the entire city. Always-stellar cocktails, friendly bartenders, plenty of seating, a buzzy crowd, and better-than-average bar bites are ABV's winning formula.

2. First date, coffee: Coffee Bar

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1890 Bryant St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 551-8100
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No coffee shop has more seating than Coffee Bar, which will give you and your date plenty of options to choose from, whether it's at tables upstairs or downstairs, the second floor counter overlooking the space, or at tables out front. There are even some couches to cozy up on — should you be so lucky — while sipping the great Mr. Espresso brew.

3. Second date, moderate: Izakaya Rintaro

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82 14th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 589-7022
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With a Chez Panisse veteran at the helm, expect top-notch local produce and serious attention to detail — all filtered through a traditional Japanese lens. There is one very serious caveat to having a date here: you must, must, must sit at the chef's counter overlooking the kitchen. The back room is a good vibes dead zone, and watching the yakitori chef work the grill from your perch at the counter is perfect second date fodder.
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4. Second date, expensive: Delfina

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3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 552-4055
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This seasoned Northern Italian restaurant is an expert in hospitality, providing everything you need for a successful second date: good, shareable food (Delfina's California take on Italian dishes pleases picky people and discerning eaters alike), solid wine, and some romantic, vibrant vibes.

5. Where to lock it down: Californios

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3115 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 757-0994
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Californios is the most underrated tasting menu destination in San Francisco; taking someone here will make you seem very in the know. The Mexican food is surprising (when's the last time you had aerated beans?), the decor is stylish, the service is spot-on. Make sure you get the inventive wine and beer pairings, too.

6. LTR, moderate: Foreign Cinema

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2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-7600
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Let's set the Foreign Cinema scene: a flickering hearth, twinkling lights, classic movie projected on the wall, solid drinks, delicious Mediterranean-leaning food, and attentive service. You can't manufacture romance like this, so inject some into your LTR, and head here for dinner.

7. Breakup spot: Evil Eye

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2937 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 814-3779
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The brand-new Evil Eye has a ton of couches; choose one to deliver your message. Hopefully the evil eye will protect you while you do.

8. LTR, expensive: Lazy Bear

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3416 19th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 874-9921
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You're in for a real treat at Lazy Bear, where the meal plays out in a way you've likely never experienced before. This ticketed, tasting menu restaurant employs a service model entirely its own, one in which diners eat communally and chefs present each dish with a passionate speech. There are a lot of foraged ingredients, which come together in the tastiest of manners through surprising and expert preparations. Experience the delight with your SO, but do be prepared to make friends, too.

1. First date, drinks: ABV

3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
ABV just might be the most perfect first date spot in the entire city. Always-stellar cocktails, friendly bartenders, plenty of seating, a buzzy crowd, and better-than-average bar bites are ABV's winning formula.
3174 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

2. First date, coffee: Coffee Bar

1890 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110
No coffee shop has more seating than Coffee Bar, which will give you and your date plenty of options to choose from, whether it's at tables upstairs or downstairs, the second floor counter overlooking the space, or at tables out front. There are even some couches to cozy up on — should you be so lucky — while sipping the great Mr. Espresso brew.
1890 Bryant St
San Francisco, CA 94110

3. Second date, moderate: Izakaya Rintaro

82 14th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Eater Archive
With a Chez Panisse veteran at the helm, expect top-notch local produce and serious attention to detail — all filtered through a traditional Japanese lens. There is one very serious caveat to having a date here: you must, must, must sit at the chef's counter overlooking the kitchen. The back room is a good vibes dead zone, and watching the yakitori chef work the grill from your perch at the counter is perfect second date fodder.
82 14th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

4. Second date, expensive: Delfina

3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
This seasoned Northern Italian restaurant is an expert in hospitality, providing everything you need for a successful second date: good, shareable food (Delfina's California take on Italian dishes pleases picky people and discerning eaters alike), solid wine, and some romantic, vibrant vibes.
3621 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

5. Where to lock it down: Californios

3115 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Californios is the most underrated tasting menu destination in San Francisco; taking someone here will make you seem very in the know. The Mexican food is surprising (when's the last time you had aerated beans?), the decor is stylish, the service is spot-on. Make sure you get the inventive wine and beer pairings, too.
3115 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94110

6. LTR, moderate: Foreign Cinema

2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Let's set the Foreign Cinema scene: a flickering hearth, twinkling lights, classic movie projected on the wall, solid drinks, delicious Mediterranean-leaning food, and attentive service. You can't manufacture romance like this, so inject some into your LTR, and head here for dinner.
2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. Breakup spot: Evil Eye

2937 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
The brand-new Evil Eye has a ton of couches; choose one to deliver your message. Hopefully the evil eye will protect you while you do.
2937 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

8. LTR, expensive: Lazy Bear

3416 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
You're in for a real treat at Lazy Bear, where the meal plays out in a way you've likely never experienced before. This ticketed, tasting menu restaurant employs a service model entirely its own, one in which diners eat communally and chefs present each dish with a passionate speech. There are a lot of foraged ingredients, which come together in the tastiest of manners through surprising and expert preparations. Experience the delight with your SO, but do be prepared to make friends, too.
3416 19th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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