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17 Fancy Restaurants for Second Dates in San Francisco

Get to know your new potential partner at these special spots

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So you've had a successful first date, which begs the question: Where are you going for round two? Second date spots shouldn't be too loud (since they're all about getting to really know one another), and the ability to make a reservation is a must. Good second date spots inspire you to start with cocktails and segue into a bottle of wine that you can linger over. In the case that you're willing to unleash a larger portion of your paycheck on a second date, this group was chosen with those fancier vibes in mind.

These 17 restaurants check off all the second date necessities, so based on which neighborhood you'll be meeting up in, take your pick.

Rather go a little more low-key on your second date? No problem; these restaurants are ideal for that. Second date go so well that you're ready to lock it down? Head to these restaurants for that sort of special occasion.

— Noelle Chun, Andrew Dalton, Ellen Fort, Anna Roth, and Stefanie Tuder contributed to this map.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
2355 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 771-2216
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Easily the classiest restaurant in the neighborhood, A16's pizzas are the star here. Order your meal around the pies, and then fill it out with the stellar appetizers, salads, and pastas. Definitely get wine — and lots of it — and request a bar at the chef's counter so you can watch the action.

2. Aatxe > Cafe Du Nord

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2170 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 471-2977
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Order a ton of tapas and explore the excellent sherry list at this intimate, buzzy Spanish spot. Then stumble downstairs to Cafe Du Nord for excellent craft cocktails in a moody, dark space.

3. Bellota

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888 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 430-6580
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The Absinthe Group knows a thing a or two about creating a great date spot, and its newest, biggest project to date is no exception. Sitting anywhere in this Spanish stunner is ideal date territory, but the prime zone is at the bar or in the lounge. Saddle up to the bar or choose a couch to perch on and order some excellent cocktails alongside tapas, paella, and hearth-cooked mains. As the night goes on, a live piano player often infuses the room with romantic, fun vibes, as do the flamenco dancers.

4. Bistro Central Parc

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560 Central Ave
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 931-7272
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To Americans, there's almost nothing more romantic than Paris, and Bistro Central Parc transports you to the dreamy city. Romance abounds in the twinkly ceiling, simple French fare, and Old World wine list meant for exploring. Do a little wine research beforehand to thoroughly impress your date.

5. Cassava

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3519 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 640-8990
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This cozy Outer Richmond restaurant serves a nightly tasting menu offering modern California cuisine, with beautifully plated items like house-made squid ink pasta with poached egg, black cod compressed with black olives, and sesame pot du creme. Each can be paired with wine or a non-alcoholic beverage, and there’s a regular menu of apps and entrees if you don’t want to go full tasting. Inside, the dining room has soothing blue walls, subway tile, and a dramatic stripped tree sculpture; if it’s nice, you can sit outside at sidewalk tables.

6. Comal

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2020 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 926-6300
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Though not a white tablecloth kind of place, lively Comal has an upscale menu of Oaxacan delicacies, like hen-of-the-woods mushroom quesadillas and wood-grilled platos fuertes for two. Grab a couple carefully crafted margaritas and head to the dreamy garden patio.

7. 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.

8. Haven

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44 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 663-4440
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Down by the waterfront, Haven is a cozy neighborhood gem (that happens to be in Jack London Square). Dinner is a prix-fixe (three or four courses) of seasonal, family-style food that will hopefully get everyone on the same page. Sharing is caring, and you might as well get that out of the way on the second date.

9. Leo's Oyster Bar

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568 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 872-9982
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Inside Leo's, ferns hang from the ceiling, the bar glows gold, and splashy colors dominate the feel-good space. There are tons of pretty people eating pretty things here — besides the typical raw bar fare like oysters, clams, crab, shrimp, and lobster, the menu is full of caviar, crudo, uni — and decadence. Sip on champagne, slurp an oyster, and wow your date with your cool pick.

10. Nopalito

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1224 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 233-9966
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Come for the margaritas (and excellent popped corn snacks that accompany them); stay for the menu of refined Mexican small plates. The second location of this SF staple from the Nopa folks fits right in with the neighborhood, offering an upscale-casual environment for its tacos, pozole, ceviche, and legendary carnitas with housemade tortillas. If it’s not too cold at night, request a table on the cute heated patio and eat surrounded by cafe lights and potted succulents.

11. Padrecito

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901 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 742-5505
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Padrecito's lively bar atmosphere and rustic, California-Mexican menu make for a more substantial dinner commitment. Start with cocktails at the colorful bar — perfect if your tastes skew more toward mezcal than whiskey — and then sit down to share a bunch of tacos and small plates.

12. Piccino Cafe

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1001 Minnesota St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 824-4224
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This adorable Italian-influenced restaurant is a lively spot for a second date, with a menu of pizzas and pastas for the sharing. Sit on the patio as the sun sets with a bottle of rosé for maximum enjoyment.

13. Roka Akor

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801 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 362-8887
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Fancy sushi and fancy drinks in fancy environs sums Roka Akor up pretty well. And if your date doesn't like sushi, there are plenty of entree options to choose from.

Roka Akor

14. Saru Sushi Bar

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3856 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 400-4510
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Tucked into a cranny in Noe Valley, Saru has a cult following — and long waits that start when it opens, so be prepared. But options in this neighborhood are limited, and you can get to know your date better over a drink before you're seated (tip: head right across the street to Caskhouse). All will be forgotten once your table is ready and you bite into the expert nigiri.

15. The Progress

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1525 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 673-1294
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Despite the hype around its sister restaurant State Bird Provisions, it can be surprisingly easy to snag a spot at the bar at The Progress. Go on the early side, but take your time and let the staff guide you through a menu that chef Stuart Brioza and co. call "the greatest dinner party ever."

16. Whitechapel

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600 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 292-5800
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Enter another world when you walk into Whitechapel, a highly-themed gin bar fashioned to look like an abandoned London Underground station and distillery. There's a lengthy list of gin-based cocktails, and the food is Bangladeshi-inspired pub fare, like mussels vindaloo and pakoras with spicy lime pickle, Asian pear, and lassi bubbles. It's a fun, crazy atmosphere that will definitely leave a mark.

17. Zuni Cafe

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1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 552-2522
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San Francisco's iconic roast chicken restaurant will do much of the work of charming your date for you. No matter where you sit in its five disparate areas, the vibes and lighting make it feel good to be there. Ice cold oysters and bubbly champagne are the right way to start off the night (or day!), followed by — obviously — the chicken, though be forewarned that it takes an hour to prepare, so you better have your talking points ready.

Eater Archives

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1. A16

2355 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Easily the classiest restaurant in the neighborhood, A16's pizzas are the star here. Order your meal around the pies, and then fill it out with the stellar appetizers, salads, and pastas. Definitely get wine — and lots of it — and request a bar at the chef's counter so you can watch the action.

2355 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123

2. Aatxe > Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Order a ton of tapas and explore the excellent sherry list at this intimate, buzzy Spanish spot. Then stumble downstairs to Cafe Du Nord for excellent craft cocktails in a moody, dark space.

2170 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

3. Bellota

888 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The Absinthe Group knows a thing a or two about creating a great date spot, and its newest, biggest project to date is no exception. Sitting anywhere in this Spanish stunner is ideal date territory, but the prime zone is at the bar or in the lounge. Saddle up to the bar or choose a couch to perch on and order some excellent cocktails alongside tapas, paella, and hearth-cooked mains. As the night goes on, a live piano player often infuses the room with romantic, fun vibes, as do the flamenco dancers.

888 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103

4. Bistro Central Parc

560 Central Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117

To Americans, there's almost nothing more romantic than Paris, and Bistro Central Parc transports you to the dreamy city. Romance abounds in the twinkly ceiling, simple French fare, and Old World wine list meant for exploring. Do a little wine research beforehand to thoroughly impress your date.

560 Central Ave
San Francisco, CA 94117

5. Cassava

3519 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Read Review |

This cozy Outer Richmond restaurant serves a nightly tasting menu offering modern California cuisine, with beautifully plated items like house-made squid ink pasta with poached egg, black cod compressed with black olives, and sesame pot du creme. Each can be paired with wine or a non-alcoholic beverage, and there’s a regular menu of apps and entrees if you don’t want to go full tasting. Inside, the dining room has soothing blue walls, subway tile, and a dramatic stripped tree sculpture; if it’s nice, you can sit outside at sidewalk tables.

3519 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121

6. Comal

2020 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Though not a white tablecloth kind of place, lively Comal has an upscale menu of Oaxacan delicacies, like hen-of-the-woods mushroom quesadillas and wood-grilled platos fuertes for two. Grab a couple carefully crafted margaritas and head to the dreamy garden patio.

2020 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

7. 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

8. Haven

44 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Down by the waterfront, Haven is a cozy neighborhood gem (that happens to be in Jack London Square). Dinner is a prix-fixe (three or four courses) of seasonal, family-style food that will hopefully get everyone on the same page. Sharing is caring, and you might as well get that out of the way on the second date.

44 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607

9. Leo's Oyster Bar

568 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Inside Leo's, ferns hang from the ceiling, the bar glows gold, and splashy colors dominate the feel-good space. There are tons of pretty people eating pretty things here — besides the typical raw bar fare like oysters, clams, crab, shrimp, and lobster, the menu is full of caviar, crudo, uni — and decadence. Sip on champagne, slurp an oyster, and wow your date with your cool pick.

568 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111

10. Nopalito

1224 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Come for the margaritas (and excellent popped corn snacks that accompany them); stay for the menu of refined Mexican small plates. The second location of this SF staple from the Nopa folks fits right in with the neighborhood, offering an upscale-casual environment for its tacos, pozole, ceviche, and legendary carnitas with housemade tortillas. If it’s not too cold at night, request a table on the cute heated patio and eat surrounded by cafe lights and potted succulents.

1224 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

11. Padrecito

901 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Padrecito's lively bar atmosphere and rustic, California-Mexican menu make for a more substantial dinner commitment. Start with cocktails at the colorful bar — perfect if your tastes skew more toward mezcal than whiskey — and then sit down to share a bunch of tacos and small plates.

901 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117

12. Piccino Cafe

1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

This adorable Italian-influenced restaurant is a lively spot for a second date, with a menu of pizzas and pastas for the sharing. Sit on the patio as the sun sets with a bottle of rosé for maximum enjoyment.

1001 Minnesota St
San Francisco, CA 94107

13. Roka Akor

801 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Roka Akor

Fancy sushi and fancy drinks in fancy environs sums Roka Akor up pretty well. And if your date doesn't like sushi, there are plenty of entree options to choose from.

801 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133

14. Saru Sushi Bar

3856 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Tucked into a cranny in Noe Valley, Saru has a cult following — and long waits that start when it opens, so be prepared. But options in this neighborhood are limited, and you can get to know your date better over a drink before you're seated (tip: head right across the street to Caskhouse). All will be forgotten once your table is ready and you bite into the expert nigiri.

3856 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

15. The Progress

1525 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Despite the hype around its sister restaurant State Bird Provisions, it can be surprisingly easy to snag a spot at the bar at The Progress. Go on the early side, but take your time and let the staff guide you through a menu that chef Stuart Brioza and co. call "the greatest dinner party ever."

1525 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Related Maps

16. Whitechapel

600 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Enter another world when you walk into Whitechapel, a highly-themed gin bar fashioned to look like an abandoned London Underground station and distillery. There's a lengthy list of gin-based cocktails, and the food is Bangladeshi-inspired pub fare, like mussels vindaloo and pakoras with spicy lime pickle, Asian pear, and lassi bubbles. It's a fun, crazy atmosphere that will definitely leave a mark.

600 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94102

17. Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Eater Archives

San Francisco's iconic roast chicken restaurant will do much of the work of charming your date for you. No matter where you sit in its five disparate areas, the vibes and lighting make it feel good to be there. Ice cold oysters and bubbly champagne are the right way to start off the night (or day!), followed by — obviously — the chicken, though be forewarned that it takes an hour to prepare, so you better have your talking points ready.

1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Related Maps