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17 Moderately-Priced Restaurants for Second Dates in San Francisco

Inexpensive date spots to take your new potential special someone

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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) or too expensive, 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. 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 get a little fancier 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.
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A16 Rockridge

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Snuggled into Rockridge's main drag, A16 is a great upgrade for a second date. Share pizzas, spirituous cocktails, and antipasti by the glow of the pizza oven, or while looking out onto the idyllic neighborhood streets.

Eater Archives

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

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Absinthe is that perfect restaurant that fits into so many life occasions. In this case, its lively bar, familiar menu, and killer cocktails add a twinkle that makes second dates seem special. Hopefully you'll start with cocktails and some shared plates only to linger over a bottle of wine.

Academy Bar & Kitchen

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If date two feels like it should be more low key than spendy, this rustic but unpretentious neighborhood spot will have you covered in the pizza and beer department, without skipping straight to Netflix & chill mode. Chef Nick Pallone moved down the street from his former post at Florio, and his emphasis on local ingredients, housemade charcuterie, and Neapolitan pies hits all the right notes without breaking the bank. A well-rounded lineup of craft beers and a modest, but nicely affordable wine list certainly doesn't hurt, either.

Barbacco

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Reasonably priced Italian small plates and lots of wine in a bustling, pretty setting are solid starters for a great second date. The conversation's up to you, but Barbacco has the rest covered.

Belga has the lively atmosphere of a Belgian brasserie (the big front bar helps) in a breezy, California-style space. There's an impressive beer list and a menu of Belgian classics (think sausages, mussels, fries) if wanted. When it's nice out, try to sit near the front open windows open so you can people watch as needed.

Blue Plate

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This underrated neighborhood restaurant has a back garden that will make any date swoon. Reserve a table out there and dine on top-notch comfort food with a twist that's matched by an approachable wine list.

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Cotogna

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There may be no more perfect a meal than pizza, pasta, and wine on a second date, and Cotogna leads San Francisco in those three categories. The lighting is always just right, too.

Huxley Restaurant

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Your date will be impressed when you enter this 25-seat American charmer, practically hidden in the Tenderloin. Yes, it's intimate, but the kitchen is open, which adds plenty of action to the room.

La Marcha

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A bustling Spanish restaurant in Berkeley's International Marketplace district, La Marcha has an extensive menu of tapas, paellas, and charcuterie. Grab a pitcher of sangria and a host of plates to share amongst yourselves — it's the ultimate compatibility test.

Pizzetta 211

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It’s easy to forget about this tucked-away spot on California Street, which consistently offers some of the city’s best thin-crust pizza. The room is tiny — make sure you meet up after the family rush to avoid kiddos — but there isn’t as much of a wait on weekdays, and even if you have to camp out they hand out blankets and drinks. Its weekly changing menu includes the usual suspects like margherita, and pies with more exotic toppings like egg with fingerling potatoes and creme fraiche or buffalo sausage with blue cheese.

Ragazza

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Everyone loves the pizzas at Ragazza, which has been an Italian neighborhood standby since 2011. Splits some pies and a few bottles of wine and reach second date nirvana — just make sure you go later in the evening after the kiddies have cleared out, and arrive earlier than your date to wait for a table, since there are no reservations.

Rintaro

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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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Smokestack

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Barbecue, beers, and whiskies are all on the menu here. It's a great opportunity to get over silly insecurities, while you've both got barbecue all over your hands (and probably all over your second best shirt).

Starbelly

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The back patio is the star at this bustling neighborhood hang. So make sure you dine outside on a warm day. Share top-notch pizza and other Italian fare made with local ingredients. Sitting inside is a great backup, so don't worry if Karl comes rolling in.

David Martinez

The Alembic

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Snag a booth in the dining room and have an intimate conversation over a couple New BFFs (the cocktail, that is, made with double rye, Suze, and vermouth) and some jerk-spiced duck hearts. The drinks never fail to get things going, but be careful if you're on a budget — those small plates can run up a tab real quick.

Here’s where you can gauge the adventurous spirit of your date: with a meal in the converted garage of this Outer Sunset staple. Toyose is a popular late-night stop, but it’s also open for dinner every day, and the tucked-away feel and semi-private booths foster a feeling of intimacy. Since this is Korean bar food, anything fried is a good bet — chicken wings, kimchi fried rice, and seafood pancake are favorites — but there’s also a lengthy menu of noodles, hot pot, grilled proteins, and soju drinks.

Trou Normand

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Located in the historic Pac Bell building (one of San Francisco's most impressive Art Deco buildings), the trendy Trou Normand provides an intimate setting to gather over a board of house-made charcuterie, a glass of wine, and perhaps a pour of Calvados, which owner Thad Vogler hand-selects from France. The atmosphere is lively, but not too loud, making it the perfect place to grab a pair of seats at the long marble bar or in the cozy booths and have a close conversation.

A16 Rockridge

Eater Archives

Snuggled into Rockridge's main drag, A16 is a great upgrade for a second date. Share pizzas, spirituous cocktails, and antipasti by the glow of the pizza oven, or while looking out onto the idyllic neighborhood streets.

Eater Archives

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Absinthe is that perfect restaurant that fits into so many life occasions. In this case, its lively bar, familiar menu, and killer cocktails add a twinkle that makes second dates seem special. Hopefully you'll start with cocktails and some shared plates only to linger over a bottle of wine.

Academy Bar & Kitchen

If date two feels like it should be more low key than spendy, this rustic but unpretentious neighborhood spot will have you covered in the pizza and beer department, without skipping straight to Netflix & chill mode. Chef Nick Pallone moved down the street from his former post at Florio, and his emphasis on local ingredients, housemade charcuterie, and Neapolitan pies hits all the right notes without breaking the bank. A well-rounded lineup of craft beers and a modest, but nicely affordable wine list certainly doesn't hurt, either.

Barbacco

Reasonably priced Italian small plates and lots of wine in a bustling, pretty setting are solid starters for a great second date. The conversation's up to you, but Barbacco has the rest covered.

Belga

Belga has the lively atmosphere of a Belgian brasserie (the big front bar helps) in a breezy, California-style space. There's an impressive beer list and a menu of Belgian classics (think sausages, mussels, fries) if wanted. When it's nice out, try to sit near the front open windows open so you can people watch as needed.

Blue Plate

Eater Archives

This underrated neighborhood restaurant has a back garden that will make any date swoon. Reserve a table out there and dine on top-notch comfort food with a twist that's matched by an approachable wine list.

Eater Archives

Cotogna

There may be no more perfect a meal than pizza, pasta, and wine on a second date, and Cotogna leads San Francisco in those three categories. The lighting is always just right, too.

Huxley Restaurant

Your date will be impressed when you enter this 25-seat American charmer, practically hidden in the Tenderloin. Yes, it's intimate, but the kitchen is open, which adds plenty of action to the room.

La Marcha

A bustling Spanish restaurant in Berkeley's International Marketplace district, La Marcha has an extensive menu of tapas, paellas, and charcuterie. Grab a pitcher of sangria and a host of plates to share amongst yourselves — it's the ultimate compatibility test.

Pizzetta 211

It’s easy to forget about this tucked-away spot on California Street, which consistently offers some of the city’s best thin-crust pizza. The room is tiny — make sure you meet up after the family rush to avoid kiddos — but there isn’t as much of a wait on weekdays, and even if you have to camp out they hand out blankets and drinks. Its weekly changing menu includes the usual suspects like margherita, and pies with more exotic toppings like egg with fingerling potatoes and creme fraiche or buffalo sausage with blue cheese.

Ragazza

Everyone loves the pizzas at Ragazza, which has been an Italian neighborhood standby since 2011. Splits some pies and a few bottles of wine and reach second date nirvana — just make sure you go later in the evening after the kiddies have cleared out, and arrive earlier than your date to wait for a table, since there are no reservations.

Rintaro

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.