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9 Deliciously Quiet Restaurants in San Francisco

What’s that? You can actually hear yourself order?

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San Francisco may be fully open for indoor dining — albeit with mask and vaccine mandates — but returning to restaurants these days can feel … overstimulating. After an undersocialized year, it’s a lot to step back into the clatter of a bustling dining room. And unfortunately, San Francisco already had a reputation for loud restaurants. Mercifully, however, there are exceptions, from fine dining palaces hushed by carpets and tablecloths, to cozy neighborhood bistros and ramen bars. For all those who crave a side of calm, here are the lowest-decibel dining experiences in SF.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Scoma's Restaurant

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1965 Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 771-4383
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You can’t hear a pin drop in this old-school seafood institution — those white-jacketed waiters are bustling through with bowls of cioppino. But even so, Scoma’s is a reasonable spot to carry on a conversation in thanks to the long layout of the dining rooms, which are carpeted like the belly of a ship.

Scoma’s

2. Bobo's

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1450 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 441-8880
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Bobo’s is legendary for surf and turf, pairing dry-aged steaks with Dungeness crab. But while the dining room is an over-the-top masquerade of black and red, those cushy leather booths and velvet curtains keep it intimate.

Steak at Bobo’s Bobo’s

3. Piperade

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1015 Battery St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 391-2555
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This Basque restaurant is a quiet enclave tucked away near Levi’s Plaza. Seared octopus and stuffed piquillo peppers flow out to well-spaced tables covered in white tablecloths.

Piperade

4. Acquerello

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1722 Sacramento Street NEAR VAN NESS &, Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 567-5432
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The upscale Italian restaurant spins seasonal tasting menus in a former chapel. But those vaulted ceilings only bring serenity, thanks to carpets and tablecloths that absorb sound, while fresh flowers and low lights add atmosphere.

5. The Shota

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115 Sansome St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(628) 224-2074
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San Francisco has no shortage of intimate omakase counters, which can be quieter dining experiences. The Shota offers up one long white counter and gold-trimmed windows, which radiate a sense of calm while the rest of the Financial District rushes by.

Michael Ogata

6. Taj Campton Place

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340 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 781-5555
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The restaurant on the ground floor of the Taj Campton hotel has earned a Michelin star many years in a row, thanks to Chef Srijith Gopinathan’s Californian-Indian tasting menus. And it’s served in a soothing dining room filled with colorful flowers and glass light fixtures.

The dining room at Taj Campton Place Taj Campton Place

7. Routier

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2801 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115

In intimate neighborhood bistros and brasseries, Routier is the new savory restaurant from the B. Patisserie team. Diners can finally feast on steelhead rillettes and lobster grand aioli in the warm and charming dining room, which is finally fully open for reservations.

Albert Law

8. Californios

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355 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 757-0994
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The Michelin-starred restaurant moved during the pandemic to a much larger new home in SoMa. Chef Val M. Cantu has been serving his Mexican tasting menus to the sunny and spacious patio, and plans to reopen the bold black interiors for the indoor dining experience soon.

9. Coco's Ramen

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3319 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-7722
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And in cozy ramen shops, Coco’s is a snug spot on Upper Mission, with warm wood interiors and red lanterns glowing in the front windows. There are only a few tables, so conversations stay low over the slurping of rich and creamy tonkotsu. 

Pork ramen from Coco’s Coco’s Ramen

1. Scoma's Restaurant

1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA 94133
Scoma’s

You can’t hear a pin drop in this old-school seafood institution — those white-jacketed waiters are bustling through with bowls of cioppino. But even so, Scoma’s is a reasonable spot to carry on a conversation in thanks to the long layout of the dining rooms, which are carpeted like the belly of a ship.

1965 Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, CA 94133

2. Bobo's

1450 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Steak at Bobo’s Bobo’s

Bobo’s is legendary for surf and turf, pairing dry-aged steaks with Dungeness crab. But while the dining room is an over-the-top masquerade of black and red, those cushy leather booths and velvet curtains keep it intimate.

1450 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123

3. Piperade

1015 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Piperade

This Basque restaurant is a quiet enclave tucked away near Levi’s Plaza. Seared octopus and stuffed piquillo peppers flow out to well-spaced tables covered in white tablecloths.

1015 Battery St
San Francisco, CA 94111

4. Acquerello

1722 Sacramento Street NEAR VAN NESS &, Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The upscale Italian restaurant spins seasonal tasting menus in a former chapel. But those vaulted ceilings only bring serenity, thanks to carpets and tablecloths that absorb sound, while fresh flowers and low lights add atmosphere.

1722 Sacramento Street NEAR VAN NESS &, Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. The Shota

115 Sansome St, San Francisco, CA 94104
Michael Ogata

San Francisco has no shortage of intimate omakase counters, which can be quieter dining experiences. The Shota offers up one long white counter and gold-trimmed windows, which radiate a sense of calm while the rest of the Financial District rushes by.

115 Sansome St
San Francisco, CA 94104

6. Taj Campton Place

340 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108
The dining room at Taj Campton Place Taj Campton Place

The restaurant on the ground floor of the Taj Campton hotel has earned a Michelin star many years in a row, thanks to Chef Srijith Gopinathan’s Californian-Indian tasting menus. And it’s served in a soothing dining room filled with colorful flowers and glass light fixtures.

340 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108

7. Routier

2801 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Albert Law

In intimate neighborhood bistros and brasseries, Routier is the new savory restaurant from the B. Patisserie team. Diners can finally feast on steelhead rillettes and lobster grand aioli in the warm and charming dining room, which is finally fully open for reservations.

2801 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115

8. Californios

355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The Michelin-starred restaurant moved during the pandemic to a much larger new home in SoMa. Chef Val M. Cantu has been serving his Mexican tasting menus to the sunny and spacious patio, and plans to reopen the bold black interiors for the indoor dining experience soon.

355 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. Coco's Ramen

3319 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Pork ramen from Coco’s Coco’s Ramen

And in cozy ramen shops, Coco’s is a snug spot on Upper Mission, with warm wood interiors and red lanterns glowing in the front windows. There are only a few tables, so conversations stay low over the slurping of rich and creamy tonkotsu. 

3319 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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