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Where to Eat and Drink in the Financial District

There's more than just power lunches

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The Financial District is full of gems for eating and drinking, due in part to its history: the infamous Barbary Coast ran right through it at the turn of the 20th century, and that history has left an exciting maze of small alleyways and main thoroughfares.

These days the sidewalks once again bustle with a heady mix of Patagonia vest-wearing tech workers, suitcase-toting tourists, and just about every kind of person in between. So whether hunger strikes for a big power lunch or a cold one beckons as the clock strikes 5 o’clock, here are the best places to eat and drink in San Francisco’s Financial District.

For more dining options in the area try this map of restaurants on the Embarcadero, this guide to the best things to eat and drink at the Ferry Building, or the Eater’s Guide to San Francisco.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Cotogna

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Just where North Beach starts to dip down into charming Jackson Square diners find Cotogna, a warmer and more casual restaurant from the same group behind Michelin-starred Quince. A woodfire oven and grill under an open hearth produce spit-roasted pork, rabbit, and quail, fresh pasta, and market vegetables. It’s known for its raviolo, a single large filled pasta with fresh ricotta and golden egg yolk inside.

Bill Addison/Eater

Kokkari Estiatorio

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This longstanding destination for rustic Greek food is right on the border of where the business lunches of the FiDi cross over into the date-night dinners of historic Jackson Square. A menu of Greek staples like dolmathes and moussaka as well as grilled whole fish of the day are served in a warm, cozy dining room with a crackling fireplace. The lemon-oregano lamb riblets are a must-try.

Kokkari Estiatorio

Kusakabe

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A well-accoladed San Francisco mainstay, Kusakabe presents an elegant multi-course meal of sushi — omakase style, or chef’s choice — to this tiny, Michelin-awarded restaurant of 29 seats. Focusing on a variety of seafood, the meal might be a bit spendy, but each piece is lovingly made with the highest quality of ingredients.

Wayfare Tavern

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Known for its juicy fried chicken, Wayfare Tavern attracts both daytime business lunches and evening socialites. There’s something both old-fashioned and surreal about the decor; its pub-style overstuffed booths, stuffed deer and pheasants, and lanterns bring you back to an older time in a young city full of forward-looking modernity. In addition to the fried chicken, the menu features other easy hits like macaroni and cheese, a house burger, and steak.

Leo's Oyster Bar

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Leo’s Oyster Bar provides a classy setting for a selection of super fresh seafood — including its namesake oysters, served both hot and cold, along with crudos, caviar, and an impressive lobster roll. The long bar is an easy place to grab a casual dinner or drink, or you can sit down at a slightly more formal table in the dining room. A large champagne menu keeps the bubbles flowing freely.

Tadich Grill

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Open since 1849 under a changing roster of proprietors, Tadich is a San Francisco original, occupying its current location since 1967. Tadich Grill has tried to honor its history by keeping the interior authentic to the times with train-car-like booths lining the wall and other mid-century flourishes in the wooden bar. Once seated, servers in white coats help you navigate the seafood-focused menu, organized by cooking preparation, so you choose the style and then the type of seafood or meat.

At Pabu, restaurateur Michael Mina brings his take on izakaya in partnership with chef Keita Tominaga, son of pioneering chef Ken Tominaga. The large, airy, and wood-paneled dining room creates a casual atmosphere for carefully composed plates of robata — grilled meat on a skewer, like chicken breast, chicken heart, wagyu, and more — as well as sushi, steak, and other popular izakaya plates like okonomiyaki, gyoza, chicken karaage (fried chicken), and grilled squid.

Boulevard

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With a stunning peacock-and-gold refresh from star designer Ken Fulk, Boulevard swept back into its long and narrow space in 2021. Chefs Nancy Oakes and Dana Younkin continue to offer French-leaning fare backed up by seasonal California produce. Dine either a la carte at the bar and in the lounge or choose four courses from the set price menu.

Recently renovated bar at Boulevard Patricia Chang

Barbacco

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The laidback little sister restaurant to the original Perbacco next door, Barbacco provides by contrast a much more casual — and affordable — setting, focusing on a curated wine list (some served on tap) and a series of modest plates: salumi, handmade pasta in rich sauce, and some larger portions of meat, like Tuscan beef stew, lamb shank, and meatballs. The eno trattoria occupies a narrow space filled mostly by the long bar, with small angular tables running along the wall.

The Vault Steakhouse

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The Vault Steakhouse dove back underground and is once again tempting diners into the sexy space with tomahawk steaks and caviar tots. Slide into a leather banquette and peruse a menu that’s built around a selection of Black Angus steaks accompanied by tableside Caesar salads, creamed spinach, and crab cakes.

Torched filet mignon at the Vault Steakhouse Hardy Wilson

The Shota

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High-end omakase entered the scene at 115 Sansome in 2019, joining Blue Bottle in a historic building. The omakase tasting menu features 10+ courses ($295 per person) of nigiri and kaiseki-style small plates during two seatings. Reservations required.

Michael Ogata for The Shota

Pagan Idol

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A darling of the San Francisco bar scene, Pagan Idol invites you into a fantastical world of tiki. Load up on flaming punch bowls and then explore the extravagant decor, replete with bubbling aquariums and a twinkling night sky. Every now and then a thunderous roar is the sound of the “volcano” erupting and a cloud of smoke flows out of the ceiling.

Patricia Chang

Akiko’s Restaurant & Sushi Bar

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This small restaurant is one of San Francisco’s most celebrated sushi spots, adding small modern touches to traditional preparations with new ingredients. In addition to nigiri, sashimi, and rolls, the kitchen also serves izakaya-style dishes like hamachi kama, silken tofu, and fried squid. A daily “nama” menu highlights the freshest ingredients available and gives you the opportunity to try something different at each visit.

Cotogna

Bill Addison/Eater

Just where North Beach starts to dip down into charming Jackson Square diners find Cotogna, a warmer and more casual restaurant from the same group behind Michelin-starred Quince. A woodfire oven and grill under an open hearth produce spit-roasted pork, rabbit, and quail, fresh pasta, and market vegetables. It’s known for its raviolo, a single large filled pasta with fresh ricotta and golden egg yolk inside.

Bill Addison/Eater

Kokkari Estiatorio

Kokkari Estiatorio

This longstanding destination for rustic Greek food is right on the border of where the business lunches of the FiDi cross over into the date-night dinners of historic Jackson Square. A menu of Greek staples like dolmathes and moussaka as well as grilled whole fish of the day are served in a warm, cozy dining room with a crackling fireplace. The lemon-oregano lamb riblets are a must-try.

Kokkari Estiatorio

Kusakabe

A well-accoladed San Francisco mainstay, Kusakabe presents an elegant multi-course meal of sushi — omakase style, or chef’s choice — to this tiny, Michelin-awarded restaurant of 29 seats. Focusing on a variety of seafood, the meal might be a bit spendy, but each piece is lovingly made with the highest quality of ingredients.

Wayfare Tavern

Known for its juicy fried chicken, Wayfare Tavern attracts both daytime business lunches and evening socialites. There’s something both old-fashioned and surreal about the decor; its pub-style overstuffed booths, stuffed deer and pheasants, and lanterns bring you back to an older time in a young city full of forward-looking modernity. In addition to the fried chicken, the menu features other easy hits like macaroni and cheese, a house burger, and steak.

Leo's Oyster Bar

Leo’s Oyster Bar provides a classy setting for a selection of super fresh seafood — including its namesake oysters, served both hot and cold, along with crudos, caviar, and an impressive lobster roll. The long bar is an easy place to grab a casual dinner or drink, or you can sit down at a slightly more formal table in the dining room. A large champagne menu keeps the bubbles flowing freely.

Tadich Grill

Open since 1849 under a changing roster of proprietors, Tadich is a San Francisco original, occupying its current location since 1967. Tadich Grill has tried to honor its history by keeping the interior authentic to the times with train-car-like booths lining the wall and other mid-century flourishes in the wooden bar. Once seated, servers in white coats help you navigate the seafood-focused menu, organized by cooking preparation, so you choose the style and then the type of seafood or meat.

Pabu

At Pabu, restaurateur Michael Mina brings his take on izakaya in partnership with chef Keita Tominaga, son of pioneering chef Ken Tominaga. The large, airy, and wood-paneled dining room creates a casual atmosphere for carefully composed plates of robata — grilled meat on a skewer, like chicken breast, chicken heart, wagyu, and more — as well as sushi, steak, and other popular izakaya plates like okonomiyaki, gyoza, chicken karaage (fried chicken), and grilled squid.

Boulevard

Recently renovated bar at Boulevard Patricia Chang

With a stunning peacock-and-gold refresh from star designer Ken Fulk, Boulevard swept back into its long and narrow space in 2021. Chefs Nancy Oakes and Dana Younkin continue to offer French-leaning fare backed up by seasonal California produce. Dine either a la carte at the bar and in the lounge or choose four courses from the set price menu.

Recently renovated bar at Boulevard Patricia Chang

Barbacco

The laidback little sister restaurant to the original Perbacco next door, Barbacco provides by contrast a much more casual — and affordable — setting, focusing on a curated wine list (some served on tap) and a series of modest plates: salumi, handmade pasta in rich sauce, and some larger portions of meat, like Tuscan beef stew, lamb shank, and meatballs. The eno trattoria occupies a narrow space filled mostly by the long bar, with small angular tables running along the wall.

The Vault Steakhouse

Torched filet mignon at the Vault Steakhouse Hardy Wilson

The Vault Steakhouse dove back underground and is once again tempting diners into the sexy space with tomahawk steaks and caviar tots. Slide into a leather banquette and peruse a menu that’s built around a selection of Black Angus steaks accompanied by tableside Caesar salads, creamed spinach, and crab cakes.

Torched filet mignon at the Vault Steakhouse Hardy Wilson

The Shota

Michael Ogata for The Shota

High-end omakase entered the scene at 115 Sansome in 2019, joining Blue Bottle in a historic building. The omakase tasting menu features 10+ courses ($295 per person) of nigiri and kaiseki-style small plates during two seatings. Reservations required.

Michael Ogata for The Shota

Pagan Idol

Patricia Chang

A darling of the San Francisco bar scene, Pagan Idol invites you into a fantastical world of tiki. Load up on flaming punch bowls and then explore the extravagant decor, replete with bubbling aquariums and a twinkling night sky. Every now and then a thunderous roar is the sound of the “volcano” erupting and a cloud of smoke flows out of the ceiling.

Patricia Chang

Akiko’s Restaurant & Sushi Bar

This small restaurant is one of San Francisco’s most celebrated sushi spots, adding small modern touches to traditional preparations with new ingredients. In addition to nigiri, sashimi, and rolls, the kitchen also serves izakaya-style dishes like hamachi kama, silken tofu, and fried squid. A daily “nama” menu highlights the freshest ingredients available and gives you the opportunity to try something different at each visit.