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Where to Eat and Drink in Russian Hill

A curated guide to the best of the neighborhood's dining and drinking

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Russian Hill is an excellent place to live, boasting some of the city's top views and idyllic settings. And once you know where to go, you can find much of what you want to eat within this neighborhood, and not at terribly high prices, either. Are they the city's most inventive spots? Not generally. But they're the kinds of places you'd want to live near, and that works for locals.

On this list you'll find Afghan food, refined French fare, Vietnamese, sushi, and plenty of good old neighborhood joints.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Helmand Palace

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2424 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 345-0072
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There aren't many Afghan restaurants in SF, making Helmand Palace a true gem. Lamb is the specialty here, so choose from any of the many lamb-focused dishes, such as chowpan, or a half rack of lamb marinated, grilled, and served with Afghan bread, sauteed eggplant, and pallow rice. The interior here is a little staid, but taking it to go is also an excellent option.

2. Mezcalito

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2323 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 441-2323

Mezcalito has breathed new life into a space that's seen several restaurants pass through in recent years; now it's a lively, mezcal-fueled bar and restaurant serving Oaxacan cuisine. Octopus tostadas, ceviche, and fish tacos headline the menu — though don't miss the burger — alongside a robust list of mezcal cocktails and bottles.

3. Aux Delices

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2327 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 928-4977
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Aux Delices is a cozy, white tableclothed Vietnamese mainstay on Polk Street, that’s been serving classics like pho, banh xeo, and fried imperial rolls for over 30 years. It’s an excellent takeout option, but always pleasant to dine in with a glass of beer, wine, or sake.

4. Woods Polk Station

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2255 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Woods, named for owner/brewer Jim Woods, is a small chain of tiny brew pubs from Oakland to the Outer Sunset. Stop by this one, which has a vague chalet theme, for a flight of creative beers including some with Yerba Mate and an empanada or two from El Porteño, who has their food covered.

5. Berber SF

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1516 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 800-7767
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An intriguing addition to the neighborhood, Berber brings North African flavors and live performances to a space that’s seen several businesses come and go in recent years. Dishes like shakshouka with crispy potatoes, charred beer kebabs, and bissara, a warm sprouted fava bean dip, are served in a five-course set menu that is paired with belly dancers, aerialists, and live music. Grab a la carte dishes and craft cocktails in the bar, too, without the commitment to a show.

6. Saint Frank

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2340 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-1619
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A minimal interior leaves the focus on the coffee at this Russian Hill spot. Food is very limited to just a few pastries, so go for the well-made pour overs and espresso drinks, made with coffee sourced from independent producers.

7. Macondray

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2209 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 829-3464
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Macondray is a lush, narrow bar on Polk Street that feels like a breath of fresh air from the usual dive-hopping scene. It serves fruity cocktails, natural wine, and local beer, along with oysters, lobster rolls, and vinegar-dusted fries in the old Bullitt space, since transformed into a bright, tropical oasis.

Wallpaper at Macondray Ashley Wacker

8. Greens Sports Bar

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2239 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-4287
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Greens is never short on crowds of sports-loving neighborhood dwellers, who flock there for draft beers and whatever game is on TV. The windows open onto Polk Street, giving it an airier feel than most dark, divey sports bars in town. Check out the many autographed, framed photos on the wall for a quick lesson in sports history.

9. Blue Barn Gourmet

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2237 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 655-9438
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You'll pay for them, but if it's a big salad you crave, Blue Barn has what you need. There are seasonal sandwiches and grilled cheese, too, but it's the salads you want here. This is also a great place to work during the day, as there's Wifi aplenty.

10. Royal Ground Coffee

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2216 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 474-5957
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Low-key coffee drinking and hanging is what you do here, evidenced by the many laptops that dot the tables at Royal Ground. Wifi is strong enough, there are plenty of outlets, and the inexpensive, yet hearty banh mi sandwiches will fuel you through your work.

Royal Ground Coffee

11. Split American Kitchen

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2300 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Split has anything you need, any time of day. Breakfast sandwich? Check. Coffee? Always. Big lunch salad? No problem. Hearty steak dinner? You got it. Beer or wine? Yup. And it's all well-priced, tasty, and fast, since it's a counter service set-up.

12. The Boy's Deli

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2222 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 776-3099
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Hidden in the back of Polk & Green Produce Market, The Boy's Deli has a massive, meaty sandwich menu that will surely satisfy. And if it doesn't, you can always make your own.

13. Fiorella Polk

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2238 Polk St, San Francisco
CA 94109, United States
(415) 829-7097
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This is the second location of the popular Outer Richmond restaurant, bringing its thin-crusted Neapolitan pies, calzones, and plates like octopus and pork chops to Russian Hill. There’s also plenty of handmade pasta and charcuterie, and a larger bar than its original spot, with wines from Italy and California, and low ABV cocktails like a Fiorella spritz (prosecco, Cappelletti, orange).

14. Lord Stanley

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2065 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 872-5512
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The husband and wife team behind Lord Stanley have garnered many accolades for their modern European menu, including one Michelin star. It's all for the inventive cuisine, which pulls influences from Britain, Europe, and Japan, and pays particular attention to produce. Last thing: definitely don't skip dessert.

15. Okoze Sushi

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1207 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 567-3397

Get your nigiri and sashimi fill at the tiny Okoze, where it's highly recommended you make a reservation. P.S. If it's more creative rolls or cooked Japanese plates you crave, head around the corner to Elephant Sushi at 1916 Hyde St.

Okoze Sushi

16. Swensen's Ice Cream

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1999 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-6818
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It’s all old-school all the time at this charming Russian Hill ice cream parlor — which has since gone international. They’re scooping up standbys such as sticky chewy chocolate and Turkish coffee, plus turning them into massive classic sundaes, too.

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17. Union Larder

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1945 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 272-7567
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Union Larder sets the bar for wine bars in San Francisco, with its glowy interior, excellent wine list, and just-enough food menu. It's casual and comfortable inside, and you'll likely encounter plenty of first dates, but there's a reason for that. And that reason is because it's a great first date spot.

18. Za Pizza

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1919 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 771-3100
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Za is your basic pizzeria, delivering pies to the neighborhood, along with a slim selection of salads. Stop in if it's just a slice or two you crave.

19. Seven Hills

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1896 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-1550
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Now officially in Russian Hill after a three block move at the end of 2019, Seven Hills is known for comforting Italian and Californian fare, particularly its fresh and filled pasta. The special occasion dinner destination counts crowd favorites like the maccheroncelli, a tube-shaped extruded pasta tossed with crushed tomatoes, chiles, and dolloped with fresh ricotta; and heritage pork chops brined for 24 hours.

Seven Hills

1. Helmand Palace

2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

There aren't many Afghan restaurants in SF, making Helmand Palace a true gem. Lamb is the specialty here, so choose from any of the many lamb-focused dishes, such as chowpan, or a half rack of lamb marinated, grilled, and served with Afghan bread, sauteed eggplant, and pallow rice. The interior here is a little staid, but taking it to go is also an excellent option.

2424 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94109

2. Mezcalito

2323 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Mezcalito has breathed new life into a space that's seen several restaurants pass through in recent years; now it's a lively, mezcal-fueled bar and restaurant serving Oaxacan cuisine. Octopus tostadas, ceviche, and fish tacos headline the menu — though don't miss the burger — alongside a robust list of mezcal cocktails and bottles.

2323 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

3. Aux Delices

2327 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Aux Delices is a cozy, white tableclothed Vietnamese mainstay on Polk Street, that’s been serving classics like pho, banh xeo, and fried imperial rolls for over 30 years. It’s an excellent takeout option, but always pleasant to dine in with a glass of beer, wine, or sake.

2327 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

4. Woods Polk Station

2255 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Woods, named for owner/brewer Jim Woods, is a small chain of tiny brew pubs from Oakland to the Outer Sunset. Stop by this one, which has a vague chalet theme, for a flight of creative beers including some with Yerba Mate and an empanada or two from El Porteño, who has their food covered.

2255 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. Berber SF

1516 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94109

An intriguing addition to the neighborhood, Berber brings North African flavors and live performances to a space that’s seen several businesses come and go in recent years. Dishes like shakshouka with crispy potatoes, charred beer kebabs, and bissara, a warm sprouted fava bean dip, are served in a five-course set menu that is paired with belly dancers, aerialists, and live music. Grab a la carte dishes and craft cocktails in the bar, too, without the commitment to a show.

1516 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94109

6. Saint Frank

2340 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

A minimal interior leaves the focus on the coffee at this Russian Hill spot. Food is very limited to just a few pastries, so go for the well-made pour overs and espresso drinks, made with coffee sourced from independent producers.

2340 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

7. Macondray

2209 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Wallpaper at Macondray Ashley Wacker

Macondray is a lush, narrow bar on Polk Street that feels like a breath of fresh air from the usual dive-hopping scene. It serves fruity cocktails, natural wine, and local beer, along with oysters, lobster rolls, and vinegar-dusted fries in the old Bullitt space, since transformed into a bright, tropical oasis.

2209 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

8. Greens Sports Bar

2239 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Greens is never short on crowds of sports-loving neighborhood dwellers, who flock there for draft beers and whatever game is on TV. The windows open onto Polk Street, giving it an airier feel than most dark, divey sports bars in town. Check out the many autographed, framed photos on the wall for a quick lesson in sports history.

2239 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

9. Blue Barn Gourmet

2237 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

You'll pay for them, but if it's a big salad you crave, Blue Barn has what you need. There are seasonal sandwiches and grilled cheese, too, but it's the salads you want here. This is also a great place to work during the day, as there's Wifi aplenty.

2237 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

10. Royal Ground Coffee

2216 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Royal Ground Coffee

Low-key coffee drinking and hanging is what you do here, evidenced by the many laptops that dot the tables at Royal Ground. Wifi is strong enough, there are plenty of outlets, and the inexpensive, yet hearty banh mi sandwiches will fuel you through your work.

2216 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

11. Split American Kitchen

2300 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Split has anything you need, any time of day. Breakfast sandwich? Check. Coffee? Always. Big lunch salad? No problem. Hearty steak dinner? You got it. Beer or wine? Yup. And it's all well-priced, tasty, and fast, since it's a counter service set-up.

2300 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

12. The Boy's Deli

2222 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Hidden in the back of Polk & Green Produce Market, The Boy's Deli has a massive, meaty sandwich menu that will surely satisfy. And if it doesn't, you can always make your own.

2222 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

13. Fiorella Polk

2238 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States

This is the second location of the popular Outer Richmond restaurant, bringing its thin-crusted Neapolitan pies, calzones, and plates like octopus and pork chops to Russian Hill. There’s also plenty of handmade pasta and charcuterie, and a larger bar than its original spot, with wines from Italy and California, and low ABV cocktails like a Fiorella spritz (prosecco, Cappelletti, orange).

2238 Polk St, San Francisco
CA 94109, United States

14. Lord Stanley

2065 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The husband and wife team behind Lord Stanley have garnered many accolades for their modern European menu, including one Michelin star. It's all for the inventive cuisine, which pulls influences from Britain, Europe, and Japan, and pays particular attention to produce. Last thing: definitely don't skip dessert.

2065 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

15. Okoze Sushi

1207 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Okoze Sushi

Get your nigiri and sashimi fill at the tiny Okoze, where it's highly recommended you make a reservation. P.S. If it's more creative rolls or cooked Japanese plates you crave, head around the corner to Elephant Sushi at 1916 Hyde St.

1207 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94109

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16. Swensen's Ice Cream

1999 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Shutterstock

It’s all old-school all the time at this charming Russian Hill ice cream parlor — which has since gone international. They’re scooping up standbys such as sticky chewy chocolate and Turkish coffee, plus turning them into massive classic sundaes, too.

1999 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109

17. Union Larder

1945 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Union Larder sets the bar for wine bars in San Francisco, with its glowy interior, excellent wine list, and just-enough food menu. It's casual and comfortable inside, and you'll likely encounter plenty of first dates, but there's a reason for that. And that reason is because it's a great first date spot.

1945 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109

18. Za Pizza

1919 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Za is your basic pizzeria, delivering pies to the neighborhood, along with a slim selection of salads. Stop in if it's just a slice or two you crave.

1919 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109

19. Seven Hills

1896 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Seven Hills

Now officially in Russian Hill after a three block move at the end of 2019, Seven Hills is known for comforting Italian and Californian fare, particularly its fresh and filled pasta. The special occasion dinner destination counts crowd favorites like the maccheroncelli, a tube-shaped extruded pasta tossed with crushed tomatoes, chiles, and dolloped with fresh ricotta; and heritage pork chops brined for 24 hours.

1896 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Related Maps