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Where to Eat and Drink in Cow Hollow

A vetted guide to the dining and drinking in the neighborhood

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Whether you live in Cow Hollow or are just dropping by, it's important to know which places to frequent and which to skip, because there are plenty of both, and the wrong decision could send you into some not-so-great food. But the right decision can do the opposite. Because sprinkled throughout the gyms and juice bars, there are some local gems good for your varied eating and drinking needs.

Whether it's a first (or 20th) date spot you need (very different places!), somewhere to go with your girl or guy friends, a spot to impress visitors or a quick dinner to go, this guide has you covered (and more). Here are Cow Hollow's best restaurants and bars.

Did we miss your favorite spot? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Terzo

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3011 Steiner St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 441-3200
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Go with friends and nosh on hummus, chicken spiedini skewers and other Mediterranean fare while sipping on wine and soaking up the good vibes.

2. Rose's Cafe

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2298 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 775-2200
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The food at Rose's Cafe isn't going to rock your world, but that's not why you go. It's the atmosphere you're seeking out; those perfect buzzy-but-relaxing daytime brunch vibes everyone craves come Saturday morning.

3. Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters

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2271 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Wrecking Ball has the best coffee in the neighborhood, and the pineapple wallpaper is eminently Instagrammable. Grab an expertly- prepared latte, upload a photo and sip while you rack in the likes. (This is also a solid place to hang while waiting for a table at Rose's across the street.)

4. Tacko

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3115 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 796-3534
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Tacko's Cal-Mexican burritos, quesadillos, tacos and and other fresh Mex fare are still popular in the neighborhood. The counter service menu has a seafood bent, with a lobster roll and Nick's Crispy fish tacos rounding out the menu. Fair warning: this is not a Mission taco like La Taqueria, but it's high-quality, and quick. Plus, there's wine and beer, which is pretty essential to a Cow Hollow spot's success.

5. Balboa Cafe

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3199 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-3944
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This SF institution with decent food (a well-known burger is notably served on a baguette) can be many things to many people, and here are just a few:
1. A place to take your parents for dinner.

2. Great for brunch and bloodies.

3. Eating a solid burger at the bar, which is easily the best of the food.

4. A cougar-catching pick-up bar any night of the week.

5. Good men-in-suits watching, also any night of the week.

6. Crowded Saturday nights with people in their late 20s and early 30s looking for well-heeled women or men with money not wearing a hoodie.

Choose which fits your needs and head at the appropriate times.

6. Atelier Crenn

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3127 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 440-0460
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In a serious departure from the rest of the neighborhood's establishments, Atelier Crenn is among the crème de la crème of SF fine dining. Chef Dominique Crenn's menu is written as a poem, so best of luck figuring out what you'll be eating. Just trust in Crenn that spending most of your paycheck on one meal will be worth it. You can take the Michelin Guide’s word for it: They awarded Atelier Crenn three stars in 2018, making Crenn the first woman chef to achieve that honor in the United States.

7. West Coast Wine and Cheese

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2165 Union
San Francisco, CA
(415) 376-9720
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This tiny wine bar has strong local vibes, along with tasty food offerings. Head here for a really good glass (or three) of West Coast wine, cheese and charcuterie, and better-than-expected small plates like burrata with cherry tomatoes.

8. The Brixton

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2140 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 409-1114
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A go-to neighborhood pub, the Brixton is a known quantity among Cow Hollow regulars. Fans have come to count on it for everything from a quick beer and a burger to a weekend bloody Mary bar and big cinnamon rolls at brunch.

9. Palm House

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2032 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 400-4355
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Palm House claims to have the second-oldest palm tree in San Francisco planted in its patio, anchoring the Caribbean theme. Outdoor diners sip on tropical cocktails and dig into jerk chicken and coconut prawns.

Punch bowl at Palm House Palm House

10. The Brazen Head

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3166 Buchanan St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-7600
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Old-school is the best word for the Brazen Head: It applies equally to the dark environs, classic American food with French influences, cocktails, and longtime patrons. Dates will be impressed if you take them here, especially as it's open late for food.

Caleb Pershan

11. Flores

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2030 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 796-2926
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Also from the Back of the House group, Flores offers fresh Mexican fare for happy hour and brunch crews, with a good list of tequila and mezcal cocktails, guacamole and salsas smashed from the molcajete, and fish tacos and crab tostadas.

Flores
Flores
Aubrie Pick

12. Wildseed

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2000 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 872-7350
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Taking over the former Belga space, Wildseed is still within the Back of the House restaurant group (also behind Beretta, Lolinda, Super Duper). This new vegan spot was one of the freshest openings of 2019, serving up beet poke, green pizza, and freshly squeezed cocktails. 

13. Perry's

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1944 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 922-9022
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Perry's is classic SF and great for a traditional American meal — think steaks, salads, a burger, and the like. Head there for some upscale sports game watching, or an easy meal for even the pickiest of eaters.

14. The Italian Homemade Company

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1919 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 712-8874
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It's shocking how few take-out places exist in Cow Hollow, so the Italian Homemade Company fills a major niche. Fresh pasta, flatbread sandwiches and salads can be made in a variety of ways to eat in the shop or take home. Plus, there are a lot of gluten-free options, if that matters to you.

15. Ly's Vietnamese Cuisine

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1779 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 563-1927

Tasty, large bowls of pho in a no-frills environment makes this a more takeout-friendly spot, but definitely a very worthy one.

16. Tamashisoul

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1849 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-1849
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Is Tamashisoul the best sushi ever? No, but it's what you've got in the vicinity, and it's definitely good enough. It's also always easy to get in, and very comfortable inside. Don't skip the kitchen items, like udon noodle soups.

17. KAIYŌ

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1838 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 525-4804
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Kaiyo colorfully and creatively blends Japanese and Peruvian flavors, serving both whisky and pisco cocktails, alongside sushi and ceviche, karaage and yucca fries. It’s the rare fusion restaurant that’s actually fun, coming from the team behind Whitechapel and Novela. 

18. Black Horse London Pub

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1514 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 678-5697
Visit Website

Black Horse has the proud distinction of being the smallest bar in SF (just ask the hop on/hop off buses that proudly announce that fact every time they drive by), and it would be wise to not forget it. Don't go expecting a place to rage, but do go expecting strong local vibes — as most of the patrons live on the block — so be prepared to chat with friendly strangers. Beers by the bottle are your (only) drink of choice, and occasionally the owner will fry up some bacon or order pizza for the whole bar (which, by the way, consists of eight seats). And don't even think about talking on your cell phone, or the owner will kick your anti-social self out.

1. Terzo

3011 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Go with friends and nosh on hummus, chicken spiedini skewers and other Mediterranean fare while sipping on wine and soaking up the good vibes.

3011 Steiner St
San Francisco, CA 94123

2. Rose's Cafe

2298 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

The food at Rose's Cafe isn't going to rock your world, but that's not why you go. It's the atmosphere you're seeking out; those perfect buzzy-but-relaxing daytime brunch vibes everyone craves come Saturday morning.

2298 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

3. Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters

2271 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Wrecking Ball has the best coffee in the neighborhood, and the pineapple wallpaper is eminently Instagrammable. Grab an expertly- prepared latte, upload a photo and sip while you rack in the likes. (This is also a solid place to hang while waiting for a table at Rose's across the street.)

2271 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

4. Tacko

3115 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Tacko's Cal-Mexican burritos, quesadillos, tacos and and other fresh Mex fare are still popular in the neighborhood. The counter service menu has a seafood bent, with a lobster roll and Nick's Crispy fish tacos rounding out the menu. Fair warning: this is not a Mission taco like La Taqueria, but it's high-quality, and quick. Plus, there's wine and beer, which is pretty essential to a Cow Hollow spot's success.

3115 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123

5. Balboa Cafe

3199 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

This SF institution with decent food (a well-known burger is notably served on a baguette) can be many things to many people, and here are just a few:
1. A place to take your parents for dinner.

2. Great for brunch and bloodies.

3. Eating a solid burger at the bar, which is easily the best of the food.

4. A cougar-catching pick-up bar any night of the week.

5. Good men-in-suits watching, also any night of the week.

6. Crowded Saturday nights with people in their late 20s and early 30s looking for well-heeled women or men with money not wearing a hoodie.

Choose which fits your needs and head at the appropriate times.

3199 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123

6. Atelier Crenn

3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

In a serious departure from the rest of the neighborhood's establishments, Atelier Crenn is among the crème de la crème of SF fine dining. Chef Dominique Crenn's menu is written as a poem, so best of luck figuring out what you'll be eating. Just trust in Crenn that spending most of your paycheck on one meal will be worth it. You can take the Michelin Guide’s word for it: They awarded Atelier Crenn three stars in 2018, making Crenn the first woman chef to achieve that honor in the United States.

3127 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123

7. West Coast Wine and Cheese

2165 Union, San Francisco, CA

This tiny wine bar has strong local vibes, along with tasty food offerings. Head here for a really good glass (or three) of West Coast wine, cheese and charcuterie, and better-than-expected small plates like burrata with cherry tomatoes.

2165 Union
San Francisco, CA

8. The Brixton

2140 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

A go-to neighborhood pub, the Brixton is a known quantity among Cow Hollow regulars. Fans have come to count on it for everything from a quick beer and a burger to a weekend bloody Mary bar and big cinnamon rolls at brunch.

2140 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

9. Palm House

2032 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Punch bowl at Palm House Palm House

Palm House claims to have the second-oldest palm tree in San Francisco planted in its patio, anchoring the Caribbean theme. Outdoor diners sip on tropical cocktails and dig into jerk chicken and coconut prawns.

2032 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

10. The Brazen Head

3166 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Caleb Pershan

Old-school is the best word for the Brazen Head: It applies equally to the dark environs, classic American food with French influences, cocktails, and longtime patrons. Dates will be impressed if you take them here, especially as it's open late for food.

3166 Buchanan St
San Francisco, CA 94123

11. Flores

2030 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Flores
Flores
Aubrie Pick

Also from the Back of the House group, Flores offers fresh Mexican fare for happy hour and brunch crews, with a good list of tequila and mezcal cocktails, guacamole and salsas smashed from the molcajete, and fish tacos and crab tostadas.

2030 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

12. Wildseed

2000 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Taking over the former Belga space, Wildseed is still within the Back of the House restaurant group (also behind Beretta, Lolinda, Super Duper). This new vegan spot was one of the freshest openings of 2019, serving up beet poke, green pizza, and freshly squeezed cocktails. 

2000 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

13. Perry's

1944 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Perry's is classic SF and great for a traditional American meal — think steaks, salads, a burger, and the like. Head there for some upscale sports game watching, or an easy meal for even the pickiest of eaters.

1944 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

14. The Italian Homemade Company

1919 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

It's shocking how few take-out places exist in Cow Hollow, so the Italian Homemade Company fills a major niche. Fresh pasta, flatbread sandwiches and salads can be made in a variety of ways to eat in the shop or take home. Plus, there are a lot of gluten-free options, if that matters to you.

1919 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

15. Ly's Vietnamese Cuisine

1779 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Tasty, large bowls of pho in a no-frills environment makes this a more takeout-friendly spot, but definitely a very worthy one.

1779 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Related Maps

16. Tamashisoul

1849 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Is Tamashisoul the best sushi ever? No, but it's what you've got in the vicinity, and it's definitely good enough. It's also always easy to get in, and very comfortable inside. Don't skip the kitchen items, like udon noodle soups.

1849 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

17. KAIYŌ

1838 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Kaiyo colorfully and creatively blends Japanese and Peruvian flavors, serving both whisky and pisco cocktails, alongside sushi and ceviche, karaage and yucca fries. It’s the rare fusion restaurant that’s actually fun, coming from the team behind Whitechapel and Novela. 

1838 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

18. Black Horse London Pub

1514 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Black Horse has the proud distinction of being the smallest bar in SF (just ask the hop on/hop off buses that proudly announce that fact every time they drive by), and it would be wise to not forget it. Don't go expecting a place to rage, but do go expecting strong local vibes — as most of the patrons live on the block — so be prepared to chat with friendly strangers. Beers by the bottle are your (only) drink of choice, and occasionally the owner will fry up some bacon or order pizza for the whole bar (which, by the way, consists of eight seats). And don't even think about talking on your cell phone, or the owner will kick your anti-social self out.

1514 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Related Maps