In a city where a studio apartment now goes for over $3K, finding a budget-friendly restaurant space is no easy task. But these 11 itty-bitty spots have made it work, seating 25 people or fewer for omakase sushi feasts, tasting menus, artisanal pizzas, and the best damn oysters in town. In honor of Micro Week on our sister site, Curbed SF, we've rounded up 12 of San Francisco's smallest spots for a great meal, where you can get to know your chef—and your neighbors.Read More
Get Cozy at 11 of San Francisco's Tiniest Restaurants
Shoebox-sized suppers where you'll get to know your chef—and your neighbors.
Only 25 souls at a time can savor the tasting menu at this petite Mission newcomer, where chef Val Cantu interprets his Mexican heritage through the lens of modern cuisine. The upside: service doesn't get more personal than this.
Sushi and shoebox spaces apparently go hand in hand, as can be seen at this itty-bitty, one-table-only Hayes Valley favorite. There's nearly always a line for the handful of counter seats, so you'll want to enjoy your firecracker roll with an eye on not lingering.
farm : table
This petite cafe boasts all of a half-dozen seats at its communal table, though a couple of outdoor tables and the recent addition of a parklet have helped the situation somewhat. Nonetheless, it's beloved for its fancy toast, croissant egg sandwich, and killer iced coffee.
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At 25 seats, this Tenderloin newcomer is definitely petite, but chef Sara Hauman has been getting big buzz for seasonal plates like short-rib pot pie and uni-avocado toast. Throw in a sharp wine selection, and you can understand why reservations are necessary.
Only 12 people can fit in this secret Mission spot, which offers a four-course tasting menu for $25. The menu changes very frequently, but arepas are always part of the lineup. The best part: with a two-man staff, you can text for reservations.
Only 20 or so people can pack into the three tables and half-dozen bar stools at this Mission classic, which has made the most of the situation by adding tons of outdoor seating (and heat lamps). It's a favorite for any occasion, but sunny afternoons with a pie and a bottle of rosé are an especially clutch move.
This adorable shoebox serves up some of the city's finest pies, from standard margheritas to farm-egg-topped seasonal concoctions, with all of four tables and a half-dozen counter seats. There are also a handful of outdoor perches, if the foggy Outer Richmond weather cooperates.
The after-bar crowd perpetually packs this tiny North Beach burger joint, which has all of a dozen seats. It's the place to go for double cheeseburgers, fries, pizza, and some questionable late-night behavior.
This family-run sushi spot boasts two booths and a half-dozen counter seats, and lines start forming at 4:30 pm to score a spot. The reward: solid, affordable nigiri in huge portions, not to mention the famous baked bass with mango.
Swan Oyster Depot
A counter-only affair with 20 or so seats, this beloved SF classic now requires the patience of a saint to devour its fantastic oysters, chowder, crab Louie, and other seafood favorites. But if you can survive the line, the welcoming and old-school staff will show you a good time.
This beloved Burmese noodle counter boasts about a dozen seats, all at the counter, and the ladies behind the stoves aren't shy about telling diners to eat up and move on. But the house noodles and tea-leaf salad are worth the inevitable wait, and the price is right: nearly everything is under $10.