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Dinner on my own in SF tomorrow nite--Zuni ok for solo woman?

  • g

In town for business, only one night (sigh). I usually pull up a stool at Slanted Door when this happens, but I have been hearing about Zuni. What do you think? I prefer an upscale place where eating in the bar area is an option (if that is not too much of a contradiction). Any thoughts on Zuni or alternate recommendations would be most appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. Zuni really doesn't have a good bar to eat dinner at. You'd probably inherit a two-top. I'd rather eat at the dinner-counter at Boulevard any day.

    1. Thanks--I have been to Boulevard and really liked it, but would like to try something new. Any other suggestions? Do Myth or Incanto have a bar where you can eat? Last time I ate at the bar at the old Redwood Room (I think it is Asia de Cuba)but was underwhelmed by the food.

      1. The bar at Zuni doesn't have stools, I believe. But I am sure you'll be treated very well as a solo diner there at a table.

        I have had dinner at the bar at Incanto several times, and I love it. It's one of my favorite solo dining spots, actually. The stools are comfortable, there's lots of elbow room, and it's an active/interesting area without ever being bustling or loud.

        From what i recall of Myth, the bar is very social/active and there will probably be people standing around you drinking and chatting while you're dining.

        1. Here's my post from last year on eating at the bar at Delfina by myself.

          Pesce or Incanto would be other good choices. You might want to check out Zuni and if the seating doesn't suite you, head over to Cav next door. It's a wine bar but the kitchen makes some very delicious things.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Here's a second vote for Zuni/Cav. I don't eat out very much any more, but I've been to Cav three times (twice at the bar) in the past month. Its quite nice.

          2. Just what I was looking for---thanks!

            1. I think I will give Incanto a try...but I will definitely take a look at Zuni for when hubby can join me!

              1. OOPS, just looked it up on Mapquest---didn't realize it is in Noe Valley, and I am staying in financial district. I know I can always take a cab...but any other recommendations a bit closer?

                4 Replies
                1. re: gaa

                  Pesce is not far from FiDi. You can take the 45 bus there or you can walk over Russian Hill.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Pesce is a great place for solo dining. Neighborhood restaurand, local color, small place, small plates, delicious food. I second this recommendation.

                  2. re: gaa

                    You can take a streetcar to practically Incanto's front door. (Church street?) You can find it in the BART station nearest your hotel - probably either Montgomery or Embarcadero.

                    We did this last year and it was fine. You'd have to take a cab or pub trans to Zuni from the financial district so once you're in a cab it's not very much further.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      The F-line surface streetcar up Market to Zuni/Cav is also a scenic ride before dark.

                  3. Luella in Russian Hill.....Hyde & Green. You can't go wrong....I love this place. I've eaten solo in many o' place,... this place does NOT make me feel guilty for doing so.

                    kim @ apizza scholls

                    1. Kokkari is at Jackson and Front, not too far. The bar is part of the dining room, and is great for Solo dining. There are also some tall pub tables in the area if you like a bit more privacy. The small plates menu is extensive, and wonderful

                      1. In the financial district, consider Campton Place - lovely and well-suited to the solo diner.

                        1. How about Canteen? It has a counter and great food. There are lots of post about it around here. I think you can eat at the bar at Myth too.

                          1. Incanto is right on the J Muni subway / streetcar line, pretty painless from the Financial District, not much longer of a trip than Zuni.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              the J Church is not running at night right now and for the indefinite future, after 9:30 pm, so unless you get an early start, you will have to take a cab home.

                              The ride from FiDi to Incanto takes about 20 to 30 minutes, assuming the J is on time (it often runs late).

                                1. re: Frosty Melon

                                  No streetcar in SF is running after 10pm due to 'track work' however surface transportation will run in its' place...

                                2. re: susancinsf

                                  That's a pain.

                                  While the streetcars are running there's a gorgeous view of the city looking out over Dolores Park.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Absolutely true. It's both convenient AND gorgeous. This cutback reminds me of one of my fave lines - paraphrasing - Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Defense Department had to hold bake sales and the Board of Education (read Muni) got all the money it needed?

                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                      It isn't a cutback. The line is closed for the 'metro improvement project'. More info, including exact times after which you can't catch the train, at:


                                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      I think it's only the underground portion of the J that's not running. I think it still runs above ground. I could be wrong though.

                                      1. re: Frosty Melon

                                        The Muni site says after 10pm Monday-Friday, rail service on Church, transfer to bus on Market.

                                        1. re: Frosty Melon

                                          The bus substitutes are perfectly workable. I have to take the late night KLM bus several times a week, which starts at Castro Station. Unlike the normal buses, there isn't much of a wait, although naturally the J's wait might be worse. The buses also stop at any regular bus stop, which, if you're lazy like me, actually makes it more convenient, in a way.

                                  2. Wow! I love this board! I leave soon for the airport, and will post my review upon my return about my 1 night in SF and my 2 nights in Monterey where I will be joined by hubby(Passionfish, and maybe Bouchee---results are mixed about Bouchee, so we are rethinking it). Thanks again.

                                    1. Hi Gaa. I know you're probably on the plane to SF, but I just wanted to post for others saying, why the hesitancy on going to Zuni as a solo diner? Sure, the bar doesn't have any stools, but they have all those tiny metal tables off to the side that's considered bar seating. You get a window view that's great for people watching, and you get to try all the great food, including the oyster bar and roasted chicken. I've eaten at Zuni's a couple of times by myself with those seating off to the side of the bar and I've never felt uncomfortable.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: singleguychef

                                        Darn, I'm probably too late here too.

                                        The best seats in the house at Zuni are those just inside and
                                        to the left of the door in the windowed apex of the triangle.
                                        Technically bar seats, they're a great place to have dinner too,
                                        and perfectly suitable for a single diner (me once and people sitting
                                        next to me many times). They're a bit cozy so there's ample opportunity
                                        to make new friends. Though if chatting with people sitting next
                                        to you isn't your idea of a good time, then you might not enjoy it
                                        so much.

                                        So here's a second on the idea of Zuni. Maybe on your next trip.

                                      2. If you read this before eating, Coco500

                                        I've eaten at a table, but someone posted favorably about eating at the bar at Michale Minna. I really liked MM. And it was one of the four restaruants in SF that got a two-star Michelan rating (hey, I'll use those silly stats when it backs up something).

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: rworange

                                          Eating at the bar at Mina's is vastly more entertaining than eating at a table. The food for me is good, solid. But not innovative or exciting. Of course, just about everything we have suggested to the OP falls in this category. Nothing wrong with good and solid, it's just at these prices, I want to be wowed. The wine program, though, is spectacular.

                                        2. Thanks for all of the suggestions! I admit, I fell into old habits and went to Slanted Door---I started out just going for a glass of wine at 5:00 with every intention of going to one of the other recommended places, but by 5:30 when the dinner menu arrived at the bar, I was already chatting with the people sitting next to me and I decided to order. It was wonderful, as usual. I will post separately about my lunch and dinner so a search will be easy for anyone considering the places I visited, and I will post separately about my Monterey/Carmel visit. Thanks again!