HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Dining solo in SF this Friday/Saturday

  • 14
  • Share

I'm in SF on business for the first time next week and decided to stay the weekend. I'll likely be dining solo. I've read Slanted Door, Coi and Zuni are great. Any thoughts or more suggestions?

-----
Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Here are some sole diner threads.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6445...
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5528...

    1. Ame, Perbacco, Boulevard all have good bar areas where you can order food and mingle while dining alone. All are in the financial district / downtown.

      -----
      Perbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      1. Spruce and NOPA are also great for solo dining, but a little more out of the way

        1. I am a frequent solo diner in this city and the three you mentioned are close to the bottom of my list of places I like and I think they are all over-rated. While they are all tourist favorites, all three are better served by larger groups where their dishes can be shared while your selections as a solo diner will be far more limited, especially Zuni which is better for lunch than dinner (good burger). My meals at Coi are more memorable by their mishaps than their successes.

          You might want to consider Canteen which is often hard to get into but as a solo diner, you may have a better chance at a last-minute spot on the bar.

          Agree with Whiner on Ame and Perbacco, but I'm also a Boulevard detractor.

          -----
          Zuni Cafe
          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          1. Incanto would be a good spot. I have to ecommend Coi... best meal I've had in the City, although I've only been once so far. Agree that Zuni is only good at lunch. Slanted Door way over-rated. BarBacco, Perbacco's sister, has a good counter to sit at solo. Agree with recomendation for Canteen, and when I was there last Thursday night, 3 of us were the only ones sitting at the counter - so, maybe not always as hard to get into as it used to be. and it was a pre-fixe night.. I haven't tried George's, new seafood place in the FiDi yet, but that also has a long counter space.

            -----
            Slanted Door
            Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

            Zuni Cafe
            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. A16's chef's counter would be a great place to dine solo.

              -----
              A16
              2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

              1. I eat alone all the time in SF. My partner doesn't like the same kinds
                of restaurants I do and we often don't see each other during the week....so.
                I use that opportunity to eat places he wouldn't go.

                Bar Jules has great food, and a bar you can eat at. You might like
                the other Slanted Door on Bush called Out the Door.

                There's a zillion good places...gotta run.

                -----
                Slanted Door
                Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                Bar Jules
                609 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                Out the Door
                2232 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

                1. I only eat out by myself at pricier places because my friends are not willing to spend the money.

                  I can say I have dined at all of the fine dinning and mid-range restaurants in the city on my own and some of the more memorable ones have been Coi, La Folie, The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, and Canteen.

                  I have never felt at any restaurant that it was a problem that I was taking up a table by just being a solo diner which is very nice. I have even dined at Cyrus, Manresa, and TFL by myself and I always felt they enjoyed seeing this 20 year old with tattoos and a septum piercing enjoy their food.

                  There are a lot of great solo dining options in the city and no restaurant I have ever ran into denied to seat me alone.

                  -----
                  Manresa Restaurant
                  320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                  La Folie
                  2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: benv

                    love that you said this: "and I always felt they enjoyed seeing this 20 year old with tattoos and a septum piercing enjoy their food." and love our City for this.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      ditto, I am weighing my options for this weekend as I will be dining solo too. benv you helped me regain my perspective, Thanks.

                      BTW , for the OP I've gone to Zuni twice by myself, once for lunch and another time around 3pm. I liked eating there later, I found the crowds to be a little overwhelming at lunch.

                      -----
                      Zuni Cafe
                      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  2. Slanted Door is fun solo if you can get a seat at the bar. Zuni is boring and really doesn't have good options for solo dining, plus the chef has been quoted as saying that creative food isn't necessary until everyone is serving good food. ugh.

                    Coi is very good for solo dining if you get a seat in the lounge. You can then order a la carte from both the lounge menu and the tasting menu. It is by far the best restaurant of the three you mention.

                    1. I often go out dining alone and I feel San Francisco (and probably New York) is one of the best places to eat solo because I get pretty good service at most of the moderate to high end places. And like a few people mentioned, several restaurants cater to solo/foodie diners with the counter seating. Here are my votes and why:

                      NOPA: The counter seat facing the open kitchen (four stools) mean you have to get early to grab a seat without reservations, but it's fun and the vibe is hipster but local neighborhood. If NOPA is too crowded, across the street a ways up is BAR CRUDO, which has a long marble counter and friendly bartenders (serves raw fish).

                      CAV WINE BAR: Is next door to Zuni. I'm not a fan of Zuni solo dining because you can't sit at the bar but in the area next to the bar and tables squeezed together can make it more obvious you're alone when you're next to other parties. You'll feel like you're intruding on their conversations. So go next door to CAV WINE BAR and sit at the bar and get some good food and wine.

                      BAR TARTINE: In the Mission has a long marble counter that you can get a seat early without reservations. Service isn't super friendly but California cuisine served up is tasty. Also, a fun, cozy room.

                      Places I haven't tried but layout looks friendly to solo diners because of the bar include BARBACCO and CONTIGO. (Barbacco is Italian food and Contigo is Spanish but in Noe Valley which is a trek if you have no car.)

                      I wasn't a fan of dining alone at Coi. Service was great, but it's so quiet there that it just makes you feel more uncomfortable sitting there by yourself. When I dine alone, I like places that are bustling so that no one pays attention to you.

                      -----
                      Zuni Cafe
                      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                      Contigo
                      1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: singleguychef

                        Completely agree about dining solo at Coi. My one time there as a solo diner made me feel as though people were looking at me, wondering WHY the heck I was there alone...

                        Alternately, I dined alone at Gitane's bar last evening and had a great time and a great meal with just their appetizers. I started with sardines, moved on to the quail, and finished up with beignets. All served with fabulous cocktails which were innovative and paired well with the food. With the sardines, I had a Sin Nombre (Van Gogh gin, creme de gingembre, cucumber, lemon, egg white, and cracked pepper). With the quail, I had a Gypsy (right gin, green chartreuse, St. Germain, and lime juice). And I finished up with a Castillan cup (bierzo roble wine, pimm’s no. 1, sliced cucumber & strawberry, ginger beer, mint) with the beignets.

                        -----
                        Gitane Restaurant & Bar
                        6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

                        1. re: singleguychef

                          Barbacco is great for solo diners. In addition to having a bar, the half-pours of wine by the glass means you can have a couple of glasses without over-indulging.

                          -----
                          Barbacco
                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111