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Good red meat place in SF

Coming into SF for a weekend's stay and we're looking for restaurants with a good selection of red meat, excellently prepared. Yes, red meat as politically incorrect as it might be. No Morton's, no Ruth Chris, etc. type of steakhouses and meats do not need to be dry-aged. Some place on par with Nopa or Incanto or Izzy's. Steak / Chops / Seafood entree priced around $22-27 or less with nice conversational level ambiance. I guess trendy would be okay too, but prefer to avoid it. Definitely no Alfred's, Tadich or old SF eatery styled restaurant. Some place fun and close to Bart (nice, but not a requirement) would get extra points! Any suggestions from my fellow hounds?

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  1. Hayes St. Grill does not have a huge selection of meats but they do them well (the place was conceived as a modern take on Tadich).


    Izzy's is a big step down from Nopa or Incanto.

    1. Not next to BART, but Boboquivaris may work. Atmosphere is fun and not traditional SF old school (and not trendy either). May be above your price range.

      1 Reply
      1. While it does fall into the category of "old SF eatery styled restaurant," you might want to consider the newly re-located, re-opened Original Joe's. It ticks all your other boxes.


        1. Not in SF, but accessible by BART - Cafe Rouge in Berkeley. Meat doesn't get any redder than that (or plus rouge).

          22 Replies
          1. re: chocolatetartguy

            Yeah, Cafe Rouge was the first place I thought of. Is there another restaurant with its own butcher counter? It's a mile from North Berkeley BART.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              If that's too far, one can take the 51B bus from University and Sacramento (2 blocks from North Berkeley BART) to University and 3rd St. (3 blocks from Cafe Rouge).

            2. re: chocolatetartguy

              I wasn't really impressed with my 16oz ribeye at $34 nor were there that many red meat choice entrees.

              1. re: wolfe

                I haven't had many steaks there, but the "other red meat" (pork) is the one I order. Their chops are the best I have had. When I have looked there have always been a couple of meat entrees and some sort of stew/pasta with meat. I wonder if you can just go pick something out of the meat case and ask them to fry it up.

                It's not too long a walk straight down Delaware. You could also walk over to University and catch a 51B

                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                  I guess I have been indoctrinated by the Pork Board to think of it as the other white meat.

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    The current sample menu is pretty typical: pork chop, roast beef, goat mixed grill (chop and sausage), plus the ribeye steak-frites and burger that are always on the menu. Often the pork plate is a mixed grill, if there's not goat there's usually lamb, sometimes they have a hanger steak in addition to the ribeye. There are cheaper places to eat meat but none that source more carefully.

                  2. re: wolfe

                    Your link shows 3 beef entrees, 1 pork and 1 goat (w Merguez sausage. The sides include meatballs, ribs, beef marrow.

                    I hate 4th St nowadays (Used to like 4th St. B&G and Bette's farmers scramble). Cafe Rouge's pork chops and the bulk olive oil and frozen soup at the Pasta Shop are the only reasons I go there and I live 4 blocks away.

                      1. re: sydthekyd

                        Bar & Grill. I think they may have predated Bette's on 4th St. and were the 2nd salvo (after Chez Panisse)in the Alice Waters/California cuisine campaign.

                        1. re: chocolatetartguy

                          It was Mark Miller's, I believe. Before he moved to Santa Fe and then to DC. That was a long time ago.

                          1. re: wally

                            It was a long time ago. My extended family often went there. I remember being taken there for my birthday in 1980. It was a new style of cooking back then.

                            1. re: wally

                              Might have been Jeremiah Tower's (if we're talking about the old Santa Fe "B&G" on University?). Mark joined later after leaving Chez PP and before moving to New Mexico to start Coyote Grill along with a string of other eateries promoting southwestern cuisine.Tower of course went on to Stars in SF, etc, etc. and more fame

                              1. re: homereker

                                Mark Miller left Chez Panisse to open Fourth Street Grill in 1979. He opened Santa Fe Bar & Grill in 1981, Jeremiah Tower (then at the Balboa Cafe) took it over when Miller moved to New Mexico to open Coyote Cafe.

                                Fourth Street Grill lasted a long time, eventually it was bought by Elephant and Castle which kept the name but served bad food and failed quickly, so they brought in Bruce Cost to make it over as Ginger Island, which was good for the short time he was there.

                            2. re: chocolatetartguy

                              Mark Miller opened Fourth Street Grill in 1979, Santa Fe B&G in 1981, Bette's opened in 1982.

                              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                I think you mean the Fourth Street Grill ... in the space that has had several incarnations since then and is currently Zut!

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  What was the name of the restaurant after FSG? It was very popular and successful.

                                  1. re: sydthekyd

                                    It was Ginger Island, and it was Eccolo before it became Zut! but was there something else either before or after Ginger Island?

                            3. re: chocolatetartguy

                              If you haven't been to Cafe Rouge for a while, you might give them another shot. We've eaten there a lot in the last few months, I think they're in the best form they ever have been.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                And their butcher counter remains as good as ever. It is the only place I buy meat if I can help it. Lunch is a good option if you want to be economical.

                              2. re: chocolatetartguy

                                I don't see the Farmer's Scramble on Bette's online menu.

                                1. re: sydthekyd

                                  They don't make it anymore, along with my other favorite: smoked pork chops with corncakes. The FS was sausage (linguisa?), potato, onion, green pepper? scrambled in egg and served in a big bowl. The also used to have little 50 cent cookies on the to go side.

                            4. re: chocolatetartguy

                              oh yeah... i completely forgot Rouge, thanks for the reminder! their meat positively dripped hemoglobin and was quite tasty if i recall.

                            5. Isn't Incanto serving its snout-to-tail dinner right now? That's about as red meat as it gets if you ask me.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ML8000

                                Incanto's head-to-tail dinners were last week, and I'm not sure the menu included any red meat.


                              2. Getting this topic back on track. Is Harris' Steakhouse still good? I enjoyed the last time I was there many years ago. Wasn't the creamed spinach good?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                  Don't know about the San Francisco store but the roast beef I had at the ranch in the middle of nowhere was delicious.

                                    1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                      Went to Harris' two weeks ago. Still great. Best of breed in SF.
                                      Beyond the desired price range however.
                                      The Blue Plate is a really nice place that always has worthy red meat offerings.
                                      It's American food done the way most Americans rarely experience.
                                      Another subtly wine obsessed place that has good food too.
                                      Funny how that works so frequently around here.

                                      1. Most of the places people have mentioned are out of your price range. I think any "steak/chophouse" is going to be or not going to be the atmosphere you seem to be looking for. I was thinking you might be happy with places like Blue Plate, Serpentine, Wayfare Tavern, Town Hall, Coco500, Grand Cafe....

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          It's been awhile since we did the SF food scene and it appears the pocketbook needs to be ..uhmm.... refreshed. There were some great ideas above in addition to yours. Town hall is the only one we're familiar with but we're excited about exploring the menus of your other picks as well. Thanks to all Hounders who generously donated their time and suggestions.

                                          1. re: homereker

                                            Prices really went up the last couple of years, and that's not including the surcharge a lot of places are tacking on for Healthy San Francisco/City Mandates.

                                          2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            I'd also suggest Chez Papa (Bistro). Hadn't eaten there in a while, and was extremely pleased with the meal we had last Saturday. Some of the best food I can recall from that kitchen in several years. Excellent steak frites but there's also several other red meat offerings on the current menu.

                                          3. I haven't been to Epic, or Alexander's, but I hear that Alexander's is the best steakhouse in SF However, I like think that Bobo's has THE best steak in SF. While not the best overall steakhouse, it has THE best steak.

                                            Bobo's sides and apps can be hit and miss, free valet parking in front of restaurant, seating can be awkward if you are not in a booth, cocktails are expensive, but you can find a good wine for a very reasonable price on their list, all but one of the servers there are great, restaurant layout doesn't scream STEAKHOUSE atmosphere. BUT, I have been to several steakhouses and I have NEVER had a better steak than I the steak that I have had at Bobo's. But, prices aren't $22-27.

                                            Try Tad's.

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: Saxby

                                              Tad's as in Tad's $13 cafeteria steak with all the fixin's? On par with Nopa, Incanto, and even Izzy's? I guess I had better suggest Palace Family Steakhouse as well!

                                              1. re: Civil Bear

                                                Would HOPR (House of Prime Rib) fit the red meat category?

                                                ...and for a totally different experience (and near BART) there's the Brazilian Steakhouse

                                                Espetus....here's a link...


                                                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                  HOPR definitely qualifies as red meat. However it is also an "old SF eatery styled restaurant"

                                                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                    The only selection at House of Prime Rib is S, M, L, and XL. And the fish of the day.

                                                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                      Espetus is an interesting choice, particularly if the OP has never been to a churascaria before. I believe the cost is outside the OP's range, but comes with all you can eats meats and salad bar.

                                                      1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                        What are the prices at Espetus these days? The only thing I find on their Web site is a press release from two years ago, when it was $50 at dinner and $24 at lunch.

                                                      2. re: Civil Bear

                                                        Nice sarcasm. At least at Tad's you can get a steak plus sides for $22

                                                        By the way my favorite steakhouse, Bobo's, just got top ten steakhouses in USA Today!! Right up there with Peter Luger's.

                                                        1. re: Saxby

                                                          I believe at Tad's you can get the steak and sides for about $14.

                                                            1. re: Saxby

                                                              ...and you get what you pay for.

                                                      3. re: Saxby

                                                        I've been to both Alexander's and Boboquivari's (Bobo's). Granted Alexanders' was on a holiday evening so maybe it was an off night, but I thought in terms of the steak itself Bobo's blew Alexander's out of the water.

                                                        Alexander's however has all the trimmings for a nice meal. The atmosphere is very classy (Bobo's is more eclectic/kitschy), wine list is great, very professional service etc.

                                                        1. re: goldangl95

                                                          Yes, I agree, it is a great steak. You can really taste the nutty flavor of the dry aged steaks, but you have to like it on the rare side.

                                                      4. At (or very near) your price range, and near BART, I'd suggest Lark Creek Steak. It's in the Westfield Mall. I wasn't expecting much when I went there but was pleasantly surprised. There are a number of steaks / chops right around your price range. I had the Kobe-style ribeye which was significantly more, but was very good.