Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 5, 2013 10:16 AM

Need help deciding between Cotogna, SPQR and Bar Tartine... [San Francisco]

Already have a few break the bank dinners lined up. Have State Bird lined up too. Looking for an additional moderate priced option so I came up with these - Cotogna / SPQR / Bar Tartine. Location doesn't matter. Price doesn't matter. Just want the overall best executed food. I understand tables at SPQR are prob close together. That also doesn't really bother me.



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cotogna and SPQR are both Italian inspired. Bar Tartine is more Central European inspired so that could affect your decision.

    I really enjoy both Cotogna and its formal sister Quince. The food is very flavorful with unique combinations and a little less heavy compared to other Italian inspired restaurants in SF. The setting at Cotogna is warm and inviting but it's definitely loud and the tables are pretty close together. But it's still an "airy" space.

    1. I love both Cotogna and SPQR. I only went to lunch at Bar Tartine but the lunch is totally different from the dinner. A friend went to dinner at Bar Tartine and thought it was lackluster.

      Cotogna has great, light flavors with seasonal dishes. Very popular so it might be hard to get a reservations. They will be starting Sunday brunch on Feb. 10 so maybe that's a consideration.

      SPQR is smaller than Cotogna but since it's been around longer, maybe it might be easier to get in. Also, the menu has a pasta tasting if you're interested in that.

      1. Bar Tartine's eclectic and doing some of the most interesting and original food in SF.

        Cotogna's one of the half-dozen best rustic Italian / Cal-Italian places in the area and makes maybe my favorite of the local style of NY-Neapolitan hybrid pizzas.

        Haven't been to SPQR since the chef change, I'm not very interested in French-Italian fusion.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I want openly second Robert on Bar Tartine. The food us highly interesting and full of depth of flavor. It's rad and delicious. Well picked approachable wine list. Service is comfortable. Go.

        2. Having been to all three, and all within the past month I would say go to Bar Tartine. But, if Italian is what you are leaning towards than I would pick Cotogna over SPQR. Honestly, kinda surprised that SPQR got a Michelin Star this year. Go to Bar Tartine, you will not be disappointed.

          Also, just went to State Bird Provisions tonight and I am still extremely happy with the food. This was either my 6th or 7th time eating there and the meal I just had was probably the best one yet. I think it deserves all the applause it has been getting. Glad you are going to check it out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: benv

            Michelin gives extra points for Frenchiness.

          2. Cotogna, then SPQR and a distant third Bar Tartine. I find the food and service at Bar Tartine to be uneven and boring. Others on the board don't feel that way.
            On the other hand I've never had a bad meal at Cotogna. Great flavours, loud but friendly, relaxed but good service.