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High-end and about average restaurants in Union Square, SF

Please suggest some high-end restaurants near Union Square, SF for lunch, dinner and even brunch. Any crusine is fine but not Chinese and Thai. Seafood is good.

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  1. Seafood: Farallon. About half a block from Union Square.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nocharge

      Second Farallon as a solid, choice though not unique/exemplary to SF.

      Gitane or Cafe Claude are more casual but provide a solid level of service and food. Gitane is more in-step with the current feel of the SF dining scene than Farallon.

      I haven't been to Campton Place or Bouche but those may be options as well.

      These are all walking distance from Union Square. Are you willing to go further afield? Most of the best options are in less high-rent/touristy areas.

    2. The Rotunda in Neiman Marcus has a lovely high-end lunch. Beautiful setting, too! Be prepared to shell out $28 for a lobster sandwich.

      The best (and only?) high-end brunch near Union Square is at The Palace.

      4 Replies
      1. re: CarrieWas218

        May I have the details address / website of The Palace. Brunch sounds good :)

        1. re: CarrieWas218

          I have to disagree on the Palace being "the only" brunch.

          Taj Campton Place Hotel is one block north of Union Square and a better restaurant than the Palace. The Campton Place restaurant does Sunday brunch, and also lunch the other six days/wk, dinner all week. They don't post their menus, though:

          Mind you, I love the Palace's architecture: both Pied Piper and the Garden Court (which is actually the Palm Court, altho no one calls it that) have the spectacular stained glass panels designed by United Glassworks, a local competitor to Tiffany and La Farge, installed in 1909 when the Palace reopened after its rebuild from the Great Earthquake. And I swoon over those tiny mosaic tile floors and the comfy high-backed booths in PP. But the food is mediocre; barely 2 star at Pied Piper (we ate dinner there last month) and frankly worse at Garden Court as the waitstaff is now atrocious.

          1. re: CarrieWas218

            Hands down The Rotunda is way better than the Palace which I agree is really beautiful, but the food is totally not remarkable.

            The Rotunda has a lobster club sandwich w/ toasted brioche that is a modern take on a classic.

          2. the financial district is virtually adjacent to the Union Sq. area and has one of the city's highest concentrations of eateries in that category.

            1 Reply
            1. re: moto

              I think it depends on how you interpret "near Union Square". Does it mean walking distance or a short cab ride? If the latter, it would cover most of downtown SF with a huge number of options.

            2. >>>Please suggest some high-end restaurants near Union Square...<<<

              Are you looking for great wine lists? Do you have a budget range other than just "high-end"? What radius around Union Square would be acceptable? Would you like something that attracts a younger crowd? An older crowd? Would you be seeking anything unique to the area?

              The more specific you can be will lead to more helpful responses.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Fowler

                I'd add, prix fixe/tasting menu (or tasting-menu focused) or a la carte.

              2. I really like Claudine for lunch, and think the space is much more pleasant than her older brother Cafe Claude. It's not "high end", but is a nice sit down place for a good French inspired bistro style lunch.

                Also for dinner consider The Cavalier for elevated British pub food with a great bar.

                1. Farallon wonderful for dinner. For old San Francisco go Tadich grill to see old San Francisco and enjoy fabulous fresh fish.

                  Love Cafe Claude where we can pretend we are back in Paris.
                  Tartine for breakfast pastry, Delfinas next door for fabulous fresh pizza. Never fail at Zuni Cafe.

                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Grand Cafe and Scala's have had chef changes since then.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        My husband and I ate at Grand Cafe about two weeks ago as it showed up on the Open Table 1,000 point list and we were craving oysters.

                        Frankly, the oysters were the best part of the meal and that wasn't saying much.

                        We ordered a sweetbreads appetizer that had a sickly sweet orange sauce. The Moules Frittes were just okay, but the quality of the mussels were puny and almost tasteless.

                        My husband ordered the French Onion soup and the soup was lukewarm.

                        In all, I would go back pre-theater for oysters only.

                      2. re: Cynsa

                        I am very surprised that Roy's of all places made the list.

                        1. re: Fowler

                          And not all of these restaurants are all that close to Union Square. They list the addresses of both Perbacco and Roy's as "700 Post Street (at Jones)" which I believe may not be completely accurate.

                          1. re: nocharge

                            Not at all accurate on the addresses, but both somewhat close to Union Square.

                            Roy's: 575 Mission (Soma)
                            Perbacco: 230 California (Financial District)

                          2. re: Fowler

                            A place doesn't have to be particularly good to end up on that show. The other two places in that episode were La Mediterranee and Joe's of Westlake.