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6 Must-try Fine Dining Restaurants in San Francisco | SF Fine Dining

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San Francisco has a dining scene as vibrant as the city itself. This city offers something for every palate, but in this article, we are going to whet your appetite with some of the city’s finest. These fine dining restaurants in San Francisco are as architecturally stunning as the food they serve.

Each of these six fine dining restaurants in San Francisco will wow you with their service and food as much as with their décor. These elevated restaurants cater not only to your taste buds but to every sense. We dare you not to get hungry for a trip to San Francisco to sample what they have to offer.

The 6 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in San Francisco

Empress by Boon

838 Grant Ave, San Francisco //+14157570728

Located in San Francisco’s bustling Chinatown district, the entrance to Boon is so unassuming you could easily miss it. Its exterior does not prepare you for the stunning décor and ambiance that await you inside, making this one of the best fine dining restaurants in San Francisco.

Michelin-starred Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon brings an elevated dining experience to his namesake restaurant, Empress by Boon. Here you will find an elegant yet approachable seasonal menu of modern Cantonese gastronomy. 

Chef Ho offers artfully plated dishes that create a memorable epicurean experience you won’t stop talking about. We opted to try the tasting menu with wine pairing. This is my absolute favorite way to experience any new high-end restaurant. 

I love being able to sample a wide variety of what the restaurant offers. I highly recommend doing the same, as everything we had was divine. We began our culinary journey with a Roasted Duck and Truffle Pumpkin Puff, which had slices of fresh black truffle sprinkled on top.

Empress by Boon: Caviar Roll

Next was the Scallop and Caviar Roll, followed by a Fig Salad. Steamed Shrimp and Squid Dumplings arrived next, adorably shaped like the sea creatures they contained. The Stir-Fried Quail was admittedly the first time I enjoyed eating quail.

Next, they brought us a tasting of their Steamed Half Moon Bay Chilipepper Rockfish. Six courses in, we were ready to dive into the main dish, Wok-Tossed American Wagyu Beef served with mushroom noodles and seasonal vegetables.

The Peking Duck is an add-on to the tasting menu and we couldn’t resist, so we ordered it as well. Thankfully, we were a large group with healthy appetites. 

The Wagyu Beef main dish was the table’s favorite, but for me, nothing compared to the crispy, tangy, Peking Duck. Having enjoyed it in Beijing, I wasn’t expecting it to taste as good, but it exceeded my expectations.

Empress by Boon is one of the fine dining restaurants in San Francisco that is not to be missed. From the architecture to the decadent food and impeccable service, they are serving up incredible evenings.


2700 Jones St, San Francisco //+14154860788

Located inside The Kimpton Alton hotel is one of the top fine dining restaurants in San Francisco. ABACÁ earned a spot in the coveted Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America last year as well as one of The 25 Best Restaurants in SF according to The Infatuation. 

ABACÁ is a contemporary Filipino-Californian restaurant, showcasing the beauty and vibrance of Filipino culture and cuisine. I was fortunate enough to be staying at The Alton, which I highly recommend, so I dined at ABACÁ twice for breakfast and wished I had been able to enjoy a dinner there, as well. 

The décor is simple yet beautiful and plants drape down from the ceiling to welcome you to this family restaurant. You place your order at the counter, then take a number to your table and wait for the food to arrive.

Abacá: Alton Breakfast

At ABACÁ, they honor old family recipes and flavors while using some of Northern California’s best ingredients and they do it very well. Both times that I had the pleasure of eating here, I started with one of their Cappuccinos with stunning designs artfully placed onto my drink by the barista.

I sampled both the Alton Breakfast as well as the Vegetable Omelet and both were served with their perfectly crispy breakfast potatoes. Amongst all fine dining restaurants in San Francisco, I love that their portion sizes are just the right amount of food without being excessive.

Colibri Mexican Bistro

50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco //+14156785170

Colibri Mexican Bistro is off the beaten path, but well worth the drive to Presidio. Formerly located in Union Square for 18 years, you can expect the same delectable Mexican cuisine in this cantina eatery. With a vibrant and expansive outdoor extension, you can now take in the Golden Gate and Bay views as a backdrop to enjoy with your meal.

Owners Eduardo & Sylvia Rallo grew up in Central Mexico and their menu at Colibri Mexican Bistro combines the simplicity of authentic family recipes with fresh ingredients. 

They pride themselves on serving unparalleled cuisine rich in flavor, texture, and, of course, a Mexican tradition. It’s this same tradition that keeps both locals and tourists coming back to this charming turn-of-the-century restaurant.

We arrived for lunch after stopping at various sightseeing spots along the route. There are several places to snap that iconic Golden Gate Bridge photo—a San Francisco must! Thirsty from our travels, we each ordered one of their cocktails. I loved my Mezcalita, it was the perfect amount of smoky.

Colibri Mexican Bistro: Guacamole

If you like it hot, and I mean really hot, then try their Oaxaca. This drink is made with chile habanero infused illegal reposado Mezcal, with Hibiscus and Lime juice. It had my friend sweating! 

When they say something here has a kick, they mean it. Since sightseeing also works up quite an appetite, we ordered several appetizers for the table. 

The Guacamole was my favorite. Served with their house-made tortilla chips, it was delicious. We also shared the ​​Queso Fundido con Chorizo, which is essentially a giant pot of melted cheese and chorizo sausage. And yes, it’s just as decadent as it sounds.

Simply wanting a lighter lunch, I opted for the Fish Ceviché and it was fresh and tangy. The Chile Relleno and Enchiladas also looked amazing. I was grateful for my lighter meal decision since for dessert they had Churros and Flan al Café y Tequila, a traditional Mexican flan that I devoured.


8 Mission St, San Francisco //+14152783777

Located inside the 1 Hotel, walking into Terrene is reminiscent of strolling into a decorative garden. Palm trees adorn the hotel lobby and hallways and a variety of plants hang from rectangular boxes that dangle from the ceiling above the restaurant. 

The décor here is simply stunning and gives off some serious Tulum vibes. As the greenery would suggest, it doesn’t get much more local or sustainable than Terrene.

They grow fresh ingredients for their food and cocktails on the chef’s rooftop garden, and their beehives facilitate on-site honey production. Their cocktails are inspired by San Francisco’s neighborhoods and landmarks with their ingredients sourced within 50 miles, and impressively, zero-waste.

Before we even get into discussing their impeccable menu, Terrene is one of the must-see fine dining Restaurants in San Francisco. But speaking of food, they knocked it out of the park! In order to try as many items as possible, we ordered a variety of dishes for the table.


If I had to pick favorites, and this is hard, one would be the Green Woodfire Oven Flatbread with fig preserve, K&J Orchards Asian pear, goat cheese, ouroboros arugula, truffle oil, and parmesan cheese.

Another standout dish was the Lamb Slider with its delightfully gamey flavor complimented by a sweet mango jam. The Brussels Sprouts with their salted honey and sherry vinaigrette was also a crowd-pleaser. 

No matter what you choose to order at Terrene, you are in for a treat. Between the décor, service, and scrumptious food, it will be an evening to remember.


125 3rd St, San Francisco //+14152844188

Astra is located inside the stunning St. Regis San Francisco hotel. To the left of their lobby bar is a cozy and elegant dining room where Astra offers an elevated dining experience featuring exquisite American dishes inspired by California’s freshest seasonal ingredients.

We sat down and were immediately greeted by very friendly staff members. The tables were adorned with white napkins, but since I was wearing black pants I was provided with a black napkin in place of the original white one.

This was the first time I have experienced that level of detail or concern at a restaurant.

Astra: California Breakfast Croissant

Since we were going to be enjoying breakfast at Astra, I began with a Cappuccino. Artfully presented, it was as delicious as it was pretty. Although everything on the menu sounded delicious, I chose their California Breakfast Croissant. 

The server said it was a favorite and I was so glad that I ordered it. My croissant arrived beautifully plated with a side salad and wagon wheel potatoes.

The croissant itself served as the base for scrambled eggs topped with sliced avocado. The combination of the buttery croissant with fluffy eggs and salted avocado was divine.


Building A, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco //+14157716222

Greens Restaurant offers a lively scene in a spacious warehouse with panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge through their floor-to-ceiling windows. As the name implies, this is a vegetarian restaurant, but you won’t even notice the lack of meat. I promise.

As one who rarely, or rather never, dines at vegetarian eateries, I have to admit that I was skeptical about coming to Greens. I have nothing against vegetarian food, I just find it not as filling. This was not the case at Greens, not at all.

Meat eater or not, if you are a tea connoisseur, it’s worth noting that Greens has an impressive list of Rare Teas on its menu. To start, we ordered several dishes for the table to share. We sampled the Carrot Hummus, Fresh Spring Rolls, and Green Gulch Baby Lettuces salad. All of which were beautifully presented and tasted equally fantastic.

Greens: Carrot Hummus,
Fresh Spring Rolls, Green Gulch Baby Lettuces Salad

Since I am a huge fan of pasta, I opted to try the Roasted Carrot Rotini Pasta as my main dish. Consisting of brown butter, caramelized onions, Kalamata olives, arugula, grana Padano, and Saba, a sweet syrup made from fresh grape juice, this dish was rich, creamy and decadent. 

It was filling and left me satisfied. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Greens and I didn’t miss the fact that there was no meat. 

I left feeling satiated and wasn’t hungry for the rest of the night. I definitely recommend checking them out if you’re looking for fine-dining restaurants in San Francisco.

Did we make you hungry? I hope you’ll check out some of these fine dining restaurants in San Francisco the next time you’re in the 13th largest city in the United States.

Visiting other destinations in California? Check out our other delicious guides:

While in San Francisco, don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):

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